Date: Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Blue skies and warm temperatures set the stage for the annual Newport Cup on Saturday, June 11th featuring the Masters vs. the Hotshots, a time honored Newport Polo battle that matches the seasoned master players of Newport with the next generation of Newport Polo juniors. Saturday's match continued the Newport International Polo Series, presented by Turkish Airlines with a popular duel favored by spectators and players alike. Spectators from Rhode Island and surrounding states gathered to watch the duel dressed in their best Gilded Victorian garb whilst enjoying the many amenities that the Newport International Polo Series offers. Spectators arrived early to picnic along the lawn and make the most of the start of the summer season.
Filling the fields were spectators with their extravagant tailgates and picnics inspired by the Gilded and Victorian eras, the theme of the day. Field-side were the Gourmet Food Trucks with Newport favorites making an appearance (Newport Chowder Company, Wally's Wieners, and Hawaiian Jim's Shave Ice). The Vendor Village offered several delights like Cocoa & Co. Photography classic portraits and nearby the famed Patio Bar serving up a wealth of delicious drinks and cocktails like Stella Artois on tap, Santa Margherita Wines, Veuve Clicquot Champagne, and the official drink of the Newport International Polo Series, the Goslings Dark 'n Stormy. The Pro Shop, having just been restocked with best sellers and new limited edition items, was abuzz with action as spectators purchased their favorites to welcome the nice weather and the beginning of summer polo in Newport.
The afternoon came to a conclusion with the match beginning at 5PM. Umpires Rory Torrey and Dan Keating led the Masters and the Hotshots onto the pitch for the coin toss by Dave Markell, the Newport Polo Club Manager, followed by an introduction of the teams by renowned announcer William Crisp whose commentary elevates every match to new heights and enhances the spectator experience ten-fold. Wearing red representing the #1 position for the Masters was the skillful Roger Souto, with Peter Friedman at #2, Lucio Chavez at #3, and the Newport veteran Dave Bullis at #4. The Hotshots were in white for match day with Georgia Markell and newcomers Sammi Leach and Marguerite McGill at #1. The #2 position was represented by Cole Kinsella and Chris Fragomeni, with scrappy Catie Reed at #3, and the Newport Queen Minnie Keating at #4. Following the Star Spangled Banner, the players took the field to get the anticipated match underway.
The match began quickly with both sides making sense of the speed of play between the Hotshots and the Masters. The first chukker came to a close with no teams executing goals but in the second chukker Kinsella of the Hotshots drove a nice hit through the posts to take the lead against the Masters. The Masters quickly hit back with two goals from Bullis followed by a goal from Friedman to accelerate the Masters to an early lead. In the third chukker Bullis executed another brilliant shot trailed by a clean goal from Kinsella to mark his second of the game and to lead the score to 4-2 in favor of the Masters.
Following the first half of the match, spectators flocked to the field for the beloved half-time divot stomp while others retreated to the Pro Shop to get their gear fix like the new limited edition Land Shark Shorts, just in time for Father's Day, while the Patio Bar refreshed drinks. The Gourmet Food Trucks were heartily enjoyed during the match hiatus. The Veuve Clicquot Door Prize, a stunning methuselah (6L) of Whispering Angel, had spectators excited for the winner to be called from the raffle ticket entries at the end of the fifth chukker. Newport photographers made sure to visit every party to decide on the Best in Show Contest winner, presented by Stella Artois announced at the end of the fourth chukker.
After a slow start to the first half of the match both teams came out swinging for the second half of the match up. Kinsella came out strong in the fourth chukker with another goal added to his performance. The fifth chukker was the high scoring period of the match with Bullis scoring a nice hit followed by Markell of the Hotshots. The string of goals repeated a second time with another nice goal from Bullis followed by Markell. To end an exciting fifth chukker Bullis scored once again propelling the Masters to a lead of 7-5 over the Hotshots. The sixth chukker was the most exciting of the match with the Hotshots coming from behind starting with exceptional goals from Leach followed by Keating. In the last few minutes of the match as spectators held their breath Leach scored another brilliant goal followed by Fragomeni to launch the Hotshots to victory over the Masters with a final score of 9-7.
