March 22, 2024

This Sunday, March 24, Valiente and La Dolfina will go head-to-head in the USPA Gold Cup final. Valiente, who captured the first leg of the Gauntlet of Polo series, the C.V. Whitney Cup, is the only team currently eligible for Gauntlet contention. If the C.V. Whitney Cup winners also claim the USPA Gold Cup, they will have captured two of the three titles needed to position themselves as the Gauntlet contender and will look to claim the third title in the apex of the Gauntlet of Polo: the U.S. Open Polo Championship. The only team in history to have captured the Gauntlet was Pilot in 2019, the series’ inaugural year. The draw for the third leg in the series took place on Thursday, March 21, to determine positioning for the final tournament.

The most prestigious polo tournament in the United States, the U.S. Open was first played in 1904. In 2004, exactly one hundred years after the tournament’s inception, the U.S. Open relocated to Wellington, Florida, where it has been held ever since. “The U.S. Open Polo Championship is the most important polo tournament in America,” said USPA Chief Operating Officer Chris Green. “It has been played for 120 years. There is not a person who has ever played polo for any period of time who would not want his or her name to be inscribed on the U.S. Open trophy.”

The 2024 U.S. Open Polo Championship will field the same nine teams (Coca-Cola, La Dolfina, La Fe, Pilot, Park Place, Tamera, The Dutta Corp, Valiente, Clearwater) that competed in the USPA Gold Cup. Gillian Johnston, the only woman competing in the series, is looking to make a return to the podium: Johnston won the U.S. Open in 2002 with her team, Coca-Cola. Valiente and Pilot enter the competition with two titles while defending U.S. Open champion Park Place returns in search of a second consecutive trophy.

Additionally, four 10-goalers (Hilario Ulloa, Facundo Pieres, Poroto Cambiaso, Adolfo Cambiaso) will compete, representing the highest level of the sport. Leading the group in U.S. Open wins is Adolfo Cambiaso, who holds nine titles; Facundo Pieres boasts six wins and Hilario Ulloa holds four, including his 2023 win with Park Place. The father-son Cambiaso duo will clash once again, with Adolfo’s son, Poroto, entering the competition in search of his second U.S. Open victory.

Joining the Coca-Cola roster is 7-goaler Victorino “Torito” Ruiz Jorba, who will replace injured Julian de Lusaretta for the last leg of the Gauntlet. Marcos Bignoli will continue with Park Place after joining the defending champions during the second stage of the series. Alejandro Aznar will join the competition as well, rounding out the La Dolfina roster.

Raising the stakes from the first two legs in the series, the winner of the U.S. Open Polo Championship will take home $100,000 in prize money. In keeping with the spirit of philanthropy, U.S. Polo Assn. will provide a $2,500 donation to the finalists to be donated to a polo charity of their choice.

**See below for the full list of teams/rosters:

1. Clearwater (22) – Chip Campbell (1), Raul “Gringo” Colombres (8), Lucas Criado Jr. (7), Jared Zenni (6)*
2. Coca-Cola (22) – Gillian Johnston (0), Kristos “Keko” Magrini (6)*, Pablo “Polito” Pieres (9), Victorino “Torito” Ruiz Jorba (7)
3. Pilot (22) – Curtis Pilot (0), Facundo Pieres (10), Santiago Torres (6)*, Antonio Heguy (6)
4. The Dutta Corp (22) – Timmy Dutta (4)*, Joaquin Avendaño (4), Mariano “Nino”Obregon Jr. (6), Tomas Garcia del Rio (8)
5. Park Place (22) – Andrey Borodin (0), Juan Britos (9), Hilario Ulloa (10), Marcos Bignoli (3)
6. La Fe (22) – Louis Devaleix (1), Lucas Diaz Alberdi (6), Francisco Elizalde (9), Roberto Bilbao (6)
7. La Dolfina (22) – Alejandro Aznar (0), Rufino Merlos (3), Poroto Cambiaso (10), Tomas Panelo (9)
8. Tamera (22) – Alejandro Poma (1), Segundo Saravi (5), Matias Torres Zavaleta (8), Diego Cavanagh (8)
9. Valiente (22) – Bob Jornayvaz (0), Mariano “Peke” Gonzalez Jr. (7), Federico Panzillo (5), Adolfo Cambiaso (10)

*Kristos “Keko” Magrini is an active Team USPA member. Santiago Torres, Jared Zenni and Timmy Dutta are Team USPA alumni. 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.
**All team rosters are subject to change.


The tournament will begin on Wednesday, March 27, and run through the end of April. Following the same format as the USPA Gold Cup, all teams will play four preliminary matches each. Following the conclusion of preliminary play, all teams will be ranked 1-9. The top four ranked teams will draw for semifinal pairings. The winners of the semifinals will advance to the U.S. Open Polo Championship final, slated for Sunday, April 21 at 4:00pm ET on U.S. Polo Assn. Field One at NPC. Any ties between teams that played each other will be broken by who-beat-who. All other ties will be broken by a one-player shootout.

The Tommy Hitchcock Memorial Handicap will be introduced as the subsidiary of this year’s U.S. Open Polo Championship. Born in Aiken, South Carolina, Polo Hall of Famer Thomas “Tommy” Hitchcock Jr. (February 11, 1900 – April 18, 1944) was an American polo player and aviator. Hitchcock served as a pilot in both World War I and II, and was instrumental in the development of the P-51 Mustang fighter plane. His passion for polo spanned several decades, with notable wins in the 1921 International Polo Cup and U.S. Open Polo Championship (1923, 1927, 1935, 1936). Hitchcock maintained a 10-goal handicap from 1922-1940.

Played at the 18-22 goal level, the subsidiary tournament will be played in a single elimination format. Teams who are entered in the U.S. Open that do not qualify for the semifinals will be automatically entered in the Hitchcock Memorial. Breaking new ground to encourage participation, teams that satisfy the American Rule but are not entered in the U.S. Open may enter the Hitchcock Memorial. The championship match of the Tommy Hitchcock Memorial Handicap will be played the same weekend as the U.S. Open Polo Championship final.

Spectating from the NPC stadium, private boxes, fieldside tailgates and special hospitality tents all overlooking U.S. Polo Assn. Field One is an unparalleled experience available for Sunday matches throughout the Gauntlet of Polo series. Tickets can be purchased at nationalpolocenter.com.

All U.S. Open games played at NPC will be livestreamed by the USPA Polo Network and available on uspolo.org, as well as across multiple USPA social media platforms including Facebook, X and YouTube. To learn more about 2024 livestreaming on the USPA Polo Network, visit the broadcast schedule here.

In addition to livestreaming on the USPA Polo Network, Global Polo Entertainment and USPA Global Licensing extended their historic relationship with ESPN through 2024 to bring the finals of the top U.S. polo events to ESPN platforms. Games will be distributed on ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and available on-demand on the ESPN App. In 2024, games will include the most prestigious tournaments in North America, including the U.S. Open Polo Championship.