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Inside Polo 29

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Photography RatnerImages 2013

Adolfo Rides Off

By Ron Allen

The six-time winner of the U.S. Open rode off the field before the game ended leaving spectators miffed as to why one of the worlds best players gave up during the final minute of play of the Open finals.

The back-story is that Adolfo Cambiaso had been confronting umpires all season long about questionable calls. He was ejected from a game last February. Beyond the standard two mounted umpires and a referee the club used two additional officials at the sixty-yard line to assist with disputed calls.

During the championship game Adolfo scored four goals and was a major factor in keeping his Valiente squad slightly ahead of Zacara during most of the game. However, in the final chukker Valiente was out scored five to nothing, which turned out to be the demise of the Cambiaso team.

With 1:02 left on the clock Zacara was winning by two goals. A foul was called in favor of Valiente and the ball was placed at mid-field. This became a strong point of contention for Adolfo since he appealed for a penalty four, 60-yard placement. He unsuccessfully pleaded his case with the umpires, arguing that the angle of play at the time of the foul was more towards the goal line. Then out of frustration Adolfo hit the ball before officials called play and he was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. The argument continued briefly before Cambiaso abruptly rode off the field.

One of the highest scoring, most competitive, games in the recent history of the U.S. Open finished in a cloud of controversy leaving many unanswered questions about the future.