SANTA BARBARA, CA. (July 25th, 2021) The historic Silver Cup began with the first round of play on Sunday, July 25th. This tournament dates back to the year 1900 when it was first played and originally established as the Junior Championship. The Santa Barbara Polo Club has now hosted the Silver Cup many times throughout its 121 year history, but this will be its second consecutive year after it took place on the East Coast for two years. Farmers and Merchants Bank is sponsoring the tournament this year and it is also a USPA National Tournament.
The first two teams to face off in the USPA FMB Silver Cup were Klentner Ranch and Santa Clara. Santi Toccalino cut right to the chase with a goal for Klentner Ranch out of the lineup in the first chukker. Over the rest of the half, both teams battled it out, goal for goal, to finish the third chukker tied five all. Santa Clara had some difficulties with no goals in the fourth and fifth chukker, which let Klentner Ranch take a lead. Dynamic brother duo of Lucas and Nico Escobar scored three goals in the last chukker, but not it was not quite enough to secure a win. Klentner Ranch won the game 11-8.
The second game of the day was Lucchese vs. BenSoleimani.com, with a substitution of Carlos Leiva (one goal in handicap) for John Muse on the Lucchese team. The first half went by quickly with lots of goals and fast play. Facundo Obregon capitalized off of his penalty shots, converting six penalties total for Lucchese. On BenSoleimani.com, the eponymous patron, Ben Soleimani, had a great game scoring three field goals throughout the match. In the end, the experienced Lucchese team took the win 15-13 from the exciting, high scoring game.
The featured match at 4 PM had Antelope vs. Farmers and Merchants Bank. Thirteen year old Paquito de Narvaez substituted for Daniel Walker on FMB. This game had intense play with less goals and more defense. Tomas Garcia Del Rio did get the first goal of the game but the half ended with the low score of 3-2 to Antelope. FMB came back in the second half with four goals from Luqitas Criado alone to tie, Paquito de Narvaez showed talent beyond his years in scoring the game winning goal with under a minute left. The final score went to FMB, 8-7 after a close game.