Pilot wins the 2022 U.S. Open Polo Championship
Live coverage of all matches of the Gauntlet of Polo was presented by GLOBAL POLO TV.
Final. Sunday, April 23rd. The conclusion to the 2022 Gauntlet of Polo® and U.S. Open Polo Championship® featured La Elina and Pilot competing in the finale on the U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Continuing their exceptional play from the season, Pilot captured their second consecutive title and captured the prestigious U.S. Open Polo Championship title with the 11-6 triumph over La Elina. Leading all players in scoring for the Gauntlet with 112 goals, Facundo Pieres was named Most Valuable Player of the Gauntlet and the U.S. Open Polo Championship® final.
Pilot 11, La Elina 6
Best Argentine Horse of the Final: "Open Maks" Facundo Pieres
USPA BPP of the US Open Final Willis Hartman: "Mega Espia" Facundo Pieres
USPA BPP of the US Open Polo Championship Tournament: "Open Candy Kiss" Facundo Pieres
USPA BPP of the Gauntlet: "Corcha" Facundo Pieres
IPC Horse of the Year: "Open Maks" Facundo Pieres
MVP of the US Open Final: Facundo Pieres
MVP of the Gauntlet: Facundo Pieres
Videos by Global Polo and pictures by Agus Fonda
Semifinals- April 20th. Nearing the highly anticipated final of the U.S. Open Polo Championship® at International Polo Club Palm Beach, the penultimate matches featured four teams battling to advance into the most anticipated and prestigious final of the 22-goal season. La Elina and Tamera met on Isla Carroll West in the first semifinal, where a spectacular seven-goal performance, including four penalty conversions from Juan Martin Obregon carried La Elina to the 10-9 victory. Reconvening on Field 3, undefeated teams Pilot and Park place met in a heated rematch of the USPA Gold Cup® final, where the two rival teams displayed an equal amount of talent and horsepower that needed overtime to settle the score. Defeating Park Place for the second time in the GAUNTLET, Pilot’s Facundo Pieres hit the golden goal to capture a thrilling 8-7 victory and send Pilot to their second consecutive GAUNTLET final. Pictures by Alex Pacheco / IPC
Video by Global Polo
Quarterfinals- April 16th & 17th. Sunday’s doubleheader showcased action packed matchups between the final four teams seeking to advance into the semifinals. Commencing the thrilling day of play on Field 4, undefeated teams and GAUNTLET rivals Park Place and Scone went head-to-head in an elimination contest for the third time this season. Besting Scone in the final of the C.V. Whitney Cup® and semifinals of the USPA Gold Cup®, Park Place continued their recent dominance over Scone early in the match. A complete team effort from Park Place managed to weather Scone’s powerful second half charge, as captain Hilario Ulloa sank his GAUNTLET leading the hundredth goal to deliver Park Place the 9-8 victory.
Reconvening at U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1 for the Feature Game of the Week, La Elina jumped out to an early lead on Aspen Valley Polo Club, but a six-goal performance from 10-goaler Pablo Mac Donough kept Aspen Valley Polo Club in neck-and-neck with their evenly matched opponents. Tied in the final minutes of regulation, a detrimental penalty to Aspen Valley Polo Club left them without Mac Donough for the remainder of the match, as Juan Martin Obregon sent his team leading sixth goal through the posts to secure the 11-10 victory for La Elina.
