Polo Times Magazine Subscribe to Polo Times Home
HomeNewsTournamentsClassifiedsAbout usSubscribeContact

Tue 23rd Apr 2019

Pilot Win $1,000,000 and Crowned Gauntlet of Polo Champions

US Open Championship Final

On Sunday 21 April, Pilot made history as the winners of the first ever Gauntlet of Polo series and with it the coveted $1,000,000 prize after defeating Las Monjitas 12-7 in The US Open Polo Championship Final at International Polo Club, Palm Beach, following wins in The C.V. Whitney and USPA Gold Cup.
Going into the Final, Pilot were in a strong position, as they remained undefeated with an impressive 15-0 winning streak during the tournament, they capitalised on by exploding into the first chukka to take a 4-1 lead after the first seven minutes of play. In the second chukka, both Fran Elizalde and Facundo Pieres converted penalties for their teams, which maintained the score gap. However, by the end of the first half, Las Monjitas had managed to bring the scores closer together to 5-3.
After some half-time team talks, Pilot came out in the second half undeniably strong, mirroring the intensity of their first chukka. A plethora of goals for Pilot took their lead to 9-4 and it was this fourth chukka advantage which saw the beginning of the end for Las Monjitas, as they now had an uphill struggle to contain the power of the Pieres brothers. Las Monjitas tried and failed to create their own attacking plays in the fifth chukka, but by now Facundo and Gonzalito were in full swing, demonstrating their effective, wide and open plays and mercilessly notching up goals, which saw the fifth chukka end with a score of 10-5.
Despite the daunting goal deficit, Las Monjitas were determined to keep playing until the final whistle, however Pilot were equally unrelenting on their goal scoring mission. Gonzalito managed to cheekily steal the ball from 10 goaler Hilario Ulloa and drove it through the posts to further Pilot’s lead. Despite two last-minute goals from Ulloa, Pilot’s early and incessant lead was too much to overcome and Pilot took the win with a score of 12-7.
Matías González was named Most Valuable Player of the Final and Mega Chistosal, played by Facundo Pieres, received the Best Playing Pony of the Final award. After the match Facundo commented, “Gonzalito had an amazing day. I told him after the game that, for me, it was his best game of the season and I was very happy because we needed him. He’s a player that in important moments is always there.”
A full report of The US Open Final will be included in the next issue of Polo Times.
Meanwhile, in the Subsidiary Final, SD Farms defeated Old Hickory Bourbon 11-10 for the Hall of Fame Subsidiary Cup, with SD Farms’ Peco Polledo named Most Valuable Player and Ponderosa, played by Old Hickory Bourbon’s Miguel Novillo Astrada awarded Best Playing Pony honours.
The US Open Final Teams:
Pilot (22): Curtis Pilot (0), Matías González (3), Gonzalito Pieres (9) & Facundo Pieres (10)
Las Monjitas (22): Camilo Bautista (0), Fran Elizalde (8), Hilario Ulloa (10) & Matt Coppola (4)
Photograph: Pilot, winners of the inaugural Gauntlet of Polo. By ©David Lominska/United States Polo Association

Follow Polotimes on Twitter

Other top stories

Wed 22nd May 2019
Cartier Queen’s Cup Underway
Park Place secure first win

Tue 21st May 2019
The Copenhagen Cup
Wellington College triumph at Guards

Mon 20th May 2019
UK Weekend Round-Up
Four 15-22 goal Finals

Fri 17th May 2019
Terry Hanlon's Funeral
Date and Location Announcement

Thu 16th May 2019
The Prince of Wales Trophy Final
Dubai and Marchfield to battle for coveted trophy

Tue 14th May 2019
Royal Windsor Horse Show
Polo Pony Class results

Mon 13th May 2019
UK High Goal Update
Action at Cowdray & Berkshire

Thu 9th May 2019
UK High Goal Has Begun
Prince of Wales Trophy Underway

Tue 7th May 2019
Terry Hanlon Passes Away
Famous commentator and player dies

Tue 7th May 2019
Cartier Queen’s Cup Draw
Guards High Goal is underway

Thu 2nd May 2019
Polo Times Out Now!
May issue of Polo Times

Wed 1st May 2019
USA End of Season Handicap Changes
Gonzalito Pieres and Hazel Jackson-Gaona go to 10

Tue 30th Apr 2019
U.S Polo Assn. Wins in Miami
World Polo League Beach Polo Miami Beach Cup

Mon 29th Apr 2019
USA Secures Iconic International Title
The Westchester Cup

See all news in:

End of Polo Times news page

Advertiser information Contact us Subscribe Work for us All information is subject to copyright 2015


Latest Classified

Latest Classified

Financial Services > Loans > Other loans we offer available cash Instant cash...
 Get into Polo

Get started in polo

Information on how to get started in polo
 Destination of the Month

The global game

Holidays and breaks playing or following polo around the world

Online magazine

Login to read current and back issues of the magazine
 Find your nearest club

Club contacts

Find your nearest polo club
Cookies in Use