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Tono Iturrate leads Chile againss UDSA in International Cup play on Friday

Chile’s Tono Iturrate leads the charge against USA team on Saturday afternoon

By Alex Webbe

webbeJose Antonio “Tono” Iturrate is the senior spokesman of the Chilean polo team (Max

Silva, Jose Antonio Iturrate, Juan Sanchez and Matias Vial) that arrived in Wellington

Thursday morning in preparation for Saturday’s International Gold Cup match against

the United States (Marc Ganzi, Carlitos Gracida, Nic Roldan and Jeff Hall).

“This is going to be my last major tournament,” said Chile’s Jose Antonio Iturrate. “It is

something special to be able to pull on your country’s jersey and compete on the field,”

offered the former 8-goaler.

Not the first time he has played for Chile internationally. Itturate was a member of

the 33-goal Brazilian team (Tono Itturate, Jose Donoso, Gabriel Donoso and Jaime

Huidobro) that beat England in the Coronation Cup in 1998. He took the field with

Pepe Heguy, Gonzalo Heguy and Horacio Heguy in the mid to late 1980s and spent

over 30 years traveling all over the world in pursuit of the ball making stops in Uruguay

Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, England, France, Italy, Spain, Lebanon, South Africa

and Australia.

Born in Los Angeles, Chile (yes, not California), Tono started riding almost before he

could walk (two or three). He was playing polo at age 11 and had the full resources of

the family’s ranch and wide selection of horses. His father, Rufino Itturate, attained a

handicap of 4-goals and encouraged his son’s play.

Following Saturday’s International Cup play, Tono will return to his home in the south

of Chile where he will enjoy the scenery and help guide the development of his son

Martin’s play. Martin is currently ranked at 4-goals but Tono believes he has the talent

get to seven or eight goals.

“He’s concentrating on getting his degree in civil Engineering,” said Tono. “As soon as

he graduates he will have more time to develop his polo game. But until Saturday’s

game is over, Tono only has one thing on his mind, winning!

The International match is slated to begin at 3PM at the Grand Champions Polo Club

and will be preceded by a legend’s Cup that will feature Hall of Famers Carlos Gracida

and Julian Hipwood; former 9-goalers Howard Hipwood and Hector Galindo; Ruben

Gracida, a former 8-goaler and the second winner of the Seymour Knox Award as US

Open MVP and multiple US Open winner. Argentina’s Juan Bollini, winner of three

USPA Gold Cups, formerly rated at 8-goals, Bollini was a constant presence on the

international high-goal scene. The United States Polo Association CEO, Peter Rizzo,

fills out the field.

Although the Grand Champions Polo Club invites the public to nearly all of its games

free of charge, a $20 per person General Admission ticket is being offered with all

proceeds going to the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational

organization, dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the development, history and

tradition of the sport of polo.. Be sure to bring your own seating. Che Grill will be at field

side with delicious food, snacks and drinks, and tented seating will be available to enjoy

your meal. Field side parking is not included.

Additional ticketing is offered ranging from a $200 VIP Pavilion Tickets to a $250

Signature Tailgate Package or a $500 Grand Champions Tailgate Package or a $1,500

Corporate Sponsorship.

For Tickets: Go to www.grandchampionspoloclub.ticketleap.com or call (561)644-5050

For Sponsorships: Email Maureen Gross at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call (561)