Kicking off the quarterfinals, an undefeated Pilot faced SD Farms following their playoff victory against La Fe. Assembling at La Indiana, Pilot jumped out to a quick start, as a nine-goal performance from captain Facundo Pieres staved off a late SD Farms comeback to hold on for the 12-8 victory. Reconvening at Isla Carroll East, Tamera and Polo Training Foundation engaged in a highly contested battle that required overtime to settle the score, as Diego Cavanagh tapped in his fourth conversion of the day to seal the 10-9 win. Pictures by Alex Pacheco / IPC
April 13rd & 14th. The firts and second playoff games was held at the IPC with La Elina and Sol de Agosto battling for the eighth and final spot in the quarterfinals. Tied at halftime, La Elina surged ahead with six consecutive goals to claim the 13-7 victory. With each team advancing to the playoffs in a shootout, a 1-2 SD Farms and a 2-1 Le Fe faced elimination once more in hopes of continuing their U.S. Open journey. In a closely contested matchup, the two competitive teams battled on defense, but foul troubles for La Fe ultimately cost them their chance at victory, as five successful penalty conversions from Felipe Vercellino lifted SD Farms to the 10-8 win. Pictures by Alex Pacheco / IPC
April 11st. Competing in the final day of bracket play in the U.S. Open Polo Championship® eight teams battled in four matches, with Dutta Corp/Show+ and Pilot kicking off the quadruple feature at La Indiana. Despite strong showings in both the C.V. Whitney Cup® and USPA Gold Cup®, Dutta Corp/Show+ were still looking for their first win in the third leg of the GAUNTLET. Facing an undefeated Pilot team, an early start from young Mackenzie Weisz contributing four goals, gave Pilot an early lift to stave off late efforts from Dutta Corp/Show+ for an 8-7 victory. Reconvening on International Polo Club Palm Beach’s (IPC) Field 3, a seven-goal performance from Nic Roldan powered a 1-1 Polo Training Foundation over a winless Old Hickory Bourbon/Airstream 14-10.
The third matchup of the day at Isla Carroll West featured La Elina against a new look lineup in Santa Rita Polo Farm following an injury to 10-goaler Polito Pieres. Despite foul troubles from La Elina allowing their opponents to remain in contention, an impressive nine goals from Juan Martin Obregon fueled La Elina to ultimately seize the 14-12 win. Capping off the day’s events on Isla Carroll West, a dominant performance from Sol de Agosto including a five-goal statement from Paco de Narvaez Jr. and a strong defensive effort held Cessna to just four goals, as Sol de Agosto comfortably claimed the 10-4 victory.
Pictures by Alex Pacheco / IPC
April 9th. Assembling on the heralded U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1, the U.S. Open Polo Championship® continued Sunday between Casablanca and SD Farms in the anticipated Feature Game of the Week. Entering their final matchup of bracket play with an 0-2 record, a standout four-goal performance from Valentino Echezarreta aided Casablanca in their early dominant play, as Casablanca held off a late push from SD Farms to capture their first win of the tournament 11-9. Video by Global Polo and pictures by Agus Fonda
April 8th. Showcasing a full day of polo in the U.S. Open Polo, Friday’s thrilling tripleheader began at Grand Champions Polo Club Field 3, as a neck-and-neck battle between Audi and Tamera came down to the final seconds of regulation where Marc Ganzi jabbed the ball across the line, lifting Audi to the 11-10 victory. Relocating to International Polo Club Palm Beach’s Field 3, the second matchup of the day featured a high scoring affair between Grand Champions Polo Club and defending U.S. Open champions Scone. Despite a breakout performance from Grand Champions Polo Club’s Antonio Aguerre, a dominant nine goal performance from Poroto Cambiaso carried Scone to a 13-10 win. Wrapping up the tripleheader at Park Place, the formidable duo of Hilario Ulloa and Juan Britos aided their undefeated team past a slow start to defeat G-String Polo Ponies 17-13. Píctures by Alex Pacheco / IPC
April 7th. Beginning the tenth day of bracket play in the U.S. Open Polo Championship, Polo Training Foundation and current USPA Gold Cup® titleholders Pilot met in the first matchup of the day at La Indiana. Showcasing their mid-season championship form, Pilot’s unified team play was exemplary from the field where captain Facundo Pieres led the charge with seven goals in open play to seal Pilot’s 11-6 win. Capping off the competition at Isla Carroll East, both Dutta Corp/Show+ and Sol de Agosto were searching for their first victories of the tournament. Taking control of play in the third chukker, a six-goal effort from 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero lifted Sol de Agosto to the 11-9 victory. Píctures by Alex Pacheco / IPC
April 6th. Cessna took to Field 4 against Old Hickory Bourbon/Airstream. Still searching for their first win of the tournament, Cessna’s commanding start and offensive contributions from all teammates, including a six goal performance from Miguel Novillo Astrada guided Cessna to the 11-6 victory. Píctures by Alex Pacheco / IPC
April 5th. Doubleheader bracket play resumed with G-String Polo Ponies claiming their first victory of the tournament over SD Farms on Field 5. Matching each other in stride, four penalty conversions for G-String Polo Ponies in the fourth chukker ultimately set up a last-minute drive from Nico Pieres to claim the hard-fought 14-13 victory. Capping off the action on Field 3, Aspen Valley Polo Club’s Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Pablo Mac Donough combined for ten goals to deliver the 12-8 win over Casablanca.
