And the son claimed the rematch. La Dolfina/Tonkawa, with Poroto Cambiaso, beat Valiente, with his father, Adolfo Cambiaso, by a 12-9 score and claimed the USPA Gold Cup, in the championship match that took place on Sunday March 24. The USPA Gold Cup, the contest that preceeds no less than the US Open Polo Championship and celebrates its 50th. anniversary this year (played for the first time in 1974), is the second leg of the prestigious The Gauntlet of Polo, the most important tournament series of the United States, and has been entirely played at the USPA-owned National Polo Center, in Wellington, Florida.


Now, both father and son – Adolfo and Poroto Cambiaso – took one cup each: on February 25, Valiente claimed the CV Whitney Cup and today, March 24, La Dolfina Tonkawa, lifted the USPA Gold Cup.


In addition, there are some interesting facts that are worth to notice about this USPA Gold Cup:


  • The young Rufino Merlos won his first big tournament. Rufino has royal polo blood – he is the grandson of Cacho Merlos, a glory of polo, member of the legendary Santa Ana lineup, who won the Triple Crown in Argentina in 1973.  He is the son of the youngest Merlos brothers, Agustín; a nephew of Pite and Sebastián Merlos, and Guillermo “Sapo” Caset, his mother Celina’s brother.
  • Poroto Cambiaso and Tomás Panelo claimed their second consecutive USPA Gold Cup, after winning the tournament with Scone, in 2023.
  • This is the first important overseas title for La Dolfina, Adolfo Cambiaso’s club. La Dolfina is making their debut in American high goal, and to play the USPA Gold Cup, they joined forces with Jeff Hildebrand’s Tonkawa.


With regards to the final, La Dolfina/Tonkawa managed to remain in the lead thoroghout the six chukkas of play. However, by half time, Valiente bounced back, and were one goal behind (4-5). But La Dolfina/Tonkawa made an impressive comeback in the fifth chukka and claimed a four goal advantage (10-6), led by a remarkable performance of their three professionals. Tomás Panelo delivered an extraordinary job, as the top scorer (he produced five goals), which led him to be named MVP. By the time to play the sixth and last chukka, Jeff Hildebrand and Co. were 10-8 up, but they were wise enough to put pressure on Bob Jornayvaz’s foursome, who were able to score a single goal. At the end of the day, La Dolfina/Tonkawa’s dominance prevailed, and sealed the deal to take the title home.


Meanwhile, Tamera defeated Clearwater 14-10, and won the Subsidiary Retama Cup.


The next stage of The Gauntlet of Polo is the US Open Championship, the ice on the cake of the season in Palm Beach, due to commence on Wednesday March 27. We wonder whether would be another rematch between father and son. Only time will tell…






La Dolfina/Tonkawa: Jeff Hildebrand 0, Rufino Merlos 3 (3 goals), Poroto Cambiaso 10 (3), Tomás Panelo 9 (5). Total: 22. 

*1 goal on Penalty 1.

Valiente: Bob Jornayvaz 0, Peke Gonzalez 7 (1 goal), Paco de Narvaez Jr 5 (4), Adolfo Cambiaso 10 (4). Total: 22.

Score La Dolfina Tonkawa: 2-1, 3-1, 5-4, 10-6, 10-8, 12-9.

Umpires: Martín Pascual & Steve Dalton.                                  Third man: Kimo Huddleston.

MVP: Tomás Panelo.

BPP: Antu Walung Rumba, ridden by Paco de Narvaez Jr.

Best Polo Argentino Bred: J5 Arg. Auna, ridden by Adolfo Cambiaso.




Tamera: Alejandro Poma 1, Segundo Saravi 5, Matías Torres Zavaleta 8, Diego Cavanagh 8. Total: 22.

Clearwater: Chip Campbell 1, Raúl Colombres 8, Lucas Criado Jr. 7, Jared Zenni 6. Total: 22. 

Score Tamera: 2-2, 3-3, 5-5, 6-8, 9-9, 14-10.

Umpires: Kimo Huddleston & Danny Juarez.                                  Third man: Gastón Lucero.



USPA Gold Cup, Final – La Dolfina/Tonkawa vs. Valiente


USPA Gold Cup – Teams & Fixture


Cover photo by Agustina Fonda.



CV Whitney Cup: February 9 – 25 (Winner: Valiente)

USPA Gold Cup: February 28 – March 24.

U.S. Open Polo Championship: March 27  – April 21.


Utilizing the same prize money distribution for the 2023 Gauntlet of Polo, the format guarantees a total of $200,000 in prize money. $50,000 will be 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.

All Sunday games are due on the National Polo Center main ground.