As anticipation builds leading to the launch of the newly-minted GUANTLET OF POLO™ series, the United States Polo Association (USPA), USPA Global Licensing (USPAGL) and International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) are pleased to announce the 16 teams that will contend for the title of GAUNTLET champion. A pivotal moment in the history of polo competition, the challenge has drawn a record number of elite teams from across the nation and internationally for a chance at glory and the $1,000,000 stakes.
USPA CEO Robert Puetz commented on the impressive rosters boasting top players from around the world. “With this year’s lineup of a record 16 teams playing in all three tournaments, each team has the makeup of talent and experience for being the first GAUNTLET Champion. It will be exciting to watch the series unfold and find out who has the horses and determination to pull it off.”
The 2019 tournament series will kick off February 13-24, 2019 with the C.V. Whitney Cup, continue with the USPA Gold Cup®, February 24-March 24, 2019, and conclude with the illustrious U.S. Open Polo Championship® March 27-April 21, 2019. The prize money format will guarantee $125,000 to each of the winning teams of the C.V. Whitney Cup and the USPA Gold Cup®, and a $250,000 prize for the winner of the U.S. Open Polo Championship®. Additionally, any team who wins all three tournaments consecutively will be awarded a $500,000 bonus, for a total of $1 million in prize money and crowned as the first ever GAUNTLET Champion.
The stage is set for an unprecedented contest of skill and endurance as teams and their equine partners descend upon Wellington, Florida, for three months of demanding competition in pursuit of the ultimate prize. “Sixteen teams is a very important number,” said 9-goaler Nico Pieres. “It’s been awhile since there have been sixteen teams anywhere in the world, so it’s going to be a special season. I’m thrilled to be playing, and I hope this is the beginning of many good years for polo in the United States,” Pieres continued.
2019 GAUNTLET OF POLO Teams:
Team Name TBD (22): Tomas Schwenke (2), Polito Pieres (10), Lucas James (7), Stewart Armstrong (3).
Cessna Polo Team (21): Chip Campbell (2), Ezequiel “Gallego” Martinez Ferrario (7), Felipe Marquez (6), Felipe Viana (6).
Coca-Cola (22): Gillian Johnston (2), Wesley Finlayson (4), Julian de Lusarreta (8), Ignacio “Nacho” Novillo Astrada (8).
Daily Racing Form (22): Jared Zenni (6), Geronimo Obregon (4), Santiago Cernadas (6), Agustin Obregon (6).
Equuleus (22): Joe DiMenna (A), Iñaki Laprida (7), Magoo Laprida (8), Mariano Gonzalez (7).
Iconica (22): Maureen Brennan (1), Peke Gonzalez (5), Sebastian Merlos (9), Matias Magrini (7).
La Indiana (22): Michael Bickford (2), Facundo Obregon (6), Jeff Hall (7), Tomas Garcia del Rio (7).
Las Monjitas (22): Camilo Bautista (A), Hilario Ulloa (10), Francisco Elizalde (8), Matthew Coppola (4).
Park Place (22): Andrey Borodin (A), Juan Britos (8), Nico Pieres (9), Tommy Collingwood (5).
Pilot (22): Facundo Pieres (10), Gonzalito Pieres (9), Matias Gonzalez (3), Curtis Pilot (A)
Postage Stamp Farm (22): Annabelle Gundlach (A), Valerio “Lerin” Zubiaurre (8), Mariano Aguerre (8), Joaquin Panelo (6).
Santa Clara (22): Nico Escobar (3), Mariano Obregon Jr. (6), Ignacio “Cubi” Toccalino (8), Luis Escobar (5).
SD Farms (22): Sayyu Dantata (2), Peco Polledo (6), Juan “Tito” Ruiz Guiñazu (8), Jesse Bray (6).
Stable Door Polo (21): Henry Porter (3), Santino Magrini (4), Victorino Ruiz (6), Santiago Toccalino (8).
Tonkawa (22): Jeff Hildebrand (A), Agustin “Tincho” Merlos (8), Guillermo “Sapo” Caset (10), Sterling Giannico (4).
Team Name TBD (21): Will Johnston (2), Jason Crowder (6), Miguel Novillo Astrada (9), Stevie Orthwein (4).
Games for all three tournaments will be livestreamed on the USPA Polo Network. For more information on the GAUNTLET OF POLO, please visit uspolo.org/gauntletofpolo. Tickets for all GAUNTLET OF POLO games on the U.S. Polo Assn. Field are available for purchase at www.internationalpoloclub.com.