US Open 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, favorites Orchard Hill will play against Valiente on Sunday 19th 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 150 points.
- The US Open is the last championship of the US Triple Crown, which also includes the C.V. Whitney Cup and the USPA Piaget Gold Cup.
- All matches have been live streamed on Chukker.tv with commentator Toby Wayman guiding us through the plays, sometimes with assistance from Juan Bollini. 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:
- 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.
- 16 of the top 20 polo players ranked on World Polo Tour have been playing in this year’s US Open.
- 5 out of the 6 players with a 10-goal handicap in the USPA rankings were on the field during this tournament (Adolfo Cambiaso, Guillermo “Sapo” Caset, Facundo Pieres, Juan Martin Nero, David Stirling) and a few 9-goalers who are 10 in Argentina (Gonzalito Pieres, Polito Pieres, Miguel Novillo Astrada)
- This year 8 teams of 26-goal handicaps have competed for the winning title.
- Orchard Hill and Valiente will have the final battle on Sunday. The two highest ranked polo players on WPT Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres will be on either team trying to prove which of them really is the best player around. These two teams have already faced each other in the preliminary matches and Orchard Hill won in overtime with a golden goal by Facundo Pieres only 22 seconds in to play.
- The teams are so equally matched that so far 7 out of 16 matches have ended in overtime and 12 out of 16 have ended with only a one-goal score difference.
- Orchard Hill won the first part of the US Triple Crown the C.V. Whitney Cup and Audi took the second trophy the Piaget Gold Cup.
- The 2014 US Open winners were Alegría (Julian Mannix 3, Clemente Zavaleta 5, Mariano Aguerre 9, Hilario Ulloa 9) Julian Mannix has gone 1 up in handicap since, so Sterling Giannico took Zavaleta’s spot.
- The 2013 US Open winners: Zacara (Lyndon Lea 1, Magoo Laprida 8, Facundo Pieres 10, Mike Azzaro 7) This year Zacara did not enter, but Facundo Pieres is on the field for Orchard Hill and Magoo Laprida has been playing for Melissa Ganzi’s team Flexjet.
- Facundo Pieres has scored the most goals in this year’s US Open with a staggering 32 goals, closely followed by Julio Arellano with 30 goals, Facundo Sola has scored 26 goals, both Gonza and Nico Pieres have each put 23 balls between the goal posts, Sapo Caset scored 17 goals while replacing Adolfo Cambiaso and Nic Roldan also contributed 17 goals to his team Flexjet.
All the teams and their respective players and handicaps and the winning/losing status so far, from the International Polo Club website.
Alegría Assist Card 26 goals – 1 win, 2 losses
Julian Mannix- 4
Hilario Ulloa- 9
Mariano Aguerre – 9
Sterling Giannico – 4
Audi 25 goals – 2 wins, 2 losses
Marc Ganzi – 1
Gonzalito Pieres – 9
Rodrigo Andrade – 9
Freddie Mannix – 6
Coca-Cola 26 goals – 3 wins, 2 losses
Gillian Johnston – 2
David “Pelon” Stirling – 10
Julio Arellano – 8
Stuart “Sugar” Erskine – 6
FlexJet 25 goals – 1 win, 3 losses
Melissa Ganzi – A /Grant Ganzi – 1
Nic Roldan – 8
Miguel Novillo Astrada – 9
Magoo Laprida – 8
Las Monjitas 26 goals – 1 wins, 2 losses
Camilo Bautista – A
Facundo Sola – 8T
Sebastian Merlos – 9
Eduardo Novillo Astrada – 9
Lechuza Caracas – 26 goals – 2 wins, 2 loss
Victor Vargas – 1
Nico Pieres – 8
Juan Martin Nero – 10
Agustin Garcia Grossi – 7
Orchard Hill – 26 goals – 3 wins, 1 loss
Steve Van Andel – A
Facundo Pieres – 10
Polito Pieres – 9
Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario – 7
Valiente 26 goals – 3 wins, 2 losses
Bob Jornayvaz – 2 /Tom Beresford 2
Alejo Taranco – 6
Guillermo Terrera – 8
Adolfo Cambiaso – 10 / Sapo Caset – 10