NATIONAL ARENA DELEGATE'S CUP
The National Arena Delegate’s Cup, formally known as the National Arena Eight Goal, is a 6- to 9-goal national tournament. First played in 1975, Farmington (Owen R. Rinehart, Robert H. Rinehart, Raymond Nicoll) earned the inaugural title over Gone Away Farm 9-5. Played at multiple clubs throughout its history, notable contemporary winners include back-to-back champions Shallowbrook (1991, 1992) and Golden Zebra (2006, 2007). Hosted by Commonwealth Polo Club in Paris, Kentucky in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022, four different champions were awarded (Gainesway, W/M, Orea Polo, Commonwealth Polo) before the tournament was relocated in 2023 to Brookshire Polo Club in Brookshire, Texas.
In 2023, Chandler Ranch (Roxy Mounter, Megan Flynn, Shane Rice) went head-to-head against Dallas Polo Club (Nick Lahutsky, Zak Coleman, Will Walton). Each entering the final with a 3-0 record, Dallas Polo Club came out strong with an early lead. At the break, Chandler Ranch remained within one goal which allowed the team in pink to pull ahead in the fourth chukker and claim the 21-18 comeback victory.
Hosted by Brookshire Polo Club for a second consecutive year, the National Arena Delegate's Cup joins the USPA National Arena Bronze Cup, Southwestern Circuit General George S. Patton Jr., Southwestern Circuit Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and Southwestern Circuit General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller as part of the widely popular Texas Arena League (TAL). In its seventh year of competition, TAL is comprised of host locations at Legends Polo Club (Kaufman, Texas), Brookshire Polo Club (Brookshire, Texas), Dripping Springs Ranch Park Event Center and Arena and San Antonio Rose Palace uniting arena players competing from the -1 to 9-goal level across the state. Teams and players participating in TAL also have the opportunity to collect points accumulated at each event to be tallied towards End of League awards.
Showcasing many familiar Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) and TAL competitors, six teams will battle for the National Arena Delegate's Cup, including Bar-Spur LLC, Christian Brothers, La Luna Polo, Prestonwood, Roxstars and Texas A&M.
Reigning champions Roxy Mounter, Megan Flynn and Shane Rice will attempt to defend their title under the new moniker Roxstars, with the remaining competitors vying for their first National Arena Delegate's Cup title. Representing Team USPA are alumnae Stephanie Colburn (Bar-Spur LLC) and Tiamo Hudspeth (Christian Brothers).
Brookshire Polo Club will be taking advantage of the USPA's Tournament Support Program (TSP) for the National Arena Delegate's Cup, which provides eligible USPA Member Clubs with waived tournament fees, trophies or trophy reimbursements, one professional umpire and $2,500 in prize money at no extra cost.
The USPA originally created the Tournament Stimulus Package (TSP) to help member clubs host USPA events when the United States was emerging from the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis. The USPA wanted to continue to support member clubs with TSP benefits in 2022. Therefore, it extended and expanded TSP under a new name - the Tournament Support Program. Each USPA Member Club can obtain TSP benefits for two USPA events, with the option of a third under specific circumstances.
Photo: 2023 National Arena Delegate's Cup Champions: Chandler Ranch - Megan Flynn, Shane Rice, Roxy Mounter. ©David Murrell