GPL Brings Global Grandeur To Wellington With The International Gay Polo Tournament

GPL Brings Global Grandeur To Wellington With The International Gay Polo Tournament

The 2024 Lexus International Gay Polo Tournament, presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, will bring together players and spectators from around the globe from April 4 to April 6, for a weekend that is equal parts competitive play and joie de vivre. For the first time, the Gay Polo League (GPL) will hold the tournament at the exclusive Patagones Polo Club in Wellington.

The annual tournament has become one of Wellington’s most anticipated events of the spring season, known for creating a culture of togetherness, equality and high fashion, to inspire and empower lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in sports and beyond.

“While this event is fun and competitive, it is the desire for equality that pushes us to do more each year,” GPL founder Chip McKenney said

The Flagship For International Play

While the GPL produces polo tournaments worldwide, Wellington has been the site of its flagship tournament since 2010. Players and allies from all over the globe descend upon the village each year for the highly engaging, multi-day event where everyone is welcome.

During the three-day event, celebrity players and novices mix with international polo aficionados and local entertainment-seekers. Creativity, energy and positivity are the vibe for players and spectators alike.

The tournament’s wildly popular Polotini Wigstock charity party on Friday, April 5, kicks off the weekend with a “hair-raising extravaganza” to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Wigs are the accessory of choice at this annual event, where partiers try to top the previous year with their elaborate and colorful hairpieces and compete for prizes. Live entertainment will be the highlight of the evening.

The merriment continues the next day at the tournament’s tailgating party and competition in anticipation of the main event. Whimsical tablescapes and décor add to the fun-spirited competitiveness that lines the polo field. Coveted awards for best in show, best cuisine, best cocktail, best single tailgate and best multiple tailgates are all up for grabs.

“Anyone who comes to the tournament will see that we are a community that shares a love for adventure, fun and the beautiful, challenging sport of polo,” McKenney said.



Fast And Open Polo Play

As the only LGBTQ+ polo organization in the world, the GPL is changing the perception of gay athletes and providing a place where all can come together around a competitive, international sport, and promote inclusion and diversity at the same time. How the four teams come together is a prime example, McKenney explained.

“Most polo teams play consistently as teams,” he said. “Ours don’t. GPL teams combine players from other countries — gay and non-gay — who have not played together before. Players have one day of practice, and then we put together the teams based on skill and experience. Over the years, we have attracted more experienced players, and now our games are fast and open.”

The polo field will be new to the players and spectators as well this year. The Patagones Polo Club is the new home for the 2024 tournament, a location that fits the spirit of the GPL, according to McKenney.

“The Patagones Polo Club is the perfect, chic and intimate environment for our players and the camaraderie that happens along the sidelines,” he said. “We are grateful and excited for our new venue.”

Four teams will compete for two GPL perpetual trophies: the Senator’s Cup and the Founder’s Cup. Confirmed players to date include Gus Larrosa (Argentina), Tyler Thompson (England), Tony Natale (United States), Jesse Lee Eller (United States), Adrian Pia (Argentina), Eva Marquard (Germany) and Juan Diego Patron (Peru).

McKenney is quick to acknowledge the number of polo pros who donate their time and knowledge to the tournament both as players and consultants.

“We are fortunate to have so many generous professionals and advocates supporting the tournament,” McKenney said. “The international world of polo is embracing the GPL and setting an example for how we can all come together to promote acceptance, on the field and off.”

Learn more about the 2024 Lexus International Gay Polo Tournament at