WHAT: In preparation for the final tournament of the GAUNTLET OF POLO®, the United States Polo Association (USPA) hosted the U.S. Open Polo Championship® draw on Thursday, March 25, 2021, from the Seventh Chukker patio at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) in Wellington, Florida. Limited to teams and staff only, one representative from each team was invited to select a numbered token in person while the draw was broadcast live to spectators on Global Polo TV. The apex of 22-goal competition, the U.S. Open Polo Championship® is considered the most prestigious tournament in American polo. Immediately following the draw, viewers were treated to interviews with past U.S. Open Polo Championship® winners Memo Gracida, Tommy Wayman and Nic Roldan. Although Park Place won the C.V. Whitney Cup®, there will not be a GAUNTLET champion crowned in 2021 as Tonkawa and Scone qualified for the USPA Gold Cup® Final on Sunday, March 28. The official draw determined the playing order for the third tournament of the GAUNTLET OF POLO®, the U.S. Open Polo Championship®, which begins Sunday, March 28, and concludes Sunday, April 18, at IPC. Spectators will have the opportunity to relive the action on Sunday, May 9, when the U.S. Open Polo Championship® Final will be aired to millions of viewers on CBS Sports.
WHO: Haley Bryan, IPC Polo Coordinator, and Jimmy Newman, IPC Polo Manager, outlined the tournament format and conducted the official draw.
WHERE: The International Polo Club Palm Beach will not be open to the general public during the 2021 polo season. IPC will offer a limited number of tickets to Sunday Brunch in the Veuve Clicquot Pavilion for spectators as well as exclusive pre-sold tailgates and boxes. There will be no day of event ticket sales. Please read the IPC Reopening Guide available on the U.S. Open Polo Championship® tournament detail page on uspolo.org, for the club’s new protocols and procedures.
Increasing the stakes in the final tournament, the winner of the U.S. Open Polo Championship® will receive $200,000 in prize money and $50,000 will be awarded to the runner-up. New to the GAUNTLET in 2021 and in partnership with USPA Global Licensing, each of the teams will select a charity of their choice from 10 non-profit polo organizations which they can support throughout all three tournaments or select every tournament. Both charities of the winner and runners-up will receive a $5,000 donation in the U.S. Open Polo Championship®.
The list of participating teams in their newly announced tournament brackets are available below:
1. La Indiana
2. Santa Clara
1. Aspen/Dutta Corp
1. Park Place
The USPA Gold Cup® finalists, Tonkawa and Scone, will be seeded in separate brackets (6 and 9). Teams will be placed into three brackets and play within their bracket.
After bracket play, all teams will be ranked 1-9 based on their win-loss record, followed by net goals, then gross goals. The teams who ranked eighth and nineth will compete in a playoff game then teams will enter the quarterfinals. Teams ranked 1-4 will draw from the remaining teams (5, 6, 7, 8) for quarterfinal pairings. Semifinal pairings will be determined by draw with the winners advancing to the final.
Please visit the GAUNTLET OF POLO® tab on uspolo.org for GAUNTLET information including rosters, full tournament schedule, history, video highlights and much more. Global Polo TV is the exclusive broadcaster for USPA Official Events, tournaments and games. Only those with a Premium Polo Pass or GAUNTLET OF POLO® Pass will have access to all livestreamed games of the 2021 GAUNTLET OF POLO®. All USPA Playing and Lifetime Members receive free access to the Premium Polo Pass. Social Members receive the Polo Pass for free. Subscribe or upgrade at any time on GlobalPolo.com/products.
Images: ©David Lominska / ©United States Polo Association