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

Las Monjitas Overcomes Injury To Star Player To Post Win In C.V. Whitney Cup At International Polo Club Palm Beach

WELLINGTON, Florida – Defending champion Las Monjitas overcame a serious injury to 9-goaler Eduardo Novillo Astrada to edge Orchard Hill 9-8 in a first-round match of the 26th annual C.V. Whitney Cup 26-goal polo tournament Sunday at International Polo Club Palm Beach.

In other games, 9-goaler Carlos Gracida scored six goals to lead Catamount over Pony Express 14-7 and Everglades edged Old Pueblo 6-5.

Astrada was injured with 4:02 remaining in the first chukker when his horse stumbled over the sideboards on the east side of the field, about 100 yards from goal, tossing him to the ground. The horse then stepped on his chest. Astrada was put on a stretcher and taken to Palms West Hospital just outside of Wellington, where he was diagnosed with a broken rib and bruised lung. He was scheduled to be transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach late Sunday night for more tests.

Seven-goaler Gigi Aguero replaced Astrada and play resumed after a 40-minute delay with Orchard Hill maintaining a 2-0 lead on Julio Arellano’s goals within a 38-second span.

Aguero, playing in his first high-goal game of the 2004 season, scored with 5:40 remaining in the second chukker. Javier Novillo Astrada tied the game at 2-2 a minute later and Aguero hit a 15-yard forehand to give Las Monjitas its first lead, 3-2 with 2:53 left in the second chukker.

Orchard Hill played a strong fourth chukker, scoring three unanswered goals in the final three minutes to take a 7-6 lead with 21 seconds remaining on Arellano’s 4-yard penalty shot.

Las Monjitas responded with three consecutive goals, including a 100-yard neck shot by Nacho Novillo Astrada with 4:15 left in the sixth chukker to give it a 9-7 advantage. Arellano countered with a 30-yard penalty shot with 1:53 left to make it 9-8. Orchard Hill was threatening to tie the score when Nicolas Roldan’s long pass hit Aguero and his pony. Play was briefly stopped as Aguero changed mounts. After a throw-in near the goal, Aguero cleared the ball, but Arellano pounced on it and dribbled toward goal, tapping in a forehand just after the final buzzer sounded. After a couple of moments of discussion by the officials, the goal did not count as time had run out.

“I couldn’t breath after the first chukker,” said the 27-year-old Aguero, who finished with three goals and was named the game’s MVP. Ten-goaler Javier Novillo Astrada and 7-goaler Nacho Novillo Astrada also scored three goals for Las Monjitas (1-1) while patron Camilo Bautista did not score.

The loss overshadowed an outstanding performance by Arellano, who scored all eight of Orchard Hill’s goals. Orchard Hill (1-1) also received a strong game from 10-goaler Eduardo Heguy, who excelled on defense and set up Arellano with numerous passes

“It just turned out that I got all of the opportunities,” said Arellano.

Ten-goaler Mike Azzaro added four goals as Catamount moved into sole possession of first place in Division I with a 2-0 record. Patron Scott Devon, who missed almost a month with a broken finger, played the first half and scored two goals, as did Pelon Escapite.

Alex Agote and Pablo MacDonough led Pony Express (0-2) with two goals each while Sapo Caset scored one goal. Patron Bob Daniels did not score.

Lucas Monteverde and Tomas Llorente scored two goals each to lead Everglades (1-1) while Owen Rinehart and patron Gillian Johnston added one goal apiece.

Matias Magrini and Facundo Pieres scored two goal apiece to pace Old Pueblo (0-1), which lost Jeff Hall to an injured hand. Hall, who was replaced by Silvestre Donovan, is expected to play in Wednesday’s game.

Thirteen teams entered the tournament, which is a prelude to the Stanford Financial Group – 100th U.S. Open Polo Championship, the most prestigious polo tournament in North America. The C.V. Whitney Cup final is scheduled for Sunday, March 21 at 3 p.m. at the International Polo Club Palm Beach stadium.

The tournament is named in memory of Cornelius Vanderbilt “Sonny” Whitney, who along with his brother John Hay Whitney, were important polo patrons in the 1930's. The son of Hall of Fame patron Harry Payne Whitney, C.V. won the U.S. Open three times (twice against his brother), and was a renowned owner and breeder of thoroughbred racehorses.

The polo matches are open to the public. Tickets for the Sunday games at the International Polo Club Palm Beach are available at the gate, beginning at $10 each. For information or advance tickets, call (561) 204-5687 or visit the club website at

International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington. From I-95, take the Forest Hill Boulevard exit and go west approximately 12 miles. Turn left onto South Shore Boulevard and go two miles. Turn left onto Pierson Road, travel about one mile and then make a right onto 120th Avenue South. The club is on the right. From Florida’s Turnpike, take Exit 93 (Lake Worth Road) and go west about six miles. Make a right onto 120th Avenue South. The club is on the left.


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