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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 10:00 am | Fair 55º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Klentner Ranch, Farmers & Merchants Bank to Play for Pacific Coast Open Polo Title

Klentner Ranch’s Jesse Bray, left, and Restoration Hardware’s Matt Coppola  hook mallets during a semifinal match in the Gulfstream Pacific Coast Open on Thursday, Click to view larger
Klentner Ranch’s Jesse Bray, left, and Restoration Hardware’s Matt Coppola hook mallets during a semifinal match in the Gulfstream Pacific Coast Open on Thursday, (U.S. Polo Association photo)

Klentner Ranch and Farmers & Merchants Bank will play for the championship of the Gulfstream Pacific Coast Open after posting semifinal wins on Thursday at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club.

Klentner Ranch edged defending champion Restoration Hardware, 12-8, while Farmers & Merchants Bank knocked off Lucchese 13-8.

The championship is Sunday at 3 p.m.

Klentner Ranch captured the first 16-goal tournament title of the Santa Barbara season in the Karma Automotive Robert Skene Trophy, while most recently FMB took home the Engel & Volkers America Cup.

Facundo Obregon, riding Argentine Thoroughbred mare Capa, scored back-to-back field goals off two beautifully angled neckshots for Klentner Ranch. Matt Coppola  answered with the first goal for Restoration Hardware to end the first chukker, 2-1. Restoration Hardware began to hit their stride in the third and made it 7-6 at halftime.

Klentner Ranch came out full tilt in the second half, Facundo Obregon once again led the charge, immediately capitalizing on a broken knock-in to find the goal. Jason Crowder added a Penalty 2 conversion for a two-goal lead.  But Klentner Ranch shut out Restoration Hardware in the fifth chukker to widen their lead 10-7.

Geronimo Obregon added another goal to the board followed a Penalty 2 conversion from Jesse Bray, his fourth of the day,  to make it 12-7.  Restoration Hardware’s Santi von Wernich was able to score one concluding goal.

Lucchese (2-1) faced undefeated Farmers & Merchants Bank in the second semifinal of the day.

FMB took a 2-1 lead in the first chukker and then Lucas Criado made a terrifice save in the goal mouth, spoiling a gorgeous 80-yard line drive from Lucchese’s Jeff Hall. Lucchese worked relentlessly towards their goal but their shots missed the mark. FMB, meanwhile, continued to pound in the points to end the first half ahead 7-3. 

Lucchese capitalized on penalty conversions to make the score 11-6. At the same time, 17-year-old Nico Escobar took center stage for FMB. Escobar scored two excellent field goals, the second off a breakaway on his lightning fast bay Appendix Quarter Horse mare, Blur.

Hall unleashed his customary prowess, scoring two field goals for Lucchese in the final chukker. But the comeback was short-lived, when two costly undefended penalties provided an equalizing opportunity for Farmers & Merchants Bank who walked away with the win 13-8.

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