Wednesday, November 11, was a marathon opening day of polo with 12 teams playing four round-robins in the U.S. Open Women’s Handicap at Houston Polo Club (Houston, Texas). At the end of the day, four teams (Quiet Creek Farm, Villa Ecleto, Aspen Snowmass, Chandler Ranch) earned their spots in the semifinals on Friday, November 13.
The first team to qualify for the semifinals were the young women of Quiet Creek Farm (Josie Dorsey, Lily Lequerica, Hannah Reynolds, Olivia Reynolds). Taking everyone by surprise, Quiet Creek Farm demonstrated their sharp skills and horsemanship, along with their discipline taking the man. They won both two-chukker games in the round-robin, claiming the first spot in Friday’s semifinals. In the second round-robin of the day, the well-organized Villa Ecleto kept their competition at bay with strong defense and well-executed teamwork. Coming away with a win against both opposing teams, Villa Ecleto (Morgan Tennant, Katie George, Alyson Poor, Mia Bray*) earned their spot to play against Quiet Creek Farm in the semifinals.
In the third round-robin, each team earned a win, causing the winner to be decided by net goals. Chandler Ranch (Roxy Riggs-Mounter, Megan Flynn, Karen Reese, Jenny Vargas) beat out the second-place team by 0.5 net goals to advance to the second semifinal. In the final round robin of the day, Aspen Snowmass took control of both games with their consistency and patience on the field. After narrowly beating a tough Forty Flowers team, Aspen Snowmass (Morgan McBride, Stephanie Massey Colburn, Anna Winslow-Palacios*, KC Krueger) went on to win against Memorial Chiropractic/Rover’s Romphouse to claim the fourth and final position.
Quiet Creek Farm (2-0) will challenge Villa Ecleto (2-0) in the first semifinal of the day on Friday, November 13, at 11:00am ET. Aspen Snowmass (2-0) will face off against Chandler Ranch (1-1) in the second semifinal immediately following at 12:00pm ET to determine which two teams will play in the U.S. Open Women’s Handicap Final on Saturday, November 14. Both semifinals and the final will be livestreamed on Global Polo TV.
*Mia Bray is an active member of Team USPA and Anna Winslow-Palacios is a Team USPA alumni. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.
All photos ©Kaylee Wroe.