Monday, May 25, 2009

No Raining or Pouring But Virgina Beach was Scoring!

No team introductions were needed on Sunday as the dark clouds loomed over the field. If you're a regular Sunday spectator at Whitney Field, it was just a couple Sundays ago that we saw Duck Hill taking on Virginia Beach. Their rematch had the same result with VA Beach taking the win after another close game!

After the same weather last Sunday, we're starting to think that mother nature is a polo fan. For once we weren't trying to "stay cool" thanks in part to the nice breeze blown in from the dark clouds. Despite the forecast of 60% chance of rain, many fans tempted fate and came out to support, even Jane Page had a porch full at her home, which overlooks the field from her backyard. Talk about prime real estate!

We were lucky enough to have our own doppler radar for the day...Aiken Polo Club manager, Craig Fraser provided us with constant updates as we waited for the sky to fall. We even spotted Craig checking the field before the game to make sure it was in good shape for game play. The rain held off during the game, but let loose during the trophy presentation. The players didn't seem to mind the sprinkle as they stood outside while the fans crowded underneath the hospitality tent to avoid getting wet.

We are guessing that Henry Cato was vying for our Best Dressed award since he arrived fashionably late with a minute left in the 5th chukker. He's hard to miss in his signature white fedora hat and that big white truck. Announcer Bob, who never misses an opportunity to call someone out, was happy to make the crowd aware of Mr. Cato's arrival as well. After picking a couple basset hounds for last week's Dog of the Day, we went with another member of the hound family this week. Fievel Mousequitz, an Italian greyhound puppy owned by Angie Princell received the award this week along with yummy treats from Bone-i-Fide Bakery! We received a message from Angie on Monday thanking us for the treats & letting us know "Fiev Nast" as she has nicknamed her pooch thought they were so good she had almost finished them! So, head on over to Bone-i-Fide Bakery to get YOUR favorite pooch some of Ms. Peggy's goodies!

Our Best Divot Stomper this week was Rachel, who was at her first polo game with her family. The announcer described her to the crowd as "approximently 4 years old" to which 6 year old Rachel quickly corrected him when she received her prize.

As the game winded down, we thought Duck Hill might bring an upset to the VA Beach team. To kick off the 6th chukker, it was Charlie Bostwick who took a coast to coast down the field. Being such a great team player, he left it at the last minute for Del Walton to score. After an exciting final chukker, it was VA Beach who came out on top winning the game 9-8. VA Beach had been undefeated since last October until last week's upsetting loss in the Aiken Cup finals against Casa Azul. When asked how he felt about the win at this past Sunday's game, Bart Frye said with a smile, "Well, it's time to start a new winning streak."

Join us Sunday for another wonderful day at Whitney Field. We will be giving away awards for Polo Pooch of the Day [sponsored by Bone-I-Fide Bakery], Best Dressed [sponsored by Equine Divine], & Best Tailgating Spot [sponsored by One Hundred Laurens]. It's looking like it will be a hot and humid day, so be sure to bring the hats, umbrellas, cold beverages, & friends for another Sunday of polo. Aiken Polo Club still has a few tailgating spots available for sale. The spots are only $400 for the year so don't miss out on this great deal! Click the link below for more info and a social membership application.

Until next Sunday, Marco...


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's Raining Mallets

Forecasters called for a 70% chance of rain Sunday, but the weather gods held the rain off so we could see the storm on the polo field. It was Casa Azul/C-Spear versus Virginia Beach for the finals of the Aiken Cup presented by the Smoak Family. After winning 14 straight games since last October, VA Beach was defeated by Casa Azul in a nail biter game!

Through the entire game, it seemed the announcer never stopped saying Eddy Martinez's name and Eddy in fact was awarded with the MVP award for the game. Surprisingly, Eddy was fairly quiet the entire game until the last chukker. He used his vocals to shout encouragement and help his team pull out a win. The Best Playing Pony was awarded to Gringa, owned by VA Beach's Omar Cepeda.

