U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship™ Begins Next Week
USPA to livestream all Open games and Handicap semifinals and final
Together with the Houston Polo Club in Houston, Texas, the United States Polo Association® (USPA) will host the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship (20- to 26-goals) and the U.S. Open Women’s Handicap (10- to 14-goals) November 7-12.
Three Open teams comprised of top women’s players from across the nation and around the world will be taking the field to compete for the most prestigious women’s tournament in the country. Simultaneously, a record eight teams will compete for the USPA’s oldest national women’s trophy—the U.S. Open Women’s Handicap. All games of the Open and Handicap semifinals and final will be livestreamed on the USPA Polo Network on uspolo.org.
“The USPA has a great partnership with Houston Polo Club and looks forward to another successful year of Women’s Open and Handicap competition,” said USPA CEO Robert Puetz. “We are thrilled to be livestreaming the games as these tournaments along with the exceptional women who play in them provide young athletes with role models and aspirations within the sport.”
The U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship has a profound history dating back to the 1930s in California. The first women’s U.S. Open tournament was presented by the United States Women’s Polo Association (U.S.W.P.A) in 1937 at the Golden Gate Field in San Francisco, California. On the centennial anniversary of the USPA in 1990, a U.S. Women’s Open was officially sanctioned and held at Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. After a few years of competition at Empire Polo Club, U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship competition once again lost momentum. It was officially recognized as a national tournament in 2011 and has been hosted at the Houston Polo Club for the past six years, becoming the largest annual women’s polo event in the United States.
The U.S. Open Women’s Handicap was established in 1979 to showcase women’s polo, following the inclusion of women into the United States Polo Association in 1972. A staple in the USPA calendar, the U.S. Open Women’s Handicap was played for 15 consecutive years, primarily at Willow Bend Polo Club in Plano, Texas. The tournament then took residence at The Villages Polo Club in The Villages, Florida, throughout the late 90s and early 2000s before falling into abeyance in 2003. It was revived in 2015 with the reemergence of the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship; this will be the third year that the U.S. Open Women’s Handicap has been played in conjunction with the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship at the Houston Polo Club.
Defending champions Rocking P Lockton will look to reclaim the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship title with new member Lottie Lamacraft who will replace Sarah Wiseman. 2016 finalists San Saba have recruited Wiseman and Lia Salvo as well as 14-year-old Hope Arellano hoping to secure their first tournament win; Arellano will be making her Open debut as the youngest athlete in the competition.
Another notable first for the tournament will be the addition of a team sponsored by Team USPA. Captained by Courtney Asdourian, Team USPA boasts three-time tournament winner Julia Smith along with Tiamo Hudspeth and Marissa Wells.
Having grown in the past year from six to eight teams, the 2017 U.S. Open Women’s Handicap will experience its strongest year yet. Last year’s defending champions, My Table/Riveroaks.com, will be back under a new name, Texas Monthly. Courtney Price’s shoes will be filled by her younger sister Bridget Price, one of the youngest in the Handicap at 14-years-old. In fact, over 25% of competitors in the Handicap are youth players under 17, thus proving that women’s polo is on the rise and fostering growth in the polo community.
The Open will begin on Tuesday, November 7, culminating in the final on Sunday, November 12, at the Houston Polo Club’s Farish Field (earlier matches will be played on a number of private fields). Opening round matches for the Handicap are scheduled to begin on Wednesday, November 8. The final is slated to be played on Saturday, November 11, at the Houston Polo Club.
For more information on the tournaments and to watch the games live, please visit uspolo.org. Local spectators are encouraged to attend the final matches of each tournament at the Houston Polo Club. Please visit www.houstonpoloclub.com for information on tickets to the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship and U.S. Open Women’s Handicap Finals.