USPA Launches 2023 Gauntlet Of Polo With C.V. Whitney Cup

10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso is a seven-time winner of the C.V. Whitney Cup. Photo by David Lominska

On Thursday, Feb. 2, the C.V. Whitney Cup draw determined the brackets for the upcoming start to the highly anticipated fifth installment of the Gauntlet of Polo series.

A momentous year for the event, this edition of the gauntlet will mark the first time that the competition is held at the USPA-owned National Polo Center-Wellington.

Originally known as the U.S. Handicap, the C.V. Whitney Cup was first held in 1979. Nine years later, in 1988, the tournament was renamed for C.V. (Cornelius Vanderbilt “Sonny”) Whitney, an avid polo player, three-time winner of the U.S. Open Polo Championship (1928, 1937 and 1938) and son of 10-goal Hall of Famer Harry Payne Whitney.

Serving as the first tournament of the three-part Gauntlet of Polo since 2019, the C.V. Whitney Cup will welcome 12 talented teams, all of which will pursue the USPA Gold Cup and U.S. Open Polo Championship following the starting leg of the series.

Of the teams competing, Gauntlet of Polo newcomer Valiente is the most decorated in past C.V. Whitney Cup victories, with four wins, all of which were achieved in the last 10 years. To make their odds even stronger, 10-goal virtuoso Adolfo Cambiaso brings with him seven wins in the tournament. 2022 and 2021 victors Park Place, however, look to replicate their recent success for a third consecutive win, while 2022 runners-up Scone hope to avenge their loss.

Fresh off wins in the 2022 USPA Gold Cup and U.S. Open Polo Championship, Pilot has also positioned themselves as a favorite in the starting leg of the gauntlet. Similar to Cambiaso, 10-goal Pilot captain Facundo Pieres has accumulated significant success in this tournament, triumphing a total of six times, most recently in 2019 when Pilot secured all three Gauntlet of Polo trophies and emerged as the first and only gauntlet champions. Pilot returns with three out of four of their original 2019 lineup, including Curtis Pilot, Matias Gonzalez and Facundo Pieres. 2022 Pilot competitor Matias Torres Zavaleta rounds out the team.

Utilizing the same prize money distribution for the 2023 Gauntlet of Polo, the format guarantees a total of $200,000 in prize money with $50,000 awarded to each of the winning teams of the C.V. Whitney Cup and USPA Gold Cup. Similarly, $100,000 in prize money will be presented to the winner of the U.S. Open Polo Championship, and any team that wins all three tournaments will be crowned the Gauntlet Champion. In keeping with the spirit of philanthropy, U.S. Polo Assn. will provide a $2,500 donation to the winner and runner-up teams of all three finals to be donated to a polo charity of their choice.

The list of participating teams in their newly announced tournament brackets are: Scone, Pilot and Dazos in Bracket I; La Elina, Valiente and Aspen in Bracket II; Two Trees Polo, Shack Attack and La Fe in Bracket III; and Dutta Corp/Show+, Tamera and Park Place in Bracket IV.

The C.V. Whitney Cup will begin on Sunday, Feb. 12. Teams will play within their bracket. The top two from each bracket will meet in the first round. The loser of the first game in each bracket will play the third team in the bracket. The winner of the first game in each bracket will then play the third team. After bracket play, the top team from each bracket will advance to the semifinals. In the event of a tie, the win/loss, net goals, gross goals format will be used. Semifinal pairings will be determined by a draw. Winners of the semifinals will advance to the final. The semifinals will be held Wednesday, Feb. 22, with the final set for Sunday, Feb. 26.

The 2023 Gauntlet of Polo will then continue with the USPA Gold Cup March 1-26 and the U.S. Open Polo Championship March 29 through April 23. All Sunday featured games will be held on NPC U.S. Polo Assn. Field One.

Spectating from the NPC stadium, private boxes, fieldside tailgates and special hospitality tents all overlooking U.S. Polo Assn. Field One is an unparalleled experience available for Sunday matches throughout the Gauntlet of Polo series. Tickets can be purchased at

The semifinals and final of the C.V. Whitney Cup will be livestreamed by the USPA Polo Network at, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch free of charge.c