OPEN NATIONAL INTERSCHOLASTIC CHAMPIONSHIP
Established in 1928, the Open National Interscholastic Championship is part of the United States Polo Association's Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) polo program, which is dedicated to growing the sport by providing exposure, coordinating activities, recruiting collegiate and scholastic institutions and providing organized competition at regional and national levels with an emphasis on sportsmanship, fairness and safety.
Hoisting the George C. Sherman trophy eleven times between 1970 and 1989, Culver Military Academy (Culver Indiana) holds the record for Open National Interscholastic Championship wins. Close behind with 10 titles, Lawrenceville School's dominance includes eight straight Championships from 1934-1941. Recent notable winners include back-to-back victories for Maryland Polo (Freeland, Maryland) in 2017 and 2018, and Prestonwood Polo Club (Oak Point, Texas) in 2016 and 2019.
In 2022, the Open National Interscholastic Championship was hosted by Brookshire Polo Club (Brookshire, Texas). Hometown heroes Houston Polo Club (Joe Bob Lequerica, Will Mudra, Lance Stefanakis, Ashvath Bhatia, Judah Altic) faced Aiken Polo Club (Madison Jordan, Josh Escapite, Aiden Meeker, Lazaro Gorosito). Meeting for the first time in the tournament, Houston Polo Club maintained a lead into the final chukker where efforts from Mudra and Stefanakis lifted Houston Polo Club to the 10-7 victory and delivered the club’s first Open National Interscholastic Championship title. Read article here.
Returning to Brookshire Polo Club, six competitive teams will battle for the Open National Interscholastic Championship, including Central Regional champions Houston from Houston, Texas, hoping to claim their second consecutive title. Each vying for their first Championship, Regional winners Lancaster-WTR from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Southeastern), South Bay from Gilroy, California (Western), and Yale from Bethany, Connecticut (Northwestern) will be joined by Wildcard entries Lakeside from Lakeside, California, and Tinicum from Erwinna, Pennsylvania, to round out the talented competition.
2022 Open National Interscholastic Championship Champions: Houston Polo Club - Ashvath Bhatia, Lance Stefanakis, Will Mudra, Judah Altic. Pictured with Coach Mark Prinsloo. ©David Murrell