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Javier Hovillo-Astrada
Photo Credit: Shelley Heatley
Memories Continue At International Polo Club Palm Beach During 22-Goal Hall Of Fame Cup Action

WELLINGTON, Florida – In one of the most exciting games of the season before 2,212 appreciative spectators, the memories continued at the International Polo Club Palm Beach on and off the field at the 22-goal Hall of Fame Cup.

Charles Smith, the most recent inductee into the Polo Hall of Fame, and his wife Marsha, presented the trophies to the teams during the post-match ceremonies. The son of the legendary Cecil Smith, Charles won five U.S. Open championships and numerous other major tournaments. They were ably assisted by George DuPont and Brenda Lynn of the Polo Museum and Hall of Fame.

The on-field festivities began with the parade of polo players to midfield, led by 13-year-old Maggie Boyle carrying the American flag. Gotmar Ghiron of Caracas, Venezuela sang the national anthem. Actor, artist and polo player Doug Sheehan, perhaps best known for two memorable characters -- “Joe Kelly” on “General Hospital” and “Ben Gibson” on “Knots Landing” -- graciously presided over the pre-game coin toss near midfield.

Javier Hovilla-Astrada/Pablo Macdohough
Photo Credit: Shelley Heatley

The club’s now traditional halftime champagne divot stomp continued with a new visual twist as four 2004 Hummers, the official vehicle of International Polo Club Palm Beach, raced onto the field, carrying the bubbly in perfect symmetry as a solitary parasail piloted by Capt. Larry Littlefield of Para Air Sports in Boynton Beach and his VIP passenger, 8-goaler Sugar Erskine of the Isla Carroll team, executed a perfect landing at midfield, much to the delight of the fans.

Wellington Mayor Tom Wenham and his wife, Regis, were among the spectators, as well as international special event planners Bruce Sutka and David Negri of Sutka Productions, Donald Marshburn of New York and Regine Diamond of Palm Beach.

Prior to the polo match, more than 300 guests dined on a delicious brunch catered by The Breakers before heading into the stadium to catch all the exciting action in the 22-goal Hall of Fame Cup match.

On the field, 9-goaler Eduardo Novillo Astrada dribbled through two players and tapped in the game-winner with 30 seconds remaining in the first overtime to carry Las Monjitas over Crab Orchard 15-14 in a thrilling quarterfinal match. The 29 combined goals was the highest scoring game of the tournament.

Edward Novilla-Astrada
Photo Credit: Shelley Heatley

Ten-goaler Javier Novillo Astrada of Las Monjitas led all scorers with 10 goals. Three-goaler Willie Hartnett, who sparkled on defense and made several key passes to the brothers Astrada, was selected as the game’s MVP. Eight-goaler Pablo MacDonough, playing with a broken left ankle, scored nine goals to lead Crab Orchard.

The Hall of Fame Cup in named in honor of the Polo Museum and Hall of Fame in Lake Worth that houses polo memorabilia from the early 1900s through the present and is open to the public. The Hall of Fame held its induction ceremonies on Friday evening.

Seventeen teams entered the 22-goal Hall of Fame Cup with the final scheduled for Sunday (Feb. 29) at 3 p.m. High-goal polo action continues every Sunday at 3 p.m. The polo game is open to the public with tickets beginning at $10 each. For information, call (561) 204-5687 or visit the website at

International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South, between Lake Worth Road and Pierson Road, in Wellington.



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