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Press Release


Michel Dorignac and Gonzalo Deltour

Jared Zenni, Inaki Laprida and Gonzalo Deltour

Facundo Obregon and Gonzalo Deltour

Tonkawa: Gonzalo Deltour, Jeff Hildebrand, Inaki Laprida, Jeff Blake and River Blake

Best Playing Pony, Mancha, played by Gonzalo Deltour

Matt Coppola 2.7.15

CT Energia: Tommy Biddle, Joao Paulo Ganon, Alessandro Bazzoni and Nick Manifold

Matt Coppola, Tommy Biddle and Joao Paolo Ganon

Best Playing Pony Lilly played by Joao Paolo Ganon

Matt Coppola and Joao Paolo Ganon

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Tonkawa Captures Iglehart Cup; CT Energia Squeaks by Tackeria in Glen Hart Cup Final

Written by: Melanja Jones & Darlene Ricker
Client: International Polo Club Palm Beach
Release Date: 2015-03-07

Tonkawa Captures Iglehart Cup
Turns the Tide on Palm Beach Illustrated, 12-11

A single point made all the difference in both games Saturday at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Tonkawa trotted off with the Iglehart Cup, and CT Energia rode home with the Glenn Hart Cup. Tonkawa defeated Palm Beach Illustrated 12-11, and CT Energia bested Tackeria 10-9 in the finals of the 20-goal tournament and subsidiary.

In the Iglehart Cup, Gonzalo Deltour was named MVP and his horse, Manca, was Best-Playing Pony. Joao Paulo Ganon was MVP and his horse Lilli was BPP in the Glenn Hart.

Palm Beach Illustrated            Tonkawa
Tommy Collingwood   5               Jeff Hildebrand   A
Jared Zenni   3                           Gonzalo Deltour   7
Facundo Obregon   6                   Inaki Laprida   7
Michel Dorignac   6                     Jeff Blake   6

What do you do when everything is at stake, and absolutely everything is going against you? If you’re playing for Tonkawa, you ignore it and push on until you win.

In the same comeback-kid mode with which it won the semifinals four days ago, Tonkawa trailed for the first two chukkers, evened the score at the top of the third and then slammed the door on Palm Beach Illustrated. The first half ended with Tonkawa leading by one point and eventually winning by the same margin.

At the outset things were looking pretty grim for the quartet in white. Although Inaki Laprida scored in the first chukker, it turned out to be Tonkawa’s only goal for the period. Immediately afterward a costly foul resulted in an automatic point for Palm Beach Illustrated, which slid into a one-point lead. With Tonkawa still scrambling to get its balance in the second chukker, its nemesis capitalized on a rapid-fire succession of goals by Jared Zenni and Facundo Obregon (the latter on a slick Michel Dorignac assist).

Palm Beach Illustrated’s coastal surge didn’t last long, however. Laprida and Deltour, both seven-goal powerhouses, synced their playbooks in the third chukker. They made the majority of Tonkawa’s goals, generally by passing or through defensive moves that enabled the other to score. Deltour tied the game at 5-all in the third chukker and then ramped it up to make three more goals in a row. He was the game high-scorer with seven goals.

On fire and nowhere near running out of fuel, Deltour was as fierce on defense as he was on offense. Going for the “fear factor,” as announcer Gus Whitelaw put it, Deltour stormed the field like a fighter pilot, swooping in wherever the ball went. He seemed to delight in giving Michel Dorignac (not one who is easily intimidated) a run for his money. Deltour stole the ball from him, lost it on a bounce but stayed on his trajectory. He snatched the ball back as though he had planned it that way and ran it to goal.

With that Tonkawa moved into the lead and never looked back. The gap widened to four points in the fifth chukker when Deltour sent a high-flyer to Jeff Blake. Blake slapped it in, making the score 9-5. By then Palm Beach Illustrated hadn’t scored since the second chukker. Facundo Obregon and Zenni reactivated their team’s verve with a couple of goals, but to no avail, as Deltour and Laprida had melded into an impenetrable wall of power.

