US OPEN POLO CHAMPIONSHIP 2018
SMASH WIN BY DRF
Story by Ron Allen
Photography by Sheryel Aschfort
The U.S. Open title belongs to DRF in a game that saw a determined defensive effort take control of a match that upset heavy favorite Valiente. Only six teams entered the US Open with several patrons choosing to stay on the sidelines with the excuse that no one wanted to go up against the two best 10 goalers on the same team. The four young players of DRF proved everyone wrong when they came up with a game strategy that set Valiente on its heels. And they were forced to struggle just to try and keep up with DRF during the entire match.
Following a forty-five minute rain delay the match started with Valiente taking a 2-1 lead in the first chukker. The game was tied at 3-all at the end of the second and then a determined DRF took a one-goal lead into halftime. At the half DRF had won 9 of the 10 throw-ins.
DRF’s Jared Zenni dogged Cambiaso throughout the match and held Adolfo to just two goals on the day. Valiente managed to tie the game at 8 all in the fifth but it was the balanced scoring attack by DRF that gave them the victory with a final score of 10 to 9. Zenni was MVP and his horse ‘Millonaria’ won Best Playing Pony award.
Todays game marks a tragic end to 26-goal polo at IPC since the competition will be lowered next year. The new World Polo League will kick off next February with promises of bigger and better polo. They will maintain the popular 26-goal level with three outstanding tournaments, which has already attracted most of the 10 goal players in the sport. The new WPL rules will open the game for faster play and a much-improved product for both players and spectators.