PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In the packed U.S. Polo Assn. Stadium at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC), Las Monjitas defeated La Indiana 11-10 to win the C.V. Whitney Cup, the first event of the 2020 GAUNTLET OF POLO™. With the victory, Las Monjitas earned the $100,000 first-place prize. La Indiana earned $25,000 for the second-place prize, totaling $125,000 in prize money for the first leg of the GAUNTLET OF POLO.
Now in their second year playing in the GAUNTLET OF POLO, team Las Monjitas went to the C.V. Whitney finals last year against the 2019 GAUNTLET winner. This year, the team features returning players Camilo Bautista, team owner, and Francisco Elizalde, as well as new team members Pelon Stirling and Mackenzie Weisz.
"The competition is always tough, but the horses are getting better with each game, and they will be perfect for the final," noted Elizalde after his team's semi-final win.
"The last two weeks have been tough. We are going to have fun and start thinking about the USPA Gold Cup tomorrow," said Team Owner Camilo Bautista.
Also in their second year participating in the GAUNTLET OF POLO, team La Indiana changed the trajectory of the Gauntlet series by defeating Team Pilot in the semi-finals of this year's C.V. Whitney Cup. This was vindication for the team who lost in the semi-finals to GAUNTLET winner Team Pilot in 2019. La Indiana's 2020 team consists of returning players Jeff Hall and team owner Michael Bickford, as well as new players Polito Pieres and Santiago Gomez Romero.
"It's going to be a great competition going forward, and we will do our best!" said Romero after finishing the semi-final match.
In addition to the C.V. Whitney Cup, which commemorated its 40th year of competition and was presented by C.V. Whitney's Great Niece Whitney Munn Miller and her son, Royal Douglas III, the USPA Gold Cup® follows February 22-March 22, and the GAUNTLET concludes March 21-April 19 with the U.S. Open Polo Championship®. All three tournaments, which are owned and sanctioned by the United States Polo Association (USPA), will be contested at the International Polo Club Palm Beach on the U.S. Polo Assn. Stadium Field with live game coverage on globalpolo.com.
"This tournament series encapsulates the very best of polo competition in the United States," said Robert Puetz, CEO of the United States Polo Association. "The eyes of the polo world are on the International Polo Club Palm Beach watching some of the world's best players and teams battling to win the prize purse and be named the GAUNTLET Champion."
The GAUNTLET OF POLO is an elite three-tournament series, and this year features 14 of the world's best polo teams and five 10-Goal players, the top level for polo players. The 10-Goal players competing this year include Sapo Caset, Facundo Pieres, Gonzalo Pieres, Pelon Stirling and Polito Pieres. Facundo Pieres and Gonzalo Pieres were part of Team Pilot's 2019 GAUNTLET Championship team.
David Cummings, President and CEO of Global Polo Entertainment said, "With the launch of the GAUNTLET OF POLO just last year, the sport of polo is gaining more momentum every day on-site in Wellington, online at globalpolo.com and in the hearts of polo fans all over the world. Now polo fans everywhere can live stream the game and even relive the action online whenever and wherever they want."
The series is hosted by International Polo Club Palm Beach and sanctioned by the United States Polo Association, the parent of USPA Global Licensing (USPAGL) who oversees the U.S. Polo Assn. brand. The GAUNTLET OF POLO offers the richest prize in the sport of polo today, with a $1,000,000 prize fund. If Las Monjitas can win the remaining two GAUNTLET OF POLO tournaments, they will earn a $500,000 bonus.
In the new 2020 prize format, second place teams share in the total prize fund. The winning team of the C.V. Whitney Cup and of the USPA Gold Cup will each receive $100,000 per tournament, and the second-place teams will receive $25,000. The winning team of the U.S. Open Polo Championship will receive $200,000, and the second-place team will receive $50,000. Should a team win all three USPA tournaments, they will receive an additional $500,000 bonus and be crowned the GAUNTLET Champion. In 2019, Team Pilot captured all three events to win $1 million over the course of the series.
How fans can watch all three GAUNTLET OF POLO tournaments:
Live on-site at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida.
USPA Polo Network livestreamed games and highlights online at globalpolo.com.
CBS Sports will air the U.S. Open Polo Championship final, presented by Discover the Palm Beaches, on Sunday, April 26, at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
Tickets for all GAUNTLET OF POLO games on the U.S. Polo Assn. stadium field are available at https://www.uspolo.org/gauntlet-of-polo/2020. A variety of ticket options can be purchased online in advance, on game day at the gate or by phone at 561-282-5334.
FINAL GAME PHOTOS: https://we.tl/t-IngzXhHA65
Founded in 1890, the United States Polo Association (USPA) is the national non-profit governing body for the sport of polo, comprised of almost 300 member clubs and thousands of individual members. For more on the United States Polo Association, visit www.uspolo.org.
USPA Global Licensing Inc. (USPAGL) is the for-profit subsidiary of the USPA and the exclusive worldwide licensor for the USPA's global licensing program. USPAGL manages the global, multi-billion-dollar U.S. Polo Assn. brand and is the steward of the USPA's intellectual properties, providing the sport with a long-term source of revenue.
U.S. Polo Assn. is the official brand of the United States Polo Association (USPA). With a global footprint of $1.7 billion and worldwide distribution through more than 1,100 U.S. Polo Assn. retail stores, department stores, independent retailers and e-commerce, U.S. Polo Assn. offers apparel for men, women and children, as well as accessories, footwear, travel and home goods in 180 countries worldwide. Recently ranked the 4th largest sports licensor and 36th overall in License Global magazine's 2019 list of "Top 150 Global Licensors," U.S. Polo Assn. now takes its place alongside such iconic sports brands as Major League Baseball, National Football League and National Basketball Association. For more information on U.S. Polo Assn., visit www.uspoloassnglobal.com.
Global Polo Entertainment™ (GPE) is a subsidiary of USPA Global Licensing, responsible for creating, distributing and monetizing content opportunities across the entire USPA enterprise. Additionally, GPE produces global broadcasts to bring the sport of polo to millions of consumers and sports fans around the world. Watch live-stream games online at globalpolo.com.
The International Polo Club Palm Beach is the premier polo destination in the world, hosting the largest field of high-goal teams and the most prestigious polo tournaments in the United States. Polo matches are open to the public, with a wide range of hospitality and guest seating that includes elegant grandstand viewing, field tailgating, stadium seating, field-side champagne brunch at The Pavilion, and exclusive sponsor boxes.
Shannon Stilson, Assistant Vice President, Marketing, USPA Global Licensing
Cell (904) 466-8492
LAS MONJITAS CAPTURES C.V. WHITNEY CUP TO SEIZE FIRST LEG OF THE 2020 GAUNTLET OF POLO
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SOURCE USPA Global Licensing Inc.