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Lechuza Caracas, Orchard Hill Register Easy Wins To Open 26-Goal Whitney Cup At International Polo Club Palm Beach

WELLINGTON, Florida – Ten-goaler Sebastian Merlos scored eight goals to lead Lechuza Caracas over Texas Polo 15-9 in a first-round match of the 26th annual C.V. Whitney Cup 26-goal polo tournament Wednesday at International Polo Club Palm Beach.

In another first-round game, 10-goaler Eduardo Heguy and 8-goaler Julio Arellano scored five goals each to pace Orchard Hill past Pony Express 13-8.

Merlos scored on a breakaway 50 seconds into the game and Lechuza never trailed, although Texas Polo battled back to tie the game at 3-3 on Milo Araujo’s goal early in the second chukker.

Lechuza, which won this tournament in 2002 and 1999, responded with six consecutive goals – three each by Sebastian and Pite Merlos. Texas Polo never got closer than four goals the rest of the game.

Brad Blake and patron Victor Vargas scored two goals each for Lechuza (1-0).

Gaston Laulhe and Pepe Heguy scored three goals each to lead Texas Polo (0-1) while Araujo finished with two goals and patron Michael Price added one goal.

Orchard Hill scored six unanswered goals over three chukkers to take a commanding 11-5 margin with 2:08 left in the fourth chukker. Pony Express missed two 30-yard penalty shots and had a 60-yard penalty shot blocked in the fifth chukker as it tried to mount a comeback.

Nicolas Roldan added three goals while patron Steve Van Andel did not score for Orchard Hill (1-0).

MacDonough finished with three goals while Alex Agote scored two and Sapo Caset added one for Pony Express (0-1). Patron Bob Daniels did not score.

Thirteen teams entered the tournament, which is a prelude to the Stanford Financial Group – U.S. Open Polo Championship, the most prestigious polo tournament in North America. The C.V. Whitney Cup final is scheduled for Sunday, March 21 at 3 p.m. at the International Polo Club Palm Beach stadium.

The tournament is named in memory of Cornelius Vanderbilt “Sonny” Whitney, who along with his brother John Hay Whitney, were important polo patrons in the 1930's. The son of Hall of Fame patron Harry Payne Whitney, C.V. won the U.S. Open three times (twice against his brother), and was a renowned owner and breeder of thoroughbred racehorses.

The polo matches are open to the public. Tickets for the Sunday games at the International Polo Club Palm Beach are available at the gate, beginning at $10 each. For information or advance tickets, call (561) 204-5687 or visit the club website at

International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington. From I-95, take the Forest Hill Boulevard exit and go west approximately 12 miles. Turn left onto South Shore Boulevard and go two miles. Turn left onto Pierson Road, travel about one mile and then make a right onto 120th Avenue South. The club is on the right. From Florida’s Turnpike, take Exit 93 (Lake Worth Road) and go west about six miles. Make a right onto 120th Avenue South. The club is on the left.


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