In the News



Welcome to the Board of Directors

1/23/2019



 
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Greetings Members, 
We are looking forward to another great year ahead with you all.  We are all very excited for the upcoming year ahead.  We are pleased to share with you a letter from our Board President, Mr. John Muse.  Additionally, we are thrilled to announce that we have two new Board members joining us. We welcome both Mr. Justin Klentner & Mr. Kevin Nimmons to the Club's Board of Directors.

 Letter from our Board President 
   Resilience. Determination. Collaboration. These characteristics are integral to any successful organization. In 2018, our polo community showed these, and above all, compassion in caring for people and animals during some dreadful natural disasters. The silver lining to a rough winter was the kindness shown by our community in the face of dreadful adversity. Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club is grateful to everyone 
around the world who supported us through some tough times last year, who enabled us to support the local equestrian community, and helped us to achieve a successful summer season following an eventful winter.

We have always enjoyed the family spirit of our polo players who return year after year to the club, and going through the events of 2018 only emphasized how fortunate we are to enjoy polo in such a tight knit community. 2019 is shaping up to be a more “normal” year, featuring surfboards and beach sandals alongside great polo ponies and barn barbecues. This winter we are completing a major renovation of Field 1 to return that field to our impeccable standards and preparing for a fabulous summer season of polo at Polo in Paradise. 

As I write this, our fields are freshly green in the middle of winter from the latest Pacific rain. All of us at the club are looking forward to another summer of perfect weather with a renewed sense of appreciation for our beloved Club.  Once again, we thank everyone who supported us last year and look forward to introducing new people to the pure fun of Polo in Paradise. 

Mr. Justin Klentner, CEO of Western Built Construction, began playing polo in 2004. He and his wonderful wife Amanda, along with their children, Jake, Luke and Vivi have been enjoying the Club for many years. In fact, Klentner Ranch is just above the Club's property, where they grow avocados as well as train polo ponies.

To say that the Klentner family is a polo family is an understatement. In fact, all three of the Klentner 
kids play polo too. 

Justin, Patron of the local Klentner Ranch team, are the proud winners of both the Intra-Circuit and Pacific Coast Open tournaments in 2018. Alongside his seat on our Board, he also sits on the USPA High Goal committee to promote high goal polo.

Mr. Justin Klentner not only brings a wealth of knowledge, network and experience to our Board but embodies the "family/community" element that we strive for at our club.  Please feel free to introduce yourself to Justin and his family as they are at every Polo match and Club Party.  
   
Kevin Nimmons has been a Swim & Fitness Member with his lovely wife Janelle and his two kids Cora & Eugene for 10 years. He also sits on our Tennis, Swim & Fitness Advisory Committee as well as is our legal council from Hollister & Brace. Kevin specializes in Real Estate, business, and family law. 

To learn more about Mr. Nimmons, please click here. Be sure to introduce yourself if you see him. 

2019 Board of Directors



Here's to a great 2019 year ahead.
Best,
David Sigman
Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club

 
Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club 3375 Foothill Rd #1200, Carpinteria, CA 93013     T +1 (805) 684-6683

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Women of Polo, Unite!

9/6/2018



The first of its kind, the Women’s International Polo Network (WIPN) is a nonprofit independent international network of women polo players. The organization is dedicated to enhancing women’s polo across the globe, by connecting women polo players via a website, set to launch in December 2018. WIPN was started in honor of founder Dawn Jones’s late friend and women’s polo advocate, Sunny Hale. Hale was a trailblazer for women’s polo, and WIPN and its forthcoming website resource aim to continue her legacy of connecting and growing both women’s polo, and the sport as a whole. 

The website will feature player profiles, as well as a comprehensive global calendar of women’s polo tournaments. Visitors to the site will be able to search for players by name, handicap, or location and contact each other in a manner that facilitates easier team building. One of the main purposes of WIPN is to foster and grow the women’s polo community, and to eventually engage in sponsorship and philanthropic outreach. The website also contains features to find certified women umpires and to post and watch women’s polo-related content, including videos of players and matches. Overall, the Women’s International Polo Network seeks to raise awareness of women’s polo around the world, building a strong community that comes together to support women in polo. To learn more, or to get involved, visit www.wipnpolo.com.  

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Off The Horse: Dawn Jones and the Women's International Polo Network

8/24/2018



Name: Dawn Jones 
Age: 54  
From San Antonio, Texas
Handicap: 1 goal mixed, 6 goals women’s 
Playing for: Women’s International Polo Network
Poll Club affiliation: San Saba Polo Club

When did you start playing polo?
I started learning to ride horses and play polo at the age of 32. 

What do you love most about the sport?
I love the polo community. I love that several generations of a family can play the sport together. My admiration of the polo community motivated me to learn to ride horses and play the game so my husband and I could share the sport together, and with friends like the Echezarreta family.  

What is the most challenging aspect of polo?
The most challenging aspect of polo for me is finding horses I can ride at any level of the sport that I can stop and turn quickly with ease, allowing me to focus on the game. Finding a great polo horse is rare, and finding a great polo horse for a female player is like finding a unicorn. Thanks to my husband Tommy, our friend and polo manager Luis Echezarreta, and our friend and groom, Luis Cartagena, I am privileged to have several mythical horses.

