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Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Mother Nature blessed the New England Pro-Am with fast field conditions and delightful Indian summer weather, drawing a lively spectator audience to witness a highlight of Season 27, when the NBC10 Newport International Polo Series, Presented by BMW hosted the top Pros and best amateur players in the region.
Divided into a team of Masters against Juniors, the veteran players in hometeam red uniforms were Dan Keating at #1, Dave Bullis at #2, Rory Torrey at #3, and Peter Friedman at #4, from Newport. The Juniors in white uniforms were Tim Day in the #1 position, Heather Souto at #2, Minnie Keating at #3, and Hamish Wates in the #4 position.
The much-anticipated match was a spectacle of logistics, skill & horsepower, with both sides well prepared with defenseman guarding the goals, and captains launching attack squads. Wates put the optimistic opening point onto the jumbotron, neatly matched by Torrey to end the first period tied 1-1. Souto reclaimed the Junior's lead in the 2nd chukker but Torrey remained consistent with his second goal of the match, for a 2-2 tie. The Masters went on a rampage in the 3rd period, converting two penalty shots into points, and field goals by Torrey, Bullis and D. Keating for a decisive 7-3 lead ending the first half.
After the time-honored halftime tradition of stomping the divots, the match resumed with the Masters on defense through the 4th chukker, allowing a goal by Wates to chip away at the deficit, trailing 7-4. Torrey scored his 5th point of the match in the fifth chukker as the Masters nullified the Juniors' offensives and padded their lead 8-4. Juniors Wates, M. Keating and Souto came out swinging in the final chukker, determined to reverse their fate with a goal each, raising the spectre by closing within a point of the leading Masters, until the buzzer sealed the 8-7 victory for the Masters. Appreciative fans lauded the players with ovations as they circled the stadium for a 'high five' salute.
The match concluded with the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Toast & Trophy Presentation, as well as an autograph signing with the players. Presenting the Commander JP Leavitt Cup - (a Paul Revere replica liberty bowl, symbolic of the New England region) was Dave Markell, Polo Club Manager, to the Masters 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 winning 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 an Aerial Mansion Tour from Newport Helicopter Tours to a Johnston, RI patron, while the Best Tailgate - an Autumn celebration 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 unique offerings from fascinators and jewelry to designer sunglasses, portrait photography, professional cutlery, leather goods, old & new world wine sampling, the 2018 collection of official polo team gear and concessions including gourmet Food Trucks and the Twisted Pony Cocktail Bar, while this season’s new sensation, the Veuve Clicquot on The Go champagne cart circled the field with bubbly service!
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,