Jake Klentner wins Silver Air Pacific Coast Open
SANTA BARBARA, CA. (September 3, 2018) Local Santa Barbara team Klentner Ranch went head to head against Lucchese in the final of the 2018 Silver Air Pacific Coast Open. After falling to Farmers & Merchants Bank in double overtime last year, Klentner Ranch was determined to bring home the trophy. A hand injury in the semi-final game against Sol de Agosto sidelined Justin Klentner for the final, but his oldest son Jake stepped up and secured the victory for his father’s team scoring the most field goals for Klentner Ranch. Father Justin Klentner remarked, “We needed to win this year. After losing in double overtime last year, I was determined to bring that trophy home and to have Jake win was even better. Polo is our family sport.”
Carlos “Toly” Ulloa quickly scored the first point of the match out of the lineup for Lucchese, but their early lead was stymied by two goals from Klentner Ranch, one from the field and a second from the penalty line. The combination of player talent and raw horsepower was evident on both sides of the field as Lucchese and Klentner Ranch fought for possession in the second chukker each scoring only once.
Facundo Obregon easily scored from the 30-yard line for Lucchese to kick off the third chukker of play - tying up the score at three goals a piece. In what could be called a textbook team polo play, Remy Muller put Facundo Obregon on his hip in the open field allowing Jesse Bray to execute a pass from the boards to Klentner racing down the field. A final shot through the goal put Klentner Ranch in the lead 4-3 going into the halftime break.
A perfectly balanced fourth chukker saw one goal scored from the penalty line and one goal from the field by both Lucchese and Klentner Ranch. Klentner Ranch held onto their one goal advantage once again going into the fifth chukker of play.
Lucchese quickly pushed deep into scoring territory to open up the chukker, but a whistle stopped the play giving possession of the ball back back to Klentner Ranch. Bray received a pass from teammate Mariano Obregon before racing down the sideboards on Best Playing Pony, “Venice.” A whistle gave Obregon a penalty opportunity to push Klentner Ranch ahead by two goals, 7-5 but brother Facundo quickly put another goal on the board for Lucchese from the field to bring the score back within one goal. 7-6.
With only seven and a half minutes to play, both teams dug deep looking to widen their lead. Klentner Ranch doubled down on their defense, relying heavily on their horsepower to defend their lead. Mariano Obregon sunk what would be the final goal of the match from the 30-yard penalty line to give Klentner Ranch the victory 8-6 over Lucchese.
The Klentner Ranch team received commemorative championship rings custom made by Tara Grey for the Silver Air Pacific Coast Open.
Remy Muller was awarded Most Valuable Player for his defensive efforts that helped secure the victory for the Klentner Ranch Team. This is Muller’s second Pacific Coast Open win. “Playing the sport you love and being able to win this tournament with friends is the absolute best.”
Jesse Bray received the Robert Skene Season MVP award and his mare “Venice” was named Best Playing Pony. The lanky bay mare played in the first and fifth chukker. “My dad got Venice from the track as a two-year-old and made her in Indio over the past several years. Best Playing Pony is my favorite award to recieve and to have it go to a horse my dad made is amazing. My dad really helped us out this tournament. He switched our lineup around in the semi-final and today helped us to stay focused. Having an extra pair of eyes off of the field has really helped our team.”