UNITED STATES POLO ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES START OF 2021 GAUNTLET OF POLO® WITH C.V. WHITNEY CUP® DRAW LIVE ON GLOBAL POLO TV
WHAT: In an effort to minimize a large gathering, the United States Polo Association (USPA) hosted the C.V. Whitney Cup® draw on Thursday, February 11, 2021, which was broadcast live on Global Polo TV from the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) in Wellington, Florida. Only one representative from each team was invited to draw a token in person and spectators were encouraged to watch the exclusive behind-the-scenes livestream. In addition to the first-round matchups and remarks from USPA Chairman and GAUNTLET competitor Stewart Armstrong, viewers were treated to interviews with top players David Paradice (Scone), Sapo Caset (Tonkawa) and Keko Magrini (Pilot). Although the 2020 C.V. Whitney Cup® champions Las Monjitas will not be competing in 2021, the GAUNTLET OF POLO® welcomes back inaugural GAUNTLET champions Pilot as well as one new team to compete across three prestigious tournaments for a potential $1,000,000 purse. The official draw determined the playing order for the first tournament of the GAUNTLET OF POLO®, the C.V. Whitney Cup®, which begins Wednesday, February 17 at IPC.
WHO: USPA Chairman Stewart Armstrong welcomed everyone to the 2021 GAUNTLET OF POLO® and thanked all parties involved. Draw Party MC Cody Offen outlined the tournament format and Michael Prince (President and CEO of USPA Global Licensing Inc.) spoke about the significance of the GAUNTLET for the sport of polo and the charitable component to this year’s competition. The official draw was conducted by Jimmy Newman, Director of Polo Operations, and Haley Bryan, IPC Polo Coordinator.
WHERE: The International Polo Club Palm Beach will not be open to the general public during the 2021 polo season. IPC will offer a limited number of tickets to Sunday Brunch in the Veuve Clicquot Pavilion for spectators as well as exclusive pre-sold tailgates and boxes. There will be no day of event ticket sales. Please read the IPC Reopening Guide available on the C.V. Whitney Cup® tournament detail page on uspolo.org, for the club’s new protocols and procedures.
Beginning on Wednesday, February 17, spectators will have the opportunity to witness many of the world’s best polo players and their exceptional equine athletes battle head-to-head on Global Polo TV, including 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso returning for the first time since 2018. For the third consecutive year, the GAUNTLET promises to be the most incredible display of athleticism in U.S. polo history as the teams compete for an astounding $1 million purse over three events. The winner of the C.V. Whitney Cup® will receive $100,000 in prize money and $25,000 will be awarded to the runner-up. New to the GAUNTLET in 2021 and in partnership with USPA Global Licensing, each of the teams will select a charity of their choice from 10 non-profit polo organizations which they can support throughout all three tournaments or select every tournament. Both charities of the winner and runners-up will receive a $5,000 donation in the C.V. Whitney Cup®.
The list of participating teams in their newly announced tournament brackets are available below:
Teams will be drawn into three brackets and play within their bracket. After bracket play, all teams will be ranked 1 through 9 with the top team advancing straight to the semifinals. The remaining eight teams will play a third game with the following match-ups: 2 vs. 9, 3 vs. 8, 4 vs. 7, 5 vs. 6
The top three teams on record after the third game will advance to the semifinals.
Two-way ties between teams that played each other will be broken by who beat who and all others by a one-man shootout. Semifinal pairings will be done by a draw, with the winners advancing to the final.
PHOTO CREDIT: ©David Lominska