Tell us about your horses (or favorite horse).
My favorite polo pony is my mare Minnie from Argentina. She’s the perfect polo pony with excellent confirmation for speed. She has very handy maneuvering capable of reaching top speeds in seconds with Formula One braking and plenty of personality to match. She’s so tiny, I use a 50” mallet with her. Mythical!

Tell us about the Women’s International Polo Network.
The first of its kind, the Women's International Polo Network (WIPN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit independent international network of women polo players. I’m working with Erica Gandomcar Sachs, Pamela Flanagan, Courtney Asdourian, Cecilia Cochran, Kim DeLashmit, Amanda Cordsen Iseminger, and Taylor Scuilfo. Our purpose is to enhance women's polo around the world by building an online community via a sophisticated Website that includes detailed player profiles and a comprehensive global calendar of women's tournaments. The Website will help facilitate play and build women’s and mixed teams, increase global exposure for women players, build a healthy women’s polo community, create opportunities for sponsorship and philanthropic outreach. We intend to launch the Website by this December 2018. More details can be found on our landing page, wipnpolo.com where contributors can support us in small or large contributions. It’s a grassroots campaign where supporters around the globe can take part.

Why did you start the WIPN?
The WIPN was inspired by the tireless work of our late friend, Sunny Hale, and inspired by obvious necessities that were unavailable to women players globally such as a world tournament calendar. Sunny paved the way for women’s polo in the US, and encouraged the networking of women polo players worldwide. Her Women’s Championship Tournament offered opportunities to girls, and women to play polo at a variety of levels from beginner to the most competitive. After her unfortunate passing nearly two years ago, several of her friends and admirers chose to take her model to another level through a Website designed to be far more sophisticated than the most popular social media sites available.

How does your experience playing polo influence the project?
The privilege to play polo over the course of several years in several countries in mixed polo and women-specific polo has provided me a unique perspective where I can contribute to the creation of a useful method of uniting women’s polo and the sport in general. Those experiences combined with those of my colleagues have offered insights into what methods of organizing the sport has worked and what has not. I believe the WIPN will give women polo players a welcoming place to connect, organize, educate and mentor in a professional way. I also believe the creation of the WIPN will generate more interest in the sport from the general public, and encourage more memberships in associations like the United States Polo Association, the Argentine Association of Polo, and The Hurlingham Polo Association along with others around the globe. Finally, my most recent experience has been a great pleasure to play on team Women’s International Polo Network here in the Santa Barbara 8 goal Rincon league with Cory Williams, Juan Monteverde, and Luis Echezarreta. Entering team WIPN has brought much-appreciated attention to our concept.  Many thanks to Cory for her support.  She is a very thoughtful teammate, an excellent rider, who is eager to help the team compete at its best.  I was proud to see two women compete in the 8 goal with two men who also support our program on team WIPN.  

How can one get involved in the project?
I encourage anyone interested in getting involved with the project visit the WIPN landing page at wipnpolo.com where one can e-mail us directly with questions or requests to contribute their time. Several women around the world have already eagerly offered to volunteer their time and expertise to assist the WIPN.  

What is your advice for young women pursuing the sport of polo?
I recommend young women interested in pursuing beginner polo find a polo club near their community, and explore the possibilities of learning to ride and play. Finding a polo club that offers polo lessons like the Santa Barbara Polo Club would be an ideal scenario for a safe and nurturing learning environment, that also includes several levels of club polo one can aspire to play, or at least enjoy watching. I encourage young women who are already playing the game strive to build women’s polo leagues to better develop their riding and playing skills. From the very start of a new league, I recommend the league be clearly defined as either a place that concentrates on easy going game finesse, or physically intense competition while still maintaining safety, friendships and camaraderie. Some of the higher goal women players like to push their abilities in league games to prepare for Open tournaments, but it’s also possible to enjoy speedy league games with minimal contact to help cultivate beginner players too.  

Photo: Women’s International Polo Network team
Luis Echezarreta, Juan Monteverde, Dawn Jones, Cory Williams
Photo by Dave Lominska


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Off The Horse: Remy du Celliee Muller

8/10/2018



Name: Remy du Celliee Muller
Age: 26 years old
From: Lockeford, CA 
Playing for Klentner Ranch in 16 goal

When did you start playing polo?
I started playing polo at ten years old at Central Valley polo club in Stevenson, CA with Mike Conant. 

What do you love most about the sport?
I love spending all day every day with my horses. I play polo because I love horses. 

What’s the most challenging aspect of polo?
The most challenging aspect is not spending all of my money on horses!

Tell us about your horses (or your favorite horse)?
I have too many favorite horses to just pick one. Chevelle, Sneeze, Javi, Boogie, Cortada, Mercedes, Phoebe, Morgan, Polvoro, Roshie, Petunia, if I only got to pick a few. 

Favorite pre and post-match meals?
Pre-match meal is a bowl of Lucky Charms or an acai bowl from Lucky Llama. Post-match is 4 loaded grillers from Taco Bell. 

