Often called “the sport of kings,” the exhilarating winter polo season officially returns to the grounds of the International Polo Club Palm Beach on Sunday, Dec. 29. The exciting season opens with the Herbie Pennell Cup final, with high-goal competitions running through Sunday, April 19.
The competition calendar continues with the Iglehart Cup from Jan. 1-5, followed by the Joe Barry Memorial Cup taking place Jan. 5-12. The 18-goal series that opens the season wraps up with the Ylvisaker Cup, running from Jan. 11 through Feb. 2.
Next up is the lucrative Gauntlet of Polo series, played at the 22-goal level, with a chance for one team to win $1 million by collecting the purse of all three tournaments, plus a bonus.
First up is the C.V. Whitney Cup from Feb. 1-23, followed by the prestigious USPA Gold Cup from Feb. 22 through March 22, and concluding with the historic U.S. Open Polo Championship, running March 21 through April 19.
The equestrian venue spans more than 250 acres with seven state-of-the-art polo fields, the newly constructed polo arena, a spectator-friendly stadium and 7,000 square feet of indoor event space.
Each week, spectators can attend matches held across the property with casual tailgating. On Sundays, the feature game on the U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1 at 3 p.m. features even more hospitality options, such as stadium seats, premium box seating, tailgates and field-side tables with brunch available in the Veuve Clicquot Pavilion. Food vendors are available around the main field, and there is a Kids Fun Zone.
In addition to the traditional Sunday polo calendar, IPC has added several other events to its schedule. For the first time, IPC will be hosting the U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship in its custom-built sand arena located by Field 2.
The U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship Final will be Saturday, March 21. The charitable, all-female tournament will take place on the U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1 as a 22-goal competition to benefit Susan G. Komen Florida.
“We are super excited about this very busy season,” IPC Director of Business Development Juliza Kramer said. “We are excited about new fans and spectators who are coming out to enjoy the season.”
Kramer hopes to see all of the Wellington community — equestrians and non-equestrians alike — out at IPC this season.
“We are working with the local community and businesses coming out to the property and getting involved with the events and being exposed to the spectators,” she said.
She added that many new local companies have become involved this season. “We are already sold out of tailgate opportunities,” Kramer noted.
Other new developments this year include enhanced food and beverage options for all spectators and family-friendly ticket pricing. Lower-level sections in the stadium will now start at just $20.
While the polo season opens this weekend, other equestrian sports will be in action before long as well. The Winter Equestrian Festival and the Adequan Global Dressage festival open on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
An exciting year is expected at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center as well.
“With 2020 being an Olympic year, we are getting all the top riders from all over the world to come here to warm up and qualify,” said Michael Stone, president of Equestrian Sport Productions. “We are expecting a big season, and the numbers are already up. Competitors are coming earlier and showing more often.
He continued that new footing in the international arena has been well-received. “It is great for horses and provides the best footing,” Stone said.
The International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington.
To learn more about the 2020 season, or to purchase tickets for Sunday polo options, visit www.internationalpoloclub.com.