'Tis the Preseason!
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Date: Saturday, August 6, 2016
After an 8 year hiatus, France made its celebrated return on Saturday, August 6, 2016. Hailing from the sun soaked Côte d’Azur, the team’s American visit was a tour de force as they squared off with team USA in the NBC-10 Newport International Polo Series, presented by the Rhode Island BMW Centers.
Representing France, Sophie Granchi was at #1, Capucine Granchi played #2, Michel Granchi was in the captain’s seat at #3, and Olivier Girard closed the back door at #4.
For USA, Stephanie Still played #1, Michel Nsier played #2, president Dan Keating took the captain’s position at #3, and at back, Rory Torrey played #4.
Team USA dominated the first half, taking the early lead to open the match with two impressive goals from Torrey. M. Granchi wasn’t about to let USA have a closeout round, and put up the first goal for France to end the chukker. Both teams played tight defense in the second chukker with a USA goal by Torrey matched by Girard for France. USA gained momentum to pull away in the third chukker. Two field-devouring shots from Torrey split the posts, with another USA goal by Keating. C. Granchi tried to make up for lost ground, adding a goal for France, but the bell ended the half, 6-3 in favor of USA.
Warmed up from the first half, France returned with a vigor, determined to defend its 2008 victory. Girard and C. Granchi brought the team neck and neck with USA at 6 all, while keeping USA from goal through the 4th chukker. The teams remained in a dead heat through the 5th chukker, as two points added to the USA score by Torrey were match by Girard and S. Granchi. With the score at 8-all, the teams returned to the field to see who would break the stalemate. A torrent of scoring by C. Granchi & M. Granchi gave France a 3 point lead. Torrey took the opportunity to add another goal for USA, but M. Granchi had the final word, scoring the final goal for France to end the match in a 12-9 win.
A weekly door prize drawing for a magnum of champagne from Veuve Clicquot was awarded to one lucky winner from Dartmouth, MA, and tailgaters in spaces 36 & 37 won the prized Tailgate Trunk from Stella Artois. Following the match, the USA vs. France perpetual cup was presented to the teams by Theodora DelGuidice of Forty 1° North, during the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Toast and Trophy Presentation. The French Polo Team bestowed Best Playing Pony honors on Jack, a chestnut gelding owned by Dan Keating. Hundreds stayed on to feast on an authentic New England Lobsterbake dinner prepared by McGrath Clambakes.
The Polo Series will feature 8 international teams this season including Mexico, Australia, Ireland, Italy, France, Jamaica, England, and the debut of Morocco, as well as 5 City Teams from major US cities and a few top regional rivals for an action-packed season through the end of September.
The Polo Series will have hosted 32 nations this year over its 25 seasons including England, Ireland, Scotland, Chile, Kenya, Jamaica, Italy and Singapore this summer, and Costa Rica, Portugal, Germany, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, India, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Barbados, France, Canada, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Kenya, Brazil, and China, Sweden, Singapore, Monaco and Morocco.
Dating back more than 130 years in Newport, the polo matches are one of Newport’s grandest & most popular traditions, a living legacy from the Gilded Age, and open to the public. Audiences of several thousand spectators enjoy the contests against international teams, as well as teams representing major US cities, playing against the home team every Sat, June thru Sept. at 5 PM / 4 PM in Sept.
Minutes from downtown Newport, the International Polo Grounds are located at historic Glen Farm, 250 Linden Lane in Portsmouth, RI. This bucolic setting is the last 100 acres of what was once a 700-acre manorial farm whose settlement dates back to the 1600's. Its classical stone barns from the Gilded Age and its park-like grounds were rehabilitated by Newport Polo founder, Dan Keating, and thrive today as an equestrian & community recreational property, and home of the Polo Series.
This is the 25th season of the Newport International Polo Series, with the supportof sponsors including NBC - 10, BMW, ALEX AND ANI, Cox, Forty 1° North, Vueve Clicquot, NAVSTA Newport, RISD Executive Education, Stella Artois, Rockstar Limo, Lufthansa, Green Gear Global, WaterRower, Atria Senior Living, Hotel Viking, Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel & Spa, Vanderbilt International Properties, Clarke Cooke House, McGrath Clambakes, Newport Daily News, Newport J House and promotional partners including The Preservation Society of Newport, Bird’s Eye View Helicopter Tours, America's Cup Charters, International Tennis Hall of Fame, Island Surf and Sport, The Cocktail Guru, Newport Mansions and Discover Newport. “Our sponsors have been with us since the beginning. Without their support, the Series would not be as extensive as it is,” explains Dan Keating, Polo Series founder.
Discover Polo! Watch it, Play it, Support it. Newport Polo is the home of America's first polo club, est. in 1876, and founding member of the United States Polo Association offering public exhibition matches, polo club member services for grass & arena polo, and polo instruction year-round. Newport Polo hosts the Newport International Polo Series XXV. Information about Newport Polo's events, polo lessons, membership and sponsorship can be found in About Newport Polo.