WELLINGTON, Fla. – August 30, 2016 – The Gay Polo League (GPL) is pleased to announce it will hold its First Annual International Gay Polo Tournament Argentina from December 7-9, 2016. The prestigious event takes place during the 123rd Argentine Open Polo Championship, the highest-rated polo tournament in the world.
Four teams from around the world, composed of 12 LGBT players and four pros, will compete in the inaugural GPL tournament in Pilar. It will be hosted by members of the prominent Heguy polo family, including famed player Eduardo Heguy, four-time winner of the Argentine Open. He has competed in a record 31 Argentine Opens and for decades held the highest rating (10 goals) in the sport.
“This will be an incredible experience for our players to work with and learn from an absolute legend of the sport,” said GPL founder and president Chip McKenney, who is CEO/CFO of Phelps Media Group. “We are honored and grateful to Eduardo and his family for their gracious support.”
McKenney, who trained with Heguy last year in Argentina and will compete in the tournament, added that Heguy will provide the tournament with world-class polo ponies, top international pros, “and the finest polo has to offer.” After each day of play, participants will enjoy an authentic Argentina asado (barbecue) at Chapa Uno’s restaurant and bar, a favorite of the local polo community.
The tournament schedule kicks off December 7 with practice matches at Heguy’s private polo facility in Pilar. League matches take place there December 8. The public is invited to watch the finals December 9 at Bautista Heguy’s Chapa Uno Polo Club in Pilar. The following day, participants in the International Gay Polo Tournament will attend the final championship match of the 2016 Argentine Open and the after-party in Buenos Aires.
“We are looking forward to lots of great polo, camaraderie, food and fun,” said McKenney, the tournament organizer. Participants will enjoy sightseeing opportunities the weekend before the tournament, as well as social events throughout the week. They will be lodged at the elegant Fierro Hotel (fierrohotel.com), which is located in Palermo Hollywood, one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires.
“Holding the International Gay Polo Tournament in Argentina provides us an enhanced opportunity to help raise the profiles of athletes who are out, gay and proud,” said McKenney. “We want to encourage youth who don’t think team sports are available to them and influence professional athletes who could be positive role models if they came out of the closet.”
GPL has positioned itself on the forefront of human rights. Its mission is to inspire and empower individuals who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender through the promotion of and participation in the sport of polo and other equestrian-related sports. The organization strives to create an atmosphere that affirms and supports the understanding and acceptance of all individuals regardless of age, race, sex or sexual or gender identity and works to promote goodwill and camaraderie in the community.
A United States Polo Association (USPA) designated polo club, GPL celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2016. The organization is widely known for its flagship event, the Annual International Gay Polo Tournament, which is going into its eighth year. For the past several years the tournament has been held at the International Polo Club (IPC) in Wellington, among the most prestigious polo venues in the world. The tournament is the highlight of Gay Polo Week and will be held on April 8th, 2016.