Oak Brook Polo Club is excited to welcome the Mexico International Polo Team from the Escuela Polo de Mexico, back to Oak Brook. Mexico Polo will compete against Oak Brook for the prestigious Drake Challenge Cup in a 4-chukker match on Sunday, June 24th at 3:00 p.m. at the Prince of Wales Field (2606 York Road) in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Mexico Polo will be bringing their best including former Chicagoan Miguel Gomez de Parada (2) along with Antonio “Tono” Madrazo (2), Pedro Montoya (6), and David Sttaton (1). Oak Brook will be led by team patron and captain Jim Drury (Hcap0) and includes Horacio Onetto (4), Tomas “Toto” Obregon (4) and Mariano Gutierrez (4).
“A Mexican Polo Team has been coming to Oak Brook since the Gracida’s first generation, adds Miguel Gomez de Parada. “The first time I went was in 1990 to play with Michael Butler. From then on, I’ve been going to Oak Brook to play every year along with Valerio Aguilar and his brother Pancho.”
Mexico introduced polo in 1881, around the time Chicago saw its first match, and it has a proud heritage in the sport. The Mexico Polo team won the bronze medal at the Paris Olympics in 1900, at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, and hosted the World Polo Championship in 1987. The Gracida and Herrera polo families are the most revered in its history. Brothers Memo and Carlos Gracida both achieved the highest professional goal ratings possible, 10, and held them for many years, winning many championships in the U.S. and around the world. Carlos played in England for many seasons, trained Prince William and Harry to play, and was considered the Queen’s favorite player. Memo Gracida won the 1977 U.S. Open Polo Championship at Oak Brook. Antonio Herrera was also the best Mexican player in the era before the Gracida’s, and was a stalwart on the Butler’s Oak Brook team in the 80’s.
Oak Brook Polo Club has a long history of hosting teams from other countries and is honored to have Mexico Polo returning for the Drake Challenge Cup. Named after The Drake-Oak Brook Hotel, this historic trophy has been played for since 1964 by some of the most celebrated polo players in American history. Mexico has a had a long history of visiting and playing in Oak Brook from the 1950s to the late 1980s, including legendary polo player and hall of famer, Memo Gracida.
In addition to the highly-anticipated match, Oak Brook Polo has teamed up with BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center and Special Olympics Illinois to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Special Olympics. An equine demonstration with Special Olympic athletes will take place at 1:00 p.m. In spirit of Mexico Polo, the afternoon will feature Mexican beats from Trio de Colores and Chicago’s popular street taco truck, Toasty Taco.
Oak Brook Polo Club’s “International Polo Series” features additional matches against Jamaica (August 5th) and Great Britain (September 9th). 2018 marks the Club’s 96th season as one of the nation’s oldest polo clubs in operation today and fourth oldest sports property in Chicago.
A variety of ticket options are available at www.oakbrookpoloclub.com. For general information, event scheduling, and parking directions, please call 630.368.5095.