Townsend Cup to kick-off Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction

A view of the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships held annually at Westworld of Scottsdale. (Photo courtesy of the Scottsdale Polo Party)

A two-day polo event called the Townsend Cup is set to hit WestWorld’s Equidome on Jan. 14-15 during the first weekend of the 46th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, which is slated for Jan. 14-22.

This year’s title match will feature teams from the U.S. and the United Kingdoms and will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, according to a press release.

The U.S.’ only 10-goal arena polo player, Tommy Biddle Jr., will lead the squad and will be joined by American polo superstars Shane Rice and Team USPA member Jared Sheldon.

Crossing the pond for the U.K. is its own 10-goaler, Chris Hyde and his two teammates, Max Charlton and Ed Banner-Eve.

The event will also feature the International Intercollegiate Challenge Cup featuring American and British teams at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 15 as well as a USA vs U.K. military arena polo match at noon on Saturday, Jan. 14.

Additionally, the U.S. Sherman Cup Final is slated for 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15.

Founders of The Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships are also organizing the Townsend Cup. These founders are adding a new element to the upcoming to this year’s auction.

Arena polo, also known as “America’s polo” because its origins in Chicago and New York City, is similar to outdoor polo, but arena polo rules are uniquely American.

In arena polo, three players per team battle in a closed setting on a smaller field that measures approximately 300 feet in length and 150 feet in width.

On the other hand, outdoor polo covers more space with four players per team competing against one another on an expansive field that is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide.

A single arena polo match consists of four chukkers of seven and half minutes each, while a single outdoor polo match has six chukkers of seven and half minutes each.

In an arena event, the boards are four feet in height, confining the playing surface, but in outdoor polo, boards are a mere eleven inches in height. Fans taking in the action will see that the arena polo ball is soft, easier to hit, and looks like a mini soccer ball. The outdoor polo ball is made of plastic and is harder and smaller than an arena polo ball.

Tickets to Barrett-Jackson provide general admission to the Townsend Cup and other matches. Tickets may be purchased for the individual games Saturday, Jan. 14 and Sunday, Jan. 15 for $20 or $17 in advance.

Founded in 1971, Barrett-Jackson, a collector of car auctions and automotive lifestyle events, attracts 350,000 people annually to Scottsdale and routinely sells over $100 million in collector cars, according to release.

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