A large and lively crowd came out to the field and all were surprised the weather turned out so nice! Some decided to use their umbrellas for the sun since the rain was nowhere in sight. Others decided to take their shoes off and rub their feet through the cool green grass...which feels amazing by the way!

Also, enjoying a roll in the grass was our Dog(s) of the Day - Beaufort and Beulah, a pair of American basset hounds who belong to Mr. Francois Verglas. When presented with their yummy treats from Bone-i-Fide Bakery, Mr. Verglas thanked us and said, "This is 'vunderful'!"

Owner of Equine Divine, Taryn Eicher, was present to help us choose our Best Dressed recipient, Ms. Penny Ertelt. Ms. Ertelt donned a pink and white knee length skirt with a white sleeveless top, a hot pink sweater draped across her shoulders and cute gold thong sandals. She received a gift certificate to Equine Divine. "I shop there all the time!" she exclaimed.

We learned from little Miss Jordan Archer Cline that divot stomping is not about hats [even if you're wearing a fancy white one] With help from her brother Buddy, the two children of photographer Brent Cline won the Best Divot Stomper awards for the day and an APC hat for each of them.

The Smoak family was also in attendence to present the Aiken Cup to the winning team of the day. The Aiken Cup trophy dates all the way back to 1913. It was the Smoak family who found it at an auction and contacted Aiken Polo Club regarding its history. We are glad the Smoak family shares that wonderful piece of history with APC and all of us polo fans!

See everyone next Sunday at Whitney Field! We will be giving out a polo pooch of the day award, best tailgating spot, and a new surprise award! All you skilled divot stoppers be sure to show your moves next week because the Best Divot Stopper hats from APC are back! Don't forget there are still social memberships available for purchase that include a tailgating spot and much much more. Click the link below for the application and more info.

Until next Sunday, Marco...


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Who Let the Dogs Out...Woof Woof

On Mother's Day as Virginia Beach and Duck Hill/Pony Up battled it out, we found there were MVP's on AND off the field. While Bart Frye of Virginia Beach was named the game's MVP, the CMP girls combed the sidelines to find the most valuable pooch of the day. While all the dogs were looking lovely, it was Gary & Penny Gumingo's Molly who won "Best Pooch" receiving goodies from Bone-i-Fide Bakery! Molly was styling in her pink bandanna with her most important accessory...her leash. A big "woof" goes out to all the spectators who brought their furry friends along.

This past Sunday we also took a look around to find our "Best Tailgate Spot" winner. Without question, it was awarded to the Automotive Workbench who had a large black tent and tables full of food, drinks, flowers, and more! They brought the whole family out for a day of polo fun. They received a gift certificate for dinner at One Hundred Laurens at Hotel Aiken. The mothers were also given a nice surprise for their special day as we strolled around the field handing out white carnations to the moms at Whitney Field.

If we had an award for most creative attire, we would have given it to our colored horse hat ladies! In hats of green, yellow, & red, these ladies left the kids at home for a relaxing Mother's Day at polo. This was the ladies first time at polo and they were all very excited about the half time divot stomping. All the women graduated together in 1968 in Pocahontas, Iowa and we hope they enjoyed their

Some three hundred yards seemed to be a bit too far for Ed Bernard of Storm Branch Polo and his pooch to travel, so he decided to just cut across the field after the first chukker. Announcer Bob gave Ed a hard time for this, telling him that he should know better...he responded with a wink and "No, I don't!" and headed into the hospitality tent for some shade.

As for the polo game, it was Virginia Beach [Bart Frye, Omar Cepeda, Ruben Coscia, & Phil Staples] that came out on top, defeating Duck Hill/Pony Up [Bob Stanton, Del Walton, Jose Roderiguez, & Federico Wulff]. Top scorers for the day were Ruben Coscia and Federico Wulff with 7 points each for their teams. One of the most memorable shots of the game was in the 6th chukker...Philip Staples hit an amazing back shot 40 yards offside of the goal from an acute angle! After this Sunday's win, Virginia Beach is now 13-0, which makes them undefeated since last October. Can they be beat?

