CV Whitney Cup, first stage of The Gauntlet of Polo is due to kickoff on Sunday

On Thursday, February 2, the C.V. Whitney Cup draw determined the brackets for the upcoming start to the much anticipated fifth edition of the Gauntlet of Polo series. A momentous year for the event, this edition of the Gauntlet will mark the first time that the competition is held at the USPA-owned National Polo Center-Wellington, set in Wellington, Florida.

Originally known as the U.S. Handicap, the C.V. Whitney Cup was first competed for in 1979. Nine years later, in 1988, the tournament was renamed for C.V. (Cornelius Vanderbilt “Sonny”) Whitney, an avid polo player, three-time winner of the U.S. Open Polo Championship (1928,1937, 1938) and son of 10-goal Hall of Famer, Harry Payne Whitney. Serving as the first tournament of the three-part Gauntlet of Polo since 2019, the C.V. Whitney Cup will welcome 12 talented teams, all of which will pursue the USPA Gold Cup and U.S. Open Polo Championship following the starting leg of the series.

Of the teams competing, Gauntlet of Polo newcomer Valiente is the most decorated in past C.V.Whitney Cup victories, with four wins, all of which were achieved in the last 10 years. To make their odds even stronger, 10-goal virtuoso Adolfo Cambiaso brings with him seven wins in the tournament. 2022 and 2021 victors Park Place, however, look to replicate their recent success for a third consecutive win, while 2022 runners-up Scone hope to avenge their loss.

Fresh off of wins in the 2022 USPA Gold Cup and U.S. Open Polo Championship, Pilot has also positioned themselves as a favorite in the starting leg of the Gauntlet. Similar to Cambiaso, 10-goal Pilot captain Facundo Pieres has accumulated significant success in this tournament, triumphing a total of six times, most recently in 2019 when Pilot secured all three Gauntlet of Polo trophies and emerged as the first and only Gauntlet champions. Pilot returns with three out of four of their original 2019 lineup, including Curtis Pilot, Matias Gonzalez and Facundo Pieres. 2022 Pilot competitor Matias Torres Zavaleta will round out the team.

Utilizing the same prize money distribution for the 2023 Gauntlet of Polo, the formatguarantees a total of $200,000 in prize money. $50,000 will be awarded to each of the winning teams of the C.V. Whitney Cup and USPA Gold Cup. Similarly, $100,000 in prize money will bepresented to the winner of the U.S. Open Polo Championship and any team that wins all three tournaments will be crowned the Gauntlet Champion. In keeping with the spirit of philanthropy, U.S. Polo Assn. will provide a $2,500 donation to the winner and runner-up teams of all three finals to be donated to a polo charity of their choice.

The 2023 Gauntlet of Polo will begin February 12-26, with the C.V. Whitney Cup, followed by the USPA Gold Cup (March 1-26) and will conclude with the U.S. Open Polo Championship (March 29-April 23). All Sunday featured games will be held on NPC USPA Field One.

Spectating from the NPC stadium, private boxes, fiedside tailgates and special hospitality tentsall overlooking USPA Field One is an unparalleled experience available for Sunday matches throughout the Gauntlet of Polo series.


  • Bracket 1

Scone (22): Cody Ellis (4), David “Pelon” Stirling (9), David Paradice (0), PorotoCambiaso (9).

Pilot (22): Curtis Pilot (0), Facundo Pieres (10), Matias Gonzalez (4), Matias Torres Zavaleta (8).

Dazos (21): David Farache (0), Dylan Rossiter (6), Nicolas “Nico” Pieres (9), Santi Torres (6).

  • Bracket II

La Elina (22): Jared Zenni (6), Jeff Hall (6), Matt Coppola (5), Nico Escobar (5).

Valiente (22): Adolfo Cambiaso (10), Bob Jornayvaz (0), Lucas “Luckitas” Criado (6), Mariano “Peke” Gonzalez (6).

Aspen (22): Francisco “Pancho” Bensadon (7), Nicolas “Nico” Saenz (5), Rufino Bensadon (8), Stewart Armstrong (2).

  • Bracket III:

Two Trees Polo (21): Juan Sanchez Elia (5), Mariano Aguerre (7), Miguel Novillo Astrada (8), Will Johnston (1).

Shack Attack (22):  Matias Magrini (7), Santiago Toccalino (8), Santino Magrini (4), TBA 3.

La Fe (22): Francisco Elizalde (9), Louis Devaleix (1), Lucas Diaz Alberdi (6), Robi Bilbao (6).

  • Bracket IV:

Dutta Corp/Show+ (22): Joaquin Avendaño (4), Mariano “Nino” Obregon (6), TimmyDutta* (4), Tomas Garcia del Rio (8).

Tamera (22): Alejandro Poma (1), Diego Cavanagh (9), Pedrinho “Pedro” Zacharias (7), Segundo Saravi (5).

Park Place (22): Hilario Ulloa (10), Juan Britos (9), Andrey Borodin (0), Jason Wates (3).

CV Whitney Cup – Fixture

Sunday, February 12

10am: Scone vs. Pilot

12:30pm ET-Dutta Corp/Show+ vs. Tamera

Monday, February 13

11am; La Elina vs. Valiente

3:00pm: Two Trees vs. Shack Attack

Wednesday, February 15

11am: Loser Game 1 vs. Dazos

3:00pm: Loser Game 2 vs. Park Place

Thursday, February 16

11am: Loser Game 3 vs. Aspen

3pm: Loser Game 4 vs. La Fe

Saturday, February 18

11am: Winner Game 1 vs. Dazos

3pm: Winner Game2 vs. Park Place

Sunday, February 19

12,30pm: Winner Game 4 vs. La Fe

3pm: Winner Game 3 vs. Aspen

Wednesday, February 22

11am: Semifinal

3pm: Semifinal

Sunday, February 26

3pm: C.V. Whitney Cup Final


The C.V. Whitney Cup will begin on Sunday, February 12. Teams will play within their bracket. The top two from each bracket will meet in the first round. The loser of the first game in eachbracket will play the third team in the bracket. The winner of the first game in each bracket will then play the third team. After bracket play, the top team from each bracket will advance to thesemifinals. In the event of a tie, the win/loss, net goals, gross goals format will be used. Semifinals pairings will be determined by a draw. Winners of the will advance to the final.

Cover photo: Pilot’s Facundo Pieres, winner of the 2022 USPA Gold Cup & US Open, by Agustina Fonda.

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