Valiente remains undefeated and heads to Sunday’s final after a 7-4 win over Hawaii Polo Life in the inaugural 20-goal Columbine Cup at Valiente Polo Farm in Littleton, Colorado.
Tuesday’s game was pretty much a Valiente-fest, but Hawaii Polo Life managed to give Cambiaso and crew a couple of premature grey hairs. After earlier losses in the tournament, Hawaii finally found their mojo. They looked like a different team, opening up their game and running with the ball in contrast to the close quarters they had been keeping. All four Hawaii players put in some long hits and runs, which earned the team four goals by day’s end. Unfortunately, a good number of their passes didn’t connect.
An unusually fast-paced first chukker, which ended 4-1 for Valiente, showed the strength of the organization. Three players scored in rapid succession (Cambiaso twice; Bob Jornayvaz and Kian Hall once each). Valiente’s Agustín Nero opened the second half on a speed-demon run into goal with two Hawaii players in hot pursuit. Hawaii came back with two consecutive goals by Nacho Badiola, who tied the game at 4 just before halftime. Valiente added three more goals in the second half for the win.
Afterward Cambiaso kicked back in the team tent and gazed across the field, taking in the scenic backdrop of mountains. This is his first-ever tournament in the Rocky Mountains, and he seems to appreciate how chill life is here. His family is enjoying recreational activities (especially water skiing) and exploring other parts of the state. A few days ago they went to Aspen, and Wyoming is on the agenda for next week.
“We’re doing a lot of things. Maria is doing a lot of shopping—maybe that’s not so good,” he said with a laugh, “but really, it’s great here. The thing about Denver is the view, the mountains, the perfect weather for riding—it’s all amazing! And you have no mosquitos.”
Cambiaso also put his stamp of approval on the venue. “The fields at Valiente are great. Bob [Jornayvaz] has done a great job. It’s a good tournament, and we’re having fun. I hope it grows and that we can have six teams next year.”
The Columbine Cup continues Wednesday and concludes Sunday, August 6, with the final. The Columbine Cup is a prelude to the inaugural 20-goal Colorado Open (August 9-19). The Colorado Open final will feature the 2017 Rocky Mountain Polo Festival hosted by Polo Fest and Polo Channel.
For more information about the Columbine Cup, the Colorado Open or the Rocky Mountain Polo Festival, contact Darlene Ricker at (310) 210-4004 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos © Liz Lamont Images