The United States Polo Association® (USPA), the national governing body for the sport of polo, together with Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria, California, announce the 2017 Gulfstream Pacific Coast Open will take place August 13 – 27 at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. Located just five miles south of Santa Barbara and 60 miles north of Los Angeles, California, Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club overlooks the Pacific Ocean providing a picturesque backdrop to an active polo scene.
Starting August 13, public games will take place on Thursdays and Sundays culminating in the championship on Sunday, August 27. The club will host Happy Hour after the Thursday games with drink specials along with Nimita’s Cuisine serving tapas in the grandstand. For the championship final, the club will revive the tailgating tradition, inviting guests to come early, set up a tailgate and picnic. For fans who are unable to attend the games in person, the USPA Polo Network will livestream all matches on uspolo.org.
Standing at a striking height of five feet, the glorious silver-and-gold trophy for the Pacific Coast Open is a dazzling sight. Crowned with an eagle supporting a globe and adorned with semiprecious stones, the trophy is mounted on a redwood base with side panels depicting lively polo scenes. The cup was commissioned in 1908 by friends and members of the Coronado Country Club in California. First competed for the following year, it was initially called the All American Polo Trophy.
Over the last 107 years, the trophy has resided at many clubs. Throughout the late 1920s until the early 1940s the tournament was hosted by numerous California clubs, often landing at each club for no more than a few years before switching to another. After World War II, the PCO moved to the posh and glamourous Beverly Hills Polo Club until 1952 when it took permanent residency at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club where it remains today.
“The USPA is excited to host the 2017 Gulfstream Pacific Coast Open, a historical tournament fielding a number of polo’s top teams,” said USPA Chairman Joe Meyer. “This competition continues to serve as the most highly anticipated high-goal tournament on the Pacific Coast. We would like to thank the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club for helping make this event a continued success.”
Six teams will once again take to the field to compete for the largest title on the Pacific Coast. Defending champions Restoration Hardware are back with newest member Matt Coppola, along with Farmers & Merchants Bank, Klentner Ranch, Lucchese, Santa Clara and Sol de Agosto. Additionally, two-thirds of the competing teams feature Team USPA players, including Klentner Ranch’s Geronimo Obregon and Jesse Bray, Lucchese’s Jared Zenni, Sol de Agosto’s Costi Caset and Jim Wright and Restoration Hardware’s Matt Coppola. Team USPA is a USPA program geared toward growing the next generation of polo players and allowing young professionals to enhance their skills. An additional factor unique to this year’s tournament are two father and son teams competing together. Francisco Escobar will participate with son Luis for Santa Clara, and Francisco de Narvaez will be playing with son Paco for Sol de Agusto.