USPA Gold Cup®
The USPA Gold Cup® is the second 22-goal tournament of the Florida high-goal season and the second leg of GAUNTLET OF POLO™. Established in 1974 at Oak Brook Polo Club in Oak Brook, Illinois, in its first edition it featured four teams. Inaugural winners Milwaukee (Tom Hughes, Tommy Wayman, Joe Barry, Robert Uihlein III) bested Houston 9-8, with a thrilling overtime victory. Wayman scored the golden goal three minutes into the sudden death chukker. The following year, the USPA Gold Cup® was moved to Milwaukee Polo Club where it was played from 1975 to 1978. In 1979 it moved to Florida and became the crown jewel of the winter season. It its heyday at the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club, during the 80s and early 90s, the USPA Gold Cup® was the tournament to win, attracting anywhere from 11-20 teams.
After a 17-year stretch at the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club, the tournament was hosted by several clubs over the years including Royal Palm Polo Club (Boca Raton, Florida), Greenwich Polo Club (Greenwich, Connecticut) and New Bridge Polo and Country Club (Aiken, South Carolina), before landing at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida where it has remained since 2007.
In 2015 Audi defeated Orchard Hill 16-15 in the highest-scoring final in USPA Gold Cup® history. Audi again landed in the 2016 finals, however Dubai thwarted their back-to-back championship wins, defeating the team 12-11. Facundo Sola was awarded Most Valuable Player after scoring a total seven goals including the winning goal in the final minutes of the sixth to seal the win. Notable contemporary winners include Valiente (2017, 2014, 2013, 2012), Audi (2015, 2011) and Crab Orchard (2010, 2007). White Birch holds the all-time record wins with 12 titles spanning three decades. Record wins by an individual player is held by 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso with 14 total victories beginning in 1991 and including his most recent win last year with Valiente.
2019 USPA Gold Cup Champions: Pilot: Facundo Pieres, Gonzalito Pieres, Matias 'Colo' Gonzalez, Curtis Pilot. ©David Lominska