Dayelle Fargey proved why she has held high the Most Valuable Player award in the past. On Sunday, during the President’s Cup, in the heated sudden death end of a tied game, she picked the pockets of her opponents and scored the winning goal. Fargey’s goal took the Dark Horse team to the winner’s podium again with a 10-9 win over Film Finances.
Why was the tiny blonde who probably doesn’t weigh more than 98 pounds when soaking wet able to skunk her two male opponents?
Polo was once practiced for military purposes and many of the tactics deployed in the game today come from its military history. The Phalanx is an ancient Greek warfare tactic where warriors follow each other in a line. The term is derived from the Greek word for finger. When polo is played at its best, team mates follow each other and pick up the ball when it’s missed. If the Film Finances team had been employing the phalanx, Dark Horse’s Fargey probably wouldn’t have been able to steal the ball away when the first Film Finance’s player miss hit the ball. They were riding side by side when the miss hit ball popped in between the two of them and Dayelle Fargey was able to charge through the middle, take the ball and score. She left the two players on the field looking at each other as if to say, “I thought you were going to get it.”
Once again, two female patrons were on the podium. Sara Rotman, rated zero, of New York sponsored the Dark Horse team. Her team mates were: Dayelle Fargey (1), Jesse Bray (3), and Max Menini (4). Local resident, Leigh Brecheen, rated zero, was the patron of the Film Finances team. Brecheen was joined on the field by: Mike Sheller (0), Federico Wulff (3), and his older brother Santiago Wulff (5).
Max Menini of Dark Horse was awarded the honor of Most Valuable Player. Menini’s horse, Lola, was Best Playing Pony.
The three o’clock game turned into an exhibition match when Nacho Figueras (the Ralph Lauren model) came into town early and took Santiago Von Wernich’s place in the saddle for Ben Soleimani’s Mansour team. (He will be playing tomorrow in the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic at Will Rogers’s Polo Club in Pacific Palisades.) The Wildcat team was not intimidated by the celebrity and ousted Mansour 14-10.
So what’s different about Nacho Figueras? His handicap is six – good, but not great for a polo player. He is handsome enough to land one of the top modeling jobs in the world. But a handsome Argentine polo player is not unusual. The difference is that Nacho has been scouring the country promoting polo. Last year he was the focus of a 60 Minutes piece on polo. He also was on Conan O’Brien teaching the comedian how to play polo.
Nacho went to Will Rogers Polo Club which is just off Sunset Blvd in Pacific Palisades. Conan, whose wife is an accomplished equestrian, got on a horse that they joked was safe because it had drunk a gallon of Nyquil. Conan refused to wear a helmet because he said it would mess up his hair. Nacho was able to keep up with Conan’s comedic banter and got him to the point of cantering down the field while hitting the ball. You can watch the video on teamcoco.com.
There is an interesting connection between Nacho Figueras, Conan O’Brien and Leigh Brecheen, the patron of Film Finances. Leigh is the entertainment lawyer who represents Conan – she also plays at Will Rogers. The day that Conan played with Nacho, Leigh took her teenage daughter, Griffin, to watch. Griffin now plays in the coaching league at the Santa Barbara Polo Club.
The Will Roger’s Polo Club is the only remaining grass polo club in all of Los Angeles. In the 1930’s there were over 25 polo fields in Los Angeles. In 1926 Will Rogers put in this famous field where he played with the likes of Walt Disney, Spencer Tracy, and Clark Gable.
After his death in 1935, his wife Betty gave the club to the State of California under the conditions that equestrian activities continue at the park. The event that Nacho will be playing in tomorrow is a fundraiser to ensure that Will Roger’s legacy and love for polo continue.
“Helmet or Helmet Hair”
Most of the rules in polo are geared towards safety. So if Conan O’Brien said he wouldn’t wear a helmet in a USPA sanctioned event because he didn’t want to mess up his hair, he wouldn’t be allowed on the field. Opptional safety equipment also includes knee pads so when you are in a ride off (bumping your opponent with your horse shoulder to shoulder, knee to knee) you won’t have to visit the local orthopedic surgeon afterwards. Some wear elbow pads, a face mask, and protective goggles. Leigh Brecheen, the intelligent well educated lawyer that she is, goes one step farther and wears a protective vest.
The finals for the Wickenden Cup will take place at the Santa Barbara Polo Club, Sunday, October 7th at 1:00 on the grandstand field. Lunch and drinks are available for purchase at the events. The club is located at 3300 Via Real in Carpinteria. For information call 684-6683.
NACHO FIGUERAS will be playing in the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. It will take place at the Will Roger’s Polo Club in Pacific Palisades, Saturday, October 6th.
The Polo Set is appears on Saturdays in the News-Press and is written by Santa Barbara resident, Julia Michelle Dawson, a member of the United States Polo Association who has been writing about polo for the past ten years. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org