What’s your favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara when you’re off duty?
Favorite thing to do in SB is to relax at my barn and admire my beautiful horses. Taking a deep breath and admiring my hard work paying off. 

Where will polo take you next this year?
Santa Barbara and Argentina. 

Photo Credit: Kaylee Wroe Photography 


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Off The Horse: Geronimo Obregon

7/31/2018



Name:  Geronimo Obregon
Age: 23
From: Denver, Colorado 
Playing for team Restoration Hardware during High Goal

When did you start playing polo?
When I was 6 years old 

What do you love most about the sport?
The competition between players and the horses 

What’s the most challenging aspect of polo?
Buying the right horses

Tell us about your horses (or your favorite horse)?
I have a few but of course I have my favorite. His name is, Cambalache. He’s been with me for a couple years and all ways gives his best on the field. 

Favorite pre-match meal?
I really like to eat pasta before a game, so you don’t feel heavy. 

What’s your favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara when you’re off duty?
Take the horses swimming in the ocean 

Where will polo take you next this year?
I will go to Houston, Texas for 2 months and then Argentina 

Photo Credit: David Lominska


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The Silver Air Pacific Coast Open at the SBPRC

7/31/2018



The highly anticipated Silver Air Pacific Coast Open kicks off on August 16 at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. Don’t miss the hottest ticket in town this summer, where you can watch the very best of the best polo competitors while sipping bubbly, stomping divots and enjoying polo in paradise! This is the premier polo event on the West Coast, and the peak of High Goal season at the club. The tournament will take place over the course of three weekends, August 16-19, August 23-26, and August 30-September 2. Tickets are available here

Standing at nearly five feet tall and 109 years old, the USPA Pacific Coast Open Trophy is considered the “finest polo trophy for which horsemen of any land have ever competed.” Every year, the winning team of the tournament is etched into history on the base of the trophy. With the top polo players from around the world competing for this trophy, it's no wonder people travel from all around the world to watch the Silver Air Pacific Coast Open.

The Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club welcomes Silver Air, the private jet management, and charter company, as the new title sponsor of the Pacific Coast Open. Silver Air, with corporate offices in Santa Barbara, manages and operates privately owned aircraft from bases throughout the United States, including the Santa Barbara Airport. As the only company to offer unrestricted charter availability on a Boeing Business Jet, Silver Air’s fleet also features light to large-cabin jets from Gulfstream, Dassault, Bombardier, Embraer, Cessna, and Hawker/Beech. Silver Air is one of the largest Citation X operators in the U.S. 

Happy Hour during the Pacific Coast Open will be on Thursdays, August 16, August 23, and August 30 from 4 to 6 pm. There will be small bites for purchase that pair perfectly with signature club cocktails, wine, and beer from the bar, including the Club's signature $5 Happy Hour margarita. Happy Hour is complementary to attend and open to the public. 

Immediately after the Silver Air Pacific Coast Open trophy presentation, keep the Sunday Funday rolling with Engel & Völkers for the After Party! The evening features tasty bites from Buena Onda Empanadas, beverages from the fully stocked airstream trailer Bar Car, coffee provided by Welcome Coffee Cart, and DJ Fab with a surprise musical guest! Entry is complimentary to all attending the finals match. 

Photo Credit: David Lominska


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Club Party - Night Under the Stars

7/27/2018



Night Under the Stars  

Friday, August 24th

We invite you to join us for our next Club Party: Night Under the Stars. 

Following our last Club Party, Boots & Bourbon, we have created another fun night of dinner, star gazing, live music, and dancing for you all to enjoy. Members, invite your friends and family to join us too. More the merrier! 

EVENT DETAILS 

Date: Friday, August, 24th
Time: 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Location: The Cabanas, Ocean Tent & the main field.
Attire
: Santa Barbara Chic Casual. It will be outside, so please print a jacket to stay warm in.

$50 per member and member guests
$55 per non-member

HAPPY HOUR

*Please note
: Happy Hour will be on Thursday, August 23rd this week, so there will not be a Happy Hour immediately prior to this club party.

CANCELLATIONS 

For cancellations, please submit an email to events@sbpolo.com, no later than August 20th, 5:00pm. If cancellations are received post this date, then the ticket will be reflected on your member statement. We hope you can understand that there are costs incurred for an event, and we will be unable to have these costs reimbursed by that time. Thank you for your support. 

                      

 
 
 
Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club 3375 Foothill Rd #1200, Carpinteria, CA 93013     T +1 (805) 684-6683

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Sip & Shop Event with Erin Wasson

7/27/2018



Sip & Shop  

Friday, August 10th

We invite you to our first annual Sip & Shop event, with special guest, Erin Wasson for her launch of boots for Lucchese.

Shop Lucchese and many other Luxury lines of men’s & women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry and more!

Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club
3:00pm - Dusk
3300 Via Real, Carpinteria, CA 93013

Please rsvp to Boutique@sbpolo.com

 
 
 
Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club 3375 Foothill Rd #1200, Carpinteria, CA 93013     T +1 (805) 684-6683

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Off The Horse: Adam Snow

7/13/2018


Name: Adam Snow
Age: 54
From: I was born in a US Naval hospital in Sasebo, Japan, but grew up playing in Hamilton, MA. 
Playing For: Team Sol de Agosto

When did you start playing polo?
I started playing at around age 10.

