February 14th, 2020
Debii $$ Conant Ladies Tournament
Empire Polo Club
Empire Polo Club’s Friday Night Polo Under the Lights” was a Valentine’s Day celebration, on a gorgeous evening, with fabulous polo entertainment. Polo Pro, Mike Conant, founded the Debii Dollar Memorial Tournament competition for his late wife, Debii Dollar Conant (1950-1989). Debii was a tough competitor credited with advancing and promoting polo for women. Women were allowed to compete in USPA polo in 1972.
Finalists Parker Polo (Grace Parker 1, Carly Persano 3, Audrey Persano 4, Madelyn Cobb 4), and Palomar Pools (Elise Pardue 2, Cybel Jordan 3, Karen Reese 5, Bonnie Magill 2) met at the line-up under the lights. The scoring started with a converted penalty 2 shot by Karen Reese. Grace Parker answer with a scoring run and the first chukker ended in a tie, 1 to 1. Parker Pool outscored the Palomar Pool team in the second chukker, and the ladies went to half time with Parker Pool leading 4 to 2. Bonnie Magill got loose in the third chukker and scored for Palomar Pools. Parker Polo added one to the score board making it a 5 to 3 game. The fourth and final chukker continued to be a close, hard-fought match with both teams scoring once. The Parker Pool team was triumphant, with a final score of 6 to 4.
Susan Guggenheim was chosen as the Inaugural recipient of the Women’s Longevity Award. Susan became a USPA member in 1985, and is an active sponsor and player. Her team, Ponytail Polo, has competed in the Debii Dollar Polo Tournament for over 10 years. This new, perpetual award was given by Tania Paneno and Lynni Hutton in Memory and in honor of our dear friend, Kit Neacy, who passed away on February 2, 2020. She will be remembered for her passion for polo and her horses, her competitive nature, and her comradery with polo teammates. Kit began playing polo in the early 1980s, joined the USPA in 1983, and remained a player until last April.
Bonnie Magill was honored as the recipient of the Dorrie Forstmann Sportsmanship Award. Bonnie is an inspiration to everyone around her. After the tragic loss of her daughter, Margery, last August, she has not only rallied, but has thrown herself into her passion for polo. Helping the kid’s polo program here in the desert, teaching riding, announcing, timing, scoring and umpiring polo games are ways that Bonnie exhibits her enthusiasm and love of polo, horses and people. Bonnie is a competitive force to be reckoned with on the field, as a passionate player that continues to play actively in Empire’s 1-Goal league this year. Dorrie Forstmann (1947-2015), took up polo in 1985, and was a top female player and patron in the country. She played passionately with her team, Risky Business, until her catastrophic accident in 2002, which left unable to walk. Her strength and willpower were an inspiration to all.