WELLINGTON, FL - The 2005 high-goal polo season at International Polo Club Palm Beach, the premier polo club in the United States, kicks off its second year with the 22-goal Iglehart Cup, which returns after a one-year hiatus. Four teams have entered the tournament, which concludes on Sunday, January 9 at 3 p.m. Early-round games will be played on the club's back fields.
The tournament is named for one of polo's leading families, Hall of Famers Stewart and Philip Iglehart. The tournament was not played in 2004 because of scheduling conflicts.
Tommy Lee Jones' San Saba was the 2003 champion and John Goodman's Isla Carroll won the tournament in 2002.
San Saba has entered the 2005 tourney, with Jones being joined by 8-goaler Hector Galindo of Wellington, 7-goaler Toto Collardin and 6-goaler Gonzalo Von Wernich.
Crab Orchard, featuring the legendary Memo Gracida, a 9-goaler at age 48, and his 17-year-old son Julio, a 3-goaler, is among the contenders. The Gracidas are joined by patron George Rawlings of Louisville and 9-goaler Agustin Merlos of Argentina, who was the tournament MVP in 2003.
Other teams include Irvin Abell?s Goshen and Erik Juvonen?s Henley House.
Goshen features 9-goaler Pancho Bensadon and 8-goaler Sugar Erskine, along with 4-goaler Stewart Armstrong. Henley House is led by 10-goaler Adam Snow of Aiken, South Carolina. He is joined by 6-goaler Francisco Lanusse and 4-goaler Alan Martinez.
Abell and Juvonen are new patrons this season, although they have played in South Florida in the past.
In the club's successful inaugural season, thousands of spectators flocked to the new stadium every weekend for four months to watch the best polo in the United States, culminating with 6,798 spectators at the championship match of the 100th anniversary of the Stanford Financial Group U.S. Open.
The 2005 season features six high-goal tournaments, three 22-goal tourneys and three 26-goal tournaments. Following the Iglehart Cup will be the Joe Barry Memorial Cup and the Ylvisaker Cup. The 26-goal season opens with the Hall of Fame Cup, followed by the C.V. Whitney Cup and concluding with the Stanford Financial Group U.S. Open.
At least 20 high-goal teams are expected to participate in part of the 2005 season, according to polo manager Jimmy Newman, surpassing last season's 17 teams.
This shows that the new era of high-goal polo is continuing, said Goodman, the International Polo Club Palm Beach owner whose Isla Carroll team won the 2004 U.S. Open title and will defend that crown in 2005. The club has been accepted by patrons and players internationally and our mission is to make the sport accessible to everyone.
Most of the world's top players are expected to play during the 22-goal and 26-goal seasons, including 10-goalers Mariano Aguerre, Javier Novillo Astrada, Miguel Novillo Astrada, Mike Azzaro, Carlos Gracida, Bautista Heguy, Pite Merlos, Sebastian Merlos and Adam Snow as well as 9-goalers Milo Araujo, Eduardo Novillo Astrada, Pancho Bensadon, Lucas Criado, Paco de Narvaez, Memo Gracida, Eduardo Heguy and Agustin Merlos.
The polo matches are open to the public. Tickets for the Sunday games at the International Polo Club Palm Beach are available at the gate, beginning at $10 each. For information, call (561) 204-5687 or visit the club website at www.internationalpoloclub.com.
For information about the upcoming 2005 high-goal season, including the Stanford Financial Group U.S. Open, call the club at (561) 204-5687 or visit online at www.internationalpoloclub.com. International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South, between Pierson Road and Lake Worth Road, in Wellington.
Iglehart Cup team rosters:
|Crab Orchard (22)
George Rawlings (1)
Agustin Merlos (9)
Memo Gracida (9)
Julio Gracida (3)
|San Saba (22)
Tommy Lee Jones (1)
Toto Collardin (7)
Hector Galindo (8)
Gaston Von Wernich
Irvin Abell (0)
Sugar Erskine (8)
Pancho Bensadon (9)
Stewart Armstrong (4)
|Henley House (22)
Erik Juvonen (2)
Francisco Lanusse (6)
Adam Snow (10)
Alan Martinez (4)