The much anticipated US Open Polo Championship, the most significant tournament in the United States and the apex of the prestigious The Gauntlet of Polo, is due to commence on Tuesday March 28. Like the CV Whitney Cup and the USPA Gold Cup, the tournament will be played entirely at the USPA-owned National Polo Center Wellington, set in Wellington, Florida, and will see fourteen teams up to 22 goals, split in five leagues. Title holders, Pilot (the only champions of The Gauntlet of Polo back in 2019) will be among the participant lineups. A new team will join, Palm Beach Equine.
The U.S. Open was originally conceived as a non-handicapped alternative to the Senior Championship tournament. The first U.S. Open, in 1904, had only two teams, the Wanderers and the Freebooters, and was held at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx borough of New York City. Four 15-minute chukkers were played, with a seven-minute break between each chukker. After the inaugural U.S. Open in 1904, the tournament was not played again until 1910. It resumed at Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island, where it was played for several years before relocating to what became its longtime home, Meadowbrook Polo Club in Old Westbury, New York. In 1954, the U.S. Open moved to Oak Brook, where it remained for 22 years, followed by an eight year stint at Retama in San Antonio, Texas. In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, the tournament circulated among several clubs throughout the United States, including Eldorado, Lexington, Palm Beach and Royal Palm. In 2004, marking one hundred years since the tournament’s inception, the U.S. Open relocated to Wellington, Florida where it has been held ever since. The U.S. Open Polo Championship trophy was first presented in 1910
The opening day of the US Open, due on Tuesday March 28, will have double action (US local time):
10.30am: Aspen vs. Two Trees Polo by Jefferies
4pm: La Elina vs. Dazos.
The final of the US Open Polo Championship will take place on Sunday April 23.
- The U.S. Open Polo Championship will have five brackets with USPA Gold Cup semifinalists (Dutta Corp/Show+, Scone, Pilot, Park Place) seeded in positions 3, 6, 9 and 11. There will be a minimum of three games played per team for a total of twenty-five games in the tournament.
- Brackets I, II and III will each contain three teams and will play within their bracket.
- Brackets IV and V will contain two teams and will play cross bracket.
- Following the first round, all teams will be ranked 1-13. Teams will be ranked on win-loss, then net goals, then gross goals. The top three ranked teams will advance straight into the quarterfinals.
- Teams ranked 4-13 will play a third game and will draw their opponent. Following the completion of the third game, the top five teams based on win-loss, then net goals, then gross goals will fill the remaining five quarterfinal spots.
- Teams ranked 1, 2, 3 and 4 will draw from teams ranked 5, 6, 7 and 8 to determine quarterfinal pairings. The winners of the quarterfinals will draw for semifinal pairings with the winners of the semifinals
US Open Polo Championship – Fixture & Teams
Cover photo: Pilot vs. La Elina, 2022 US Open Polo Championship final, by Agustina Fonda.