Twelve lucky ladies earned a spot in the Ladies Invitational tournament, taking place at Gulfstream Polo Club, located in Lake Worth, Florida. The matches were held on Binger Field, prompting a six chukka round-robin final. Starfish Polo swam away with the title over Stone Pony and Horses Healing Hearts.
The game kicked off with Stone Pony (given one goal on handicap) and Horses Healing Hearts going head to head for the first two chukkas. Stone Pony’s Belinda Brody set the pace, dominating plays and coming out with the ball to score two goals back to back on her famous Appaloosa, “Feather”. Stone Pony played defensively in the second chukka, but Horse Healing Hearts’ Jennifer Williams converted a penalty shot and Alina Carta sneaked in a goal a to bring the score 3-2, giving Stone Pony a win and Horses Healing Hearts a loss.
Horses Healing Hearts (HHH) stayed up for their next two chukkas, but this time they faced the fierce Starfish Polo. HHH finally began to hit their stride, notching a goal from a backshot by Annabel Begg and Alina Carta on a penalty two before Starfish caught on to HHH’s game. Once they did, Allyson Poor and Siobhan Gallagher scored a pair of goals, adding a tie to both teams’ records.
Going into the final round, Stone Pony returned to the field for their two chukkas against Starfish Polo. Intense play ensued but both teams fell just shy of putting one through the goal posts. In the sixth and final chukka, they knew whoever won this chukka would walk away with the title. A goal by Starfish Polo’s Allyson Poor would seal the deal for her team, giving Starfish Polo a win and Stone Pony a loss.
Despite being on the second place team, the judges felt so star struck by Belinda Brody’s first two chukkas and continued aggressive yet smart plays throughout the game, that Brody was awarded Most Valuable Player. Brody also showed up with an impressive string, but it was her trusty mare “Feather” that was named Best Playing Pony for her two goals.
“It was a huge surprise to be awarded MVP,” Brody said. “But the best part for me is Feather getting Best Playing Pony. She played her heart out and deserved it. I couldn’t have been MVP with any other horse underneath me or without my awesome team. We had great communication, solid players and just had so much fun!”
Horses Healing Hearts