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The great organization called White Birch

here is a historic list of teams that won every major tournament. There is also a historic list of players who won those tournaments the most. However, there is no list in polo for organizations. We know that it would be impossible to accomplish such a thing, but it certainly would be interesting!

Photo by @greenwichpoloclub @petertmichaelis


Let's play make-believe. If there was a list for organizations, where would White Birch place? For some, it would be in the top 5 of all time. Some might think it is in the top 3. And maybe someone might say it would be the number 1.

In 1979, Peter Brant founded the White Birch Polo Team. Since then, it has won dozens of tournaments, in Palm Beach and all around the country. The Brant family name passed on to victories and cups won by Chris, Peter's son, always with Mariano Aguerre and Nick Manifold as important members of this great organization.

In a very difficult 2020, White Birch has added another trophy to their showcase: another East Coast Open, and in Greenwich, the base of the organization. The base of the great organization called White Birch.


Super champion


Greenwich had its annual party with the final of its foremost tournament: the East Coast Open (ECO). And the winner was a repeat champion, one of the most important organizations in American polo history: White Birch.

In the final, the White Birch team with Chris Brant, Pablo Llorente (jr.), Mariano Aguerre, and Peke Gonzalez, defeated Black Hound, with Will Tomita, Lucas Díaz Alberdi, Victorino Ruiz Jorba, and Matías Magrini, by 13-10.

The winners led the score throughout the game, from the first goal scored by Pablo Llorente. The score shows clearly that White Birch never relinquished the lead: 3-1, 4-3, 7-4, 8-7, 11-8 and 13-10.

Photo by @greenwichpoloclub @petertmichaelis


Peke Gonzalez was White Birch's top scorer with 6 goals, whereas Mariano Aguerre scored 5, and Llorente, 2. Torito Ruiz was the top scorer overall, with 8 goals, and Magrini and Díaz Alberdi each scored once.

The MVP was Mariano Aguerre. BPP went to "Machitos" Francisca, owned and played by Mariano Aguerre himself.

Thus, the 2020 season came to an end in Greenwich. Even with all the issues and difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the most classic clubs in American polo had a few good months of play, with many tournaments, and an amazing finish with the ECO. And with White Birch, once more, on top of the podium.



The road to the final


Five teams of up to 20-goals participated in the East Coast Open at Greenwich Polo Club this year. The great level of play and the close games showed once more why this is one of the most important tournaments of the season.

Photo by @greenwichpoloclub @petertmichaelis


To earn their ticket to the final, White Birch defeated Altaris 12-10 in the first semi-final, played on Field 1. Valerio Zubiaurre received the MVP award and Ramona, owned and played by Peke Gonzalez, was the BPP. In the second semi-final, played on Field 2, Black Hound DE also had a very tough match and had to fight until the end to advance to the final, defeating Gardenvale by 13-11. 

The Teams

White Birch

Chris Brant

Peke Gonzalez

Pablo Llorente (jr.)

Mariano Aguerre

Black Hound DE

Will Tomita

Lucas Diaz Alberdi

Torito Ruiz

Matias Magrini

Altaris

Jamal Nusseibeh

Joaquin Panelo

Lerin Zubiaurre

Kris Kampsen

Gardenvale

Shane Finemore

Felipe Viana

Pedro Falabella

Christian Laprida (jr.)

Los Violines

Christophe Landom

Dylan Rossiter

Michel Dorignac

Tommy Biddle


A classic on the East Coast


The East Coast Open was first played in 1978, at the Myopia Polo Club in Hamilton, Massachusetts. The trophy used for the event, known as the Perry Trophy, designed by Oscar L. Lanz, was first awarded in 1905 and then retired by Myopia Polo Club in 1909. Per tournament stipulations at the time, if a team won the competition three times within five years, they could keep the coveted trophy. Myopia accomplished this prior to WWI, and thus owned the trophy.


Photo by @greenwichpoloclub @petertmichaelis


It was then put back into use in 1978, when Donald V. Little Sr. established the East Coast Open at Myopia Polo Club. The tournament remained at Myopia for 25 consecutive years until 2003. Throughout the 80s and early 90s, the East Coast Open boasted an average of 10 teams each year. Just two years after creating his own club, Peter Brant’s White Birch garnered their first East Coat Open title, of a record 12 total wins to date. White Birch repeated their win the following year against an impressive field of 13 teams, a tournament record.

In 2005, the East Coast Open moved to the renowned Greenwich Polo Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. Over the past 10 years, White Birch has dominated competition with nine wins; including a notable five-year streak from 2005-2009.


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