Legends Cup Ends In A Draw
Story by Alex Webbe
Photography by Alex Pacheco
I t was only a four chukker exhibition match on the grounds of the Grand Champions Polo Club as a prelude to the day’s international game between the United States and Chile, but the opportunity to see some of the most storied names in polo on the field was something to behold.
Playing as Grand Champions White were two-thirds of the once-all powerful 38-goal Boehm team, a team comprised of the brother combinations of 10-goalers Carlos and Memo Gracida and 9-goalers Julian and Howard Hipwood. Filling in for the missing Memo Gracida, however, was his cousin, former 8-goaler Ruben Gracida (four-time US Open winner, the second US Open MVP in history).
Grand Champions Blue was comprised of former 9-goaler Hector Galindo, veteran Argentine and former 8-goaler Juan Bollini, former 7-goaler Joey Casey and Peter Rizzo, CEO of the United States Polo Association.
The pace was quick from the opening throw-in with Julian Hipwood scoring first for Grand Champions White at the 4:08 of the first chukker. Carlos Gracida made it 2-0, scoring a goal with under a minute on the clock for the early lead.
Grand Champions Blue got on track behind Hector Galindo in the second period. After struggling to break through the Grand Champions White defense in the early goings, Galindo got his team on the scoreboard with a goal from the field with 1:04 left to play. A foul by the white team send Galindo to the penalty line with 25 seconds to play, where he converted a 60-yard penalty shot for the 2-2 tie.
Grand Champions White got third chukker goals from Carlos Gracida and Howard Hipwood while Grand Champions Blue was held to a single penalty conversion by Galindo. The third period ended with Grand Champions White on top of a 4-3 score.
Carlos Gracida put Grand Champions White ahead by two goals in the fourth on a 60-yard penalty conversion, but Grand Champions Blue fought back. Goals from Juan Bollini and Joey Casey closed out the scoring in the classic match with a well-deserved 5-5 tie.
At the trophy presentation following the match, Howard Hipwood was honored as MVP from this group of storied players.