Gold Coast Feed Challenge at the International Polo Club in Palm Beach

Photos by Alex Pacheco 

After a harrowing fall in the final of a February 6-Goal tournament game between Middleburg’s Greenhill Stables and Marjing Polo, Wil Ballhaus suffered a minor concussion after a dangerous collision, only to fully recover and make the winning goal after a four-week delay in finishing the final. Greenhill Stables defeated Marjing Polo 9 to 6.5 on Wednesday, March 10, to win the Gold Coast Feed Challenge at International Polo Club in Palm Beach.

Top Left: Greenhill Stables (L to R, David Greenhill, Wil Ballhaus, Justo Mourino, Hilario Figueras) triumphed, claiming the trophy of the Gold Coast Feed Challenge at the International Polo Club in Palm Beach. Top Right: Greenhill Stables and Marjing Polo. Bottom: Hilario Figueras.

Brooke USA Raises Over $210,000 During Polo Match, Presented by Lugano Diamonds

On March 30, 2021 – Brooke USA’s Sunset Polo® & White Party was held at the International Polo Club Palm Beach and raised more than $210,000 for Brooke USA, whose mission is to alleviate the suffering of working equines in some of the poorest parts of the world. 

The tournament kicked off with many players hailing from Virginia and the surrounding Middleburg area on Team Celebrity Cruises, made up of Mikey Matz, Whitney Ross, Marcos Bignoli, Tareq Salahi, and John Gobin, challenging Team GJ Racing, the 2019 defending champions. Riding in orange for GJ Racing were Ignacio Cabrera, Timmy Dutta, Jake Schaufeld, and Jessie Graham. Salahi scored one goal in the opening chukker to secure the lead, and his alternate, Whitney Ross, made the second goal in the second chukker to take the first win with a 2–0 finish.

Left: Black burro. Photo by Spencer/Rachel-Elizabeth.com. Right: Marcos Bignoli – Celebrity Cruises. Photo by Spencer/Rachel-Elizabeth.com

With one win under their belts, Celebrity Cruises then faced off against Team Invicta Farm, consisting of Annalise Phillips, Alyssa Braswell, Michel Dorignac, and Milo Dorignac. Salahi scored the first two goals of the second game, while Invicta scored one goal by Dorignac. Celebrity ultimately snatched the win with a 3–1 victory when Mikey Matz scored the final goal to take the win.

In the decisive last two chukkers, Team Invicta challenged Team GJ Racing in a match that went down to the wire as Invicta took the early lead with Braswell and Dorignac scoring in the fifth chukker. Dutta tied up the game in the final chukker for GJ Racing with two back-to-back goals; however, Milo Dorignac pulled Invicta ahead with the final goal scored, securing the win with a 3-2 finish.

Top right: Milo Dorignac chases down the ball for Team Invicta. Photo by Spencer/Rachel-Elizabeth.com. Top left: John Gobin – Celebrity Cruises. Photo by Spencer/Rachel-Elizabeth.com. Bottom: Milo Dorignac chases down the ball for Team Invicta. Photo by Spencer/Rachel-Elizabeth.com

In the end, Team Celebrity Cruises was declared the winner with a final cumulative score of five. Team Invicta finished in second place with a score of four, while Team GJ Racing took third place with a final score of two. ML

Brooke USA strives to significantly improve the welfare of working horses, donkeys, and mules and the people they serve throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, and the Caribbean by raising funds and responsibly directing them to the areas of greatest need. The 2021 special edition event focused on the Americas, with program funding benefiting Nicaraguan fodder plots, COVID-19 response and recovery, advocacy to end the donkey hide crisis in the United States, and its newest project, scoping and research of Native American Reservations attitudes towards working equines.

Published in the April 2021 issue of Middleburg Life.

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