WCT Women’s Polo Champions Tour Final 2016
April is a spectacular month for polo lovers in Wellington. The US Open evolves during the month and marks the end of the polo season in Florida, making it a fitting time and place to hold the Final of the Women’s Champions Tour at the Grand Champions Polo Club.
The weekend tournament started with a kick-off party on Wednesday 13th at The Museum of Polo, where teams were presented, each telling us a little about themselves. It was so interesting to hear about all the different backgrounds of these ladies, some from polo families, who have played for generations, some from an equestrian background, who had just started polo and this was their very first tournament and some who had not had any connection to polo until they suddenly found it and fell in love with the sport (like me!).
Polo player and founder of WCT Sunny Hale initiated the presentation with a few words about the WCT and her vision and mission with this wonderful organization:
“I wanted to create a platform where women from all over the world could meet to compete in polo in a fun way, our motto is ‘New Friendships, Good Polo, Shared passion…’ and this is exactly what the WCT is all about, so let’s have some fun!”
The semis were held on Friday 15th where the ladies tested their powers against each other and Scribble Horse and Palm City Polo came out the victors to go on to the final held the next day.
When Saturday afternoon came around everyone was excited and ready to give it their all. A few raindrops from the unpredictable Florida skies were not going to stop these girls in their polo passion.
The first match played was the consolation final, where Catena USA defeated Creative Marketing Solutions 8-2.
15-year-old Malia Bryan was named MVP and expressed how much fun she had in this tournament and how these kinds of tournaments are what help make players like her, up their game.
The Final was a tough battle between Scribble Horse, featuring the great Kerstie Allen, and a team made of polo legacies, the Palm City Polo team. Scribble horse were awarded a half point by handicap as they were a 9-goal team opposing the 10-goal Palm City Polo. 4 intense chukkers and the final score was 5-4.5 in favor of Palm City Polo.
Kerstie is a huge inspiration to me, she is so cool and an amazing equestrian, she shows that you can have long blonde hair and look girly whilst being a total badass. She plays in several equestrian sports like polo, polo cross, barrel racing and is not shy to do a rodeo as well. She has that can do attitude and anything she puts her mind to she will succeed in.
Hope Arellano was the youngest player out there, at her 13 year of age and tiny teenage body, she did not see that as a disadvantage, but actually the opposite, she was flying like a bullet on her ponies (which she proudly told us were all her own). In an interview with her father, 9-goaler Julio Arellano, it was clear to see how tight-knit and supportive this polo family is. Polo in South America is a sport you play with your family in the back yard and it’s lovely to see it in the US as well.
Last but not least we had the juniors show their skills on the field. The Sapphires, coached by Sunny Hale, played through the sudden pouring rain to score 2 goals, whilst the Diamonds, coached by Gillian Johnston, couldn’t get through the Sapphires’ defense to score.
All matches were live streamed on ChukkerTV and they are on the site for replay.
Due to rain the prize-giving ceremony started out in the tent and was lead by Sunny Hale and Ted Ryce. Once the weather cleared up we moved the festivities outside.
New Friendships, Good Polo, Shared Passion… What WCT is all about 🙂
To read more about the WCT and find out how to join click here.
And check out my interview with Sunny Hale