Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2017
It was a fitting matchup for the 2017 National Sherman Memorial Polo Tournament, one of arena polo’s oldest tournaments, to be played at the Westchester Polo Club, America’s oldest polo club. The 2-day tournament on October 14-15, brought teams from across the country to vie for the prestigious George Carter Sherman perpetual trophy in the 3-6 goal arena polo tournament at Newport Polo's outdoor arena & training facility.
Festivities commenced with a Draw Party on the eve of competition at the stately oceanfront Chanler, an iconic Newport mansion turned hotel which has hosted the likes of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and President Theodore Roosevelt. A steady rain set in on the opening rounds, challenging the players with less than favorable playing conditions. By sundown, the following day's lineup was determined and weather conditions were clearing, for overnight recovery and a seaside Lobsterboil and fireworks display.
Competition resumed on Day 2 with ideal weather and excellent arena footing, making for fast, high scoring matches, plenty of 2-pointers, and a new champion in Tolerance Cider, who made a clean sweep of the competition to earn Daymar Rosser, Minnie Keating and George Hempt their place in polo history.
Day 1 competition was divided into two brackets by random draw into six-chukker round robins. Boston Polo Club, Husaria Lo$ Dogos, and Tolerance Cider were first up. Sticky conditions forced the teams to adapt their game, favoring long hits and open play. With two decisive wins, Tolerance Cider was on to the championship from Bracket 1. Acoaxet Polo, Glen Farm, and Newport Polo competed in Bracket 2, where Acoaxet polo advanced to the championship round.
Game 1 Game 2 Game 3
Boston Polo Club 4 Boston Polo Club 5 Husaria Lo$ Dogos 2.5
Husaria Lo$ Dogos 7 Tolerance Cider 8 Tolerance Cider 5
Game 4 Game 5 Game 6
Acoaxet Polo 2 Glen Farm 3.5 Acoaxet Polo 10.5
Glen Farm 2 Newport 4 Newport 1
The tournament resumed on Day 2 under ideal conditions for the Consolation, Bronze, and Championship Rounds. First up, Boston Polo and Glen farm competed in the Consolation Round as the 3rd place teams from each bracket, with a 19 – 15 victory for Glen Farm. Next came Husaria Lo$ Dogos and Newport Polo competing in the Bronze Game as the 2nd place teams from each bracket, ending in a 19 – 10 Newport Polo bronze tournament finish. The Championship Game was no holds barred as Acoaxet Polo took an early two-goal lead in the first chukker. A few costly penalties deftly converted by Tolerance put the team in the lead by the end of the second chukker, which it carried through to a 20 – 11 victory. At the trophy presentation, Sugar, owned by Minnie Keating was named Best Playing Pony, with honorable mention going to Cathy, owned by Rory Torrey. Daymar Rosser of Tolerance Cider was named MVP, and the George C. Sherman Cup was presented to the victorious Tolerance Cider team. View the Album of Photos.
Newport Polo thanks the United States Polo Association for this historic opportunity and great honor, and its co-hosts, The Chanler at Cliff Walk, and its tournament staff & volunteers including Tournament Committee Amy Garrison, Ryan Fontaine et al, Umpires Dana Fortugno and Patrick Quigley, On Call Vet and official Club Veterinarian Margaux Buchanan, Equine Welfare Official Rory Torrey, Best Playing Pony Judges Jacki Shore and Jennifer Mitchell, and volunteer students from its interscholastic and intercollegiate programs!
Boston Polo Club 15
Glen Farm 11
Husaria Lo$ Dogos 10
Acoaxet Polo 11
Tolerance Cider 20
The National Sherman Memorial Tournament, inaugurated in 1935, is played to honor one of the giants of arena polo and is one of the oldest arena polo tournaments in the United States Polo Association. See the complete list of past winners, p. 247 'Historical Tournament Results' published by The Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame. Known as the “father of indoor polo”, Hall of Famer George C. Sherman, Sr. was almost single-handedly responsible for organizing and refining this now-popular variation of the sport. He introduced the inflatable ball, redesigned the standard polo equipment for the arena game’s specific needs and modified the rules of outdoor play for arena use. He was the founder & first president of the Indoor Polo Association (from 1915 to 1926), which merged with the USPA in 1956. He was zealous in bringing young players into the sport, presenting the Interscholastic Cup in 1928. Since all Intercollegiate and Interscholastic polo is now played in the arena, he may be said to have sired this invaluable training ground as well. His son, George C. Sherman, Jr., was also an arena high-goaler and made important contributions to the sport as a USPA Chairman and one of the founding spirits of the Museum of Polo. (Research information provided by Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame).
Newport Polo is the home of the Westchester Polo Club, America’s first polo club est. 1876, and founding member of the United States Polo Association, offering club member services for outdoor (grass) & arena polo, and polo instruction. The founding members, who hailed mostly from Westchester County, NY, established the club's summer headquarters and polo grounds in Newport, RI where its members annually convened for summer holidays. The original club remained active until 1929 and organized the first international polo competition, the Westchester Cup. The Westchester Polo Club was revived in 1992 by President and delegate, Dan Keating. Colloquially know today as Newport Polo, the Club supports a vibrant training program continually introducing newcomers to the sport. It is home to the Brown University Polo Team and the winners of the 2017 National Mens Intercollegiate Championship, Roger Williams University. Newport Polo also hosts the Newport International Polo Series, a popular 18-week summer exhibition series.