By Rebecca Baldridge
Photos by ChukkerTV
WELLINGTON, FL, March 9, 2021— Bushwood won a narrow 10-9 victory over Ellipse Polo to win the Top Pony 8-Goal title.
Bushwood (Nick McClelland, Nick Manifold, Kris Kampsen, and Michael Armour) took to the field against Ellipse Polo (Pancha Terrera, Baldo Palomeque, Robi Bilbao, and Louis Devaleix) on Grand Champions Field 4.
Baldo Palomeque put the first goal of the day on the board, picking up a pass to put the ball through at 5:42. With 17 seconds left in the chukker, a powerful shot by Ellipse’s Kris Kampsen evened the score and the period ended 1-all. Play was back and forth for the first three minutes, until Baldo Palomeque swept the ball through the posts at 3:40. Kris Kampsen successfully converted a Penalty 4, bringing the score up to 2-all.
With just over a minute left to play, Pancha Terrera carried the ball downfield to goal, leaving it for Baldo Palomeque to nudge through and end the chukker with Ellipse in the lead at 3-2. Bushwood succeeded in keeping Ellipse off the board in the third chukker, while Kris Kampsen scored a goal from the field and converted a Penalty 2 to end the half with Bushwood leading 4-3.
The pressure started to show in the fourth chukker, with both teams earning goals on penalties. Ellipse wanted an early goal and Robi Bilbao delivered, running to goal with Kampsen in hot pursuit and putting the ball through within 30 seconds. At 4:55, Kampson restored Bushwood’s advantage, with 5-4 on the board. He followed up with a Penalty 4 conversion to extend Bushwood’s lead to 6. At 3:02, Kampsen completed a hat trick for the chukker with a cut shot to goal.
Ellipse was able to narrow the lead with two penalty conversions from Robi Balboa and the chukker ended at 7-6 with Bushwood narrowly in the lead. Kampsen and Bilboa each converted a Penalty 4, while a goal from Nick Manifold kept Bushwood in the lead, with the fifth chukker ending 9-7. Ellipse fought back in the final chukker, with Balboa and Palomeque scoring from the field to tie the match at 9-all. A costly foul put Kris Kampsen on the penalty line to convert a Penalty 3, and Bushwood squeaked by Ellipse at 10-9. Kris Kampsen was the high scoring player of the day with 9 goals.
WINTER 2021 COVID-19 POLICY: The GCPC property, facilities, and events are only accessible to polo players, their immediate families, and necessary staff. This policy will remain in effect until further notice.
The GCPC family is immensely grateful and humbled by the excitement and support shown by locals and new guests over the years. We wish we could welcome everyone to the sidelines to cheer our players on; however, in order to remain in operation amidst a global pandemic, we regret to inform you that Grand Champions Polo Club events and facilities are currently closed to the public. Ultimately, our goal as a Club is to keep polo going, but our goal as a community first and foremost is to keep everyone safe and healthy.
There is nothing we would love more than to have more spectators on the sidelines and to greet new and friendly faces to the Club. Unfortunately, we cannot operate as normal and have temporarily minimized the Club’s capacity in an effort to prioritize the health and safety of our community.
MORE UPDATES TO COME SOON: For potential GCPC policy changes, we encourage our fans to continue to check our Instagram and website for more updates to come.
In the meantime, we thank you for your cooperation in this team effort to ensure we can keep playing polo, as well as keep playing our part in the community to minimize risk and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We appreciate your loyalty and understanding and hope to see you back on the sidelines soon!