Team USA won the Townshend Cup polo challenge October 10 at the New Bridge Arena. Established in 1923, the Townshend Cup is an international arena match played between England the United States on alternate years. Playing for Team USA: Pelon Escapite, Geronimo Obregon, Winston Painter. Pelon, who was the MVP, was a member of the winning 2019 Townshend Cup team. Geronimo Obregon is a former member of Team USPA, while Winston Painter, 17, is an active Team USPA member. His teams also won the National Youth Tournament Series Championship and the Open Interscholastics this year, and he was named the 2021 Interscholastic Male Player of the Year.
Team England consisted of Aiken’s own Julian Daniels, who was born and raised in England, and the brothers Eden and Robin Ormerod. The game, which began just after sunset at 7 pm, was fast and furious. After each goal, the teams changed ends and there was no throw-in: instead, the team that scored took immediate possession of the ball and drove it toward the opposite goal. This made for nonstop action that thrilled the crowd of spectators gathered to watch under the lights. The scoring remained tight until the final chukker, when the US team pulled ahead and finally won by a score of 18-15.
Pelon Escapite, a veteran of the professional stadium league Gladiator Polo, was named the MVP. Samurai, played by Eden Ormerod in the first and third chukkers, was deemed the Best Playing Pony. Samurai is owned by Liv Stringer
Next year’s England Versus America arena challenge will take place in England. The English version of the tournament is called the Bryan Morrison Trophy.