After two canceled matches due to weather, Oak Brook Polo was finally able to kick off their 2021 season on Sunday, July 18th at the Prince of Wales with the Butler Challenge Cup tournament.  Presented by Perillo Downers Grove, the match was against local rival Beaver Creek and featured the popular “Horses & Horsepower” activiation which showcased vintage and new Lamborghinis. 
 
With as many as 20 sleek vehicles stationed aross the field in colors of white, black, red  and florescent, guests were able to get up close and take photos while also meeting car owners.  
 
Oak Brook Polo Club’s opening ceremonies were presented by Lincoln Way Attorney -Mark Weidman and featured PAWS Chicago founder Paula Fasseas followed by Lamborghinis from Perillo Downers Grove and the Lamborghini Club Chicago Chapter.  Jim Drury offered his official “welcome” to attendees which was was followed the singing of the National Anthem by Alondra Arreola and player introductions. 
 
Beaver Creek’s team was led by Chris Vangel (Hcap 1), a patron and player, with Turner Wheaton (Hcap 2), Alfredo Guerreno (Hcap 3), and Lindor Novillo Corvalan (Hcap 4). Oak Brook’s team was led by Jim Drury (Hcap 0), another patron and player whose teammates include Tomas Obregon (Hcap 4), Horacio Onetto (Hcap 4), and Mariano Gutierrez (Hcap 4).
 
To begin the match, Beaver Creek was up 2 goals due to the handicap difference between the two teams.  Oak Brook’s Onetto would quickly close the gap and put up 2 back-to-back goals, but Beaver Creek’s Corvalan would score to give to give his team a one point lead and end the 1st Chukker 3-2. In the second Chukker, Oak Brook would jump ahead by two goals with back-to-back goals from Onetto and one from Gutierrez to end the second chukker 5-3 Oak Brook.  In the final chukker of the half, Beaver Creek’s Wheaton would score, but Oak Brook’s Onetto would return the favor and end the half with a two goal lead 6-4 Oak Brook.
 
The second half got off to a hot start as both teams fought to hold the lead. Oak Brook’s Onetto extended his team’s lead to 3, before Beaver Creek went on a three goal run with goals from  Corvalan and Wheaton to tie the match 7-7. However, Oak Brook’s Onetto would squeeze in one last goal to reclaim the lead 8-7. In the fifth chukker, it was like a boxing bout as both teams exchanged goals one after another beginning with Oak Brook’s Obregon, followed by Beaver Creek’s Corvalan, then Oak Brook’s Onetto, followed by Beaver Creek’s Corvalan again to end the Chukker 10-9, Oak Brook. In the 6th and final chukker, Oak Brook’s Onetto would score to extend his team’s lead by two (11-9), but Beaver Creek’s Wheaton would answer back to close the gap to one and end the match 11-10, Oak Brook.
 
The Casablanca Polo “MVP” went to Oak Brook’s Horacio Onetto who then announced Jennifer Gaeto has the matche’s “Best Hat” winner.  The American Stalls “Best Playing Pony” went to Lindor Novillo Corvalan’s pony “Maria” presented by Patty Brand Napela.
 
Runner-up gifts were presented by Michael & Joyce Meaden and winners gift were presented by Lincoln Way Attorney -Mark Weidman. Other team gifts included PAWS Chicago t-shirts and U.S. Polo Assn. duffle bags.
 
Oak Brook Polo Club’s next match will be the championship match of the Butler Challenge Cup on Sunday, June 25th @ 3:00 PM. For general information, event scheduling, news, tickets and parking directions, please visit www.oakbrookpoloclub.com or call 630.368.5095. 
Photos by Andrew Meier