What do you love most about the sport?
I love the “hockey on horseback” grittiness of the sport and also fostering successful combinations with my teammates, both human and equestrian.

What’s the most challenging aspect of polo?
The sport’s most challenging aspect is getting “mounted”. Finding, training—and then maintaining!—the quality of horses that will allow you to play your very best. With all the logistics involved, it’s amazing we ever make it to the field.

Tell us about your horses (or your favorite horse)?
I have twelve horses here now. Half (6) are horses that I bought, most of these were bred to race; and half (6) are homebreds that were born on our farm in Aiken, SC. The mothers of these six won tournaments under me in Santa Barbara, and their offspring are now aspiring to similar accomplishments. Most of these were started under saddle by my wife, Shelley.

Favorite post-match meal?
My favorite post-match meal is the one I don’t worry too much about what I’m eating because I’m celebrating;) (Linguine a la vongole!)

What’s your favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara when you’re off-duty?
Favorite off-duty thing in SB is definitely swimming in the ocean and playing frisbee or soccer on the beach.

Where will polo take you next this year?
My next polo season allows me to sleep in my own bed — back in Aiken, SC this Fall.

Photo: Adam Snow in the 2002 US Open Finals 


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Tennis vs. Polo Golf Tournament

7/12/2018

Please come and participate in the Tennis vs. Polo Golf Tournament on Saturday, July 28th.


Please come and participate in the Tennis vs. Polo Golf Tournament followed by a benefit dinner on Saturday, July 28th.
Open to members and public.
Visit https://www.polotrainingcenter.com/golf-tournament-benefit-dinner-tickets/ for more details and tickets.


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High Goal Kicks Off at the SBPRC

7/5/2018



As the summer temperatures increase so does the competition on the field at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, as we head into the 16 Goal Series, or “High Goal Season,” at the Engel & Völkers Polo Stadium! In addition to the world-class polo players and exhilarating competition on the field during High Goal Season, there will be more than ever off the field for guests to also enjoy. The highly anticipated 16 Goal Series kicks off on Sunday, July 15 with the first round of the Belmond El Encanto Robert Scene Trophy.  The remaining 16 Goal Series schedule is as follows:

Belmond El Encanto Robert Skene Trophy, July 13 - 22
Maserati of Santa Barbara, USPA America Cup, July 27 - August 12
Silver Air Pacific Coast Open, August 16 – September 2

The Club will continue their Happy Hour every Friday from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm (with the exception of the Silver Air Pacific Coast Open tournament, during which Happy Hours will be on Thursdays August 16th, 23rd, 30th), featuring a mouthwatering menu of small bites for purchase that will pair perfectly with signature cocktails, wine and beer from the bar. The popular “Polo After Hours” party will also continue throughout the summer after Sunday Polo matches, where guests can enjoy dancing and live entertainment by renowned DJ Fab. The no-host bar will remain open, featuring many of the Club’s signature cocktails, wine, and beer.

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Off The Horse: Marcos Bignoli

7/5/2018



Name: Marcos Bignoli
Age: 32 years old
Playing For: Farmers & Merchants Bank polo team

When did you start playing polo?
My first kids tournament was when I was 8 years old.

What do you love most about the sport?
I like that I am able to travel to different places with my family. 

What’s the most challenging aspect of polo?
The most challenging aspect is trying to balance your earnings in a way to buy horses and having enough leftover to save. Also keeping the horses you already own sound and not selling the good ones to stay mounted to be able to get good jobs. It’s a vicious circle. 

Tell us about your horses (or your favorite horse)?
Most of the horses I play are from Pablo Pieres, he is very generous with me and lets me play them while he is in England or Argentina. My Favorite is one that I sold him years ago, Lola. 

Favorite post-match meal?
My favorite meal for any occasion is quesadillas!

What’s your favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara when you’re off duty?
I enjoy going to the beach with my family. 

Where will polo take you next this year?
I am playing the 16 goal here this summer with the same team and then possibly Houston or Aiken. 

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Polo 411

7/5/2018



Polo in Santa Barbara is fast, riveting, elegant, and utterly entertaining, but it can also be confusing to be field-side and not understand the game. Here’s the breakdown.

Basics

The object of the game is to move the polo ball downfield, hitting the ball through the goal posts for a score. There are two teams of four players each and two referees, all on horseback. The teams switch directions after each goal is scored so that neither team has a wind, sun, or field advantage. After each goal is scored, the teams come back to the center of the field for a “bowl in”, similar to a face-off in hockey. The polo field is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide (approximately the size of nine football fields), making it the largest field in organized sports.

Chukkers
A polo match lasts about two hours and is divided into six periods, called chukkers. Each chukker runs seven and a half minutes long. A bell or horn is sounded at the seven-minute mark to let the players know 30 seconds remain. If the ball goes out of bounds or is scored in that time, the chukker ends. The team with the most goals at the end of the six chukkers is the winner.