Undaunted, Dorignac poured the pressure on. He worked his way through a pack of white shirts, zigzagging as though trying to outfox a sniper (not a bad idea with Deltour and Laprida closing in on him). Dorignac found a window and passed the ball to Tommy Collingwood, whose shot to goal narrowed Tonkawa’s lead to one point (10-9). Another goal by each team ended the match 11-10.

The challenge of playing in a final was compounded by the light but steady rain throughout the game. Players said the field held up fine, but maneuvering a horse and mallet was something else. Blake said the conditions made the game challenging.
With their reins as slippery as seaweed and the ball behaving like a tennis ball as it bounced and skidded on a whim, how did Tonkawa’s players manage to seize control of the game?

“I really don’t know,” said a soggy Deltour with a wry smile. “We started to slip behind, and then we just started hitting balls and playing better together, all of us. That’s it.”

Blake said his teammates “started in the rain and kept it together. Both teams played really hard. It could have been anyone’s game, but we came out with one more goal.”

CT Energia Squeaks by Tackeria in Glen Hart Cup Final

CT Energia finished the season on a high note, winning the Glen Hart Cup 10-9 over Tackeria, hosted by International Polo Club Palm Beach. The Glen Hart Cup is a new tournament for 2015 and is the second tier tournament to the 20 goal Iglehart Cup. Hart was the longtime pro for Skey Johnston and a much-loved fixture in the polo community, who passed away last year.

CT Energia                       Tackeria                          
Alessandro Bazzoni   2       Alejandro Gonzalez   3
Tommy Biddle   6              Matt Coppola   4
Joao Paolo Ganon  7          Pelon Escapite   6
Nick Manifold   5               Malcolm Borwick   6

The weather was wet and windy to start the match, but that did not deter the players. Matt Coppola delivered a goal from the field for Tackeria that was followed in short order by Joao Paolo Ganon juking and jiving through the defenders for a score for CT Energia. The score was even at 2-2 at the end of the first chukker.

The rain came down even harder in the second chukker and started to affect the players. Nick Manifold scored early for CT Energia. The Tackeria team had several drives down field that stymied by the rain, finally evening up the score on a penalty two at the close of the chukker.

Conditions improved and so did the scoring in the third chukker. Ganon met the pack on a handy horse for a steal and a goal and was followed quickly by Alessandro Bazzoni scoring on the south end. Tackeria got a goal from Pelon Escapite but Ganon ran the ball coast to coast on a big brown horse to close out the half strong for CT Energia with a 6-4 lead.

Ganon continued his scoring ways after the halftime break, but then Malcolm Borwick put in two field goals for Tackeria, aided by the strong blocking from his teammates. The Tackeria teamwork led to two more goals from Alejandro Gonzalez in the fifth chukker. The Tackeria momentum was checked momentarily by a penalty one against them, but then Coppola tied the match at 9 all for Tackeria on a nearside with an assist from Escapite.

Tommy Biddle, substituting in this match for Kris Kampsen, scored a penalty four from the 60 yard line to make the score 10-9 in favor of CT Energia at the beginning of the sixth chukker. The teams battled it out for the remainder of the sixth chukker but Biddle's goal proved to be the go ahead goal, CT Energia clung to the lead for the victory.

Joao Paolo Ganon was selected MVP, he led all scorers with five goals. His beautiful mare Lily was awarded Best Playing Pony.

CT Energia patron Alessandro Bazzoni said as he carried the trophy away, "It was nice to win a game this season. Now we have to get ready for next season!”

The USPA Piaget Gold Cup resumes Sunday at IPC, with four games. At 10 a.m. Audi plays Engel & Völkers and Alegria faces Las Monjitas. Coca-Cola plays Lechuza Caracas at noon, followed by Orchard Hill versus. Valiente in the featured match at 3 p.m.


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