Wed

Oct

27

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

4:00 PM UTC

Skaneateles

Field One

Fri

Oct

29

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

8:00 PM UTC

UN-STA-BLE

TBA

Sat

Oct

30

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

4:00 PM UTC

Tipler Law/Cooper H&S

Hutchinson Farms

Sun

Oct

31

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

8:00 PM UTC

LBL

Upatoi Green/ Foxdale Equine

See All Hide
WATCH NOW: Live Coverage of
WATCH NOW: Live Coverage of

Wed

Oct

27

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

4:00 PM UTC

Skaneateles

Field One

Fri

Oct

29

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

8:00 PM UTC

UN-STA-BLE

TBA

Sat

Oct

30

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

4:00 PM UTC

Tipler Law/Cooper H&S

Hutchinson Farms

Sun

Oct

31

Association Cup

New Bridge Polo & Country Club

8:00 PM UTC

LBL

Upatoi Green/ Foxdale Equine

WATCH NOW: Live Coverage of

THE LATEST

NEWS

GONZALITO PIERES’ FREQUENT FLYER: OPEN SMILE

Apr 06, 2021 6:46 PM

SHARE
Gonzalito Pieres and Open Smile competing in the 2021 GAUNTLET OF POLO®.
Gonzalito Pieres and Open Smile competing in the 2021 GAUNTLET OF POLO®.

Although small in stature, 10-year-old Open Smile (Cabernet x Sonrisa) is the complete high-goal package, possessing the finest bloodlines characteristic of a Pieres homebred. As the daughter of one of Ellerstina’s top breeding stallions and the granddaughter of Gonzalo Pieres’ Simpática, Open Smile has quickly been singled out in Gonzalito Pieres’ elite string which is no easy feat. Competing in her first Argentine Open at just six years old, the chestnut mare proved herself to be an essential ingredient of what made the Pilot machine so strong in the inaugural GAUNTLET OF POLO®, playing in all three finals which led to the historic GAUNTLET trophy.

Swift-footed from the first few strides, Open Smile’s immediate burst of speed and agility have resulted in her frequent travel schedule between the United States and Argentina. Making two international trips in 2019 and 2020, Open Smile solidified her position in the 10-goaler’s string, competing in the Argentine Open and GAUNTLET OF POLO® twice consecutively. Both a reliable spare and a determined competitor, Open Smile effortlessly transitions from standing relaxed on the sidelines to accelerating down the field in a full gallop, a blur distinguished by a single white sock on her hind leg. Capable of withstanding the changing demands of a high-goal polo pony, Open Smile’s versatility has positioned her for a lengthy career under the stewardship of a seasoned veteran.

Gonzalito Pieres and Open Smile riding onto the field.
Gonzalito Pieres and Open Smile riding onto the field.

What characteristics from the parents do you see in Open Smile?

“Open Smile is more similar to her sire Cabernet’s line in the way she moves—really low to the ground and she turns really quickly. Her mother Sonrisa was a bit bigger than she is so I think it was a really good combination. Sonrisa used to play in Florida with my brother Facundo Pieres before she retired. We have a lot of mares competing in the U.S. Open Polo Championship® which came from her, including Open Smile, so the breeding line is really good.”

When did you realize she had the potential to be a top polo pony in your string?

“She has always been good since the first time I jumped on her when she was six years old. She moved to the sides really well so I thought she was going to be a really good polo horse for me. I played her in the Argentine Open when she was six and seven years old and I brought her to the United States when she was eight to compete in the inaugural GAUNTLET OF POLO® in 2019 which we won with Pilot. After that season in Florida I took her back to Argentina and then I brought her back again this year.”

“Even though she is a smaller mare she always fights hard to beat the guy who's beside her. The power that she has for a small horse is quite impressive.”  – Gonzalito Pieres

Which chukkers do you typically play her?

“Open Smile’s definitely a mare that I will play as a spare in the first half of a game. I will play her in the sixth chukker during the most important games of the tournament such as the semifinals and final. As a spare some horses can get a bit anxious but Open Smile is always relaxed even at the field. She’s a horse even my two kids can ride, so she’s really calm and always nice to hit the ball off of. Whenever I bring her onto the field and ask her to give more she has it.”

Pilot's Gonzalito Pieres hitting a nearside neckshot on Open Smile.
Pilot's Gonzalito Pieres hitting a nearside neckshot on Open Smile.

What are her best qualities on the field?

“She is very fast from the first strides and I think that’s a really big advantage on the larger horses. She doesn’t move like a small horse—I imagine being that size its easier for her to move quicker. She also has a good mouth and is usually one of the first horses to turn on the field. When you are turning, I like the way she runs because she puts a lot of effort and power into it. She tries really hard when I'm playing the ball or going for a pass with a bit of angle. Even though she is a smaller mare she always fights hard to beat the guy who's beside her. The power that she has for a small horse is quite impressive.”

Do you have a favorite playing memory on Open Smile?

“This past season in the first two games of the 2020 Argentine Open with Ellerstina she performed really well. After that, Open Smile came back to the United States, so when we were playing the last two games of the Argentine Open she was resting for the Florida season.”

What are your plans for her after the Florida season concludes?

“I'm thinking of keeping her in the United States so she can become more acclimated and hopefully be one hundred percent for next year. She will get turned out with the other Pilot horses in Wyoming where the weather is cooler. Since she’s already traveled twice in the last couple years, I'm hoping she can stay here for a few more years.”

What are your plans for her in the future?

“We have already taken some embryos from her when she started playing in Argentina. I want to continue playing her until she’s 15 or 16, if she’s still sound. Once she retires I will probably take her back to Argentina to become a broodmare on our farm.”

Watch Open Smile compete in the U.S. Open Polo Championship® Quarterfinal on Sunday, April 11 exclusively on Global Polo TV.

All photos courtesy of ©David Lominska

USPA

LEARN TO PLAY

Click Here
×

Online shopping is not available in your country

Find Retail Locations