Aspen, Dazos and Shack Attack, were victorious in the two first matchdates of the US Polo Open Championship, on Tuesday March 28 and Wednesday March 29, respectively. The most prestigious polo competition in the United States and the highlight of The Gauntlet of Polo, the US Open Polo Championship is currently underway at the USPA-owned National Polo Center Wellington, in Wellington, Florida. The culminating contest of the polo season in the United States sees fourteen teams up to 22 goals, split in five leagues, in participation
On Tuesday March 28, Aspen defeated Two Trees by Jefferies 14-12; later in the afternoon, a remarkable Nico Pieres produced eleven goals to secure Dazos a 14-13 win over La Elina, the 2022 runner up. Meanwhile, on Wednesday March 29, Shack Attack had to fight hard to beat La Fe 12-11, in extra chukka.
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.
US OPEN POLO CHAMPIONSHIP
- TUESDAY MARCH 28
ASPEN 14-12 TWO TREES BY JEFFERIES
Aspen: Stewart Armstrong 2 (1 goal), Mariano Gonzalez 5 (2), Rufino Bensadon 8 (10), Pancho Bensadon 7 (1). Total: 22.
Two Trees by Jefferies: Will Johnston 1 (5 goals), Juan Sanchez Elia 5 (1) Mariano Aguerre 7 (3), Miguel Novillo Astrada 8 (3). Total: 21.
Score Aspen: 2-3, 3-5, 7-7, 11-7, 12-9, 14-12.
Umpires: Martín Pascual & Héctor Galindo. Third man: Kimo Huddleston.
DAZOS 14-13 LA ELINA
Dazos: David Farache 0, Dylan Rossiter 6 (2 goals), Nico Pieres 9 (11), Santi Torres 6 (1) Total: 21.
La Elina: Jared Zenni 6 (7 goals), Jeff Hall 6 (2), Matt Coppola 5 (4), Nico Escobar 5. Total: 22.
Score Dazos: 2-2, 4-5, 9-6, 10-9, 13-12, 14-13.
Umpires: Julian Appleby & Jamie Mirikitani. Third man: Gastón Lucero.
- WEDNESDAY MARCH 29
SHACK ATTACK 12-11 LA FE (extra chukka)
Shack Attack: Santino Magrini 4, Keko Magrini 5 (4 goals), Santi Toccalino 8 (7), Nachi Viana 5 (1). Total: 22
La Fe: Louis Devaleix 1, Lucas Diaz Alberdi 6, Francisco Elizalde 9 (10 goals), Robi Bilbao 6 (1). Total: 22.
Score Shack Attack: 1-2, 3-2, 8-5, 8-6, 10-8, 11-11, 12-11.
Umpires: Ronnie Hayes & Kimo Huddleston. Third man: Julian Appleby.
The US Open will resume on Thursday March 30 and Friday March 31, with the following order of play (US local time):
Thursday March 30
11am: Valiente vs. Palm Beach Equine.
Friday March 31
11am: Scone vs. Tamera.
The final of the US Open Polo Championship will take place on Sunday April 23.
US Open Polo Championship – Fixture & Teams
Cover photo by Agustina Fonda.