The United States Polo Association® (USPA), the national governing body for the sport of polo, is pleased to announce the final rosters for the teams competing in the sixth annual National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS) Championship. The nation’s most promising 24 players, under 19, will gather to compete August 30 – September 2 at Columbine Polo & Equestrian Center, LLC in Littleton, Colorado, and the Denver Polo Club in Sedalia, Colorado. Beginning on Friday, August 31, two semifinal games will take place culminating in the championship final for the Cecil Smith Cup on Sunday, September 2, at 1pm ET. For fans who are unable to attend the games in person, the USPA Polo Network will livestream the matches on uspolo.org, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
In addition to the Cecil Smith Cup competition, the new invitational Girls All-Star Challenge will take place over Championship Weekend. The creation of an all-girls division represents a positive trend as growing numbers of women are competing in polo at all levels. “In 2017, we had 43% female participation in the NYTS program which led us to make a whole division entirely for our female players,” said Amanda Snow, Director of Player Development. This addition to the NYTS Championship weekend will feature eight talented up-and-coming young female players from across the country, coached by Team USPA alumni members Jimmy Wright and Steve Krueger.
Competitors will play one match before the livestreamed Girls All-Star Challenge game which will take place before the NYTS Championship Final at 11:30am ET on Sunday September 2. Winners will be determined by best record over the two days of tournament competition.
Allowing youth players the opportunity to compete on a big stage is a unique and crucial step in developing a young competitor. With player development in mind, NYTS was created in 2013 and is the first national outdoor tournament series for youth competitors—providing opportunities to compete with and against their peers. The NYTS season runs from March 1 through August 1, and the championship is held annually over Labor Day Weekend. At each qualifier, NYTS All-Stars are named for their exceptional horsemanship, sportsmanship and skill, both on and off the field. Players nominated as All-Stars are eligible for selection in their respective zones at the National Championship for the Cecil Smith Cup and the Girls All-Star Challenge. U.S. Polo Assn. will show their support by outfitting each team along with rolling gear bags for the winning team and a Best Playing Pony blanket.
“Many thanks to Bob and Louisa Jornayvaz for their generosity and graciousness and to the Valiente polo organization for allowing the sixth annual NYTS Championship to take place at their Columbine Polo facility,” said Chrys Beal, NYTS and Junior Polo Committee Chairman. “2018 has been a record year for qualifying tournaments and the level of play has been high with fast and competitive games.”
Representing the Hawaiian Islands, Pacific Coast, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain and Border Circuits.
Riley Jordan, Jake Klentner, Bayne Bossom, Luke Klentner, Patrick Uretz (coach).
Representing the Central, Great Plains, Midstates and Southwestern.
Grayson Price, Vaughn Miller, Cipriano Echezarreta, Will Walton, Mason Wroe (coach).
Representing the Florida Circuit
Ian Campbell, Conrad Kissling*, Landen Daniels, Benji Daniels, Jared Zenni (coach).
Representing the Eastern, Southeastern and Northeastern Circuits.
Charlie Caldwell, Brennan Wells, Malia Bryan, Harry Caldwell, Tiger Kneece (coach).
*Due to unforeseen circumstances Florida Zone 3 includes a Wild Card, a decision made by a committee to provide a safe and competitive tournament for all teams competing.
Girls All-Star Challenge Teams
-Cory Williams, Pacific Coast; Olivia Uechtriz, Southwest; Jenna Tarshis, Midstates; Lila Bennett, Eastern; Jim Wright (coach).
-Athena Malin, Pacific Coast; April Galindo, Southwest; Hope Kerley, Pacific Coast; Anna Alworth, Central; Steve Krueger (coach).
For more information on the National Youth Tournament Series, please visit www.uspolo.org or contact Director of Player Development Amanda Snow at firstname.lastname@example.org.