By FRANCES SHARPE | Editor-in-Chief
Close to 100 residents and their friends sipped on Mimosas as they watched returning champions Amalfi Estates win the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce’s 23rd Annual Polo Tournament on Sunday, Oct. 4, narrowly beating out the Perennial Financial Services team 11-10 in sudden death.
Sarah Knauer, an assistant at Amalfi Estates, beamed as her company’s team took the lead in the final chukker.
Winning two years in a row is great, Knauer told the Palisadian-Post at the event.
“We love being part of the community and the Chamber. This is my first polo match, and I have to say it’s a great way to spend a Sunday,” Knauer said.
Anthony Marguleas, owner of Amalfi Estates, missed the tournament for the first time in more than a decade because he was in Boulder, Colorado for parents day at his son’s college. He was elated to learn about the back-to-back win.
“We appreciate to the Chamber of Commerce for all the hard work they do every year to put on this event and so many others to help promote the great businesses of the Palisades,” Marguleas told the Post via email. “We are so fortunate to be involved with one of the best Chambers of Commerce on the Westside led by the dynamic president Adam Glazer and its experienced Executive Director Arnie Wishnick. We have been proud to have sponsored this event for the past 19 years and know it was a nail-biting match going into overtime. We have already started our regimented training schedule to prepare for defense of our title for next year.”
John Petrick of second-place Perennial Financial Services enjoyed watching as the thoroughbred horses galloped across the field at Will Rogers State Historic Park.
Petrick said he loves supporting the Chamber’s annual polo tournament.
“We’ve been doing this for eight years,” said Petrick, a longtime Chamber supporter.
“My father [Bud Petrick] and I were the first father-son presidents of the Palisades Chamber,” Petrick added.
While the professionals and amateurs battled it out on the field, youngsters lined up for pony rides and attendees lined up for tasty snacks from food trucks and also bid on items in a silent auction.
During a break in the intense competition, Miss Palisades Danika Masi sang a pitch perfect rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
Most attendees admitted they weren’t very familiar with polo or its rules. One Palisades family, however, claims close ties to the game.
Highlands residents Diane and Hugh Hansen came out to watch their nephew Bill Davis compete in the tournament. “We drive by Will Rogers all the time, and this is a great excuse to visit,” Diane said.
Members and coaches of the USC Polo Club (uscpoloclub.org) also stopped by to see the action and were selling hats and t-shirts to fundraise for their sport.
Team leader Shelby Saemann said watching the tournament was like “getting to see into the future of what we could do if we work hard enough.”
Palisades Honorary Mayor Jake Steinfeld seemed mesmerized by the action.
“What a magnificent sport!” he exclaimed. “Will Rogers is one of the best-kept secrets of Pacific Palisades. What a great place to come and enjoy polo—the ‘sport of kings.’”
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