The East Coast Open (ECO) was first played in 1978 at Myopia Polo Club in Hamilton, Massachusetts. The trophy used for the event, known as the Perry Trophy, was first awarded in 1905 and retired by Myopia Polo Club in 1909. Designed by Oscar L. Lanz, the Perry Trophy was first presented by Mrs. Marsden Perry to the Rumford Polo Club in Providence, Rhode Island. Per tournament stipulations at the time, if a team won the competition three times within five years, they would keep the coveted trophy. Myopia accomplished this prior to WWI and thus owned the trophy.
It was then put into use in 1978, when Donald V. Little Sr. established the ECO at Myopia Polo Club. The tournament remained at Myopia for 25 consecutive years until 2003. In its inaugural year, five teams competed in the ECO at the 14-18 goal level. Village Farm (Richard Bostwick, C. Heath Manning Jr., Guillermo “Memo” Gracida and Charles Bostwick) prevailed over Fairfield 10-4. The following year the East Coast Open gained momentum as a total of eight teams competed for the trophy, which moved to a higher handicap level of 16-20 goals.
The 1980 Blue Book discusses the Northeastern Circuit, “The other new club is the White Birch Farm in Greenwich, Connecticut. There, Peter Brant built a field of which there is none comparable, and this field featured a high goal match at the end of the season.” The Blue Book continues with a bold claim, “As we enter the decade of the 1980s, polo in the Northeastern Circuit is stronger than any time in history”—this was certainly true for the East Coast Open. Throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s the ECO boasted an average of 10 teams each year. Just two years after creating his own club, Peter Brant’s White Birch garnered their first ECO title, of a record 11 total wins to date. White Birch repeated their win the following year against an impressive field of 13 teams, a tournament record.
2015 East Coast Open Champions Audi
In 2005, the ECO moved to the renowned Greenwich Polo Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. Over the past 10 years, White Birch has dominated competition with eight wins; including a notable five-year streak from 2005-2009. Aside from powerhouse White Birch, only two other teams have succeeded in securing the title in the last decade; Tupungato (Carlucho Arellano, Mariano Obregon, Luis Rinaldini, Nic Roldan) in 2010 and most recently Audi (Miguel Novillo Astrada, Juan Bollini Jr., Marc Ganzi and Nic Roldan) in 2015. Last year’s East Coast Open final match-up between Audi and White Birch resulted in a thrilling overtime victory for Audi, the first ECO title for the team.
This year, eight teams will descend on Greenwich Polo Club to compete in the Northeast’s most prestigious high-goal tournament, including defending champions Audi. From August 28 to September 11, three weeks of intense competition will be livestreamed on ChukkerTV. Drawing many of the world’s top polo competitors, teams and players will be vying for their inscription on the Perry Trophy, amongst Hall of Famers such as Adam Snow, Hector Galindo, Owen Rinehart and Guillermo “Memo” Gracida.
All 2016 East Coast Open games will be livestreamed on ChukkerTV
Saturday, August 27
10:00am ET – Goose Creek vs Beluga
4:00pm ET – Faraway vs White Birch
Sunday, August 28
10:00am ET – Audi vs Airstream
3:00pm ET – Tupungato vs Postage Stamp Farm
Tuesday, August 30
4:00pm ET – White Birch vs Goose Creek
Wednesday, August 31
10:00am ET – Audi vs Tupungato
5:00pm ET – Airstream vs Postage Stamp Farm
Thursday, September 1
TBD – Faraway vs Beluga
Saturday, September 3
10:00am ET – Beluga vs White Birch
4:00pm ET – Airstream vs Tupungato
Sunday, September 4
3:00pm ET – Goose Creek vs Faraway
3:00pm ET – Audi vs Postage Stamp Farm
Tuesday, September 6
TBD – Tommy B. Glynn Semifinals game 1
Wednesday, September 7
TBD – ECO Semifinals game 1
TBD – ECO Semifinals game 2
Thursday, September 8
TBD – Tommy B. Glynn Semifinals game 2
Saturday, September 10
TBD – Tommy B. Glynn Finals
Sunday, September 11
3:00pm ET – ECO Finals