Divot Stomp
During half time, spectators are invited to go onto the field and participate in the traditional divot stomp to replace clods of turf kicked up by the horses during play, helping to smooth the field for the next half. The divot stomp is often done with a glass of bubbly in hand.HandicapsPolo handicaps result from players ranked yearly by their peers. The United States Polo Association has a scale of -1 to 10 goals (10 being the best) that are then assigned as the player’s handicap. Team play is handicapped on the basis of ability and can change from tournament to tournament. If a tournament is a 16-goal tournament, the four players’ handicaps cannot exceed 20. Low-goal polo is considered 0 to 8 goals. Medium-goal polo is considered 8 to 16 goals. High-goal polo, or professional polo--that most exciting and rare of the sport--is 16 to 26 goals in the United States.

Teams & Players
Each team is a mix of professional and amateur players. At the high-goal level of play--such as the teams competing in the Pacific Coast Open-- there is typically one amateur player and three professionals. In medium and low-goal polo, the teams are a mix of amateur and professional players. These teams are unique in a sense because the teammates can change depending on the makeup of the team and the handicap of the tournament being played.

Player Positions
Each of the four players is given an area of responsibility designated by a jersey number. The forward is #1; the most defensive player is #4, or the back. (There is no goalie.) The middle players are #2 and #3. The #3 is usually the highest-rated player on the team and the de facto captain. This is the player who leads the offense and coordinates the defense. 

Attire
In Santa Barbara, laid-back luxury reigns supreme. Match attire can vary among tournaments, with the high-goal season hosting dressier matches. When in doubt, you can never go wrong with a classic sundress or khakis and a button-down shirt.


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Off The Horse: Santiago Wulff

6/22/2018



 Name: Santiago Wulff 
Age: 38
From: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Playing for: Klentner Ranch 

When did you start playing polo?
I start playing polo when I was 8 years old. I played for a few years and quit until I was 20 years old when I started playing again and became a professional at the age of 22 or 23. 

What do you love most about the sport?
What I love about the sport is that it is a very complete sport. In order to have a good game, it requires a lot of work, getting the horses ready with a lot of time in advance involving grooms, veterinarian, farrier, etc. It also requires the concentration before games and the game plan, in other words, how to make the team play its best, how to play against who, review old games and learn from mistakes. 

What’s the most challenging aspect of polo?
The most challenging aspect in polo is to have a good string of horses that you can trust and feel confident to win games. We go the whole year looking and trying to find better horses. It is also is very challenging to make a team work and have everyone play their best. It takes a lot of work and time. 

Tell us about your horses (or your favorite horse)?
My favorite horses right now are “Emilia” an American Thoroughbred that I  bought as a 4 years old from Pete Ganivi. I taught her to play polo and she became one of my best. She has a lot of power speed and a big heart. Another one is “Zaragoza”, a home-bred from Argentina out of Gallega and Open Fósforo. I played the mother and father. She's very responsive and has and really good turns. I have a lot of fun when I play her. 

What’s your favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara when you’re off duty?
My favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara besides polo is whatever I do with my family, Anita Avendaño and kids, Emilia and Iñaki. We go to the beach, go fishing, hiking and try to visit nearby places that we don’t know about, like national parks, etc.

Where will polo take you next this year?
We will be here until the end of September, then we go to Argentina and I play there until mid-December. After that, Florida for 3 or 4 months. 


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Off The Horse: Jim Wright

6/15/2018



Name: Jim Wright
Age: 22
Born: Menlo Park, CA
Playing For: Antelope Jr

When did you start playing polo?
5 years old.

What do you love most about the sport?
I love how multifaceted the sport is. There are so many ways to improve and enjoy the game. A normal week entails; training horses, playing tournament games/practices, giving lessons, and working out in the gym. It’s impossible to get bored and there is always something to improve.

What’s the most challenging aspect of polo?
Building a successful/sustainable organization is the most challenging aspect of the sport. This includes finding/purchasing top horses and having consistent work.

Tell us about your horses (or your favorite horse)?
My horses are a part of my family. I spend a majority of my time making sure they have exactly what they need to compete at peak performance week in and week out.

Favorite post-match meal?
Sushi. I love sushi and every place I go I look for the best sushi spot.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara when you’re off duty?
My girlfriend and I like to explore the area with our dog Paisley. You’ll find us at the beach, on hikes, enjoying new restaurants, or by the pool. We also enjoy having BBQ’s whether at friends homes or my new favorite, the beach. Monday afternoons are reserved for soccer.

Where will polo take you next this year?
After Santa Barbara, I may be heading to Texas then to Argentina.

Photo Credit: David Lominska


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Off The Horse: Felipe Viana

6/8/2018



Name: Felipe Viana
Age: 28 years old
United States-born, Uruguayan raised
Playing for Farmers & Merchants Bank Polo Team

When did you start playing polo?
Started playing polo at age 7 in Montevideo, Uruguay. No family members played the sport so I joined a local clinic/polo school.

What do you love most about the sport?
I love the whole package the sport sells. The horses and the athleticism. No other sport combines these two areas the way polo does, and this makes it special. It is a wild sport and profession to enroll in.