Píctures by Alex Pacheco / IPC
Seventh Day. April 4th. Qualifying matches in the U.S. Open Polo Championship® continued in an exhilarating day of polo at International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC). Igniting the tripleheader action on Field 4, a five-goal contribution from Scone’s Poroto Cambiaso held off a late push from Santa Rita Polo Farm’s Camilo “Jeta” Castagnola for the 12-11 win. Originally slated for Sunday, Grand Champions Polo Club and La Elina finally got underway at Isla Carroll West, where a combined fourteen-goal effort from Juan Martin, Geronimo and Facundo Obregon delivered La Elina the 15-10 win. Capping off the tripleheader at Isla Carroll East, an uncharacteristically slow start from Park Place was ultimately overcome by GAUNTLET leading scorer Hilario Ulloa, as Park Place took the 14-9 victory over CK Shack to remain undefeated in the U.S. Open
Píctures by Alex Pacheco / IPC
Sixth day, Sunday, April 3rd. Following a postponement between Grand Champions Polo Club and La Elina due to weather, the feature game of the week in the U.S. Open Polo Championship showcased La Fe battling Tamera at International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) on U.S. Polo Assn Field 1. With each team entering the match carrying a 1-0 record, Tamera built an early lead with the assistance of nine goals from Diego Cavanagh, holding off a tenacious La Fe and Francisco Elizalde in the second half to claim the 15-11 victory.
Fran Elizalde's Goal, by Global Polo
Fifth day, Satuday, April 2nd. Saturday’s doubleheader matches kicked-started on Field 3 with a riveting match-up between Audi and La Indiana. Each looking for their first win of bracket play, the two determined teams matched each other stride for stride, where a spectacular twelve goal performance from Audi’s Bartolome Castagnola lifted Audi to the 13-12 overtime victory. Fresh off winning their second USPA Gold Cup® championship title, Pilot utilized their confidence and horsepower to overtake Cessna in the early stages of the match. Led by 10-goaler Facundo Pieres’ six-goal performance, Pilot accumulated all the offensive in the first half they would need to stave off Cessna in an impressive 6-12 win.
Píctures by Alex Pacheco / IPC
Fourth Day, Friday, April 1st. Doubleheader excitement resumed in the U.S. Open Polo Championship® at International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) with CK Shack and SD Farms assembling on Isla Carroll West. Showcasing a fresh roster, SD Farms established an early lead and never looked back, as nine goals from Felipe “Pipe” Vercellino drove his team to an impressive 17-9 victory. Making their GAUNTLET debut, Casablanca faced a tough task facing the reigning C.V. Whitney Cup® champions Park Place. Rebounding from their finals loss to Pilot in the USPA Gold Cup®, Park Place re-established themselves as top competitors in the U.S. Open, with 10-goaler Hilario Ulloa leading his team scoring eight goals to crush Casablanca 18-5.
Píctures by Alex Pacheco / IPC
Third Day. Thursday, March 31. The third day of bracket play in the U.S. Open Polo Championship® began at Grand Champions Polo Club with a match-up between GAUNTLET newcomers Polo Training Foundation and Sol de Agosto, as Polo Training Foundation’s accuracy from the penalty line kept them in contention to overtake their competitors in a late game 11-10 comeback victory. Reconvening on Field 5 at International Polo Club (IPC) for the final match of the doubleheader, La Elina and Scone adjusted to their roster reconstructions on the fly, where Scone’s Poroto Cambiaso finally claimed the upper hand to take the heated battled 13-12 in overtime.