Some of you may have noticed the line-up change for Duck Hill/Pony Up. We hear Rick Salter headed home to New England to throw a Mother's Day party for his mother while Francisco Eddy was injured in the previous game with a suspected concussion. We wish Francisco a speedy recovery & hope to see him back in the saddle soon!

Many special thanks go out to all our weekly blog sponsors! Without them, our awards and surprises wouldn't be possible.

All of these businesses are located in beautiful downtown Aiken.

Join us next week as we continue the Sunday polo fun at Whitney Field. We will be giving out a polo pooch of the day award again and hopefully the best dressed award! All you skilled divot stoppers be sure to show your moves next week because the Best Divot Stopper hats from APC are back! Don't forget there are still social memberships available for purchase that include a tailgating spot and much much more. [We heard Hotel Aiken owner, Kish, just bought two spots!] Click the link below for the application and more info.

Until next Sunday, Marco...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful...Whitney Field

A large and lively crowd came out for the Aiken Cup, presented by The Smoak family, with the majority of them towing their pooches, wine, and friends as well. We brought along two polo rookies, Brett Ferguson & Brett Stewart who both attend USCA and are members of the Pacer baseball team. We used many different sports' analogies to explain the game to the athletes and by the third chukker, they were making bets on who was the better player. Both Bretts agreed that while confusing at first, once they caught on to the polo basics, it was "a great way to spend a Sunday."

Speaking of bets, we wonder if this game finally settled the score of a long standing rivalry between APC President, Charlie Bostwick and APC Treasurer, Alan Corey. (Or perhaps added more fuel to the friendly fire?) Alan Corey definitely brought his A game to the field hitting a neck shot from about 80 yards out from the goal in the third chukker. Charlie Bostwick was not to be outdone by scoring 3 of his team's 6 of which was a heck of a cut shot! In the end, it was the Treasurer's team, comprised of Alan Corey, Karen Reese, Jose Rodrigues, and Luis Galvan, that came out on top, winning 11 to 6. The President's team consisted of Charlie Bostwick, Jason Wates, Julian Aguilar, and Bob Donahey.

While the majority of the spectators chose to stay close to their tailgates during the game, many made their way over to the hospitality tent for the post game festivities while Dan Bullington was cooking up a storm and "rocking out with his Crocs out!" During the game, one family found shelter from the sun underneath a shady tree while another family was having a little horseplay off the field with Super Soaker water guns. Taryn Eicher, new owner of Equine Divine, was having a "no boys allowed" day with all her lady friends at their spot. Linda & Dan Biersack blocked the sun with a huge linen umbrella and even brought along one very important item..."Pardon me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?"

In the 5th chukker, the players and ponies on the field got quite a surprise as a dog ran loose onto the field. Luckily, no person or animal was hurt. Remember, it is an Aiken Polo Club rule for all dogs to be kept on leashes at all times for the safety of your pets, the players and the ponies. It is a $100 fine for any "unleashed" doggies that Mitt will certainly collect!

Many people said it was a perfect day for polo. Even Paul Miles, who was stylish in white linen pants, was heard saying, "82 and breezy!"

We hope to see all of you next Sunday, May 10th on Mother's Day! Aiken Polo Club and the CMP gals will have a special surprise for all the moms in the crowd! This coming Sunday will also mark the launching of the CMP weekly awards, including Polo Pooch of the Day and Best Tailgating Spot brought to you by Bone-i-Fide Bakery and One Hundred Laurens!

Don't forget, tailgating spots are still available! By purchasing a social membership, you receive a personal tailgating spot at Whitney Field along with admission to all games and the hospitality tent [complimentary food and alcohol!] & invitations to all APC social events. These spots are only $400 for the year, so grab a few of your friends and click the link below for contact info.

See you Sunday, Marco...