Oak Brook Polo Club’s third tournament of the 2021 Season got underway this past Sunday (August 8), with the start of the Chicago Polo Open presented by Heineken.  Returning for its sixth year, this signature polo match took place at the legendary Prince of Wales Field and was between Oak Brook Polo and local rival Beaver Creek.

The afternoon’s theme was “Horses and Hops” which featured the first of two beer festivals presented by Tapville Social. While watching the thrilling polo match, spectators had the opportunity to taste local and Midwest craft brews from a field-side beer garden.

The match-up between Oak Brook and Beaver Creek was the second time these two teams met in the 2021 season. Beaver Creek’s team was comprised of Captain Chris Vangel (Hcap 1), Chad Bowman (Hcap 2), Alfredo Guerenno (Hcap 3), and Lindor Novillo Corvalan (Hcap 4). Oak Brook’s team was led by Jim Drury (Hcap 0), alongside fellow players Tomas Obregon (Hcap 4), Horacio Onetto (Hcap 4), and Mariano Gutierrez (Hcap 4).

Sunday’s match began with the Club’s traditional opening ceremonies presented by Lincoln Way Attorney, Mark Weidman, which included welcoming the hosts of NBC’s Chicago Today show, Courtney Hall and Matt Rodriguez, followed by Chicago food & lifestyle personality D.C. Crenshaw.  Approximately a dozen vintage Land/Range Rovers from members of Chicagoland Rover Club were also present onsite for a pre-match on-field car show and part of the opening ceremony parade. Oak Brook Polo Club president Jim Drury welcomed everyone to match followed by the National Anthem, sung by Alondra Arreola and player introductions.

To begin the match, Beaver Creek was up two goals due to the handicap difference between the teams. Oak Brook’s Obregon scored the first goal of the game followed by two goals form his teammate, Onetto.  Beaver Creek would remain goalless giving Oak Brook a one-point lead going into the second chukker. Oak Brook’s Gutierrez would expand that lead to two and from there, Oak Brook and Beaver Creek would play a game of cat and mouse with Beaver Creek’s Corvalan scoring three goals against Oak Brook’s Obregon and Gutierrez.  At the end of the second chukker, Beaver Creek would close Oak Brook’s lead to one.  In the third chukker Oak Brook’s Onetto and Obregon would score back-to-back goals expanding their team’s lead to 3. Beaver Creek’s Corvalan would answer back with a goal to end the first half 8-6, Oak Brook.

In the second half Beaver Creek got off to a hot start as they held Oak Brook scoreless while putting up two goals by Guerenno and Corvalan to tie the match 8-8.  Corvalan would continue that hot streak going into the fifth chukker by putting up another two goals and giving the Beaver Creek team a two-goal lead over Oak Brook. But Oak Brook’s Onetto and Obregon would answer back with two goals of their own re-tying the match 10-10 going into the 6th and final chukker. Beaver Creek’s Corvalan would be the first to score in the final chukker and give his team a one goal lead and his 8th goal of the match. But that didn’t stop Onetto and Obregon teaming up again for fourth time putting up back-to-back goals and Oak Brook the win with a one goal lead, 12-11.

The Casablanca Polo “MVP” went to Oak Brook’s Obregon while the American Stalls “Best Playing Pony” went to Obregon’s mare.  U.S. Polo Assn. gifts for the match’s runner-up was presented by Alexandra Singer with the Lyon Family Foundation. Runner-up gifts were presented by Marissa Nelums, with Glasshouse Interior and winner’s gift were presented by Lincoln Way Attorney, Mark Weidman.

Oak Brook Polo Club’s next match will be the Championship match of the Chicago Polo Open, presented by Heineken, on Sunday, August 15th @ 3:00 PM. For general information, event scheduling, news, tickets, and parking directions, please visit www.oakbrookpoloclub.com or call 630.368.5095. 

 
Match photos by Andrew Meier