Píctures by Alex Pacheco / IPC
Second Day. Wednesday, March 30. Featuring the debut of three teams in the Gauntlet, the tripleheader kicked-off with Aspen Valley Polo Club taking their first victory of the GAUNLET against G-String Polo Ponies (formerly Coca-Cola) in an exhilarating 12-11 overtime victory. Assembling on Isla Carroll East, Tamera rebounded from their USPA Gold Cup® semifinal loss to open their bid for the U.S. Open with the 8-6 win over La Indiana. Shifting locations to Grand Champions Polo Club for the final matchup of the day, newcomer Santa Rita Polo Farm made a strong statement against Grand Champions Polo Club with a dominant 14-6 victory.
Píctures by Alex Pacheco / IPC
First Day. Tuesday, March 29. For the first time in its history, the U.S. Open Polo Championship fields 20 teams, with play beginning on Tuesday at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. La Fe overcame an injury to Francisco Elizalde, with Poroto Cambiaso stepping in to help La Fe capture the 12-8 victory against Audi. In the second match, Old Hickory Bourbon/Airstream produced an exceptional second half to defeat Dutta Corp/Show+ 11-9.
Píctures by Alex Pacheco / IPC
In 2004, marking one hundred years since the tournament’s inception, the U.S. Open relocated to the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida where it has been held ever since. The U.S. Open Polo Championship perpetual trophy was first presented in 1910 by Joseph B. Thomas. The 2022 U.S. Open Polo Championship® will be livestreamed on Global Polo TV.
All thirteen teams that competed in the 2022 USPA Gold Cup (Cessna, CK Shack, Dutta Corp/Show+, G-String [formerly Coca-Cola], La Elina, La Fe, La Indiana, Old Hickory Bourbon/Airstream, Park Place, Pilot, SD Farms, Tamera) will be returning for the U.S. Open Polo Championship, including defending champions Scone.
Granting individual entires for the first time in the GAUNTLET format, seven newcomers (Aspen Valley, Audi, Casablanca, Grand Champions Polo Club, Polo Training Foundation, Santa Rita Polo Farm, Sol de Agosto) will enter the third leg of the GAUNTLET, bringing the competition to a record-breaking total of 20 teams (with nine 10-goalers competing this year) vying for the title.
The winner of the U.S. Open Polo Championship® will receive $100,000 in prize money. In partnership with USPA Global Licensing, each of the finalist teams will select a polo charity of their choice to receive a $2,500 donation.
ASPEN VALLEY (US Open): Pablo Mac Donough 10, Alejandro Novillo Astrada 7, Vincenzo Sangaline 0, TBA. AUDI (US Open): Bartolomé Castagnola 9, Jason Crowder 5, Marc Ganzi 2, Paco de Narváez 6. CASABLANCA (US Open): Juan Bollini (h) 4, Sugar Erskine 6, Tincho Merlos 8, Luis Escobar 4.
GRAND CHAMPIONS PC (US Open): Gonzalo Pieres 10, Juan Bollini 4, Riley Ganzi 0, TBA.
SANTA RITA (US Open): Camilo Castagnola 9, Melissa Ganzi 0, Polito Pieres 10, TBA.
SOL DE AGOSTO (US Open): Grant Ganzi 3, Juan Martín Nero 10, Paquito de Narváez 2, Victorino Ruiz 7.
THE POLO SCHOOL (US Open): Carlitos Gracida 4, Matías González 4, Nic Roldan 8, Jesse Bray 6.
CESSNA: Edward Campbell 2, Miguel Novillo Astrada 9, Gringo Colombres 8, Will Johnston 2. COCA-COLA: Gillian Johnston 1, Julián de Lusarreta 7, Nico Escobar 5, Nico Pieres 9. DUTTA CORP: Iñaki Laprida 7, Joaquín Avendaño 3, Timmy Dutta 4, Tomás García del Río 8.
LA ELINA: Bobby Gerry 0, Geronimo Obregon 5, Sapo Caset 10, Jared Zenni 6.
LA FE: Francisco Elizalde 9, Louis Devaleix 0, Lucas Diaz Alberdi 6, Robi Bilbao 5.
