The 2022 high-goal polo season opened Sunday, Jan. 2 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington. The day featured the Iglehart Cup final played on U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1.
The match featured a thrilling finish, as Beverly Polo’s Lucas Diaz Alberdi scored the overtime winning goal to defeat La Fe 11-10 and capture the Iglehart Cup.
Beverly Polo managed to take advantage of penalty opportunities to claim an early advantage, but a determined La Fe would battle back in the second half to briefly overtake the lead.
However, La Fe found itself in foul trouble once again, with Beverly Polo’s Jorge “Tolito” Ocampo Jr. scoring three consecutive goals from the line, aiding his team to reach overtime and the nail-biting victory.
Ocampo got Beverly Polo on the board in the early stages of the game on a Penalty 2 conversion, as Robi Bilbao and Louis Devaleix answered in quick succession for La Fe.
Opening the second chukker with another penalty goal from Ocampo, Beverly Polo took control of the remainder of the chukker, as Diaz Alberdi scored his first goal of the match, followed by two back-to-back goals from Ocampo. The two closely matched teams traded goals in the third, as Beverly Polo emerged with a 6-3 lead at the half.
Regrouping from a close first half, La Fe was able to storm back in the fourth with three consecutive goals, including one from Bilbao and two from Francisco Elizalde, erasing La Fe’s three-goal deficit. Hilario Figueras briefly regained the lead for Beverly Polo to open the fifth, but the team was unable to score again for the remainder of the chukker. Despite an injury to La Fe’s Devaleix, he was able to remain in the game, while Lucas Escobar carried Le Fe’s momentum to find the scoreboard in back-to-back goals and give La Fe an 8-7 lead.
Despite battling back to take the lead in the final chukker of play, Le Fe again ran into foul trouble, allowing Ocampo to sink three consecutive goals from the penalty line for Beverly Polo. Trailing once more, strong play from Escobar and Bilbao allowed Le Fe to score the two crucial goals required and force the game into overtime.
Sealing the closely contested battle would be the overtime goal off the mallet of Diaz Alberdi to crown Beverly Polo the 2022 Iglehart Cup champions.
Most Valuable Player was awarded to Ocampo, who finished the day with eight goals, while Francisco Elizalde’s Taita Milesima claimed Best Playing Pony honors.
The International Polo Club Palm Beach is the premier polo destination in the world, hosting the largest field of high-goal teams and the most prestigious polo tournaments in the United States. Currently underway at IPC is the Joe Barry Memorial Cup tournament, which got underway last week and concludes on Sunday, Jan. 16. Up next is the three-week Ylvisaker Cup tournament, followed by the coveted Gauntlet of Polo series. Learn more about the 2022 high-goal season at www.internationalpoloclub.com.