Eight goals from Tatin Zubiaurre led the Heathcote polo team (Gene Goldstein, Lucas Arellano, Michel Dorignac and Tatin Zubiaurre) to a thundering 15-8 win over Wildcat (Ryan Gilbertson, Nick Johnson, Steve Krueger and Jason Crowder) Saturday afternoon in the final of the Top Pony 12-goal Series at the Grand Champions Polo Club.
Wildcat received one goal by handicap from the 12-goal Heathcote lineup, who took the field without team captain Oakleigh Thorne who was sidelined by a shoulder injury suffered earlier in the tournament. Heathcote rained goals down on the hapless Wildcat defense with Gene Goldstein and Michel Dorignac scoring two goals apiece and Tatin Zubiaurre adding a goal for the 5-1 lead.
Zubiaurre converted a 40-yad penalty shot to open the second chukker, 6-1, when Wildcat finally responded. Team captain Ryan Gilbertson scored his team’s first goal from the field followed by a goal from Steve Krueger. Heathcote continued to lead, 6-3 at the end of the period.
The two teams exchanged goals in third chukker play. Zubiaurre opened with a goal from the field for Heathcote, 7-3. Nick Johnson countered with a goal for Wildcat. Heathcote continued to hold a three goal advantage at the end of the first half, 7-4.
Heathcote extended their lead to four goals in the fourth chukker. A pair of goals from the field from Zubiaurre and a 40-yard penalty conversion for a goal from Dorignac left Heathcote on top, 10-6. Wildcat got single goals from Johnson and Krueger in a lineup that saw Jason Crowder (severely sprained knee) replaced by Tommy Biddle.
Heathcote continued to pour it on in fifth chukker with Zubiaurre adding two more goals from the field. Biddle scored for the Wildcat team as they fell behind by five goals, 12-7.
There was no letup from the Heathcote team in the final chukker as Lucas Arellano scored twice from the field and Zubiaurre converted a 60-yard penalty shot to run off with a 15-7 lead. Gilbertson’s second goal of the day ended the scoring in the sixth chukker in a 15-8 Heathcote victory.
Zubiaurre scored five of his eight goals from the field. Dorignac scored three times and directed the Heathcote offense, earning him MVP honors. Goldstein and Arellano each scored twice for the win. Krueger, Johnson and Gilbertson scored two goals apiece for the Wildcat team. Biddle added a goal and the team received one goal by handicap in a losing effort.
Dorignac’s 12-year-old Argentine Thoroughbred, Medialuna, was named Best Playing Pony.