The U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship® serves as one of the highest-handicapped arena polo competitions currently played in the United States with a rich history dating back to 1926. Over the past 35 years, the tournament has been played alternately on the East Coast and West Coast and most recently at Country Farms Polo Club (Medford, New York) for the past six years.
This year, two teams met on Saturday, September 29, to battle for U.S. Open arena glory. Aliano Realty comprised of Nick Aliano, Esteban Scott and Pedro Gutierrez faced Hart Agency consisting of Agustin Bottaro, Fausto Trino and Juan Redlich in four chukkers of close competition.
Bottaro shined in the first chukker of play scoring a two-pointer and two field goals to Aliano Realty’s three. Aliano Realty retaliated in the second by keeping Hart Agency scoreless. The chukker was highlighted by a hat-trick from Aliano Realty’s Scott, including a two-pointer which enabled his team to nearly double up on their opponents 7-4 at halftime.
Hart Agency returned to the arena with an aggressive second-half strategy that resulted in two goals added to the board. In an effort to stay on top, Aliano Realty capitalized on two penalty opportunities to close out the third 9-6 in favor of Aliano Realty. One chukker left in regulation time and a three-goal difference on the board, each team added two goals to their tally to maintain the gap. After four chukkers of back-and-forth play, Aliano Realty finished out the day in the lead 11-8 to take home the 2018 U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship® title.
Aliano Realty’s Esteban Scott was awarded Most Valuable Player with a total of five of his teams total. Polite, ridden by Pedro Gutierrez in the fourth chukker was presented with the Best Playing Pony blanket.
All photos ©Debra Napp