Santa Barbara, Calif. – Aug. 13, 2019 – Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria, California, together with the United States Polo Association (USPA), the national governing body for the sport of polo, are pleased to announce the 2019 Silver Air Pacific Coast Open (PCO) which will take place August 15 – September 1. Located just five miles south of Santa Barbara and 60 miles north of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club overlooks the Pacific Ocean providing an attractive backdrop to an active polo scene.
Beginning August 15, tournament games will take place on Thursdays and Sundays. The semifinals will take place Thursday, August 29, at 4:00pm ET and 7:00pm ET culminating in the championship final on Sunday, September 1, at 6:00pm ET. The club will host Happy Hour after each public match with drink specials, trivia and delicious Happy Hour appetizers available for purchase in the grandstand. For the championship final, the club will revive the tailgating tradition, inviting guests to come early, set up a tailgate and picnic. For fans who are unable to attend the games in person, the USPA Polo Network will livestream all matches on uspolo.org, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Standing at a striking height of five feet, the glorious silver-and-gold trophy for the Pacific Coast Open is a dazzling sight. Crowned with an eagle supporting a globe and adorned with semiprecious stones, the trophy is mounted on a redwood base with side panels depicting lively polo scenes. The cup was commissioned in 1908 by friends and members of the Coronado Country Club in California. First competed for the following year, it was initially called the All American Polo Trophy.
Over the last 109 years, the trophy has resided at many clubs. Throughout the late 1920s until the early 1940s the tournament was hosted by numerous California clubs, often landing at each club for no more than a few years before switching to another. After World War II, the PCO moved to the posh and glamorous Beverly Hills Polo Club until 1952 when it took permanent residency at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club where it remains today.
Last year Klentner Ranch redeemed their 2017 double overtime loss. Despite being defeated by Lucchese once in bracket play and losing team owner Justin Klentner to a hand injury, Klentner Ranch was determined to make their second chance count, ultimately earning their first Pacific Coast Open title 8-6.
“I’m excited for the seven great teams set to compete in the 2019 Silver Air Pacific Coast Open which culminates another successful high-goal polo season at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club,” said USPA CEO Robert Puetz. “We are anticipating thrilling games with fierce competition throughout the tournament. The club continues to do an outstanding job with sponsors and spectators which supports our goal of growing awareness for the sport of polo, particularly on the West Coast.”
Seven teams will take to the field to compete for the largest title on the Pacific Coast, an increase from five teams in 2018. Defending champions Klentner Ranch will seek to reclaim the title joined by two new members this year, Geronimo Obregon and Marcos Alberdi. Winning the title in 2016 and 2017, Farmers & Merchants Bank are returning for another chance at the trophy, along with four-time winners and 2018 finalists Lucchese, and Sol De Agosto. The remaining teams competing this year include Bensoleimani.com, Santa Clara and 2019 Belmond El Encanto Robert Skene Trophy champions FMB Too!
Santa Clara’s roster represents three generations of the Escobar family with the youngest member Lucas Escobar playing against them on Farmers & Merchants Bank. Sibling rivalry will also be at the forefront of the competition with brothers Facundo, Geronimo and Mariano Obregon, each playing on a different team, the latter the 2018 U.S. Open Polo Championship® winner.
Additionally, two of the competing teams feature Team USPA members, including Klentner Ranch’s Geronimo Obregon and Jesse Bray, and Bensoleimani.com’s Tomas Alberdi. Team USPA is a USPA 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.
Full team rosters, schedule and more information on the tournament is available on www.uspolo.org. Tickets are now available for the Silver Air Pacific Coast Open and can be purchased at www.sbpolo.com.
2019 Silver Air Pacific Coast Open Schedule
Thursday, August 15
2:00pm ET FIELD 3 FMB vs. Klentner Ranch
5:00pm ET FIELD 1 Sol de Agosto vs. FMB Too!
7:00pm ET FIELD 2 Lucchese vs. Santa Clara
Sunday, August 18
1:00pm ET FIELD 3 Lucchese vs. FMB Too!
3:00pm ET FIELD 1 FMB vs. BenSoleimani.com
6:00pm ET FIELD 2 Sol de Agosto vs. Klentner Ranch
Thursday, August 22
2:00pm ET FIELD 3 Sol de Agosto vs. BenSoleimani.com
5:00pm ET FIELD 1 Lucchese vs. Klentner Ranch
7:00pm ET FIELD 2 FMB vs. Santa Clara
Sunday, August 25
1:00pm ET FIELD 3 FMB vs. FMB Too!
3:00pm ET FIELD 1 Sol de Agosto vs. Santa Clara
6:00pm ET FIELD 2 Lucchese vs. BenSoleimani.com
Thursday, August 29
4:00pm ET FIELD 3 Semifinal #2 ranked team vs. TBA
7:00pm ET FIELD 2 Semifinal #1 ranked team vs. TBA