Butler International at Oak Brook
The Butler International was first played for in 1986 between Oak Brook and HRH Prince Charles’ Wales polo team, this year saw the tournament transformed into a USPA tournament due to popular demand. Four international teams, United States, Argentina, Germany and Switzerland, competed over the course of the 10-day competition, with the Final played between Argentina and the United States on Sunday 27 September at Oak Brook Polo Club’s Prince of Wales ground. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Final was played in front of a sold out but socially distanced crowd and both teams put on a show for the spectators. The first chukka saw United States score the first goal of the Final, but this was swiftly answered by Argentina’s Juan Martin Gutierrez – this tit-for-tat goal scoring from both sides continued throughout the first half which ended 6-5 in favour of Argentina. The fourth chukka saw Onetto and Mariano Gutierrez combine together to score an impressive four goals to none in reply from Argentina, ended the chukka 9-6. However, in the fifth chukka Argentina woke up and caught the United States team sleeping with Juan Juan Martin Obregon leading the charge for Argentina, who scored four goals and regained the lead 10-9, swiftly followed by yet more goals to end the fifth chukka with the scores tied 11-11. The sixth chukka started with Obregon securing a narrow one goal lead for Argentina, but in the end the United States benefited from opportunities to take the overall 13-12 win. In the post-match presentations, Onetto was named Most Valuable Player after his impressive 10 goal tally and Chick, owned by Onetto, was the Best Playing Pony.
Butler International Final Teams:
Argentina: Larry Aschebrook, Juan Martin Gutierrez, Juan Martin Obregon & Matias Obregon
United States: Mariano Gutierrez, Tomas Obregon, Horacio Onetto & Jim Drury
Photograph: Argentina’s Juan Martin Obregon vs USA’s Tomas Obregon.
By ©Sofía Lopez de Aréchaga