The last time an American team defeated the English in the Westchester Cup on American soil, the match was played on the fields of the Meadowbrook Polo Club in Medford, New York in 1939. This year the American player responsible for the USA’s victory was Geronimo Obregon*, scoring the golden goal in the overtime chukker. He is the son of Mariano and Margarita Obregon, an Argentine couple who settled in the United States and raised their children to be polo players. Geronimo has three brothers, Mariano Jr., Facundo and Juan Martin. The youngest of the brothers, Geronimo made history by scoring the winning goal for the USA, bringing the coveted trophy home after 80 years. “I cannot believe it! It was a great match and I’m lucky to have scored the winning goal,” Obregon said, who was also chosen as the Most Valuable Player.
The 23-year-old number one is very proud of his accomplishment and the opportunity to play in the historic game. “It was fortunate, really. My brother-in-law Carlucho Arellano invited me to join the team because he knows I can play with difficult horses and I always push forward. I give it my all in every game and this time I scored that winning goal because of it!”
The victory against England has already been recorded in the history books, but it is always good to hear the team talk about the game firsthand. “We had a good start and played very orderly between the second and fifth chukkers, defending the man and sticking to the plan,” Obregon commented. “We got a little disorganized in the sixth chukker and that worked against us because England went full in, and they are great players. Fortunately, we were able to pull it off in overtime.”
How did you prepare?
“Our coach Julio Arellano was essential. He knows a lot and helped us with our tactics. We could not have done it without him. We played practices at Villa del Lago and International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) in Wellington, Florida. When we went on the U.S. Polo Assn. Field we had a good idea of what positions to take, and I think it showed.”
Did you play your own horses?
“No, I did not. I played horses from the pro pool and they were very good.”
How did you celebrate?
“It was very calm, we had a couple beers at IPC’s clubhouse and a few of us jumped in the pool. The best part was seeing everyone’s happy faces.”
Who do you dedicate this win to?
“My parents, brothers, and friends, of course. I also want to thank USPA CEO Bob Puetz, Joe Meyer, and the employees at the United States Polo Association, who put their trust in me, as well as Chiqui Reinoso and everyone who helps from the sidelines.”
*Geronimo Obregon is a member of Team USPA. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.