On Sunday September 2, Klentner Ranch defeated Lucchese 8-6 in the final match of the Silver Air Pacific Coast Open (PCO) held at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club (SBPRC). About 1,800 fans turned out for the premier polo tournament on the West Coast. After losing in the finals last year to Farmers & Merchants Bank, Klentner Ranch was especially thrilled to be taking home the trophy this year. Serious polo fans were enthralled by the exceptional playing by both teams. Klentner Ranch lost its patron, Justin Klentner, to a hand injury in Thursday’s match, so his son Jake Klentner filled in, playing with Jesse Bray, Mariano Obregon, and Remy Muller. Justin remarked that he was happy that it was Jake, not him, who won. “We are looking for the future of American Polo, and here it is!”
Guests attending more for the social scene enjoyed the idyllic setting and perfect weather. Floral dresses, fashionable hats, and blazers prevailed. Tournament sponsor Silver Air entertained its clients and friends in its hospitality tent and patio, complete with white leather sofas and bounteous gourmet food and beverage offerings. Stadium sponsor Engel and Völkers did the same in their tent. Others watched from their boxes and stadium seats, while others opted for tailgating on the other side of the field.
Halftime included the traditional divot stomping while sipping complimentary sparkling wine. After the match, Silver Air’s Boeing 737 Business Jet (BBJ) did a spectacular low flyover. According to the club, this was the largest ever private jet flyover at a sporting event. Silver Air, with corporate offices in Santa Barbara, is a private aircraft management company and direct charter operator with a fleet of luxury aircraft. The BBJ can fly 16 passengers 6,000 miles nonstop and has a master suite, office, lounge area, full bathrooms and galley, and global WiFi.
After the main trophy presentation, Ambassador Glen Holden, who played in the PCO for 30 years, presented the tournament’s Most Valuable Player Award to Remy Muller. Robert Skene’s son, Curtis Skene, presented the Robert Skene Memorial Award for the Season’s Most Valuable Player to Jesse Bray, and Bray’s pony Venice received the Best Playing Pony Award. Jewelry designer Tara Gray donated and presented each of the Klentner Ranch team members with a white gold ring with 1.09 carats of small diamonds, representing the 109-year history of the PCO. In the spirit of celebration and generosity, Justin Klentner bought drinks for the whole crowd and the fun after-party began. Melissa Barrison entertained on her electric violin and then DJ Fab spun the tunes.
The Pacific Coast Open dates back to 1909 and has been held at the SBPRC since 1952. The stunning silver and gold trophy, on display on the clubhouse terrace, stands five feet high. Crowned with an eagle supporting a globe and adorned with semiprecious stones, the trophy is mounted on a redwood base with side panels depicting lively polo scenes.
The PCO marks the end of High Goal Season; 8-Goal Season runs through mid-October. In addition to the main Sunday matches, there are preliminary Happy Hour Matches on Fridays at 4 pm. The atmosphere is more casual and relaxed than Sundays and admission is free.
On September 8, the club is hosting the Santa Barbara Polo & Wine Festival, which combines polo, wine, and music by ZZ Ward, Booker T. Jones, The California Honeydrops, and Quinn Deveaux. The Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, in addition to polo, has eight tennis courts, a swimming pool, and fitness facilities and offers various levels of membership.
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