The other Open

Mariano Gonzalez of Team Audi in action during the 2017 East Coast Open. Photograph by Marcelo Bianchi.

Paralleling the US Open is Greenwich Polo Club’s East Coast Open (Sunday, Aug. 26 through Sept. 9). Considered to be one of the most prestigious polo competitions in the United States, the East Coast Open features top polo teams and polo players competing in the 20-goal tournament. 

“This is our 14th year hosting the East Coast Open and it just keeps getting bigger and better every year,” club founder Peter Brant said in a statement. “The tournament showcases the top level of polo, and it has grown in popularity thanks to the support of team owners, our sponsors and fans.” 

Public games will take place over three consecutive Sundays and are expected to draw more than 11,000 spectators to the club. The United States Polo Association (USPA), the national governing body for the sport of polo, will live stream all tournament games on the USPA Polo Network at uspolo.org/video and on USPA’s Facebook page, Twitter and YouTube. (Check out uspolo.org for tournament information, schedule and updates). In 2015, 2016 and 2017, the East Coast Open had more than 34,000 views. The 2018 matches are expected to have more than 50,000 views.

“The USPA is excited to once again host the prestigious 2018 East Coast Open along with the celebrated Greenwich Polo Club,” said USPA CEO Robert Puetz. “The strength of Greenwich as a USPA member club is evident with the success and depth of their organization. This is reflected in the quality of polo played at the club and the number of players, spectators and fans they attract each year. The East Coast Open is an esteemed tournament that the Greenwich Polo Club has made a success for 13 years, and we look forward to the highly-anticipated competition.”

Since 1978, the Perry Trophy has symbolized the East Coast Open championship. Winners of this high-goal tournament have laid claim to this ornate symbol of excellence, tradition and sportsmanship.

The East Coast Open will kick off at Shreve, Crump & Low’s showcase gallery at 125 Greenwich Ave. in Greenwich on Friday, Aug. 24. Approximately 150 polo players, USPA officials and guests will attend the private cocktail event, which will feature an official draw to decide each polo team’s placement in the historic tournament. The public is invited to meet and greet polo players and to take photos with them as well as Audi Sport display vehicles in front of Shreve, Crump & Low, from 6 to 7 p.m. A number of complimentary tickets for the East Coast Open will be distributed to fans during the event.

On Aug. 26 and Sept. 2, Audi of Americawill extend access for lawn seating and exclusive parking to the first 50 Audi owners to register and will host an exclusive VIP event on Sept. 9.

“We are proud to return as a sponsor for this year’s East Coast Open tournament in partnership with Greenwich Polo Club,” said Nathalie Carpenter, Audi of America Eastern Region marketing manager.  “The tournament remains an exciting touch point for Audi and a unique platform to engage with fans of the sport.”

The 2018 tournament partners also include Societe Generale, Saks Fifth Avenue, Hublot, Barbados, The Macallan, Ketel One Botanical and U.S. Polo Association.

The East Coast Open was founded at Myopia Polo Club in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, by Donald V. Little Sr., then vice president of the USPA. The tournament was played at Myopia Polo Club until the early 2000s. At its height, 13 teams played in the tournament, including many 10-goal players who inspired a number of today’s players to pick up their mallets.

Now the best ticket to the match is the new Players’ Lounge VIP at Greenwich Polo Club, furnished by Design Within Reach. The Players’ Lounge will feature a meet and greet with polo players, live music, premium cash bar with The Cup Bearer and exclusive tastings each Sunday. Tickets start at $150 with access for two guests ($40 each additional guest per car) to the Players’ Lounge, VIP parking, bistro and open lawn seating and much more.

Each polo Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m, fans may also have the opportunity to tour The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, dedicated to promoting the education and appreciation of contemporary art and design, which is located adjacent to the field and features an exhibition of works by Joe Bradley, Oscar Tuazon and Michael Williams on view through October. 

Just because the match ends doesn’t mean the fun has to. Veuve Clicquot After Polo will keep the good times rolling with live music and DJs each polo Sunday at 6 p.m. by the Pony Bar. Fans can also enjoy delicacies from gourmet food trucks.

Four-legged friends can join in the festivities, too, as long as they’re on leashes. Dress is summer chic, and ladies, don’t forget your hats.

Tickets may be purchased online and include $40 per car for general admission East Lawn seating, $60 per car for Grandstand Bleacher seating, $100 for West lawn seating, $150 for Players’ Lounge VIP, $300 for box seats (seats four) and $600 for private cabanas (four car passes). The gates open at 1 p.m. and matches start at 3 p.m. The field address is 1 Hurlingham Drive.

 For more, visit greenwichpoloclub.com.

– edited by Georgette Gouveia

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