The history of the Us Arena Polo Open

The U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship serves as the highest level of arena polo competition in the United States and has a rich history dating back to 1926. In its inaugural year, it was won by Yale University made up of Reddington Barret, Winston Guest and William Muir. However, their champion status was quickly overtaken by Brooklyn Riding & Driving Club the following three years (1927-1929).

For nearly four decades, the U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship has been played alternately on the East Coast and West Coast at venues such as Shallowbrook Polo Club, the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, Empire Polo Club, Great Meadow [Twilight] Polo Club (Middleburg, Virginia), West Hills Polo Club, California Polo Club (Los Angeles, California) and Country Farms Polo Club.

In contemporary competition, Cedar Croft Farms garnered the prestigious title from 2013-2015. A significant feat, as only the second team in the history of the tournament to achieve three consecutive wins with the same team members (Kris Kampsen, Felipe Viana and Robert Ceparano). In 2018, Aliano Realty faced Hart Agency in four chukkers of close competition, as Aliano Realty (Pedro Gutierrez, Nick Aliano, Esteban Scott) finished out the day in the lead 11-8 to take home the title.

Following a two year absence from 2019-2020, the U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship was reignited in 2021 and hosted by California Polo Club, with Empire Polo Club serving as the site for games. Dallas Polo Club (Vaughn Miller Jr., Will Walton, Rob Payne) accelerated their momentum against BOOM! Cult (Robert McGinley, Alejandro Nordheimer, Pelon Escapite), and the Texas trio rode to a 14-10 victory.

In 2022, Beverly Equestrian (Wil Ballhaus, Lucio Fernandez Ocampo, Jorge “Tolito” Fernandez Ocampo Jr.) faced-off against Hotels At Sea (Tareq Salahi, Marcos Bignoli, Nicolas Sivori) hosted by Twilight Polo Club in Middleburg, Virginia. Applying relentless pressure in the opening chukker, Beverly Equestrian built a six-goal advantage and never looked back, effectively controlling possession to claim the most prestigious arena polo title in the United States 18-11. Read article here.

Returning to the West Coast, this year’s edition of the U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship presented by U.S. Polo Assn. will be hosted by California Polo Club. A record field of nine talented teams will compete for the coveted title including Bush League, Equus Hotel Waikiki, Denver Polo Club, Hotels At Sea, KCrush, OC Polo, Prestonwood/Broken Taco, SIG and Work to Ride/BOOM! Cult.

Displaying the breadth of exceptional talent and deep roots throughout all levels of polo, the rosters feature many Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) alumni alongside Team USPA alumni Devon Dailey (Equus Hotel Waikiki), Remy Du Celliee Muller (KCrush), Jared Sheldon (OC Polo), Daniel «Cacho» Galindo, Nicolai Galindo (SIG), Kareem Rosser and Patrick Uretz (Work to Ride/BOOM! Cult).

The 2023 U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship will be played in conjunction with the United States Arena Handicap. Five teams will automatically advance into the Handicap following Open preliminary play on Tuesday, December 12. 

The U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship will offer a grand total of $100,000 in prize money as a result of contributions from the host club, USPA Tournament Prize Money Matching Program (PMMP) and title sponsor U.S. Polo Assn. The prize will be divided between first ($55,000), second ($30,000) and third ($15,000) place teams.