Juan Martín Obregon was extremely happy, very happy indeed, when he spoke to PoloLine last Wednesday after La Elina defeated Tamera in the semifinals of the US Polo Open Championship. A victory that secured the lineup composed by Juan Martin, his brothers Facundo and Gerónimo, and Jared Zenni, the opportunity to play the championship match of the most coveted trophy in the United States on Sunday.
“To be in the final of the final of the US Open is a long coming dream. If you asked me if it would happen this year, I would have said never in a million chances. And today we are here, in the final of the US Open”, he said.
As a matter of fact, Juan Martín didn’t play the USPA Gold Cup, and joined La Elina to play the US Open. And although Juan Martin is ready to play his first ever final of the US Open, it is worth noting that the Obregon family as well as Jared Zenni already know what winning a US Open title is about. Juan Martín’s brother, Mariano, alongside his cousin Agustin and Jared Zenni, joined by Hilario Ulloa, surprised the world when they claimed the coveted Trophy in 2018 with Daily Racing Form in a memorable final, that saw them victorious against a historical Valiente lineup that included no less than Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres.
And this final will be indeed a huge challenge for La Elina, since they will go head-to-head for the title against Pilot, who claimed the title back in 2019, the year Curtis Pilot’s foursome also won the first complete Gauntlet of Polo, and one of the strongest contenders of the season. But what’s really remarkable is that it is another very well deserved achievement for the whole Obregon family, after many years of hard work and determination, since they settled in the US from their native Argentina, to become one of the most renowned polo family within the American polo community.
However, the road to the final had not been that easy for La Elina, as Juan Martín states: “We struggled game by game, coming to each game as if it were our last, making sure of every opportunity we had, making the most of it”, he says. And adds: “This is a long time coming dream for us. To be so close and at the same time keep your head in the game was a struggle to keep our heads in the game. We got back to basics to get this far”.
But perhaps the fact that the 4 Obregon brothers (Juan Martin, Gero, Facundo and Mariano) played together in Argentina in 2021 was crucial to improve Juan Martin’s skills and determination to get into the big leagues. On this matter, he remarks that “having played in Argentina with Gerónimo and Facundo and Mariano, for me, in my opinion, it made the difference. I personally don’t like to play as a 1; but I played as a 1 in Argentina and I tried to learn and make the most of it. Then I came to this team, and they told me to play as 1! It helped me a lot in order to know what I wanted to do, where I had to be, and also be patient, help my teammates, work a lot for them.”
As he awaits the most important day of his career, Juan Martín feels that the Obrgeons “is a big family, and this is incredible. It’s been a long time to have the chance to be here today, really incredible. And a joy to have the support of my own family, a blessing.”