What’s the most challenging aspect of polo?
Traveling and inconsistency. Our life moves along with the sport and we accept it that way. Therefore our family becomes very involved into this lifestyle and life commitment. The inconsistency comes from our short-term contracts and rating modifications. Its hard to predict where we will be next.

Tell us about your horses (or your favorite horse)?
I enjoy my horses and I know all of them very well. Its hard to find a favorite one because they all have better days than others, and sometimes depending on the game we will be playing, we prefer a horse with certain characteristics over another.

Favorite post-match meal?
Don't have a favorite post-match meal. Sometimes I just need something sweet to recover energies. 

What’s your favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara when you’re off duty?
Santa Barbara offers plenty of things to do. The beach, the town itself, hiking, etc. If we're adventurous, we'll always have fun stuff to do.

Where will polo take you next this year?
I’ll go to Boston MA next, and probably Argentina and Uruguay. Maybe some other place too, who knows!

Photo credit: David Lominska


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Off The Horse: Jesse Bray

6/1/2018



Name: Jesse Bray
Age: 25
Born in New Zealand, raised in Indio, CA
Playing for Klentner Ranch

When did you start playing polo?
I have been playing polo for as long as I can remember. My dad also plays, so I was on a horse from day 1 – and I was named after his best horse Jessica. 

What do you love most about the sport?
Definitely the relationship with the horses. It is very rewarding training my horses and getting them ready to play. Seeing them playing at the top of their ability is an awesome feeling. 

Tell us about your horses (or your favorite horse)?
The majority of my horses are thoroughbreds. I tend to look for horses that have a lot of power and speed. My dad and I have been breeding horses the past few years and I am very excited to see them come up and play. Last year my horses won three Best Playing Pony awards, including the Pacific Coast Open. To me winning Best Playing Pony is better than MVP any day.

Favorite post-match meal?
My favorite post-match meal is a good barbeque. I think more important is the pre-match meal, acai bowls!

What’s your favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara when you’re off duty?
I don’t have too many off-duty days, but I enjoy hanging out at the barns and just being here at the polo club or at Justin’s ranch.

Where will polo take you next this year?
I hope to go to Argentina this fall! I will be in Wellington for the winter then come back to Santa Barbara.

Photo credit: David Lominska


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Join The Club

5/30/2018



From May through October, the club buzzes with glamorous action as the best players in the world descend upon the American Riviera to compete in the sport of kings. Social members get to enjoy it all, including free admission to Sunday polo matches at the Engel & Völkers/ Ranch Marketing Associates Polo Stadium, a member exclusive cuisine menu, complimentary valet, discounts at the boutique, special pricing on select beverages, club-wide social events and more.

Tennis members enjoy unrivaled amenities in one of the most beautiful resort-style locations in the county. There are eight championship-level tennis courts, including six lighted courts for night play. Tennis members also enjoy mixers and club championships; free admission to polo matches; invitations to club parties and social events; the opportunity for private and group lessons and clinics; polo and tennis clubhouse privileges; and access to the pool, jacuzzi and fitness center. 

Those interested in the pool or fitness center have the option of becoming a Swim and Fitness membership, which offers access to the heated pool and jetted spa, a dual indoor/outdoor fitness center, and locker rooms. Swim and fitness members also receive all the social member benefits of polo.

For more information, email info@sbpolo.com.


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Get The Look at the Polo Boutique

5/29/2018


 





Open every Sunday throughout the season and for special events, the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club’s new luxury boutique is stylishly curated to offer fashion and accessories for both ladies and gents. Whether you’re looking for something perfect to wear to Sunday polo or out on the town, you can find it all at the boutique - from luxury-brand sunglasses and handbags, to chic attire for men and women. The Polo Boutique is located next to the Ocean Tent and behind the Visitor Check-in station. 


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Polo 411

5/29/2018



Welcome to the insider’s guide to polo in beautiful Santa Barbara. It is fast, riveting, elegant, and utterly entertaining, but it can also be confusing to be field-side and not understand the game. Here’s the breakdown.

Basics
The object of the game is to move the polo ball downfield, hitting the ball through the goal posts for a score. There are two teams of four players each and two referees, all on horseback. The teams switch directions after each goal is scored so that neither team has a wind, sun, or field advantage. After each goal is scored, the teams come back to the center of the field for a “bowl in”, similar to a face-off in hockey. The polo field is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide (approximately the size of nine football fields), making it the largest field in organized sports.

Chukkers
A polo match lasts about two hours and is divided into six periods, called chukkers. Each chukker runs seven and a half minutes long. A bell or horn is sounded at the seven-minute mark to let the players know 30 seconds remain. If the ball goes out of bounds or is scored in that time, the chukker ends. The team with the most goals at the end of the six chukkers is the winner.

Divot Stomp
During halftime, spectators are invited to go onto the field and participate in the traditional divot stomp to replace clods of turf kicked up by the horses during play, helping to smooth the field for the next half. The divot stomp is often done with a glass of bubbly in hand.

