Kris Kampsen named MVP; Tommy Biddle’s mare Pandora named Best Playing Pony
The United States Polo Association (USPA) today announced that Cedar Croft won the 2015 U.S. Arena Open on July 26, defeating Equuleus 13-10 in the finals at the Country Farms Polo Club in Medford, Long Island, New York. The championship, with roots back to 1926, represents the highest level of arena polo competition in the United States. The 2015 tournament victory marks Cedar Croft’s third consecutive win — a feat that has never been done before in the U.S. Arena Open.
Equuleus started the game with an early goal from Tommy Biddle. Cedar Croft’s Kris Kampsen countered on a penalty, and then followed by scoring two more goals in quick succession to end the first chukker 3-1. Biddle tried to even the score in the second chukker with two more goals, but Kampsen scored a goal, ending the chukker 4-3.
In the third chukker, Equuleus took an early lead with the team scoring three goals — two of which were on penalties. Yet, Cedar Croft retaliated with four goals — two of which were also on penalties. The third chukker ended 8-6. In the fourth and final chucker, Cedar Croft and Equuleus exchanged goals, and, at one point were tied 9-9, with Biddle scoring back-to-back goals. Cedar Croft, however, was victorious, scoring a total of five goals in the fourth to end the match 13-10.
Cedar Croft’s Kampsen was named MVP, having scored 11 of the 13 goals. Biddle’s 9-year-old mare Pandora won Best Playing Pony.
This year’s match featured several of the highest handicap arena polo players in the world: Tommy Biddle, Jonny Good, Felipe Viana and Kris Kampsen. Viana, a USPA Interscholastic Champion, was also a core member of the Team USPA squad that nearly won the FIP World Polo Championship this year.
The championship match rosters were:
Cedar Croft: Robert Ceperano (3), Felipe Viana (7) and Kris Kampsen (7)
Equuleus: Joe Dimenna (0), Tommy Biddle (10) and Jonny Good (8)