For the first time ever in the sport of polo, Pilot polo team secured its place in history as the inaugural winner of the GAUNTLET OF POLO™ title with a score of 12-7 over Las Monjitas by winning the U.S. Open Polo Championship® the third leg of the GAUNTLET series which took place at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) on the U.S. Polo Assn. stadium field in Wellington, Florida.
Over the past three months, Pilot played against the highest level of skilled athletes and ponies and managed to clinch wins in all three GAUNTLET events — the C.V. Whitney Cup, the USPA Gold Cup® and the U.S. Open Polo Championship® — as well as capture the $1 million purse, the GAUNTLET OF POLO™ trophy and the prestigious GAUNTLET Champion title.
“It’s amazing to win, it’s like a fairy tale for all of us, the whole team. I started playing polo when I was 49 years old. It’s been an amazing three months and I have to give a shout-out to Mia Bray, a young up-and-coming female polo player, who covered the first three games so I could handle some personal issues,” said Curtis Pilot, team owner.
Pilot received the “Winner Take All” prize money of $1M along with the GAUNTLET OF POLO™ trophy. The hand-crafted, three-foot trophy features three horses representing each GAUNTLET event guarding a tower glorified with the GAUNTLET logo and an inlaid onyx polo horse head to recognize the sport’s equine partner. This trophy will remind future generations of polo competitors, fans, media and sponsors of the strategy, skill and commitment it takes to have your team name inscribed on the trophy and be crowned the GAUNTLET Champion.
“The GAUNTLET challenged the world’s top polo players and ponies to strive to achieve a new goal. We’re thrilled that Pilot earned the first-ever GAUNTLET OF POLO™ Champion title,” said David Cummings, President and CEO, Global Polo Entertainment. “We created the GAUNTLET OF POLO™ as a sports property that will grow in value through player participation, spectator attendance, viewership and sponsorship involvement. In addition, we delivered a positive economic impact to Palm Beach County by hosting thousands of fans, players and horses from around the world over a three-month period and by showcasing the competition to millions of fans on air and online.”
The final game of the U.S. Open Polo Championship® will air on CBS Sports, on Sunday, April 28 at 2:00pm EDT, and on Eurosport on April 29 at 6:30pm CET and Dsport to more than 250+ million households in more than 66 countries.
Photo: @gauntletofpolo / Global Polo Entertainment