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Hawaii Polo Life Wins 34th Sieber Memorial; Tatu Gomez Romero Named MVP

WELLINGTON, Fla., March 14, 2024--In one of the most exciting finishes in tournament history, Hawaii Polo Life won the 34th annual Sieber Memorial Tuesday at Valiente Polo Farm.

By Sharon Robb

Photos by Candace Ferreira

Hawaii Polo Life (Mia Cambiaso, 2, Facundo Frayssinet, 2, Agustin Nero, 5, Tatu Gomez Romero, 3) won the second 12-goal tournament of the winter season with a thrilling 11-10 victory over 90210/Bentley Estates (Sarah Siegel-Magness, 0/Joaquin Vilgre, 0, Roberto Zedda, 4, Juan Cruz Marcos, 3, Geronimo Obregon, 5).

Mia Cambiaso, the only returing player from three-time defending champion Dundas, scored the winning goal with 11 seconds left to clinch the win.

Tatu Gomez Romero was named Most Valuable Player after scoring a game-high seven goals. Dolfina Atrapada, played by Zedda in the second and fifth chukkers and owned by La Dolfina/Valiente, was Best Playing Pony.

"It was a very good, close game," said John Sieber, Rob's brother, who makes the annual trek to watch the tournament and present awards. "It was fun watching Mia score. A fun fact for the tournament is one of the greatest players ever in polo is not on that trophy. His son is on there once and now his daughter is on there twice. It was a woman's day. Hopefully, that's a metaphor for where women's polo is going."

As every year passes, Sieber is appreciative of the tournament's staying power and its importance at Grand Champions.

"It's always good to be back, time flies," Sieber said. "The Ganzis have been very good about supporting it every year. The teams support it and that's the most important thing. Obviously, it's a lot of work. There is so much polo down here and there are so many choices so for those teams that entered, it means a lot to us. And, I wouldn't have missed it for the world."

The game between the two evenly-balanced teams was close for most of the six chukkers with eight lead changes. 90210/Bentley Estates opened with a 2-0 lead. Hawaii Polo Life bounced back in the second chukker with back-to-back 60-yard penalty conversions from Romero for a 3-2 advantage going into the third chukker.

90210/Bentley Estates lost Siegel-Magness to injury and was subbed for by Joaquin Vilgre.  The lead changed three times before Cambiaso's goal gave Hawaii Polo Life a 5-4 halftime lead.

Hawaii Polo Life took advantage of 90210/Bentley Estates penalties to build a three-goal cushion (7-4) midway through the fourth chukker. 90210/Bentley Estates closed the gap to one goal with Cruz' near side neck shot. Romero scored two more goals to regain a three-goal lead (10-7) late in the fifth chukker.

Goals by Obregon, Zedda and Vilgre enabled 90210/Bentley Estates to tie the game, 10-10 with 4:33 left. 90210/Bentley Estates had two scoring opportunities in the final two minutes before Frayssinet took out a defender and opened up space to enable Cambiaso to weave her way for the score.

It addition to Romero's scoring barrage and Cambiaso's game-winner, Frayssinet had two goals. For 90210/Bentley Estates, Obregon had a team-high five goals, Marcos had three and Siegel-Magness, Zedda and Vilgre each had one goal.

90210/Bentley Estates led in shots on goal, 19-15 and throw-ins, 13-8. Hawaii Polo Life led in knock-ins, 9-4. The teams each had 12 fouls.

The tournament is named in honor of polo player Robert J. Sieber, Jr., who died in a polo-related accident August 22, 1984 at Oak Brook, Ill. He was 29. His legacy continues with the annual tournament. The tournament was first created by the Oxley family and first played at the now-defunct Royal Palm Polo Sports Club in Boca Raton and later resurrected by Marc and Melissa Ganzi at Grand Champions. The last game held at Royal Palm before it closed was the Sieber Memorial final.

Last season Dundas won the title for the third  year in a row. Dundas (Miki Novillo Astrada, 1, Mia Cambiaso 2, Roberto Zedda, 3, Geronimo Obregon, 5) broke open a close game in the second half to defeat Senvest Excalibor (Richard Mashaal, 0, Evan White Jr., 1, Santiago Llavalol, 5, Pedro Falabella, 6), 13-6. Mia Cambiaso was MVP.



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