Wellington, FL - The three-week U.S. Open Polo Championship brought an exciting end to a magnificent season of polo at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) on April 19. For 16 weeks the world's finest polo players and their ponies stormed the fields at IPC, where more than a dozen 20-goal teams and eight 26-goal teams went head-to-head in the greatest athletic and equine polo matchups in the world.
"We couldn't be more proud to be the home of the most prestigious tournaments in North America: the USPA C.V. Whitney Cup, the Piaget USPA Gold Cup and the U.S. Open Polo Championship," said John Wash, President of Club Operations at IPC.
The three 26-goal tournaments, which drew record spectator attendance at IPC, are called the Triple Crown of polo. The games attracted numerous international megastars who rank among the elite handful of players to have attained the highest handicap of 10, including Facundo Pieres, Adolfo Cambiaso, Pelon Stirling, Juan Martin Nero and Sapo Caset. Many 8- and 9-goal players also competed throughout the high-goal season, which featured more than 30 games.
In 26-goal play, Valiente won the 111th U.S. Open; Audi clinched the Piaget USPA Gold Cup, and Orchard Hill took the USPA C.V. Whitney Cup. Winning teams for the four 20-goal tournaments were: Casablanca (Herb Pennell Cup); Orchard Hill (Joe Barry Cup); Coca-Cola (Ylvisaker Cup), and Tonkawa (Iglehart Cup). In addition, IPC hosted three medium-goal tournaments (14- to 18-goal) and several Junior tournaments.
Special events this season included the Nespresso 40-Goal Challenge, a benefit match that brought in nearly $350,000 for the Polo Players Support Group, which provides financial assistance to players and grooms with serious illnesses or injuries. IPC also hosted the 6th Annual International Gay Polo Tournament, with some of the world's top pros playing on teams with non pros.
"At the beginning of the season we predicted this would be the finest season of polo ever," said Wash. "We hosted new teams, had record-breaking spectator numbers and expanded, exciting coverage from the media. It has been an incredible season. We want to thank all the sponsors, patrons, teams and members for a great, if not the best, season of polo ever."
Sponsors included: Piaget, Lexus, Engel & Völkers, Veuve Cliquot, Belvedere Vodka, Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, Southern Waste Systems, Fipa Group, Wellington Regional Medical Center, Pegasus Builders, Equine Hyperbaric Center of South Florida, Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute, Equestrian Sotheby's International Realty, Wellington Preserve Coalition, Lilly Pulitzer, Sentient Jet, The Surf Club Four Seasons Hotel and Residences, Southampton Limousene, Whole Foods, Bonpoint, Stathis Enterprises and World Chariot Racing Federation.
IPC is in the process of finalizing its 2016 season schedule, which opens in January and will culminate in the 112th U.S. Open Polo Championship in April.
Herbie Pennell Cup - 20 Goal
Jan. 1 - 4, 2015
Joe Barry Memorial Cup - 20 Goal
Jan. 4 - 25, 2015
Ylvisaker Cup - 20 Goal
Jan. 28 - February 22, 2015
Iglehart Cup - 20 Goal
Feb. 28 - March 8, 2015
USPA C.V. Whitney Cup - 26 Goal
Feb. 15 - March 1, 2015
Piaget USPA Gold Cup® - 26 Goal
March 4 - March 22, 2015
111th U.S. Open Polo Championship® - 26 Goal
March 25 - April 19, 2015