Handicaps
Polo handicaps result from players ranked yearly by their peers. The United States Polo Association has a scale of -1 to 10 goals (10 being the best) that are then assigned as the player’s handicap. Team play is handicapped on the basis of ability and can change from tournament to tournament. If a tournament is a 16-goal tournament, the four players’ handicaps cannot exceed 20. Low-goal polo is considered 0 to 8 goals. Medium-goal polo is considered 8 to 16 goals. High-goal polo, or professional polo--that most exciting and rare of the sport--is 16 to 26 goals in the United States.

Teams & Players
Each team is a mix of professional and amateur players. At the high-goal level of play--such as the teams competing in the Pacific Coast Open--there is typically one amateur player and three professionals. In medium and low-goal polo, the teams are a mix of amateur and professional players. These teams are unique in a sense because the teammates can change depending on the makeup of the team and the handicap of the tournament being played.

Player Positions
Each of the four players is given an area of responsibility designated by a jersey number. The forward is #1; the most defensive player is #4, or the back. (There is no goalie.) The middle players are #2 and #3. The #3 is usually the highest-rated player on the team and the de facto captain. This is the player who leads the offense and coordinates the defense.

Attire
In Santa Barbara, laid-back luxury reigns supreme. Match attire can vary among tournaments, with the high-goal season hosting dressier matches. When in doubt, you can never go wrong with a classic sundress or khakis and a button-down shirt.

Photo Credit: David Lominska


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Off The Horse: Luke Klentner

5/25/2018



Name: Luke Klentner
Age: 17 years old
From: Santa Barbara
Playing for: Klentner Ranch Polo Team

When did you start playing polo?
I started playing polo competitively at 11 through interscholastic polo, but have been riding and watching my father play since I was 3.

What do you love most about the sport?
My favorite part about the sport is the satisfaction of working really hard on exercising and schooling my horses and having them play really well.

What’s the most challenging aspect of polo?
The most challenging aspect of polo for me is being patient and slowing down when trying to create an offensive play.

Tell us about your horses (or your favorite horse)?
My favorite horse is champ, he was out first homebred horses from one of my fathers all time favorite horses. He is always a very dependable chukkar for me where I’m very comfortable and I feel like I can get a lot done.

Favorite pre or post-match meal?
Before every game you can find our team eating at The Nugget in Summerland.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara when you’re off duty?
My favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara is going to the beach and spending time with my family and friends.

Where will polo take you next this year?
Polo has been a major motivator in life and next year I hope it takes me to a college where I can continue playing.

Photo credit: David Lominska


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Boots & Bourbon a Rip Roaring Success

5/24/2018






Good times were had by all at Boots & Bourbon at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club on Friday, May 22, 2018. The Club hosted over 150 members and guests for the festive event, which featured tastings of Jefferson’s Bourbon, live music by the Brian Titus Trio, delicious barbecue from Craft Wood Fired Catering, grill demonstrations by Ferno Grills, and a fun mechanical bull and photo booth set up.

Event sponsor Jefferson’s Bourbon poured tastings of their small batch bourbon for guests to sample. Chef Kyle Jones from Craft Wood Fired Catering prepared a barbecue dinner featuring favorites including Red Oak Smoked Tri Tip, Dry Rubbed Chicken, and Brown Sugar and Bourbon Baked Beans, spiked with Jefferson’s Bourbon. Event sponsor Ferno Grills demonstrated their proprietary firewheel technology that revolutionizes grilling capabilities. The evening was capped off with dancing to the tunes of the festive Brian Titus Trio,  taking turns riding on the mechanical bull, and enjoying the fun photo booth. 

For more information about events and membership at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, visit SBPolo.com or email info@sbpolo.com. 

Photo credit: David Lominska
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Off The Horse: Felipe Vercellino

5/18/2018




Name: Felipe Vercellino
Age: 23
Juego para: Antelope Polo Team

When did you start playing polo? 
Empezé a jugar polo a los 8 años, en Chile en una ciudad llamada Rancagua.
I started playing polo when I was 8 years old, in a city called Rancagua in Chile. 

What do you love most about the sport? 
Lo que mas me gusta de este deporte son los caballos, y otra cosa que me encanta es compartir el día a día con mis peticeros, amigos y familia en las caballerizas, canchas de polo, etc... pero siempre al aire libre.
I like the horses! I also like being able to share the day with my pets, my friends, and my family at the stables and outdoors on the polo fields.

What’s the most challenging aspect of polo? 
Creo que lo mas desafiante de este deporte es saber montarse bien, eso significa tener los mejores caballos posible, y otra cosa que es muy difícil es saber llegar con los caballos al 100% al partido, por otra parte con este deporte a uno le toca viajar mucho, lo que hace que estemos mucho tiempo lejos de nuestras familias.
I think the most challenging thing about this sport is knowing how to ride well, meaning having the best horses possible. Travel is also difficult; being able to get all the horses to the match. And since we travel a lot for the sport, we spend a long time away from our families. 

