On Sunday, August 16th Oak Brook Polo Club hosted the finals of the prestigious Chicago Polo Open in front of a sold-out crowd. Presented by Heineken and Modern Luxury CS Magazine, the heavily contested 12-goal match featured Oak Brook Polo vs. Good Thunder.
Good Thunder’s team was comprised of Bill Paterson (Hcap 0), Miguel Gutierrez (Hcap 3), Lindor Novillo Corvalan (Hcap 4) and Tommy Collingwood (Hcap 5) while Oak Brook featured James Drury (Hcap 0), Mariano Gutierrez (Hcap 4), Tomas Obregon (Hcap 4) and Horacio Onetto (Hcap 4).
The match featured the traditional opening ceremonies and activities which included: team parade & roster announcements, national anthem performance by Reid Taylor, and champagne sabering by WGN TV’s Lauren Magiera.
The first chukker got off to a quick start with Oak Brook’s Obregon scoring the first goal of the match. Good Thunder’s Gutierrez would answer with a goal and to end the first chukker tied 1-1. In the second chukker, Oak Brook’s Gutierrez would give his team a two-goal league with two back-to-back goals while him and his teammates held Good Thunder to one goal scored by Collingwood and end the Chukker 3-2, Oak Brook. In the third chukker, Good Thunder would go on a three-goal streak beginning with Collingwood followed by Paterson and Corvalan. Oak Brook’s Obregon was able to squeeze one goal in before the first half ended 5-4, Good Thunder.
In the second half, Oak Brook’s Onetto would score his first goal and tie the match 5-5. But Good Thunder’s Corvalan would score two back-two-back and give his team a two goal lead to end the 4th chukker, 7-5. In the fifth chukker, Oak Brook would hold Good Thunder scoreless, while putting up two goals by Gutierrez and Onetto and tie the match 7-7 for a fourth time. In the sixth and final chukker, Oak Brook’s Obregon would help his team reclaim the lead 8-7, but only for a brief moment, before Good Thunder’s Corvalan put up his second back-to-back goals and give his team the lead and win, 9-8.
Casablanca Polo’s “Most Valuable Player” honors were awarded to Good Thunder’s Corvalan for his impressive five goals, including his team’s tying and winning goals in the final chukker. Casablanca Polo’s “Best Playing Pony” went to Avispa, ridden by Collingwood.
The match’s runner-up trophies awarded to Oak Brook were presented by NBC Chicago Reporter, Courtney Hall, and winner’s trophies awarded to Good Thunder were presented by Eva Gregersen, daughter of owner of Oak Brook’s Beyond Shades. The Chicago Polo Open trophy awarded to Good Thunder was presented by Lifestyle Magazine publisher, Candice Kuhnen.
Oak Brook Polo Club’s next home event will the Team Up For Tony tournament on Sunday, August 30th which will feature the finals of the 4-goal USPA Governor’s Cup and 8-goal USPA Master’s Cup tournaments. Proceeds collected from the match will contribute to the necessary everyday care and therapy for Tony Sekera. For general information, event scheduling, news, tickets and parking directions, please visit www.oakbrookpoloclub.com or call 630.368.5095.
Photos by Andrew Meier