Team takes Texas Open in Squeaker

The excitement for the tournament got underway with the David Yurman kickoff party. More than 100 polo fans flocked to the festively decorated David Yurman boutique on September 19 to celebrate the start of the Stanford Texas Open Polo Invitational and David Yurman Cup. The evening also served as a benefit for Casa Esperanza.

Casa Esperanza is a safe place for children in crisis because of abuse, neglect or the effects of HIV. It provides residential, medical and psychological care according to the needs of each child and counseling to the parents in appropriate situations.

The Spanish-themed evening kicked off with tapas and sangria served outside the store, which was adorned with chic black walls, exotic grass and polo accessories. Upon entering the store David Yurmanjersey- clad polo players greeted guests, while flamenco artist Ray Ernst entertained the crowd with sultry Spanish tunes. Guests mingled and marveled at the spectacular couture pieces on display. Among the guests were David Yurman’s own Lily Paxson, Erica and Cindi Rose, Kimberly Gremillion, Linda and Jay Comeaux, Tena Faust, Mike Anzilotti, Tamara Brock, Sheri and Grant Roane, Edward Sanchez, Lindsay Love, Brittany Zucker and Jack O’Patrany.

The celebration was a wonderful way to to start the season. Once the playoff games were completed, the final match, which followed a morning consolation, pitted 2005 finalist Isla Carroll against Lockton. In a squeaker of a finish, Isla Carroll won 11-10, taking home the cup denied them last year.

Accurate penalty shooting was key to this year’s final, with Roberto Gonzalez, a 6-goal player for Lockton, scoring seven goals from the penalty line. For Isla Carroll it was the one-two punch of 6-goaler Jeff Blake and 5-goaler Brandon Phillips that made the difference. Phillips scored five of six goals from the penalty line while Blake scored five from the field.

Lockton began with a one-goal handicap, but Blake didn’t take long to level the playing field for Isla Carroll early in the first chukker. Lockton got the upper hand with a Penalty 3 conversion by Gonzalez and a field goal by 3-goal Hernan Tejera to end the first chukker with Lockton leading 3-1. In the second, Phillips wrapped penalty conversions around one from Gonzalez. Phillips tied the score at 4 early in the third, then Blake and Gonzalez traded field goals to keep it tied at the end of the first half.

Isla Carroll came back into the game fired up after the halftime break. Blake sandwiched a pair of field goals around a Penalty 3 conversion by Gonzalez. Phillips topped it off with another goal from the field all while Goodman effectively closed the back door. Trailing by two in the fifth, Gonzalez responded by knocking in two open-goal penalties to put Lockton back on even ground. Phillips briefly broke the tie with a Penalty 2 conversion, but Gonzalez answered a minute later with a Penalty 2 of his own. The last chukker began with the teams tied 9-9. Phillips got another chance at the 30-yard penalty line, which he easily converted, putting Isla Carroll ahead. Blake sealed the victory on a drive downfield and through the uprights. Gonzalez hammered in another penalty, this time from 40 yards to bring Lockton within one, but time ran out for them and Isla Carroll took the win.

After the match Lily Paxson of David Yurman, Jay Comeaux of Stanford Private Wealth Management and spur maker Billy Klapper were on hand to present the many awards. Isla Carroll was honored with the Emilia Castillo Trophy by Neiman Marcus, beautiful chalices and handmade spurs from Billy Klapper, while Lockton’s Gonzalez, Tejera and teammates Wesley Sinor and Tim Kelly received handsome ice buckets for their valiant effort. Isla Carroll’s Sheila Laquerica, a newcomer to the Houston field, was named most valuable player and was presented with a new bridle. Jeff Blake’s Annabell was named best playing pony and received a blanket.

Earlier in the day, Stanford took to the field against David Yurman/Rockin P for the David Yurman Cup consolation. David Yurman/Rockin P, who began with a onegoal handicap, dominated the match and took the 9-4 win. Yurman’s Matias Machado and Julian Aguilar had three goals apiece, while teammates Carl Price and Joe Wayne Barry added one each. Playing for Stanford were Jay and Wes Comeaux splitting the No. 1 position, Mark Prinsloo, Todd Offen and Stewart Armstrong.

The rain returned to the area, washing out the Silver Cup scheduled for October 15. After several attempts to reschedule it, it was decided the teams would try to fit it in during the winter high-goal season in Florida. But the rain couldn’t put a damper on the club’s social events. A trio of soirees was held during the month of October in support of A Royal Match, a fund-raiser for the British Forces Foundation and the English-Speaking Union of the United States.

The festivities began on Friday, October 13, at the Alden Hotel with a meet-theplayers cocktail party and event underwriters’ party. Guests admired the awards trophies while nibbling on hors d’ oeuvres from nationally renowned executive chef of 17, Ryan Pera.
The second soiree, a gala celebration and benefit dinner, took place at the St. Regis Hotel on October 14. Linda and Jay Comeaux, Carolyn Farb, Charles Ward and Ralph Lauren Polo model Nacho Figueras were among the guests who enjoyed a special vintner dinner, which paired a delectable menu especially prepared by the executive chef Garret Fujieda to complement ultrapremier wines from Stonestreet Alexander Mountain Estate.

The third and final fete was a reception on the championship Farish Field of the Houston Polo Club, where guests sampled wines from Artisan & Estates. Scheduled afterward were the Cartier Polo Cup and A Royal Match but because of inclement weather the matches were canceled.
Despite the rain, the weekend’s events raised more than $90,000 for the BFF and ESU. The BFF’s goal is to promote the armed forces through charitable means and by supporting all serving personnel. The ESU-U.S. is a non-profit, non-political, educational organization whose mission is to promote scholarship and the advancement of knowledge through the effective use of English in an expanding global community.

The honorary chairwoman of A Royal Match was Janice Anderson and the event chairman was retired Maj. Mark Cann. The auction chairwoman was Anna Williams and auction co-chairmen were Denzil Hollingsworth and Hector Villarreal.

Sponsors for A Royal Match included the Royal Bank of Scotland, Bombardier Business Aircraft, Stonestreet Wine Estates, Carroll and John B. Goodman, Cartier, Active Imagination, Alden Hotel Houston, Houston magazine, Grafton Development LTD., Grover Printing, Momentum Jaguar, The Linen House, Sheri and Grant Roane, Something Special in Flowers, Mimi Topper Stinson and Western Airways.

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