Horse and pony - site index.Horse chat message boards.Horse breeds, types and breeding gallery.Search for horse information on Equiworld.Horse information and equestrian news horse and pony magazine.Horse web links.  

Isla Carroll, White Birch Ready Themselves For Title Game Of Stanford Financial Group - 100th U.S. Open Polo Championship At International Polo Club Palm Beach

WELLINGTON, Florida – Sentimental favorite Isla Carroll and perennial powerhouse White Birch held light workouts and team meetings Saturday in preparation for Sunday’s 3 p.m. final of the historic Stanford Financial Group – 100th U.S. Open Polo Championship at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.

Pancho Bensadon scored eight goals to lead Isla Carroll past 2003 finalist Lechuza 12-11 and 10-goaler Mariano Aguerre scored on a short forehand 35 seconds into overtime to lift three-time finalist White Birch over Catamount 13-12.

Sunday’s 3 p.m. championship game is a rematch of the 1997 title contest in which Isla Carroll defeated White Birch 10-6. White Birch defeated Isla Carroll 14-9 during the first round of this year’s tournament.

John Goodman’s Isla Carroll, led by 15-time U.S. Open champion Memo Gracida, held off a late rally to defeat Lechuza in the first semifinal on Thursday before some 2,000 spectators.

“I’m very proud of the team,” said the 47-year-old Gracida. “We’ve only been together for one and a half months and we just clicked. There’s mutual respect between the players.”

Bensadon is the tournament’s leading scorer with 36 goals while Aguerre is second with 33 goals.

Club officials are expected a large crowd to witness the best polo in the United States, including Star Jones of ABC’s “The View” and actress Nicolette Sheridan. Both are expected to participate in the post-match trophy presentation ceremony. Executives from the title sponsor are also expected to attend the match, including Stanford Group Company President Jay Comeaux.

Pre-game ceremonies include recognition of past U.S. Open champions and several surprises. The club is also hosting a post-match asado with a plate of delicious food for $10 and a cash bar.

Thirteen teams, featuring 10 10-goalers, entered the Stanford Financial Group – U.S. Open Polo Championship, the most prestigious polo tournament in North America, highlighting the historic inaugural polo season at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Fifteen teams, in 2002, is the record for teams in a U.S. Open.

The Stanford Financial Group – U.S. Open has been played on the International Polo Club Palm Beach’s five world-class Bermuda-grass playing fields.

The Houston-based Stanford Financial Group, a privately-held global network of affiliated companies, has signed on as the title sponsor of the 100th U.S. Open Polo Championship in 2004. Stanford’s family of companies provides international private banking, trust and brokerage services and real estate development. Currently, the Stanford organization manages in excess of $17 billion in deposits and assets, serving clients on six continents. The success of the group is the result of entrepreneurial spirit and drive spearheaded by third generation Chairman and CEO R. Allen Stanford.

Like the high-goal teams on the field, the International Polo Club Palm Beach has amassed a lineup of prestigious sponsors for the U.S. Open. The Stanford Financial Group – U.S. Open tournament will feature a different presenting sponsor every Sunday, including Bombardier Aerospace, Cunard Ltd. and HUMMER, Mitchell-Peck Jewelers, Piaget, Roderer Estate, Kubota and Roder.

As always, there will be a delicious Sunday brunch, catered by The Breakers, open to the public preceding the featured stadium match, along with the now traditional and very popular champagne divot stomp and a post-match awards presentation.

Individual tickets for the U.S. Open tournament Sunday’s title game range from $15 for general admission to $40 for terrace lawn seating and are available in advance. For ticket information for the U.S. Open, please call the club at (561) 204-5687 or visit online at Tickets are also available at the gate.

International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South, between Pierson Road and Lake Worth Road, in Wellington.

2004 Scoring Leaders (through games of Thursday, April 15)

Player/Team Games Goals

Pancho Bensadon, Isla Carroll 6 36
Mariano Aguerre, White Birch 6 33
Javier Novillo Astrada, Las Monjitas 5 31
Carlos Gracida, Catamount 6 28
Sebastian Merlos, Lechuza 6 28

Bautista Heguy, Pony Express 5 24
Facundo Pieres, Old Pueblo 5 24
Lucas Criado, White Birch 6 20
Adam Snow, Bendabout 5 20

Lucas Monteverde, Everglades 4 19

Julio Arellano, Orchard Hill 4 16
Agustin Merlos, San Saba 4 16

Pite Merlos, Lechuza 4 16
Sapo Caset, Pony Express 5 16
Frederick Mannix, Millarville 4 15
Miguel Novillo Astrada, Bendabout 5 15

Mike Azzaro, Catamount 5 15

Jeff Hall, Old Pueblo 5 14

Matias Magrini, Old Pueblo 5 13

Sugar Erskine, Isla Carroll 6 13

Del Walton, White Birch 6 13

Mariano Gonzalez, Millarville 4 12

Memo Gracida, Isla Carroll 6 12


Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.