The 26-goal season was officially ushered in Friday evening as the seven teams entered in the 2016 C.V. Whitney Cup drew for bracket positions at the 7th Chukker at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC). Suspense built as team representatives drew numbers, each hoping for the coveted No. 1 slot, which came with a bonus: a bye to the semifinals.
A smiling Nico Pieres drew No. 1 for Lucchese. Lucchese will play the winner of the Orchard Hill versus Valiente I game in the semifinals. (Valiente has two teams entered in the tournament.) Valiente II will play White Birch, and Coca-Cola will play Audi in bracket play, with each winner advancing to the semifinals on March 2. The tournament opens Feb. 26 and concludes with the final March 6.
Speakers at the draw were United States Polo Association (USPA) executives Joseph Meyer, Chairman; Bob Puetz, Executive Director, and Shannon Stilson, Global Licensing Director of Broadcasting and Events.
“We’re on a new ride now, with the C.V. Whitney Cup launching the 26-goal season at IPC,” said Meyer, speaking on behalf of the USPA board and its 5,000-plus members and 290 clubs. “I’m very excited to see all the teams represented here, and I can’t wait for the tournament to start. It promises to bring us some of the most exciting polo in the USA. I hope everyone comes out to see the games or watches the live stream on ChukkerTV.”
The draw was live streamed by ChukkerTV, a partner of the USPA Polo Network. Follow continuous live coverage of the C.V. Whitney Cup on ChukkerTV.com.