SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–It is only fitting that one of the world’s most acclaimed arena polo competitions will return to the United States in 2017 and take place within a globally recognized automotive lifestyle event.
The Townsend Cup, in which teams from England and America have been competing since 1928, will take place at Barrett-Jackson, January 14-15, 2017. Encompassing over 74 acres at WestWorld of Scottsdale, Barrett-Jackson is attended by over 350,000 people per year and routinely sells over $100 million in collector cars. Within the facilities used by Barrett-Jackson is the Equidome, a top indoor equestrian arena with seating for 4,000 spectators.
2015 Townsend Cup
Leading the American team will be the country’s only 10-goal arena polo player, Tommy Biddle Jr. One of the biggest hitters in the sport, Biddle Jr. will be joined by Shane Rice and Team USPA member Jared Sheldon.
Crossing the pond for the United Kingdom is 8-goaler Jonny Good, along with Max Charlton and Ed Banner-Eve.
Two years ago, the USA won handily over the U.K. in Palm Springs, California.
The event will also feature the International Intercollegiate Challenge Cup. USPA Intercollegiate players vs. Schools & Universities Polo Association (SUPA) Britain. USPA Intercollegiate players will be Jillian Tietje (Cal Poly), Dalton Woodfin (Texas A&M), Team USPA member Julia Smith (University of Virginia) and Liam Palacios (Cornell).
2015 Townsend Cup
Director of the USPA Intercollegiate/Interscholastic Program Amy Fraser said, “The tradition we have been carrying on with our sister program SUPA is such a unique event, bringing together not only players from different countries, but also provides a chance for players from across our nation to compete together. It optimizes what polo is in the world, allowing players the opportunity to represent their school, the I/I program, the USPA and their country which is very special.”
A USA vs U.K. military match will also be played on Saturday, January 15.
“The Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships have become one of the best outdoor polo events in the country and I very much enjoyed playing at the Equidome in 2012. Now, I can’t wait to play indoors against the best competition in the world and in such a unique and energetic atmosphere,” Biddle Jr. said.
“Auctioning the most beautiful cars in the world is the heart of Barrett-Jackson. It has become so much more over the years; a lifestyle event like no other. We always try to give people new reasons to come or experience us all over again. We’ve never had this kind of horsepower at Barrett-Jackson before. It should be entertaining for our guests during the auction’s first weekend,” said Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson.
He noted that crowds on the first Saturday and Sunday of Barrett-Jackson routinely top 25,000 per day.
“Besides staging our most significant events like the Townsend Cup, one of our missions at the United States Polo Association is to expose our sport to new audiences. This is a great opportunity to work with an internationally recognized brand and event like Barrett-Jackson. Those attending the matches will want to pick up a mallet and play after two great days of polo,” said Duncan Huyler, CEO of the United States Polo Association.
The two-day polo event is organized by the United States Polo Association, The Arizona Polo Association, Being The Change (a Phoenix-based polo club) and the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, and will present four matches. The USPA will livestream the Townsend Cup on the newly launched USPA polo network on uspolo.org, as well as stream the International Intercollegiate Challenge Cup.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 14
2:00pm ET: U.S. Military Arena Polo Team vs United Kingdom Military Polo Team
4:00pm ET: The Townsend Cup: USA vs England (Livestreamed on USPA Polo Network)
SUNDAY, JANUARY 15
12:00pm ET: Border Circuit Sherman Memorial Consolation
1:30pm ET: Border Circuit Sherman Memorial Final
3:30pm ET: International Intercollegiate Challenge Cup: USA vs Britain (Streamed on USPA Polo Network)
Tickets to Barrett-Jackson provide general admission to the Townsend Cup and other matches. Tickets may be purchased for the individual games Saturday (January 14) and Sunday (January 15) for $20 ($17 in advance). Tickets for VIP seating in the first two rows or in sections mid-arena cost $50. Both options can be purchased at Barrett-Jackson.com.
About the United States Polo Association®
The U.S. Polo Association was organized and exists for the purposes of promoting the game of polo, coordinating the activities of its Member Clubs and Registered Players, arranging and supervising polo tournaments, competitions and games, and providing rules, handicaps, and conditions for those tournaments, competitions, and games including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts.
Founded in 1890, the United States Polo Association (USPA) is the national governing body for the sport of polo. USPA is currently comprised of almost 300 member clubs with thousands of individual members, and oversees 40 national tournaments. For more information, please visit uspolo.org.