Tell us about your horses (or your favorite horse)? 
Nose si tengo alguna caballo favorito, pero creo que lo primero que busco en un caballo es que tenga buena boca, es decir que frene muy bien y tenga buenas curvas, después es como todo, todos queremos el caballo perfecto que corra fuerte, frene, doble, sea manso, etc... pero si tengo que elegir una cualidad es buena boca.
I do not know if I have a favorite horse, but the first thing I look for in a horse is that it is really handy, stops well and turns well. That is to say it brakes well and has good curves. We all want the perfect horse to run strong, stop well, be gentle….but if I have to choose a quality, the horse is really responsive to my riding. 

Favorite post-match meal? 
La verda que la comida que mas me gusta después de un partido es el Macdonald jajaja aunque trato de evitarlo porque no es lo ideal.
The truth is the food I like the most after a game is McDonald's! Though I try to about it because it is not ideal. 

What’s your favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara when you’re off duty? 
Cuando estoy en horas libres lo primero que hago y que es lo que mas me gusta de Santa Barbara es ir a hacer Surf, voy recorriendo playas desde Padaro hasta Ventura viendo donde hay mejores olas para meterme al agua.
When I have free time, the first thing I do, and what I like the most about Santa Barbara, is surfing. I go to Padaro Beach and to Ventura to see where the best waves are. 

Where will polo take you next this year? 
Bueno después de Santa Bárbara sigo jugando polo en Argentina y en Chile.
After Santa Barbara, I am playing polo in Argentina and Chile

Photo by David Lominska


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Friday Happy Hour Returns!

4/30/2018



Kick off every weekend this season by watching our Friday match accompanied by Happy Hour at the clubhouse, from 4 to 6 pm beginning May 4 (opening weekend) through October 12 (closing weekend). Whether you bring your friends or bring your family, Friday Happy Hour is the perfect way to start the weekend right! There will be small bites for purchase that pair perfectly with signature club cocktails, wine, and beer from the bar (open to the public). Happy Hour during the Pacific Coast Open will be on Thursdays, August 16, August 23, and August 30 from 4 to 6 pm.


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Folded Hills and Santa Barbara Polo: A Perfect Match

4/30/2018



The Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club welcomes Folded Hills Winery. Owners Andy and Kim Busch’s long legacy with the sport of polo and exquisite winery make this a perfect pairing. “At Folded Hills, we love to share the wonderful ranch lifestyle with families, polo teams, and now our new wine friends,” says Andy Busch.

Growing up in St. Louis, Andy helped run his family’s ancestral home, Grant’s Farm, caring for the land and hundreds of animals that lived on it – elephants, elk, bison, and Clydesdales, to name a few. It wasn’t until 1998 when he served as Captain of the USA Polo team at the World Cup that he and his wife Kim fell in love with the Santa Barbara lifestyle. They decided to raise their family on the California coast and longed to share with them the hard work and joys of ranch life… they found their place at Folded Hills. They poured their love into their land, and in 2014, after walking their hills, studying their soil and microclimate, they planted their first grapes: Grenache, Syrah, and a collection of Rhone whites.

Folded Hills wine is a tribute to family, past and present. “This is a heritage project for us,” shares Andy. “The wine has strong roots back to our St. Louis history. We love sharing these family stories that influence how many of our wines were named. The stories can also be found on the back of each bottle of wine.” Standout vintages that Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club guests will get to enjoy this season include the highly anticipated 2017 Estate Lilly Rosé, an estate rosé that’s an homage to Busch’s great-grandmother, Lilly Anheuser Busch and six generations of family women down to his granddaughter Lilly; Grant Grenache, which recalls President Ulysses S. Grant, previous owner of the ancestral home, Grant’s Farm, where Andy grew up; and August Red, a blend of Grenache and Syrah, named for Andy’s father and grandfather.

Their vineyards and winery allow them to pursue their passion for making wine, and provide a beautiful way to enrich and preserve the land for future generations. Folded Hills is a place to gather and share, to carry on our tradition of making friends. In honor of that, each wine they make is inspired by a piece of their family history.

Polo guests can look forward to sipping these wines all season, the perfect pairing for Sunday Funday! For more information about Folded Hills visit foldedhills.com or follow them @foldedhills.


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Off The Horse: Leigh Brecheen

4/30/2018



Name: Leigh Brecheen
Age: The age of wisdom

What team are you playing for?
I’m playing for Farmers and Merchants Bank Team as co-sponsor.

When did you start playing polo?
1984

What do you love most about the sport?
Everything, the horses, the teamwork, the pure joy of playing.

What is the most challenging aspect of polo?
It is like chess, the better you get the more complicated you realize it is.

Tell us about your horses, or your favorite horse!
I have 16 right now, 2 homebreds, one of whom will start playing polo this summer. He is named JD after my husband because he was born on Father’s Day and is adorable. His brother Poseidon grew too large for polo and is a jumper. The rest are mares and  I love each and every one-they are my warrior queens!

What is your favorite post-match meal? McConnells Ice Cream is my go-to for early game meals. Lucky’s after late games!

What’s your favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara when you’re off duty?
There are so many wonderful things to do in the area it is difficult to choose but I do love to ride to the beach and play with the horses in the surf.

Where will polo take you next this year?
Indio, Palm Beach, and, I hope, India!

Photo Credit: Gary Moss/805 Living


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