The Oak Brook Polo Club is excited to welcome the return of the Mexico International Polo Team, from the Escuela Polo de Mexico. They will compete on Sunday,June 23rd at 3:00 p.m. against Oak Brook Polo for the prestigious Butler Challenge Cup in a 4-chukker match. at the Prince of Wales Field (2606 York Road) in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Mexico is expected to bring their best including former ChicagoanMiguel Gomez de Parada (Hcap-2) along with Roberto Payne (Hcap-3), Guillermo Steta (Hcap-1)-President of the Federacion Mexicana de Polo and Carlitos Gracida (Hcap-4)- son of the famous Mexican-American polo player, Carlos Gracida. Oak Brook will be led by team patron and captain Jim Drury (Hcap-0) and includes Horacio Onetto (Hcap-4), Tomas “Toto” Obregon (Hcap-4) and Mariano Gutierrez (Hcap-4).
“A Mexico team has been traveling to Oak Brook since the Gracida’s first generation,” explains de Parada. “The first time I went was in 1990 to play with MichaelButler. From then on, I’ve been going to Oak Brook to play every year along with Valerio Aguilar and his brother Pancho.”
Mexico introduced polo in 1881, around the time Chicago saw its first match, and it has a proud heritage in the sport. The Mexico Polo team won the bronze medalat the Paris Olympics in 1900, at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, and hosted the World Polo Championship in 1987. The Gracida and Herrera polo families are the most revered in its history. Brothers Memo and Carlos Gracida both achieved the highest professionalgoal ratings possible, 10, and held them for many years, winning many championships in the U.S. and around the world. Carlos played in England for many seasons, trained Prince William and Harry to play, and was considered the Queen’s “favorite player.” MemoGracida won the 1977 U.S. Open Polo Championship at Oak Brook. Antonio Herrera was also known as the best Mexican player in the era before the Gracida’s, and was a stalwart on the Butler’s Oak Brook team in the 80’s.
Prior to the match,Friends of Conversation (FOC) will host a private benefit luncheon to celebrate their 37th Anniversary. The organization, led by Reute Butler (granddaughter to Paul Butler), is one of the world’s earliest leaders in development and communityconservation in the Maasai Mara are of Kenya. FOC Founder/ International Chairman Jorie Butler Kent will also be present along with brother Michael Butler.
2019 marks Oak Brook Polo Club's 97th season as one of the nation's oldest polo clubs in operation today and fourth oldest sports property in Chicago. Once considered the “polo capital”of the world Oak Brook was the destination for American Polo players and enthusiasts.
A variety of ticket options are available: $12.00 per person for lawn seating; $60.00 - $75.00 per car for tailgating; $50.00 VIP (includes elevated field-siteseating in Saddle Club and champagne during divot stomp); $108.00 Brunch (includes VIP and Saddle Club access); $350 Saddle Club Reserved Tables (seating for up to 8); $450 Players’ Lounge (seating for up to 8); $675.00 Private Field Side Tent (for up to 20);All ticket holders will have access to The Drake Oak Brook Hotel bars, and Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse pop-up restaurant.
Friends of Conservation will host a welcome reception for the Mexico team on Thursday,June 20th from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at Chicago Luxury Beds (440 N Wells, Suite 100N), one of Oak Brook’s season sponsors.
For general information, event scheduling, tickets and parking directions, please visitwww.oakbrookpoloclub.com or call 630.368.5095.