LA INDIANA: Jeff Hall 6, Lucas Criado (h) 5 / Lucas Criado 6, Mariano Aguerre 7, Stewart Armstrong 3.
PARK PLACE: Josh Hyde 1, Cody Ellis 3, Hilario Ulloa 10, Juan Britos 9.
PILOT: Curtis Pilot 0, Facundo Pieres 10, Mackenzie Weisz 5, Matias Torres Zavaleta 7.
SD FARMS: David Stirling 10, Lucas Escobar 4, Peco Polledo 6, Sayyu Dantata 2.
SCONE: Adolfo Cambiaso 10, David Paradice 0, Keko Magrini 3, Poroto Cambiaso 9.
TAMERA: Alejandro Poma 1, Jejo Taranco 8, Diego Cavanagh 9, Segundo Saravi 4. CK SHACK POLO: Henry Porter 4, Martín Valent 4, Santiago Toccalino 8, Kris Kampsen 6. OLD HICKORI BOURBON: Matías Magrini 7, Santino Magrini 5, Stephen Orthwein 4, Joaquin Panelo 6.
FIXTURE Tuesday March 29 - Audi 8 vs. La Fe 12
Tuesday March 29 - Dutta Corp/Show + 9 vs. Old Hickory Bourbon/Airstream 11
Wednesday March 30 - G-String 11 vs. Aspen Valley 12
Wednesday March 30 - La Indiana 6 vs. Tamera 8
Wednesday March 30 - Grand Champions 6 vs. Santa Rita 14
Thursday March 31 - PTF 11 vs. Sol de Agosto 10
Thursday March 31 -La Elina 12 vs. Scone 13
Friday April 1 - CK Shack 9 vs. SD Farms 17
Friday April 1 - Casablanca 5 vs. Park Place 18
Saturday April 2 - Audi 13 vs. La Indiana 12
Saturday April 2 - Cessna 6 vs. Pilot 12
Sunday April 3 - La Fe 15 vs Tamera 11
Monday April 4 - Santa Rita 11 vs. Scone 12
Monnday April 4 - Grand Champions 15 vs. La Elina 10
Monday April 4 - CK Shack 9 vs. Park Place 14
Tuesday April 5 - G-String 14 vs. SD Farms 13
Tuesday April 5 - Casablanca 8 vs. Aspen Valley 12
Wednesday April 6 - Cessna 11 vs. Old Hickory Bourbon/Airstream 6
Wednesday April 6 - PTF 6 vs. Pilot 11
Thursday April 7 - Dutta Corp/Show+ 9 vs. Sol de Agusto 11
Friday April 8 - Audi 11 vs. Tamera 10 Friday April 8 - G-String 13 vs. Park Place 17
Friday April 8 - Grand Champions 10 vs. Scone 13
Saturday April 9 - CK Shack 10 vs. Aspen Valley 14
Saturday April 9 - La Fe 9 vs. La Indiana 8
Sunday April 10 - Casablanca 11 vs. SD Farms 9
Monday April 11 - Santa Rita 14 vs. La Elina 12
Monday April 11 - Dutta Corp/Show+ 7 vs. Pilot 8
Monday April 11 - PTF 14 vs. Old Hickory Bourbon/Airstream 10
Monday April 11 - Cessna 4 vs. Sol de Agosto 10
Wednesday April 13 - SD Farms 10 vs. La Fe 8
Thursday April 14 - La Elina 13 vs. Sol de Agosto 7
Saturday April 16 - Quarterfinal - Tamera 10 vs. PTF 9
Saturday April 16 - Quarterfinal - Pilot 12 vs. SD Farm 8
Sunday April 17 - 12pm Quarterfinal - Scone 8 vs. Pilot 9
Sunday April 17 - 4pm Quarterfinal - Aspen Valley 10 vs. La Elina 11
Wednesday April 20 - 11am Semifinal - La Elina 10 vs. Tamera 9
Wednesday April 20 - 3pm Semifinal - Park Place 7 vs. Pilot 8
Sunday April 24 - 3pm Final of the 2022 US Open Polo Championship Pilot 11 - La Elina 6