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Bendabout, Catamount, Everglades and Lechuza Post Wins To Reach Finals In 26-Goal C.V. Whitney Cup At International Polo Club Palm Beach

WELLINGTON, Florida – Ten-goaler Adam Snow scored on a 10-yard neck shot 91 seconds into overtime to lift Bendabout over Isla Carroll 12-11 in a quarterfinal match of the 26th annual C.V. Whitney Cup 26-goal polo tournament Sunday at International Polo Club Palm Beach.

In other C.V. Whitney Cup quarterfinals, 10-goaler Mike Azzaro scored 10 goals to lead Catamount past San Saba 16-8, Lucas Monteverde converted a 30-yard penalty shot to lift Everglades over White Birch 12-11 and Lechuza scored the last five goals en route to an 11-9 victory over defending champion Las Monjitas.

In Wednesday’s semifinals, Bendabout plays Lechuza in a matchup of two teams each with a pair of 10-goalers and Catamount plays Everglades. Game times and fields will be announced Tuesday.

Bendabout scored the final three goals in regulation, the last one a 60-yard penalty shot by 10-goaler Miguel Novillo Astrada with 2:54 remaining, to tie the game at 11-11. Bendabout had two excellent chances to win the game in regulation, but Memo Gracida backed away a ball near the goal line with 1:28 left and Astrada sent a forehand wide with 20 seconds remaining.

Snow likened the quarterfinal match to the 2002 U.S. Open final when his team, which included Astrada, rallied from three goals down in the sixth chukker to win.

“Because of that, I have confidence we can come back from anything,” said Snow, one of only two American 10-goalers.

“We tried to hit the ball quicker in the second half to put (patron) Gillian (Johnston) in the game,” said Snow. Although Johnston did not score in the second half, she was more involved.

Snow finished with a team-high six goals while Astrada finished with five and Johnston scored one. Alejandro Novillo Astrada did not score.

Pancho Bensadon led Isla Carroll with seven goals, five on penalty shots. Gracida added three goals and Sugar Erskine scored one for Isla Carroll while patron John Goodman did not score.

Carlos Gracida, patron Scott Devon and Carlos Gracida scored two goals apiece for Catamount, which led 8-5 at halftime and coasted to victory. Agustin Merlos led San Saba with four goals while Hector Galindo added three goals and patron Tommy Lee Jones had one goal.

Monteverde and patron Skeeter Johnston scored four goals each to lead Everglades while Tomas Llorente and Owen Rinehart added two goals apiece. Mariano Aguerre led White Birch with five goals, all in the second half. Lucas Criado and Del Walton scored three goals each while patron Peter Brant did not score.

Lechuza trailed 8-6 after Javier Novillo Astrada converted a 30-yard penalty shot in the fifth chukker but then dominated the rest of the game, scoring once in the fifth and four consecutive goals in the final chukker. Astrada led Las Monjitas with five goals while his brother, Nacho, and Gigi Aguero, scored one goal each. Patron Camilo Bautista did not score.

Thirteen teams entered the tournament, which is a prelude to the Stanford Financial Group – 100th U.S. Open Polo Championship, the most prestigious polo tournament in North America. The C.V. Whitney Cup final is slated 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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