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La Fe won the US Open Women´s Championship peaks with runaway final victory



Port Mayaca Polo Club (PMPC) in Okeechobee, Florida, received some of the world’s most talented players. The crown jewel of its calendar, the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship, served as the marquee event and will be the next competition. First played as a USPA-Sanctioned tournament in 1990, the competition is the most prestigious women’s tournament in the United States. (Picture David Lominska / USPA)


The final, which took place Sunday, March 19, at the National Polo Center - Wellington (Wellington, Florida), marked a historic moment in the elite competition. For the first time, the final was held as the featured Sunday match on the legendary U.S. Polo Assn. Field One. Despite, looming rain in the forecast, the most prestigious women’s cup in American polo pitted competition newcomer La Fe (Winifred Branscum, Pamela Flanagan, Hope Arellano*, Hazel Jackson) against returning contender Dundas (Ana de la Fuente, Erica Gandomcar-Sachs, Mia Cambiaso, Nina Clarkin) with $40,000 in prize money on the line. Relying on nonstop offensive firepower, especially from 8-goal American Arellano, La Fe launched an impressive effort that ended in a dominant 12-6 first-time victory for the team in orange. Meanwhile, on Saturday, March 18, the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship subsidiary final took place at Port Mayaca Polo Club. San Saba defeated El Cid Fitness 8-3 to claim the bronze place position.

El Cid Fitness supported by PRENSA POLO

Teams

El Cid Fitness: Cecelia Cochran 5, Heather Souto 5, Fátima Balzano 6, Milagros Sánchez 8. Total 24

BTA: Sophie Grant 5, Maddie Grant 5, KC Krueger 6, Sarah Wiseman 7. Total 23

Dundas: Sarah Magness 1, Nina Clarkin 10, Mia Cambiaso 8, Erica Gandomcar 5.Total 24

La Fe: Pamela Flanagan 5, Hazel Jackson 10, Hope Arellano 8, Winifred Branscum 1. Total 24

San Saba: Dawn Jones 5, Kylie Sheehan 5, Izzy Parsons 8, Gillian Johnston 6/Lottie Lamacraf. Total 24 Schedule

Friday 3/10 10am - El Cid Fitness 2 vs Dundas 10

Friday 3/10 12noon - BTA 6 vs La Fe 5

Sunday 3/12 12noon - Dundas 7 vs San Saba 5

Tuesday 3/14 12noon - El Cid Fitness 3 vs La Fe 11

Tuesday 3/14 2pm - BTA 5 vs San Saba 6

Thursday 3/16 12noon - Semi - Dundas 8 vs. BTA 5

Thursday 3/16 2pm - Semi - La Fe 8 vs. San Saba 3 Saturday 3/18 - 3rd place - El Cid Fitness 3 vs. San Saba 8

Sunday 3/19 4pm - Final - La Fe 12 vs. Dundas 6


“This is huge for the women, and I hope it stays like this for years to come. It’s an uphill battle, but we’re here, we made it. I think we put on a great show. It means a lot for me personally, not just to play here and win here, [but also] for all of women’s polo. It shows how it’s growing and how people are taking it seriously, and I’m just proud to be a part of that.” – Pamela Flanagan, commenting on the first time the prestigious women’s competition has been played as the featured Sunday match on U.S. Polo Assn. Field One (uspolo.org)

For her impressive six-goal performance, Hope Arellano was named Most Valuable Player. Praising Arellano’s skill, Jackson noted, “For me right now, she’s the best player in the world. I feel like she’s got much more talent than myself. I think Nina’s incredible, but I think Hope has got some things which I haven’t seen in other young girls. It’s amazing.”


Arellano’s second chukker spare and sixth chukker horse, 9-year-old Macumba, was presented Best Playing Pony honors. “Macumba is a mare that I purchased from Matias Magrini. He actually sent her to me to play her and sell her. I ended up falling in love with her,” said Arellano. She continued, “At the moment I bought her, she wasn’t one of my best horses, and now she’s turned into one of my top five. Every time she goes onto the field, she gives me her whole heart and more. Anything I ask her, she goes into. She never second guesses me, even probably when I should be second guessed. I love her heart, she’s won me over with her heart.”




Gallery of the Final by Tati Fraysinet


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