The first polo final of the 2020 season on U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach featured a thrilling conclusion on Sunday, Jan. 5, with Stable Door Polo — Robert Orthwein, Henry Porter, Santino Magrini and Matias Magrini — scoring the final five goals of the game to defeat Palm Beach Equine 10-8 and capture the Iglehart Cup.
After a nail-biting victory over Patagones to reach the final, Stable Door Polo found themselves in another hard-fought match against Palm Beach Equine, relying on the penalty shooting of Santino Magrini to overcome the performances of Lucas Diaz Alberdi and Gringo Colombres. Finishing 5 for 7 from the penalty line, half of Stable Door’s offense came in that fashion, but a dominant second half from the father-son duo of Santino and Matias Magrini that saw them combine for six goals, pushed Stable Door Polo to the two-goal victory.
Foul trouble hindered Palm Beach Equine in the early stages of the game, conceding two penalty goals to face an early 2-0 deficit. But despite missing both penalty attempts of their own, Palm Beach Equine fought back within one goal after Alberdi got his team on the scoreboard. With his first goal of the game, Henry Porter restored Stable Door Polo’s two-goal lead, but improved discipline from Palm Beach Equine gave them the advantage for the remainder of the half.
A dominant third chukker saw four unanswered goals by Palm Beach Equine, including one each from Gonzalo Ferrari and Alberdi, along with two off the mallet of Colombres. Held to just one field goal in the opening three chukkers, Stable Door Polo faced a 6-4 deficit heading into the second half.
The intensity of the final was seen across the field, with all eight players fighting to capture the first tournament of the season, yet emotions ran high with the third and fourth yellow cards of the game being awarded in the fourth chukker, including Santino Magrini’s second, forcing him from the game for two minutes.
Eight fouls in the fourth chukker slowed the pace, with a penalty 3 conversion from Colombres extending Palm Beach Equine’s lead to three. In need of offense, Matias Magrini moved forward in the game, scoring consecutive goals to quickly reduce the lead to one as the excitement rose around the field.
Santino Magrini’s fourth goal of the game tied the score at 8-8, leaving the sixth chukker to determine the winner. Building on momentum from the fifth chukker, Stable Door Polo pushed forward with Matias Magrini continuing to make a meaningful impact, giving his team its first lead since the third chukker. A crucial penalty 4 conversion for Santino Magrini sealed the victory and the Iglehart Cup title for Stable Door Polo. MVP was awarded to Matias Magini, while his 8-year-old American thoroughbred Elenor claimed Best Playing Pony.
The 18-goal season continues this week at IPC with the Joe Barry Cup final set for Sunday, Jan. 12 at 3 p.m. Tickets for Sunday’s featured match are available at www.internationalpoloclub.com/sundaytickets.