Written By:: Kylie Arrell
On October 24, 2015 the Maui Polo Club hosted the 3rd annual Ride to Survive charity match put on by Coral and Herman Decoite. Located along the slopes of Mount Haleakala in the rustic and charming town of Makawao, the beautiful and historic Kaonoulu Ranch once again shared its field with some of the biggest surfing and extreme sport athletes in the world.
“It’s always nice when the surfers want to return to the game,” said event founder, Coral Decoite. “Pete Cabrinha has played all three years and we’ve seen tremendous improvement in his riding skills.”
Hawaii Polo Life team polo player Nakoa Decoit said, “For a lot of the surfers the largest hurdle to overcome with polo is their fear of the horses but once they get the hang of it, they catch on in no time.” He pointed out that opposing team member and fellow big wave rider, Marlon Lewis latched on to the sport of polo very quickly and has continued to support this event annually.
The Ride to Survive is a unique polo match, bringing together surfing and the sport of polo by placing elite ocean athletes on the field, to benefit Hawaii Children’s Cancer Foundation. The two chukker exhibition match paired up team Hawaii Polo Life featuring surfers Pete Cabrinha (#1), Francisco Porcella (#2), and Nakoa Decoite (#3) against team Jimmy Lewis with surfers Niccolo Porcella (#1), TK Henshaw (#2) and Marlon Lewis (#3).
Both teams played very well, in the end Team Jimmy Lewis won a 2-0 victory over Hawaii Polo Life. But in a match like this everyone walks away as a winner. As explained by Lehua Kai, “When you are involved in an event like this, supporting a wonderful cause, such as Hawaii Children’s Cancer Foundation, you walk away with more than the typical polo experience.”
Hawaii Polo Life participated in this event because it is through events like this that the sport of polo will continue here in Hawaii. Most of these elite ocean athletes, catch the “polo bug” after their first match and become enamored with the athleticism and power of the horse and from now on, are enthused about polo. By continuing to build awareness and providing the opportunity for the public to experience polo it is ensured the polo will be around for generations to come.
For those of you who missed the 2015 Ride to Survive, make sure ‘like’ the Ride to Survive Facebook page to stay tuned for the 2016 event, as this is a polo event that you will not want to miss.