With memories of their devastating double overtime loss to Farmers & Merchants Bank last year, Klentner Ranch was prepared to leave everything on the field and win the 2018 Pacific Coast Open Final. Despite being defeated by Lucchese once in bracket play and losing Justin Klentner to a hand injury, Klentner Ranch was determined to make their second chance count. Played on Sunday, September 2, at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria, California, the final showcased fierce competition until the end, Klentner Ranch ultimately earning the win they sought 8-6.
Coming out strong from the first chukker, Klentner Ranch carried their momentum throughout the first half against the formidable and well mounted Lucchese team. Both teams struggled for possession foreshadowing another tight match, however Klentner was able to capitalize on numerous Lucchese fouls to gain the edge. Fresh off a semifinal win in the National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS) Championship, substitute Jake Klentner brought his game sense from Colorado, scoring a smart field goal to keep his team up by one at halftime 4-3.
Although he could not be with his Western Region team for the NYTS Final earlier in the day, Jake Klentner was eager for the opportunity to step in for his dad in the Pacific Coast Open Final and help bring home the win. “The whole situation is surreal! I’m so thankful to my dad for letting me come out to California to play in this tournament,” Jake Klentner exclaimed. Made by Tara Grey Jewelers, each 2018 Pacific Coast Open winner received a striking ring to commemorate the experience. Showing off his Pacific Coast Open ring, that bore a striking resemblance to a Super Bowl championship ring, Klentner beamed, “Who doesn’t like a ring? I feel like Tom Brady right now!”
Watching his son win such an important tournament, Justin Klentner was proud to see him play in his place. “After last year, we needed to win this,” Justin Klentner remarked. “My hope is that we win it the next 10 years in a row, but after last year’s double overtime, we needed to win it this year. To have Jake win it is better than having me win it to be honest with you. We are looking for the future of American Polo, and here it is! We had three Team USPA players on our team, Remy*, Jesse and Jake. That’s the whole idea and proof that it is helping. NYTS is helping, the USPA is helping, the kids are getting better and they are contributing. I couldn’t be prouder of the whole organization and our organization.”
MVP: Remy Du Celliee Muller.
BPP: Venice, 10-year-old bay mare played by Jesse Bray in the first and the fifth chukkers.
Klentner Ranch: Jesse Bray 6, Justin Klentner 1, Remy Du Celliee Muller 3, Mariano Obregon 6.
Lucchese: Facundo Obregon 6, John Muse A, Toly Ulloa 3, Jeff Hall 7.
RH: Ben Soleimani A, Santiago von Wernich 5, Iñaki Laprida 7, Geronimo Obregon 4.
Sol de Agosto: Francisco de Narvaez 1, Paco de Narvaez 7, Adam Snow 5, Nico Escobar 3.
Farmers & Merchants Bank: Dan Walker 2, Lucas Criado 8, Tomas Alberdi 4, Ignacio Viana 2.