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Date: Monday, October 24, 2016
Newport Polo’s annual Players Dinner on Oct. 22nd at Clark Cooke House in Newport gave opportunity to celebrate the 2016 polo season and recognize those who contributed to an outstanding 25th anniversary year.
Glasses were raised in appreciation of our 2016 sponsors, including NBC10, BMW Centers of RI, ALEX AND ANI; Cox, Newport Daily News, Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Vanderbilt International Properties, Forty 1° North; Hyatt Regency Newport, Hotel Viking, NAVSTA Newport, RISD, Stell Artois, Rockstar Limo, Clarke Cooke House of course, Lufthansa, Shreve Crump & Low, Atria, Greengear Global, WaterRower and McGrath Clambakes.
Then, 25th anniversary medalians were presented to the private lodging hosts of international teams.
Next, International Polo Charity Ball ovations were expressed to the 2016 Gala Ambassadors Heather & Roger Souto and newportFILM founder and artistic director Andrea van Beuren, and to the dedicated auction committee volunteers who were present, Lynn Kaye, Stacie Mills, Ann Clemens and Agnes Keating for their time and energy in supporting beneficiary newportFILM, and to all our generous attendees this year, without whom the results would not have been so successful.
Also acknowledged were the 2016 Best Playing Ponies: Persia Loaned to Mexico and Jamaica; Skyfall Loaned to Australia; Missy Loaned to Italy; Raton Loaned to Ireland; Jack Loaned to France; Negrita Loaned to England; and Arnold Loaned to Morocco; by Minnie and Dan Keating.
Presentations of this year's Sportsmanship Award and Most Improved Player Award were conveyed by previous recipients Sam Clemens and Alexander King. Chosen by their peers, the perpetual trophies were awarded to Heather Souto, voted Most Improved Player this season (also in 2009; former recipients), and to Laurel Howe & Stefanie Boyer, tied for the 2016 Sportsmanship Award. Nearly a dozen mustache-clad nominees in each category were on hand in anticipation, until the winners were announced.
Captain Dan Keating expressed unanimous Appreciation to Polo Manager Dave Markell for his tireless efforts all year long.
The presentation culminated in a surprise induction into the Newport Polo Hall of Fame: none more deserving than the beloved voice of Newport Polo, our commentator William Crisp, who has been part of the Polo Series since its inaugural year, captaining the first English team in 1992, and then becoming a US citizen and playing for USA, then serving as Polo Series umpire until starting his assent in 2006 as the legendary commentator, arguably one of the best in the world today. During his address, Keating explained that, “William has been instrumental in advancing the sport of polo, even more so in his career as a commentator and soon to be published author.”
The Newport Polo Hall of Fame was officially inaugurated in August 2016, with the retirement of legendary mount, Ginger, a 27 year old thoroughbred owned by Dan Keating and ridden by most of the club's members as they learned to play, and favored among international teams as the most-named Best Playing Pony. Marking his 25 year milestone of contributions to the Polo Series and forthcoming book on polo commentating, Crisp was named as the first human inductee.
“The awards dinner is an opportunity to express appreciation for the leading figures that make the Polo Series a great tradition,” commented Newport Polo president, Dan Keating. “After celebrating the successful 25th anniversary season, plans are already underway to make exciting improvements for 2017.”
Newport International Polo Series XXVI begins on Saturday June 3, 2017 when USA hosts the season’s first international rival on Opening Day. Subscribe to our eMagazine for the latest news and announcements, including team lineup, important dates and upcoming events. Secure, spam free and minimally issued.