The Colorado Open Polo Championship, presented by J-5 Equestrian, returns to Denver after a successful inaugural tournament in 2017. The two-week competition takes place August 11-25 at Valiente Polo Farm in Littleton. Returning is the world’s number 1 player, 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso, along with Diego Cavanagh (9), Guille Terrera (8) and other top pros from Argentina and the United States.
Stepping it up from last year, the Colorado Open will for the first time offer prize money with a unique reward system for teams, players and horses. Of the $120,000 total, $40,000 will be donated to the Equine Partnership Program, a local nonprofit organization that uses horses in psychotherapy sessions to help underprivileged children and adults.
“We want to support a worthy cause and reward teams for supporting polo,” said tournament organizer Rob Jornayvaz. “We want to make sure every game is competitive and that the MVPs and BPPs are recognized for every single game.”
Rather than a winner-take-all payout, the prize money will be distributed over the course of the tournament. After each game the winning team will receive $6,000, with the Most Valuable Player and Best Playing Pony each getting $1,000. The prize money goes up for the final, with $22,000 to the winning team and the MVP and BPP each receiving $3,000.
“We will be increasing the prize money year after year,” said Jornayvaz. “We want to make the Colorado Open one of the most coveted high-goal tournaments in the world.”
A unique method of choosing MVP and BPP was designed to promote fairness. The name of a player from each of the two teams that aren’t playing will be drawn from a hat. Each player will rank their top three choices for BPP and MVP, and the one with most votes wins. For the final there will be three judges using the same ranking system.
Defending champion Valiente, Hawaii Polo Life and Colorado return this year with some exciting changes in the lineups. Twelve-year-old Poroto Cambiaso joins his father as a member of Valiente. Young pros Tommy Collingwood and Nano Gracida will play for Hawaii Polo Life this year with patron Chris Dawson and Diego Cavanagh. David Paradice is bringing his Ellerston team, a new entry in the Colorado Open. The fourth team is Colorado, a finalist in 2017.
The Colorado Open final will be held August 25 at the Denver Polo Club in Sedalia in conjunction with PoloFest Denver 2018, an all-day music festival with top artists from all over the world. Tickets and more information: polofest.com
Rosters: Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz 2, Santi Torres 6, Poroto Cambiaso 2, Adolfo Cambiaso 10), Hawaii Polo Life (Chris Dawson 2, Nano Gracida 4, Tommy Collingwood 5, Diego Cavanagh 9), Ellerston (David Paradice 1, Agustín Nero 6, Agusto Gómez Romero 5, Guillermo Terrera 8) and Colorado (Rob Jornayvaz 1, Juan Martín Obregon 5, Pablo Spinacci 6, Gallego Ferrario 7).
Every game will be filmed and may be viewed in its entirety after the match on polochannel.com.
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