112th US Open Polo Championship Facts and Stats
We are approaching the end of the prestigious US Open Polo Championships, the teams have battled out on the field during a total of 16 matches to now find the two finalists, both undefeated so far, Orchard Hill will play against Dubai today, Sunday 24th at 3 pm. For a simple description of the polo rules etc. go to my blogpost What is polo?
In preparation for the final I have collected some stats and facts about the US Open:
- The International Polo Club in Palm Beach is the host of the prestigious USPA U.S. Open Polo Championship and has been so since 2004.
- The Championship was originally founded in 1904 at Meadowbrook Polo Club in Old Westbury, NY, which is the oldest polo club in the USA.
- It has been hosted in several polo clubs around the country, mostly in the Northeast, but moved to South Florida in 1996 and has stayed there ever since.
- It is one of the three greatest polo tournaments along with the Argentine Open and the British Open, attracting some of the world’s best players and horses to Palm Beach every year.
- Rankings in polo are done according to the World Polo Tour governing body. The US Open is in the Grand Slam Category of tournaments and the winners of the US Open will be awarded 250 points.
- The US Open is the last championship of the US Triple Crown, which also includes the C.V. Whitney Cup and the USPA Gold Cup.
- All matches have been live streamed on ChukkerTV with commentators Toby Wayman and Dale Schwetz guiding us through the plays. Replays of all the matches can be found there as well. The final will also be streamed on the site, so don’t miss out!
About the International Polo Club Palm Beach:
- The IPC in Palm Beach was founded in 2002 by John B. Goodman and had their inaugural season in 2004, which incidentally was also the year the US Open was held there for the first time and Goodman’s team Isla Caroll took the trophy home that year.
- The stadium holds approximately 1,600 spectators making it the largest structure for viewing polo along with 500 seats in the pavilion for Sunday Brunch and around 500 in the tailgate spots it is the largest gathering of polo fans in the US. During the winter season IPC hosts over 200,000 spectators, 27% of the Sunday Polo spectators are travelers, joining in from over 30 countries.
- The IPC has 9 polo fields, the main one being the Engel and Völkers field 1.
- Every Sunday during the winter polo season IPC hosts the featured match on field 1 and the lavish Veuve Clicquot Champagne Brunch in the pavilion adjacent to the field. With over 80 dishes and a great atmosphere it is no mystery why the top of the pop of Palm Beach residents and polo enthusiasts from around the world flock to the IPC every Sunday from the beginning of January to the middle of April.
About the players:
Team Dubai, made up of Rashid Al Bwardy, Alejo Taranco, Facundo Sola and Adolfo Cambiaso, are kind of the new team on the block. Al Bwardy, from the UAE has played many seasons of polo overseas, both in the UK and in the UAE, this is his first season in Palm Beach an in a great collaboration with Bob Jornayvaz the patron of Valiente, his team has defeated all of their opponents to now play the final, they also took home the uSPA Gold Cup trophy last month.
Orchard Hill (Steve Van Andel, Facundo Pieres, Julian de Lussareta and Juan Martin Nero) are a more seasoned team, although a dislocated shoulder took Polito Pieres out of the game and he was replaced by Juan Martin Nero, making it a new team formation. Even with this sudden change, Orchard Hill quickly found their groove and have not lost a game. At the semifinals they had us all holding our breath as they went in to OverTime against White Birch, but Facundo Pieres cam through and converted a penalty in to a win for the team bringing them to field 1 this afternoon.
- Memo Gracida holds the record of most wins of the US Open with a total of 16 wins, the Gracida family’s combined wins records an astounding 36 US Open wins.
- The youngest player to ever win the US Open was Nicolas Roldan at age 15.
- 13 of the top 20 polo players ranked on World Polo Tour are in the US Open, one of them being the patron of the Dubai team Rashid Al Bwardy.
- This year 8 teams of 26-goals are competing for the winning title.
- The 111th US Open winners were Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz, Alejo Taranco, Guillermo Terrera and Adolfo Cambiaso) the year before that Alegría (Julian Mannix, Clemente Zavaleta, Mariano Aguerre, Hilario Ulloa) took home the most coveted trophy in the USA.
I will be attending the US Open Polo Championship Final today, spot me around the field in my long pink dress and say hi! Make sure to get the next blogpost in your e-mail box by putting your email address in the little box up to the right or commenting below.