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Date: Tuesday, September 18, 2018
A New England Indian summer weekend created the perfect conditions for a record mid-September spectator audience to witness the international crescendo of Season 27, when the NBC10 Newport International Polo Series, Presented by BMW hosted USA vs. India.
Playing for India were Kailash Parmar at #1, Raj Jain at #2, Mahesh Parmar at #3, and Raghav Raj Singh at #4, hailing from Udaipur.
USA fielded Minnie Keating in the #1 position, Heather Souto at #2, Rory Torrey at #3, and Stephanie Still and Peter Friedman alternating in the #4 position.
The much-anticipated 3rd historic re-match was a spectacle of speed right out of the gate, with goal-to-goal runs by both sides, USA seeming well prepared for the battle with clutch saves on defense, allowing only one earned point by M. Parmar, but the home team was defied by near misses on the Indian goal, to trail 1-0 after the first chukker. India raised the stakes in the second period with a penalty conversion point and a field goal by its Captain, Singh, but USA kept the pressure on until both Torrey and Souto scored field goals, leaving India only a slim 3-2 lead. The third period heightened the excitement when USA's Torrey tied the score with a penalty conversion, then took the lead with his crowd-pleasing field goal, until Singh added the tying point to end the first half at 4 a side.
After the time-honored halftime tradition of stomping the divots, the match resumed with India re-claiming the lead on a penalty conversion by Singh, but USA's Torrey was unstoppable, scoring his 4th goal of the match, to end the 4th chukker tied again, at 5 all. Both teams applied defensive strategies thwarting attacks throughout the 5th period, resulting in only a tie-breaking field goal by Singh, for the 6-5 edge over USA going into the final 7 minutes of play. As each point became more difficult to earn, the next goal by Singh in the final period was heroically answered by USA's Friedman, as the cheering crowd encouraged the home team til the final bell, and lauded the players with ovations as they circled the stadium for a 'high five' salute.
The Pavilion's Indian Charities Lounge was filled with supporters for the India team's charitable causes, to benefit two organizations dedicated to serving the underprivileged of India, championed by Indian Team captain, Maharaj Raghav Raj Singh of Udaipur, namely Water Wisdom Foundation to expand the provision of adequate, safer and secure water supplies to improve the environment and enhance lives of the underprivileged and the SHIVRATI TRUST initiatives serving the needy children of India. Coupled with the results of Bollygood, a fundraising reception on the eve of the match, over $4 thousand was raised locally to support the team's humanitarian campaign.
The match concluded with the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Toast & Trophy Presentation, as well as an autograph signing to meet the players. Presenting the 1996 perpetual USA vs. India trophy - a Paul Revere replica liberty bowl, symbolic of the New England region - was Lani Shufelt, Proprietress of The Chanler at Cliffwalk, the official team headquarters of the Royal India polo team, who hoisted their victory trophy high over the crowd during the celebration before filling it with champagne and sharing a symbolic drink of friendship among all the players. Each member of the India team received a commemorative gift, courtesy of Flint & Flame, purveyors of professional grade, precision culinary tools.
During the match, a weekly door prize drawing awarded a magnum of Veuve Clicquot Champagne to a Providence patron, while the Best Tailgate - a thematic 40th birthday party in the chalets - earned the coveted prize from Stella Artois and a moment of fame on the Jumbotron. The hospitality and vendor villages bubbled with exciting offers of fascinators and jewelry, sunglasses, portrait photography, cutlery, leather goods from Brahmin, old & new world wine sampling, the 2018 collection of official polo team gear and concessions including the Twisted Pony Cocktail Bar, while this season’s new Veuve Clicquot champagne cart circled the field with bubbly service!
The team's tour of the City by the Sea in a 2018 BMW X5, included stops at the Newport Mansions, the Newport International Boat Show and the world-class museum of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, as well as a scenic Ocean Drive outing in scoot coups from Scooter World.
View an album of images from the match.
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.
This is the 27th season of Newport International Polo Series, which has hosted teams from over 30 nations including, Ireland, Germany, Spain, England, Argentina, France, Egypt, India, Australia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Canada, Chile, Jamaica, Nigeria, Portugal, New Zealand, Barbados, Scotland, South Africa, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Kenya, Brazil, China, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, Singapore, Monaco, Morocco, Peru and Poland.
The Newport International Polo Series is proud to present its 2018 sponsors including NBC - 10, BMW, Gallo Thomas Insurance, Brahmin, Veuve Clicquot, Grace Hotels, The Chanler, Hotel Viking, Gurney's Newport Resort & Marina, Vanderbilt International Properties, Clarke Cooke House, Flint & Flame, Stella Artois, Rockstar Limo, Atria Senior Living, Modern Luxury/Boston Common, Newport Daily News, McGrath Clambakes, Goslings Rum, Where Boston, Equine Journal, Classical 95.9 WCRI and promotional partners including The Preservation Society of Newport, Newport Helicopter Tours, America's Cup Charters, International Tennis Hall of Fame, Island Surf and Sport, The Cocktail Guru, and Scooter World. “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.
Minutes from downtown Newport, the International Polo Grounds are located at historic Glen Farm, 250 Linden Lane (off of Rte. 138) 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 polo series founder, Dan Keating, and thrive today as an equestrian & community recreational property, and home of the Polo Series.
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There's no sport like polo. Be a part of it! Newport Polo hosts the Newport International Polo Series 27, and is the home of America's first polo club, est. in 1876, offering public exhibition matches, polo club member services for grass & arena polo, and polo instruction year-round; founding member of the United States Polo Association,