Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria, California, together with the United States Polo Association® (USPA), the national governing body for the sport of polo, are pleased to announce the 2018 Silver Air Pacific Coast Open which will take place August 16 – September 2. Located just five miles south of Santa Barbara and 60 miles north of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club overlooks the Pacific Ocean providing an attractive backdrop to an active polo scene.
Beginning August 16 at 2:00pm PST, public games will take place on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays culminating in the championship final on Sunday, September 2 at 3:00pm PST. The club will host Happy Hour after each public match with drink specials, trivia and delicious Happy Hour appetizers available for purchase 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, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. Additionally, U.S. Polo Assn. will be partnering with Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club to help elevate the sport and brand through custom signage for the duration of the tournament.
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 108 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 glamorous Beverly Hills Polo Club until 1952 when it took permanent residency at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club where it remains today.
Last year’s Pacific Coast Open went into a thrilling double overtime that kept fans on the edge of their seats. The seasoned Farmers & Merchants Bank defeated the young guns of Klentner Ranch 11-10 taking home the trophy for the first time in the organization’s history.
“I’m excited for the five great teams set to compete in the 2018 Silver Air Pacific Coast Open which culminates another successful high-goal polo season at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club,” said USPA CEO Robert Puetz. “We are anticipating thrilling games with fierce competition throughout the tournament and hope to see another final like last year’s epic double overtime. The club continues to do an outstanding job with sponsors and spectators which supports our goal of growing awareness for the sport of polo, particularly on the West Coast.”
Five teams will take to the field to compete for the largest title on the Pacific Coast. Defending champions Farmers & Merchants Bank will seek to reclaim the title. Also in the running are 2016 Pacific Coast Open Champions and recent Maserati of Santa Barbara America Cup winners Restoration Hardware, 2017 finalists Klentner Ranch, four-time winners Lucchese and Sol De Agosto. Sibling rivalry will be at the forefront of the competition with brothers Facundo, Geronimo and Mariano Obregon, each playing on a different team, the latter the 2018 U.S. Open Polo Championship® winner.
Additionally, three of the competing teams feature Team USPA members, including Klentner Ranch’s Remy Du Celliee Muller and Jesse Bray, Farmers & Merchants Bank’s Tomas Alberdi and Restoration Hardware’s Geronimo Obregon. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.
For full team rosters, schedule and more information on the tournament, please visit www.uspolo.org. Tickets are now available for the Silver Air Pacific Coast Open and can be purchased at www.sbpolo.com. For more information on Silver Air, please visit www.silverair.com.