It may be the biggest tournament in Southern California. All because of one man...
John D. Spreckels first visited Coronado Island in the late 1800’s, soon after discovering the engaging sport of polo. He was captivated by the area, known at the time as the playground for the wealthy. He immediately made plans to build a polo facility on island’s beautiful fields to host early prestigious polo tournaments, such as the Pacific Polo Open. The first Spreckels match was in 1909 and winners were presented with a dramatic silver trophy over two feet high. Engraved on the trophy was the inscription, “Polo Challenge Trophy, presented by John D. Spreckels,” along with the names of the winners each year. The trophy was retired in 1921 to a dedicated horseman and last winner, Carleton F. Burke.
In an effort to restore the history of polo in San Diego, Julie Mulvihill-Mayer and Joseph E. Jessop searched for old trophies, and soon came across the Spreckels Cup. Jessop Jewelers and President Ken Laughlin restored the old trophy. When the season officially opened on June 10, 1988, the newly refurbished Spreckels Cup cast an undeniable glow upon the matches and players. The trophy’s presence provided a tangible link across the years and forged a bond between players, John D. Spreckels, and the band of polo players that had such an influence on our sport and upon San Diego Polo.
The California Thoroughbred Foundation generously loans the trophy to us annually. We’d like to thank the CTF’s board for securing this prestigious trophy throughout this historical event.
Now, let's fill it with 100 roses and drink champagne with the winners!