White Birch, Lechuza Caracas Prevail In Hampton Cup Games

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In two games in the Hampton Cup 20-goal polo tournament last week, White Birch and Lechuza Caracas came out on top. On Friday, White Birch beat Equuleus, 13-11, while Lechuza Caracas beat Heathcote, 15-11, on Saturday.

In Friday’s game, at several points in the game Equuleus fell behind by wide margins, battled back to cut the lead to one or two goals, but then watched White Birch go on a run again to take control. Going into the fifth of six chukkers, Equuleus faced a 12-7 deficit, but seven-goaler Mariano Gonzalez scored three straight to cut the lead to 12-10 going into the sixth. Remington Muller scored for White Birch to start the sixth, giving his team a little breathing room. Gonzalez scored the final goal—his eighth of the game—to provide the final margin.

Gonazalez (rated seven goals) led all scorers with eight goals, while Equuleus eight-goaler Magoo LaPrida had two goals, and five-goaler Martin Pepa scored once. White Birch had balanced scoring, with nine-goal veteran Mariano Aguerre and one-goaler Herden Radcliff each scoring four goals. Eight-goaler Matias Magrini scored three goals, while Muller had two.

On Saturday, Lechuza began its game with Heathcote down, 3-0, due to Heathcote’s 17-goal team handicap in the 20-goal tournament. But Lechuza made up for it with a big showing in the second and third chukkers, outscoring Heathcote, 7-1, in that frame to take a 10-5 halftime lead. Heathcote outscored Lechuza, 6-5, in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.

Lechuza six-goaler Tommy Goti had a great day, scoring 11 goals, and he was named the MVP. Juan Martin Nero, Lechuza’s 10-goal player, scored three goals, while Mariano Gracida, rated three goals, scored once. Six-goaler Tommy Biddle led Heathcote with three goals, while six-goaler Naco Taverna and zero-goal rated sponsor Steve Lefkowitz each scored twice. Five-goaler Nick Manifold scored once.

Siena, owned and played by Lechuza sponsor Victor Vargas, was named Best Playing Pony.

Action was scheduled to continue in the Hampton Cup on Tuesday, August 20, with Lechuza playing White Birch Farm. The following day, Equuleus was scheduled to take on Heathcote. Those games are not open to the public. The semifinals for the Hampton Cup are tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 24, at times and locations yet to be determined.

The Hampton Cup final was tentatively slated for Tuesday, August 27, at Two Trees Farm at 4 p.m., with the subsidiary (consolation) final, the Bridgehampton Polo Club Cup, set for Wednesday, August 28. That game will officially close the season.

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