Oak Brook Polo hosted the 3rd Annual Chicago Polo Open (fourth match of the season) against St. Louis on Sunday, August 19th at the Prince of Wales Field in Oak Brook,Illinois. A record attendance of nearly 1,000 spectators came out to watch the home team win 12-10 in the inter-circuit championship match. The Chicago Polo Open was founded in 2016 and is a rebirth of Chicago’s history in hosting rival polo teams from around the Midwest and the United States, such as a Milwaukee, Detroit, St.Louis, Minneapolis, Iowa, Indianapolis and many more.
Oak Brook’s team included team captain and Patron, Jim Drury (handicap-0), Horacio Onetto (handicap-4), Tomas “Toto” Obregon (handicap-4) and Matias Obregon (handicap-4) substituting for MarianoGutierrez. The St. Louis team included Justin Baisch (handicap-1.5), Paul Vongontard (handicap-1), Lindor Novillo Corvalan (handicap-4) and Delmer “Del” Walton (handicap-3).
The afternoon began with the inaugural “Horses & Hops” beer festival featuring some of the Midwest’s popular and upcoming craft breweries. Ten breweries participated in the festival including2 Fools Cider, Ballast Point, Brickstone, Finch Beer Co., Kinslagher, Kraftig, Noon Whistle, Revolution, Strongbow, and Tangled Roots.
To kick off the match, the national anthem was performed by local accomplished actors Ron Rains and Kelly Felthouse. Both will appear alongside each other in Drury Lane Theater’sLittle Shop of Horrors, playing Sep 6 – Oct 28. The ceremonial ball roll-in was done by Christopher Mueller, Director of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.
The St. Louis Polo Team received 3-handicap to start the match and were quick to lengthen that lead to 4 with a goal by Corvalan. But Oak Brook’s Matias Obregon would bring the St. Louis leadback down to 3 to end the first chukker 4-1. In the second Chukker, Oak Brook’s Onetto would close that gap further to two goals before Corvalan and Walton scored back-to-back goals to give St. Louis a four-goal lead again. In the third Chukker, both teamswould rally back-and-fourth each putting up two goals. Corvalan, was first to score in the third chukker, followed by Oak Brook’s, Tomas Obregon, then Justin Basich, and lastly Onetto to end the first half with St. Louis still up by four goals, 8-4.
In the second half of the match, Oak Brook turned on the heat and mounted their best horses. Onetto put up two goals and Obregon (Matias) one to close in on St. Louis to finish the fourth chukker,8-7. That streak would continue for another two goals, by Obregon (Matias) and Onetto, to give Oak Brook a 9-8 lead. But St. Louis immediately answered back with two goals of their own by Corvalan and Walton to reclaim the top spot in the final minutes ofthe fifth chukker. Oak Brook’s Obregon (Matias) would score the last goal before time was up for a score of 10-10. In the sixth and final chukker, the Oak Brook would hold St. Louis scoreless and knock in two more goals, one from Onetto and another from Obregon(Tomas), to take the lead and win 12-10.
“MVP honors” went to Onetto for his six goals and was presented by Michigan Avenue magazine’s “Best Hat Contest” winner, Farrah Fahmy.” Barrington Saddlery’s “Best Playing Pony” award wasgiven to Dream, owned by Corvalan and presented by anthem singer Kelly Felthouse. Cutwater Spirits “Best Tailgate” winners were the Sikora Family.
Trophy presenters included Heineken representatives, Napleton Westmont Porsche, Michigan Avenue magazine and Merrill Lynch. Presenting sponsors included Michigan Avenue magazine, NapletonWestmont Porsche, Hotels of Oak Brook, Euclid Beverages, Valley Air Services, David Yurman, Room & Board and Merrill Lynch.
Oak Brook Polo Club’s next match is the historic Butler International and Price of Wales Cup on Sunday, September 9th at 3:00 p.m. with gates opening at 1:00 p.m.
Oak Brook Polo Club is located at 2606 York Road, just seventeen miles from Chicago’s Loop. A variety of ticket options are available at. For general information, event scheduling,and parking directions, please call 630.368.5095.