Sunday, September 20, marked the halfway point of the 2020 Butler International where four teams representing Argentina, Germany, Switzerland and the United States have been competing to determine who will play in the final match on Sunday, September 27. Argentina leads the field 3-0, solidifying their spot in the Butler International Final against the United States team.
Presented by Merrill Lynch, the Butler International, wraps up Oak Brook Polo Club’s ninety-eighth season as well as the Chicago Polo Association’s 12-goal season. The famous trophy was first played for in 1986 between Oak Brook and HRH Prince Charles’ Wales polo team. This year the cup has been transformed into a 12-goal sanctioned USPA tournament.
USA’s Tomas Obregon out in front.
“This is what we had hoped to achieve from this tournament,” explained Oak Brook Polo Club Managing Director, Danny O’Leary. “The culmination of a fun and competitive 12-goal season with participation from other countries who are also ending their professional seasons. These teams are playing at their peak, which makes for some of the best polo to watch.”
The Butler International tournament began on Friday, September 18 between Argentina and the United States at Las Brisas Polo Club in Elgin, Illinois. Argentina took an early lead in the first two chukkers before the United States grabbed a 5-4 lead at halftime thanks to Horacio Onetto’s three back-to-back goals in the third chukker. Argentina’s Juan Martin Obregon would return the favor with three of his own between the fourth and fifth chukkers, forcing the United States to play catch up. Argentina’s Matias Obregon would score the final goal for Argentina giving them the lead and win 8-7.
Ferraris were on display during the car show at Oak Brook Polo Club.
That same afternoon, Switzerland played Germany at Arranmore Polo Club in Oswego, Illinois. In this match, Switzerland’s Facundo Obregon came out strong putting up three of his six goals in the first chukker. With help from his teammates Pedro Manion and Miguel Gutierrez, the Swiss team held their lead throughout the entire game, while holding Germany to four goals and ending the match 8-4 in favor of Switzerland.
On Saturday, September 19, Argentina played Germany at Las Brisas Polo Club. Like Switzerland, Argentina would start the match strong by putting up three goals compliments of Matias Obregon, who would go on to score two more goals before the half. With support from teammate Juan Martin Obregon, the Argentine team would end the first half with a five-goal lead over Germany. In the second half, Germany made a strong comeback scorning five goals to Argentina’s two, coming within three goals shy of winning the match. Argentina took their second win 9-7.
Switzerland’s Richard Harris prepares to make a shot.
That Sunday, the United States would play Switzerland at the Prince of Wales Field in Oak Brook, Illinois. The match started with a much slower pace as both teams defended each other well until the end of the second chukker which was tied 1-all. In the third, the United States broke away with a four-goal lead thanks to Tomas Obregon and Horacio Onetto. In the second half, Switzerland turned up the heat scoring five goals to the United States’ two. In the final thirty seconds, Switzerland’s Pedro Manion stole possession and nearly tied the game in the final few seconds but the United States won 7-6.
On Wednesday, September 23, the United States sealed their fate and earned their spot in the final winning 13-10 over Germany in the first semifinal of the day. Sweeping their semifinal victory over Switzerland 13-10, Argentina qualified for the final with an undefeated record.
Oak Brook Polo Club is located at 2606 York Road, seventeen miles from downtown 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 or visit www.oakbrookpoloclub.com.
All photos ©Andrew Meier.