Polo players and fans are excited about the winner-take-all $100,000 World Cup tournament. The 0-26 format has attracted the largest field and richest prize purse in Grand Champions Polo Club’s 10-year history. The Wellington based club is known for innovative tournament formats and attracting top polo talent.
“It’s a good format, it grabs everyone’s attention, especially the $100,000,” said polo pro Tommy Collingwood with a smile. “Every team is hungry for this one.” Collingwood is playing the World Cup with the Palm Beach Illustrated Polo Team.
The World Cup is the second of two classic and prestigious tournaments that Grand Champions owners and high goal polo players Melissa and Marc Ganzi are reviving thanks to the generosity of Glenn Straub of Palm Beach Polo. The tournaments were last played in the late 1990s. The first tournament they revived was the Sterling Cup.
The prestigious World Cup is a tournament steeped in tradition. American businessman and polo player Bill Ylvisaker created the Gould World Polo Championship with a prize purse of $150,000.
It was first held in 1976 at the Butler Polo Grounds in Oak Brook, Illinois. Ylvisaker’s staff sent out invitations to countries all over the world known to have top-ranked pro polo teams.
Three teams from the United States were recruited and joined Mexico, India, England and Argentina in the field. The inaugural event was won by Argentina, attracted great crowds and was deemed a success.
In 1977, Ylvisaker bought 2,000 acres to develop a polo resort. The Palm Beach Polo and Country Club was built with 14 polo fields and soon became the polo capital of the world.
The first season at the new club featured the $150,000 Michelob World Cup Polo Championship.
Held April 3-15, it was the highlight of the season attracting top players and sponsors from around the world. Back then it was the world’s richest and most premier polo event and one of the most significant polo championships.
The 2017 World Cup has 16 teams vying for the $100,000 purse. The open format promises some interesting match ups including 2016 US Open Polo Championship winner Orchard Hill squaring off against an upstart Travieso team. Adolfo Cambiaso, Gonzalito Pieres, Nic Roldan, Magoo LaPrida, Facundo Pieres, and Polito Pieres are all scheduled to compete. The single elimination format tournament plays through to an April 15 final.
The tournament will be live-streamed on Wellington-based ChukkerTV, worldwide leaders in polo broadcasting.
For more information about the $100,000 World Cup visit gcpolo.com