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The event was helmed by Geraldine Strunsky, founder and president of the Temecula Valley Polo Club.
“This has been a phenomenal effort,” said Strunsky, noting that the Humanity of Justice Foundation team would compete against the Temecula Valley Polo Club team in Friday’s game.
“Terry Gilmore of Paradise Chevrolet is throwing out the first match ball and we’re grateful to have him here. He’s a tremendous supporter of charities in this area,” Strunsky said.
Visitors enjoyed a grand entrance by Skydive Elsinore, which landed center field in breezy conditions, to the cheering crowd.
Michael Newcomb, Temecula wine country attorney and Cellarz93 part-owner, was on hand with the Cellarz93 bar, serving De Portola Wine Trail wines and a Temecula Valley Polo Club cocktail.
“I love the mutually beneficial relationship between the wineries and the polo fields. A percentage of all drink sales at the events benefit the club and hosted charity,” Newcomb said.
According to polo club member and Murrieta resident Scott Walker, it is the Temecula Valley Polo Club’s mission to showcase the talent of local and professional players, while aligning the sport of polo with philanthropy.
“Charitable giving is a huge part of polo, but you don’t have to be wealthy to play, or to love watching,” said Walker. “This is an inclusive sport, not to be confused with the exclusive perception it sometimes receives.”
All present were treated to watch the polo match between Team TVPC and Team Humanity of Justice Foundation called by Steve Lewandowski, Voice of the San Diego Polo Club.
Lewandowski educated those in attendance about the history of polo and rules of the game with his rich voice and jovial manner.
The 300-yard long, 160-yard wide field, (a space that can accommodate nine football fields) is swiftly crossed by the ponies, and riders chasing the ball. Following each chukker were the riders in need of a fresh horse.
With the traditional champagne and divot stomp presented by Wilson Creek Winery, the crowd descended to field level to take in the expansive Mount Palomar views.
Galway Downs owner Ken Smith paused to share his vision and explain his thoughts on the day, saying: “When we bought this place, I never imagined we’d be playing polo here. It’s a different dream than Tina and I envisioned. But this is everything I imagined. Fun, positive and somewhere people experience the outdoors, without seeing a power line. It’s just beautiful. We couldn’t be happier.”
To learn more, visit www.temeculavalleypolo.com.