Date: Tuesday, September 3, 2019
The final day of August provided a spectacular setting for one of the most exciting matches of the season between USA and England on Saturday, August 31st in the Newport International Polo Series XXVIII presented by Brahmin. England had the early action until USA tied the score in the final chukker, ending in a penalty shoot out and 8-7 victory for England.
Entering the playing field for the English team in white were Russell Tyre in the #1 position, with Stephan O’Kane in the #2 position, Garrie Renucci at #3, and Jimmy Wood at #4. In navy blue for USA was Michel Nseir in the #1 position with Sam Clemens at #2, Dan Keating at #3, and Hamish Wates at #4. Afterwards, Joe Cantone delivered a cappella renditions of the English & US national anthems to ovations before the ball was thrown into play.
Wood made the early move for England to take a 1-0. Meanwhile, USA faced a string of bad luck that kicked off with a penalty to England, easily converted by Wood for a 2-0 at the end of the first chukker. Defense maintained the spread in Chukker 2 until a controversial decision rewarded another penalty shot, converted by Wood to widen a 3-0 lead for England. The costly errors continued to build as USA left the door open for two more Wood penalty converstions until Nseir broke their stride with a USA point to end the first half 5-1.
Tyre scored the first goal of the second half during regular play. Soon the shoe was on the other foot when England wavered, giving Wates the opening for a penalty conversion, chipping away at the deficit, 6-2. Wates again scored early in the 5th chukker which was followed by another goal for USA from Keating. The score stood 6-4 at the start of the final chukker. Now England's mistakes were costing dearly as Keating tied the match on back to back penalty shots, making one of the biggest comebacks of the season to end regulation play. The umpires convened and decided on an overtime penalty shoot out to break the 6-6 tie. Each team selected one player to cast the deciding swing. Wates was up first for USA, scoring from the penalty line. Next, Wood stepped up for another goal, mainting the tie at 7-all. Wates was up again and this time couldn't overcome the pressure to put his team back in the lead. It was all down to Wood for England who took a measured swing the sealed his team's 8-7 win.
The match concluded with the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Toast & Trophy Presentation. Commemorative prizes and the 1992 perpetual liberty bowl was awarded by Brian Cunha and Bekki Schenker, hosts of the England team during their stay in Newport. An autograph signing to meet the players followed the trophy presentation. The teams and fans enjoyed an apres polo feast of seafood delicacies provided by McGrath Clambakes and danced to DJ Allan's waves of iconic British pop & rock hits from across the generations at the Patio Bar.
During the match, a lucky lady from Fairhaven, MA won two pairs of the latest hi-fi wearables, , 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 phenomenally decorated party of spectators. Specialty vendors and concessionaires present in the Vendor Village at the polo grounds, including OPT Eyewear, The Calvert Collection, Wag Nation, Nutty Concept, Newport Polo Pro Shop, the Davitt Pavilion Patio Bar, the Veuve Clicquot Champagne On the Go Cart, and gourmet food trucks.
While in Newport, the England players enjoyed many of the best attractions and highlights that our visiting teams experience, including VIP ground transportation from Rockstar Limo, a tour of Newport with the new Newport Jaguar Tours, an aerial tour from Newport Helicopter Tours; a glorious afternoon sail with America's Cup Charters; sightseeing fun courtesy of Scooter World; paddleboarding with Island Surf and Sport; angling excursions with Newport Sport Fishing Charters, tennis on the historic grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, competed in the 92nd Annual Conanicut Yacht Club Around The Island race and explored many other Newport treasures to mark the Labor Day Holiday.
"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 to the 1600s. 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, Newport Jaguar Tours, Providence River Boat Company 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.