In typical Santa Barbara fashion, the match was a family affair pitting the Escobar father and son duo on US Polo Assn against the Klentner father son combination on Klentner Ranch. US Polo Assn took the difficult road to the final, narrowly defeating Farmers & Merchants Bank in the third match of the qualifying round to stay alive then won one of the two final berths in a penalty shootout. Klentner Ranch followed a similar path, defeating US Polo Assn and Antelope but falling short in their match against Farmers & Merchants Bank, giving them a 2-1 record. Klentner Ranch also secured their spot in the final in the three way penalty shootout.Klentner Ranch and US Polo Assn, two highly competitive teams gave the lively crowd a show as the talented players raced up and down the field receiving passes from their teammates and scoring physics defying goals.
Klentner Ranch and US Polo Assn, two highly competitive teams gave the lively crowd a show as the talented players raced up and down the field receiving passes from their teammates and scoring physics defying goals. The patriarch of the Escobar family drew first blood, scoring the first goal of the match. Klentner Ranch accepted the challenge, answering back with two goals, one by Jake Klentner and a second by Justin Klentner. Each team scoring once more before the end of the first chukker, giving Klentner Ranch the edge 3-2. Defense was tight in the second chukker and third chukkers. Escobar added a tally to the US Polo Assn score, in addition to two goals by Uretz. Klentner Ranch hung tight with Bray scoring two end-to-end goals to even up the score 5-5 going into halftime.
A penalty conversion and a goal from the field by Bray gave Klentner Ranch the slight edge once again over US Polo Assn. Young Escobar scored his third goal of the game to make it 7-6 at the end of the fourth chukker. The momentum swung dramatically in favor of US Polo Assn as the fifth chukker began. Nico Escobar, Uretz and Walker each scored a goal to push their team into the lead 9-7. Klentner Ranch tried to rally in the sixth chukker, but were unable to overcome the lead established by their opponents. The final score read 12-8 in favor of US Polo Assn.
The high scorers of the match were Nico Escobar and Jesse Bray with five goals each. Patrick Uretz was named MVP and his mount, “Mufasa,” was awarded Best Playing Pony honors. Uretz, a member of Team USPA, grew up playing at the Santa Barbara Polo Club and the Eldorado Polo Club. He was a member of the Westmont Intercollegiate Polo team and won the I/I National Championship during his tenure.