La Indiana Defeats Grand Champions 9-8 In Polo Action At IPC

La Indiana’s Victorino Ruiz received the MVP award. Photo by Alex Pacheco

La Indiana gave a solid performance to claim a narrow 9-8 victory Sunday, Jan. 14 over Grand Champions in their second Joe Barry Memorial Cup match. The win was La Indiana’s second in the tournament, with the first coming against Coca-Cola.

Their 2-0 record makes La Indiana one of the favorites to qualify for the tournament semifinals, set to take place on Jan. 24. The final of the Joe Barry Memorial Cup will be played on Sunday, Jan. 28, at the Engel & Völkers Stadium at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.

La Indiana dominated the match from the start, gaining a 2-0 advantage by the end of the first chukker with goals by Michael Bickford and another off of a penalty from Jeff Hall, yet the team failed to score in the second and third chukkers.

Grand Champions took control on a run led by Nicolás Pieres and turned the score in their favor thanks to goals in both the second and third chukkers.

As the halftime buzzer sounded to break the game, the score was 3-2.

La Indiana woke up in the fourth and gave a strong performance thanks to Victorino “Torito” Ruiz, who scored four consecutive goals in the fourth and fifth chukkers. La Indiana came down hard on Grand Champions, particularly in the fourth, where they managed to build a 6-3 advantage.

“The match was a good one. We started off asleep, the horses were a bit heavy and we were out of rhythm,” said Ruiz, MVP of the match. “But once we got into the groove of it, we started playing better, even though we slacked a bit at the end. The field was in great condition, so we are happy overall.”

The last few minutes of the game were the best of the match, as Grand Champions fought hard to bring the game back to their advantage.

A tremendous shot by Hall tied the match and pushed the game into an extra chukker. However, La Indiana remained on top through the period and went on to claim the 9-8 victory.

A large crowd was on hand to enjoy a day of Sunday polo at IPC, where a wide range of hospitality options are available.

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