Narrowly missing their opportunity at the C.V. Whitney Cup with an overtime defeat, Scone returned in the second tournament of the Gauntlet of Polo determined to carve their name on the prestigious USPA Gold Cup trophy.
On Sunday, March 28, competing against Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Lucas Escobar, Sapo Caset and Francisco Elizalde), the only undefeated team in the tournament, Scone (David Paradice, Adolfo Cambiaso, Poroto Cambiaso and Peke Gonzalez) opened strong and kept at it with effective plays and finesse to claim the 13-10 victory and $100,000 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington.
Although a veteran of the tournament with an impressive 15 titles to his credit since 1991, Cambiaso had yet to raise the trophy with his son, until now.
Winning the majority of throw-ins in the first chukker, Scone immediately put Tonkawa on the defensive. Playing the game with an uncanny resemblance to his father, Poroto Cambiaso scored back-to-back goals, making a breakaway and running almost the length of the field. Entering the second chukker down by three, Tonkawa’s Caset seized an opportunity to break the silence, stealing the ball and charging to goal. Adding consecutive Penalty 4 conversions to the tally, Adolfo Cambiaso’s steady shooting ended the second 6-1 in Scone’s favor.
Receiving a perfectly placed pass from Adolfo Cambiaso, Gonzalez took the ball to goal with a nearside neckshot to open the third. Having difficulty making a dent in the gap, Tonkawa managed to score late in the chukker with a booming neckshot by Caset escorted to goal by Elizalde. The father-son duo adding a final goal, and Scone entered halftime with an 8-3 advantage.
Coming back in the fourth, Tonkawa fought to stay in the game, but Scone continued to have the upper hand throughout the second half. Finding his son in position, Cambiaso hit the ball out of the pack of defenders to Poroto who took it to the goal. Following it up with an incredibly precise Penalty 5 conversion by the 10-goaler, Scone continued to dominate the field.
“I think Cambiaso gives players on his team a lot of confidence,” team owner David Paradice said. “He’s very diligent and determined, and everything he does is about winning.”
Landing on the scoreboard for the first time, Escobar received a pass and carried the bouncing ball to goal for Tonkawa, but the Cambiasos retaliated with a neckshot each to end the fifth 12-5. Although missing costly penalty opportunities earlier in the game, Caset added two penalty conversions in the sixth and contributed to five consecutive goals for Tonkawa. However, Scone’s initial lead proved insurmountable, securing the trophy 13-10.
In addition to the title, Scone received $100,000 in prize money while Tonkawa was awarded $25,000 as the runners-up. In partnership with USPA Global Licensing, this year’s Gauntlet of Polo embraced the spirit of giving with nonprofit charities chosen by the finalists also receiving a donation. Scone chose to divide the $5,000 between the Polo Training Foundation and the Retired Racehorse Project, while Tonkawa contributed to Polo Players Support Group and the Polo Training Foundation.
Scone’s 15-year-old Poroto Cambiaso was named Most Valuable Player.
“It’s a pleasure to play with Scone and incredible to play with my father,” he said. “Winning with my dad is an opportunity that very few people have, so I am very grateful for that, and I really have to thank David Paradice.”
Winning his first USPA Gold Cup at 15 years old, Adolfo Cambiaso is seeing the family legacy come full circle with his son. “Winning with my son is even better,” he said.
Best Playing Pony honors were presented to 9-year-old Caña Monjita Coronada played by Adolfo Cambiaso in the fourth and second half of the sixth chukker.
Reaching the final of the first two tournaments and still with one tournament left to go, Scone has distinguished itself as a solid organization. “You learn a lot by playing with these guys and listening to them,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a unique experience that makes you better on the field, and I’m just trying to learn as much as I can.”
The final leg of the Gaunlet of Polo, the CaptiveOne U.S. Open Polo Championship, is now underway at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Learn more at www.internationalpoloclub.com.