Story courtesy of International Polo Club Palm Beach
Competing throughout the 18-goal season with Beverly Polo (Bill Ballhaus, Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Hilario Figueras, Jorge “Tolito” Fernandez Ocampo Jr., Peke Gonzalez*), Hilario Figueras welcomed the new year with a strong start after his team reached the Joe Barry Memorial Final and earned a spot in the Ylvisaker Cup Semifinal at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (Wellington, Florida). Raised to a 4-goal handicap in 2021, Figueras has justified the increase, leading Beverly Polo in goals for both the Ylvisaker Cup and 18-goal season. Given the responsibility of taking Beverly Polo’s Penalty 2 and 3 attempts, Figueras has converted a perfect nine for nine in the Ylvisaker Cup; a trend he will look to continue entering the semifinal against Tamera.
One of the youngest players this season at just 20 years old, Figueras comes from a notable polo-playing family, the son of polo player and model Nacho Figueras. Prior to joining Beverly Polo for his first major season of high-goal competition at IPC, Figueras has competed in Santa Barbara (California) as well as recently in Virginia with Ballhaus and the Beverly Polo organization. Familiar playing alongside both Ballhaus and Ocampo Jr., the trio were finalists in the $50,000 National 12-Goal Tournament (Grand Champions Polo Club) in 2018. Although still in the early stages of his career, Figueras can add the 2020 St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship to his list of accolades.
Beverly Polo’s Hilario Figueras out in front of Tamera’s Lucas Escobar in the 2021 Ylvisaker Cup. ©Alex Pacheco
Building on his experiences each year, Figueras has excelled with Beverly Polo, ranking third among all players in scoring with 20 goals in the Joe Barry Memorial and Ylvisaker Cup. While his focus in open play has been on the defensive side of the ball in the number four position, he has pushed to the top of the scoring list with 75% of his goals coming from the penalty line. Figueras’ impact for Beverly Polo has been in his consistency, gaining possession with 12 throw-in wins, ranking second on the team, while avoiding fouling by committing just three fouls in three games of the Ylvisaker Cup. Scoring five goals against Tamera in their previous match-up, Figueras will be focused on slowing tournament scoring leader Diego Cavanagh in hopes of reaching his third consecutive final to start the year.
Beverly Polo will challenge Tamera in the Ylvisaker Cup Semifinal on Thursday, February 4, at 12:00pm ET to determine which team will advance to the final. The Semifinal and Final will be livestreamed exclusively on Global Polo TV.
*Peke Gonzalez is an Active Team USPA Member. 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