The Florida 2018 high-goal season ended a few weeks ago, and everyone knows what that means: new USPA player handicaps.
Twenty-two-year-old Tommy Beresford got monstered after a stunning 2018 winter season with Valiente in the 26-goal series. Currently handicapped at 4 goals, Beresford goes to 5 on June 1 and to 6 on January 1, 2019. Nico Pieres was raised to 9; Juan Britos 8; Julian de Lusarreta 8; Sterling Giannico 4; Felipe Viana and Jesse Bray 6. Adolfo Cambiaso’s children, Poroto and Mia, both go from 1 to 2.
PoloChannel asked four high-goal players for their thoughts on handicap changes. Here is what they shared in interviews with Darlene Ricker.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
SAPO CASET (10 GOALS)
I don’t give it much importance. The first time I went to 10 goals, yes, it was great. Then I went to 9 and then back to 10, and I said, “Yes, it’s still great, but now I have another goal.”
"The handicap committee is a bunch of people who sit down in a room and vote. You [as a player] know if you’re doing things right or wrong, if it works or it doesn’t. To me for sure it’s a great bonus for the player and the organization to reach 10 goals and to be at the top of the sport, but on the other hand I know I worked as hard as the last year and the year before to win the Open.
Maybe one year you play better or you don’t play that well. You need to keep working and improving—for yourself and not for everyone else, not for a group of people who are going to tell you, ‘No, today you’re playing 10, or 9 or 8 . . .’ For me it’s just not that important. I have other goals that no one is going to take away. If you win the Open, nothing can change that.”
TOMMY BERESFORD (RAISED TO 6 GOALS)
I think going up in handicap is always a very nice thing because it kind of makes you realize that you’re improving and going to a different level and that people realize you’re playing well. Staying on your handicap is also great sometimes, but it depends on each player. I’ve been going up in handicap quite often in the past five or six years, but last year I didn’t. Staying at 4 in England gave me the opportunity to play with Adolfo [Cambiaso] and win the Queen’s Cup. Going to 6 in America is an honor, but we’ll have to see if it affects my being able to get opportunities. There are some amazing 6-goal Argentine players out there.
MATT COPPOLA (4 GOALS)
Obviously you want to go up. It’s what everybody works for—to get to the highest level possible. At the same time it’s nice to be at a place where you know you’re playing above your handicap, and you can hopefully get a good job on that handicap. Going down isn’t the worst thing. Sometimes you can get more jobs when you’re little bit lower. The point is that you always want to be playing one or two levels above your handicap and be at a handicap where you can get a good job. It’s hard to get a job these days.
NIC ROLDAN (8 GOALS)
I think this day and age the most important thing is playing above your handicap and having a good string. But it depends on each player. I don’t see any point in going up unless you’re very well organized. To deserve to go up you should have very good horses and a secure job with a good team.
Complete list of USPA handicap changes: