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Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2019
With a final score of 8-7, Italy extended its winning record to two years in a row against USA on Saturday, July 20th to hoist the perpetual trophy after its 8th consecutive in the Newport International Polo Series XXVIII, Presented by Brahmin.
With a festive ribbon cutting at halftime for the Grand Opening of the new Davitt Pavilion Patio Bar and White Party to celebrate the venue's newest installation, the crowd was eager for one of the most anticipated matches of the summer.
Sporting marine blue for Italy in the #1 position was Raimondo di Modrone, with Massimo Elser at #2, Marco Elser at #3, and Marcos Santinori at #4. Representing USA in white in the #1 position was Sam Clemens, with Minnie Keating at #2, Michel Nseir at #3, and Jim DeAngelis at #4.
Italy returned to Newport with confidence to defend last year's success in halting USA's 6-year reign as the champions of this annual rivalry. While last year's match was close, decided in overtime, the 8-7 result was exactly the same this year, but earned within 6 regualtion chukkas. A penalty goal from DeAngelis started off the match and put USA on the scoreboard which was closely followed by a second point by Nseir. With USA in the lead 2-0, the 2nd chukker brought a quick retalition from Santinori and Massimo Elser tying the game. Before the 2nd chukker finished Clemens added another point for USA reasserting the lead 3-2 going into the 3rd. An exciting 3rd chukker unfolded, beginning with a goal for Santinori followed by one from Clemens bringing the score to 4-3, but then Modrone scored the tying goal, followed quickly by another from Santinori to take the lead briefly before DeAngelis reined it in with his second goal of the evening, until a final goal from Santinori ended the half with Italy in the lead, 6-5.
The 4th chukker saw only one goal from Massimo Elser bringing the score to 7-5. Santinori padded the lead in the 5th but USA fought back with goals by DeAngelis and Keating but could not ultimately seal the gap. The 6th chukka was scoreless for both sides as the teams successfully defended attacks for their opponent, with the buzzer sealing the 8-7 victory for Italy.
The match concluded with the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Toast & Trophy Presentation, with commemorative prizes and the 2012 USA vs. Italy liberty bowl awarded by founder of Davitt Design Build, Matt Davitt and his daughter Lindsey Davitt, followed by an autograph signing to meet the players.
During the match, a lucky lady from Shrewsbury, MA won two pairs of Bose Frames in the weekly door prize drawing and an automatic entry into the Turkish Airlines Grand Prize Drawing at the Finals to win a trip for 2 anywhere in the world! Also, during the match, the Stella Artois Tailgate Contest awarded a fabulous prize to a spectacularly Italian-theme decorated party of spectators.
While in Newport, the Italy players enjoyed many of the best attractions and highlights in the City by the Sea, including VIP ground transportation from Rockstar Limo; an extraordinary concerto from this year's lineup of performances by the Newport Music Festival, the esciting quarterfinals of the Hall of Fame Open at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, an aerial tour from Newport Helicopter Tours; a glorious afternoon sail with America's Cup Charters; sightseeing fun courtesy of Scooter World; paddle boarding with Island Surf and Sport; a cocktail celebration on the eve of the match and fabulous accomodations, all at Gurney's Resort, and all the great goings on in the City by the Sea.
"Polo is an international sport, played in over 80 countries around the globe," stated Dan Keating, captain of the USA squad. "we are honored to have teams traveling great distances to play in Newport."
Dating back more than 130 years in Newport, the polo matches are one of Newport’s 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.
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This is the 28th 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.
Minutes from downtown Newport, the International Polo Grounds are located at historic Glen Farm, 250 Linden Lane (off 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.
The Newport International Polo Series is proud to present its 2019 sponsors including Brahmin, Davitt Inc, Turkish Airlines, TD Bank, Boston Common, Gurney's, The Vanderbilt, Hotel Viking, The Chanler, Vanderbilt International Properties, Clarke Cooke House, Stella Artois, Rockstar Limo, Atria Senior Living, Goslings, McGrath Clambakes and promotional partners that entertain our visiting teams including the International Tennis Hall of Fame, America's Cup Charters, Newport Helicopter Tours, The Cocktail Guru, Newport Mansions, Island Surf and Sport, and Scooter World. Special thanks to Schultz Marketing Partners, Van Liew Trust, Tanglewood, and WCRI, Classical Rhode Island. “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.
L'esprit de Polo has flourished in Newport, RI, since the founding of America's first polo club in the seaside resort & sporting haven in 1876. Newport Polo hosts the 28th season of the Newport International Polo Series, and offers polo club member services for grass & arena polo and polo instruction year-round; charter member of the United States Polo Association.