Toronto Polo Club hosted the inaugural Polo Canada Women’s Invitational, held on August 27 at Bancroft Farm. The tournament featured six teams of female players from the region, with some of the best female players in Toronto and visiting players from the Ottawa Polo Club.
The tournament offered both an A-Flight and B-Flight game. It allowed newer players a chance to participate in the fun as well as offer a feature competitive match.
Despite a rainy week leading up to the event, the day of the tournament was sunny and warm, with a breeze perfect for drying the remnants of the week’s rain off the fields. This isn’t the first ladies tournament to be held in Toronto, as Toronto Polo Club has played host to charity ladies tournament Polo for the Cure for the past 15 years.
However, this is the first year Toronto has played host to two women’s tournaments during the summer season – and the spectators, players, and sponsors came out in full force to support it!
Over 100 spectators came out to enjoy and 25 players across the two games signed up to play in the tournament. They altogether supported Polo Canada’s women’s polo initiatives through the event.
Guest and prize sponsor Marcelo Albarracin-Sarmiento of Antara Marketing comments on the tourney’s success. “Being an avid polo fan from Argentina, I was thrilled to have the chance to see the teamwork, skill, and trust between these majestic, athletic horses and their riders at the Polo Canada Women’s Invitational this past weekend,” he recalls. “The weather was perfect, the event was well organized, and the volunteers and sponsors were friendly and engaging. The host and organizers did a tremendous job, and I want to thank Emily Hurst in particular for the opportunity to help with the gifts and awards, and for making the tournament so special for us all.”
The winning team of the afternoon’s first game – a three team B-Flight round robin – was the Lynnrose Stables team, with Beth Hearn, Catie Van Bakel, Ria Obas, and Sara Rependa.
Meanwhile, other teams were also in high spirits despite failing to claim the top awards. Participants include the DiRosa Polo, with Terra Sifton, Kamila Drotlef, Amelia Massey, Jen O’Neill, Sarah Sheffield Gray, and Emma Hill). There’s also Polo Management Services, with Ryan Roy, Emily Hurst, Kathleen McKeown, Hailey Clarke, and Maddie Howard.
All teams played amazingly well, with a final score of 5 (Lynnrose), 1 (Polo Management), and 0 (DiRosa Polo).
Engel and Volkers York Region player Andrina Calder shares her thoughts. “Both Emily and Crystal have created an amazing event and the teams were well matched for a competitive game! I can’t wait for next year!” she exclaims.
The second game featured an extremely competitive three team round robin game between the teams of Ferrari and Associates, Engel and Volkers York Region, and SLURP/Laneway Distillers.
The Ferrari and Associates team is composed of Beth Hearn, Ryan Roy, Molly Houlton, and Catie Van Bakel, who came out with the win.
Engel and Volkers also did well, with a lineup composed of Ali MacDonald, Emily Hurst, Jen Buchan, and Andrina Calder. SLURP/Laneway Distillers, on the other hand, carried Jenna Tarshis, Keri Weir, Georgia Littlechild, and Kerrigan Brown in their team.
The final score of the game was 4 (Ferrari and Associates), 1 (Engel and Volkers), and 0 (SLURP/Laneway Distillers).
The first game MVP award went to visiting player Ria Obas from the Ottawa Polo Club. She had an outstanding performance, playing her role in helping her team to come out with a win. The second game MVP award went to Molly Houlton, who just came back from an injury and made a big difference for helping her team gtake the victory.
Best Playing Pony award went to Foxden Farms KT, ridden by Jenna Tarshis of the SLURP/Laneway Distillers team. Polo Management’s Pearla, ridden by Amelia Massey, also won the award.
Lead organizer Emily sends out her gratitude to everyone who attended and supported the tournament. “A huge thank you to everyone who came out to support this inaugural Polo Canada Women’s Invitational. We hope we showed everyone what fun ladies polo can be! We hope everyone will return next year for bigger and better things,” she says.
“But especially big thanks to the sponsors, and volunteers, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible,” she further adds. “Just hearing that players, spectators, and sponsors alike are already looking forward to next year’s event is super exciting to hear!”