The Masters and The Hotshots came together post-match for a victory lap around the field to shake hands with spectators in the traditional victory salute as the grounds lit up in cheers and celebration for the youth of Newport Polo. Following their lap, once more they circled the field stopping in front of the Pavilion for the trophy presentation, hosted by Veuve Clicquot Champagne. Bride and groom soon to be, Isabel Arguello and Alfredo Pellas presented the young winners with the Commander JB Levitt Cup and the player's individual trophies from Providence Diamond. William Crisp congratulated the winners and announced Catie Reed as MVP of the match. Elated by their win, the Hotshot players, their fierce opponents, and spectators wandered to the Modern Luxury Lounge to relax after the match while some enjoyed a Goslings Dark 'n Stormy and other delectable drinks offered at the Patio Bar. To finish off the day the one and only Rory Torrey showcased a live drawing for the upcoming US Polo Association Congressional Cup taking place over the next few weeks.
Live audiences can enjoy the Newport International Polo Series polo matches every Saturday as they have for 31 years to witness the timeless sport unfold on the manicured, emerald green at Glen Farm, home of the Polo Series, in a classic exhibition of horsemanship and valor, with host, the Newport Polo Club, where the home team - Newport/USA - meets challengers each season from around the world as well as teams representing major US cities and regional rivals in one of Newport's unique traditions and renowned attractions.
The Polo Series is scheduled to continue every Saturday through September. The schedule of teams is subject to change without notice, as per RI State mandates and US travel bans which may impact travel and Adult Sports. Stay current with the 2022 team lineup & stats, latest news, events, and more by e-scription to the Gameday Briefing (sign up) and weekly eMagazine (sign up). Both subscriptions are private and spam-free.
The Polo Grounds' favorable proximity to the shores of the island's Sakonnet east passage provides reliably cool coastal effects, moderating afternoon temperatures and providing a dependable breeze for the late afternoon polo matches all summer. Minutes from the bustling Newport waterfront, the International Polo Grounds are located on the acreage of Glen Farm, 250 Linden Lane (off of Rte. 138) in Portsmouth, RI. This bucolic setting is the last 100 acres of a pre-colonial settlement from the 1600's that became the Town of Portsmouth's original gentlemen's farm, an 800-acre manorial estate established during a Gilded Age movement of retreat from the high life into pastoral country acres, to become the future home of polo in the next century. Its classical 19th-century stone barns and its park-like grounds were rehabilitated by Polo Series founder, Dan Keating in the early 1990’s and continue to thrive as an equestrian & community recreational property, and home of the Polo Series.
The Newport International Polo Series is proud to roll out its 2022 sponsors including Brenton Hotel, BD, TD Bank, Turkish Airlines, Modern Luxury Boston, Herb Chambers Exotics, Vanderbilt International Properties, Hotel Viking, Santa Margherita Wines, Providence Diamond, Veuve Clicquot, Clarke Cooke House, Atria Senior Living, US Polo Association, Stella Artois, Goslings, ROCKSTAR Limo, and Classical 95.9 WCRI; and promotional partners including Newport Helicopter Tours, The Cocktail Guru, Newport Jaguar Tours, International Tennis Hall of Fame, Newport Mansions, Newport Classical, Island Surf and Sport, Newport Picnic Co., Northeast Equestrian Life, Newport Vineyards and Audrain Automobile Museum.
“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.
This is the 31th season of the Newport International Polo Series, which has hosted teams from 36 nations including, Colombia, 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, Poland, and Switzerland.
Gilded Age Legacy. Polo is, without a doubt, the oldest ball game in the world today. First recorded in the 6th-century B.C. when the Turkomans beat the Persians in a diplomatic tournament, the alluring game caught on with equestrian royalty and cavalry, and took off with globalization, withstanding the tests of time. Arriving on Newport’s shores during the Gilded Age, the sport had evolved for nearly 2500 years, steeped in tradition, captivating newcomers like Newport's summer sporting set who embraced the new pastime, establishing America's first polo club in 1876. A charter member of the United States Polo Association, the club today is still a trailblazing model polo club, hosting the Newport International Polo Series public exhibition matches, supporting philanthropic causes, organizing tournaments, polo club member services, and polo instruction year-round. Experience the king of games in its American landing at Newport Polo.