USA Arena Polo.
The arena season is well underway in the USA with tournaments being played in California on the west coast, Texas in the south, and all the way across to New Jersey on the east coast. Arena polo is even being played out in Hawaii in the middle of the Pacific (on a grass arena in Makawao!).
There are a number of challenge cups and tournaments underway at the moment as the season draws to a close. Last weekend the National Arena Challenge Cup at Commonwealth Polo Club in Lexington, Kentucky was won by Bluegrass Sotheby’s defeating Gainesway with a score of 7-6.
Possibly one of the oldest arena tournaments in the USA is The U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship which was originally established by the Indoor Polo Association (I.P.A.) in 1926 for a trophy donated by Charles Danforth. In 1954 the I.P.A. and the United States Polo Association joined forces. Therefore, when the tournament was re-established in 1980 it was renamed the National Arena Open Championship & Handicap. This tournament is usually played in the last week of July.
The United States Arena Handicap Tournament is another prestigious annual event and dates back to 1980. It is a national USPA tournament played at medium goal level. In the past, the tournament has been played as a subsidiary to the U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship at Country Farms Polo Club in Medford, N.Y. but this year was played during the first week of August at Aspen Valley Polo Club, Colorado.
The USA is a large land mass and has varying climates which means the winter and summer polo seasons, unlike in the UK, are not clearly defined. In some states both arena and grass polo can be played in tandem. Other states, such as California, are currently contemplating the start of their grass season. Eldorado Polo Club in Indio (California) for example, begin practices mid December and run tournaments from 6 January. Their season runs for three months, closing on 1 April. Whereas Seattle Polo and Equestrian Club (Washington) start their summer season on 1 June, and runs to the end of August.