The nice lady from Colorado showed the big boys how to play … and win at the Santa Barbara Polo Club last weekend. During the 12-goal season Jenny Luttrell, patron of Cotterel, made it to the finals of every tournament. She also won half of the 12-goal tournaments including the important USPA Intra-Circuit.
Luttrell’s team mates were Ignacio Saracco (3), Luis Saracco (4), and Ruben Coscia (5). Jenny’s ability to retain and travel with a consistent team has really paid off. Some polo players only work together as a team for two months and then have to move on and follow the seasons to another club with a new patron. Getting the opportunity to refine their team work and get to know what the other players can expect from their horses is a real bonus.
In the final match last Sunday, Cotterel beat Mansour 10-9. The consolation round robin was won by Lucchese with Film Finances in 2nd and Farmers & Merchants 3rd.
Luis Saracco who scored 4 of the 10 goals for Cotterel was named MVP of the game. Best Playing Pony was Requesona a nine year old American thoroughbred owned by Santiago Wulff, who played for Mansour. Don’t ask what Requesona means! Santi said he bought the chestnut mare with that name and he has no idea what it means. Some people think it’s bad luck to change a horse’s name. (The closest definition I could find when Googling Requesona was a soft Ricotta style cheese or the medical dictionary defined it as a flap.) Whether named after cheese or a flap – Requesona is one fine mare.
The season was wrapped up with the twelve-goal “banquet” (which is a misnomer because it is more like a roast with tequila shots). Held the Friday night before the finals, Cotterel also dominated in the (serious) awards. Luis Saracco was honored with the “Best String” (of horses) award for the season. Ruben Coscia was selected as MVP of the 12-goal season. The Sportsmanship award was given to Dan Horn, who played on the Long Beach/ Palm Desert team in May and then drove all the way back from the desert for Farmers and Merchants when they needed an extra player in June. No details about the “non-serious” awards will be forth coming. ;-)
Although the Cotterel team will be going back to Colorado for the summer, some of the teams that have been playing in the spring 12-goal season will reconfigure their teams to play in the 20-goal season. This includes Lucchese who will add Adolfo Cambiaso (arguably the best polo player in the world – they say if the rating system went up to 12 instead of just 10 he would be at 12). With Lucchese’s patron John Muse at zero, Santi Torres (5), and Andres Weiss (5) this turns the 12 goal team into a high-goal competitor.
Dispelling Some Myths
Now that we know that women do play polo and can win – let’s dispel some other myths about polo.
Guy’s myth: Do I need to drive a Ferrari and have a supermodel draped over my arm to go to the polo club? No. Most polo players drive trucks and can’t afford Ferrari’s. And super models don’t like their dirty boots. Okay, so there is an occasional celebrity sighting – such are Tommy Lee Jones being in town with his polo playing wife Dawn who brought him into the sport.
Gal’s myth: Do I have to look like Julia Roberts and wear a hat and heels to go to the polo club? No. The old guard has changed and most people wear jeans to watch polo. Sun dresses can be nice and your dermatologist would suggest a hat (especially on the day of the annual hat contest). But high heels tend to sink down into the field during half time divot stomping and the grounds keeper, Sergio, wouldn’t consider this a good form of aeration.
The polo fields will be closed this weekend for aerating, reseeding, filling divots and adding a soft layer of sand in preparation for Santa Barbara’s high goal season which begins Sunday, July 8th. Lunch and drinks are available for purchase at the events. The club is located at 3300 Via Real in Carpinteria. For more information call 684-6683.
Santa Barbara resident, Julia Michelle Dawson, is a member of the United States Polo Association and has been writing about polo for the past ten years.