Oct 06, 2021 8:43 PM

2021 Butler International Cup Champions: G2 (USA)- Larry Aschebrook, Juan Martin Guiterrez, Matias Obregon, Juan Martin Obregon.
2021 Butler International Cup Champions: G2 (USA) - Larry Aschebrook, Juan Martin Guiterrez, Juan Martin Obregon, Matias Obregon.

Oak Brook Polo Club in Oak Brook, Illinois, in association with Chicago Polo Association (Chicago Polo) hosted its last match of the 2021 summer polo season on Sunday, September 26, with the championship final of the Butler International Cup, presented by the Drake Oak Brook Hotel. A record season ending crowd of nearly 1,000 spectators came out to watch G2 (USA) (Larry Aschebrook, Juan Martin Guiterrez, Matias Obregon, Juan Martin Obregon) defeat Jamaica (Charlie Chambers, Freddie Farquharson, Jason Wates, Santiago Torres) 6-3 in the conclusion of the ten-day tournament to engrave their name on the prestigious cup.

Chicago Polo entered its fourth season with high expectations and goals of further advancing its polo initiatives from 2020 and the creation of new ones for 2021. Chicago Polo is a collective, cooperative effort of eight USPA Member Clubs, 15 polo fields, seven polo arenas, and three polo schools with a mission to grow and develop the sport of polo in the great Chicagoland area and establish itself as a regional asset for the USPA Central Circuit. Chicago Polo was created to better optimize Chicagoland’s numerous polo activities, including practices, grass and arena tournaments, and exhibition matches.

G2 (USA)'s Juan Martin Gutierrez stretches for the hook on Jamaica's Santiago Torres.
G2 (USA)'s Juan Martin Gutierrez leans out for the hook on Jamaica's Santiago Torres.

The final was held on Oak Brook’s historic Prince of Wales Field. G2 (USA) led the entire tournament winning each of its three preliminary matches played on the Las Brisas Farm and Polo Club and Passion for Polo pristine fields, including its first match battle with Jamaica in bracket play 9-6. After emerging from bracket play with a 2-1 record, Jamaica set its sights on a finals redemption rematch. G2 (USA) on the other hand sought to keep their winning streak alive and remain undefeated in the tournament to raise the Butler International Cup.

The match got off to a rapid start with G2 (USA) scoring a hat trick beginning with Gutierrez, followed by a Penalty 3 conversion from Matias Obregon and finished off nicely by Larry Aschebrook. Jamaica’s Torres scored the last goal of the chukker bringing the score 3-1 in favor of G2 (USA). G2 (USA) quickly added three more goals to their lead in the second, a goal from Juan Martin Obregon and two Penalty 3 conversions off the mallet of Matias Obregon, to end the chukker 6-1, G2 (USA) with a sizable lead. In the third, Torres would score the lone goal for Jamaica to end the first half 6-2, Jamaica trailing by four.

Jamaica's Jason Wates takes the ball down field.
Jamaica's Jason Wates carries the ball down the field at full speed.

G2 (USA) and Jamaica put on an incredible display of defense in the second half, keeping each other nearly scoreless. Jamaica’s Torres was the only player in both the fifth and sixth chukkers to score on a Penalty 4. The sixth chukker remained scoreless as both teams aggressively kept the other from reaching the goal. G2 (USA) took the championship match 6-3 and remained undefeated in the Butler International Cup with a 4-0 record.

First played for in 1986 between Oak Brook and HRH Prince Charles’s Wales Polo Team, enormous interest from international teams and demand for 12-goal competition has made winning the Butler International Cup a prestigious honor. Best Playing Pony was awarded to Lady Bug, played and owned by Juan Martin Obregon and presented by American Stalls. Most Valuable Player also went to Juan Martin Obregon who's contributions on the day included the final goal of the third chukker to give G2 (USA) a four goal halftime advantage.

G2 (USA)'s Juan Martin Obregon leads the pack as Jamaica's Jason Wates hangs on in pursuit.
G2 (USA)'s Juan Martin Obregon keeps his eye on a bouncing ball as Jamaica's Jason Wates leans out for the hook.

Following the awards ceremony, Drury presented a special award to Oak Brook Polo Club announcer, Rob Wilkinson, for his dedication and services to the club and the greater Chicagoland polo community. Rob, originally from Zimbabwe, achieved a 2-goal handicap and attended Colorado State University, winning the National Intercollegiate Championships back-to-back in 1997 and 1998.

Closing the afternoon awards presentation, Village of Oak Brook Trustee and Polo Liaison, Edward Tiesenga, announced that the Oak Brook Polo Club will be moving to the historic Cecil Smith Field located on Butler National Golf Club’s practice range. The move comes on the eve of Oak Brook Polo Club’s 100th Anniversary.

All photos courtesy of ©Andrew Meier.