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Sunday Benefit Polo: Shelterbox USA Match Report

Date:    Tuesday, August 22, 2017

It was all good times for a good cause this Sunday, August 20th, at the Newport International Polo Series ShelterBox USA Benefit Match.

ShelterBox USA is a global organization made up of people who believe in shelter as a human right – that shelter from the chaos of disaster and conflict is vital. When people are plunged into crisis, normality is suspended. But good, quality shelter can cut through the chaos. This is why we provide the tools that enable people to rebuild homes and transform their lives. We work hard to understand the impact of each emergency and the need this creates within individual communities. The equipment we provide, whatever shape it takes, gives people the hope and the power to transform their own lives. All proceeds from ticket sales went directly to the organization, raising over $2,700 for ShelterBox USA.

Spectators were treated to a lively match between team Newport and team ShelterBox USA, both teams comprised of local Newport players, with a special guest from the Jamaican Polo Team, Shane Chin playing for ShelterBox.  Guest commentator and captain of the Jamaican Polo Team, Lesley-Ann Fong-Yee gave the crowd the play-by-play.  Featuring a fast paced, four chukker match and a worthy cause, it was an afternoon to remember!

Representing Newportin position #1 was Amy Rice, playing #2 was Bridget Torrey, position #3 was Sam Shore, and position #4 was JK Kaye.

Representing ShelterBox USA, in position #1 was Clark Curtis, in position #2 was Brendan Tetrault, position #3 was Minnie Keating, and in position #4 was Shane Chin.

Kaye gave Newport a strong start in the match, scoring two goals in the first few minutes of play.  Chin took one back for ShelterBox USA, but Shore and Rice closed the chukker with a goal each for a 4-1 Newport lead. Kaye led the second chukker again for Newport, while Shore made the next goal, followed by a well-executed penalty conversion.  Rice had the final word, scoring the 4th unanswered Newport goal that chukker, opening up a wide 8-1 lead at half-time.

ShelterBox USA kicked it into gear in the second half with two goals by Chin and one by Keating, while amped up defense limited Newport’s Kaye to one, bringing the score to 9-4. ShleterBox USA controlled the start of the final chukker with a quick goal by Chin, but a costly penalty conversion and two goals in regulation play all made by Torrey kept Newport firmly in the lead. Curtis and Keating fought back for ShelterBox USA, winning three more goals for their team, but with time running down, Newport took the win, 12-8!

During the match, fans enjoyed a relaxed afternoon at polo, with open tailgating and lawn seating, harkening back to the early days of the Polo Series.  Representatives from ShelterBox USA were on site demonstrating one of the many ShelterBox kits that the organization provides in times of disaster.

Through its 26 year history, Newport Polo has raised over $1,285,500 for civic and charitable organizations. Initiatives include the International Polo Charity Ball, special benefit matches, and countless ticket donations for the Newport International Polo Series.

Photo by Robert Kranz of Polo Werk.