Newport Pro-Am Match Report

Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2022

A mild day perfect for polo was present for the classic Newport Pro-Am on Saturday June 18th featuring professionals and international players from Portugal, Argentina, South Africa, and the U.S in one of the most intense matches of the 2022 season. The matchup gave the America's a chance to battle their international foe in a game that tested each player's skill, horsemanship, and mindset. The match continued the 31st season of the Newport International Polo Series, presented by Turkish Airlines. Spectators from New England, the South, the Western states, and everywhere in between convened to cheer on the players in Portuguese inspired attire and with Portuguese inspired tailgate spreads coming early to enjoy the peaceful breeze and the amenities of the International Polo Grounds.  

Gourmet Food Trucks with classic Newport flavors were field-side to satisfy the masses including Newport Chowder Company, Wally's Wieners, Hawaiian Jim's Shave Ice, and Milk Caffe. The Patio Bar served up delectable drinks like Santa Margherita Wines, Veuve Clicquot Champagne, and Stella Artois on tap. Two new cocktails from Goslings were all the rage on game day: The Bermuda Rum Swizzle and The Tropic Time Out. For those who wanted a classic the Goslings Dark 'n Stormy was also available as the official drink of the Newport International Polo Series. The Pro Shop was abuzz with energy as spectators restocked on their favorite merchandise, souvenirs, and sportswear.  

As the afternoon came to a close, the match began at 5PM. Patrick Quigley, the umpire of the day led the two teams onto the pitch: the America's and the Globetrotters. Laura Baughman, Brand Director at Goslings Rum led the pre-match coin toss, followed by William Crisp's introduction of the teams. Wearing blue were the Globetrotters with the speedy Roger Souto at #1, Chris Fragomeni and Leo Mejia at #2, skillfull Sam Clemens at #3, and South African pro Stuart Campbell anchoring the team at #4. The America's were in red for the day with fan favorite Dan Keating at #1, the seasoned Rory Torrey at #2, expert Oskar Monzon at #3, and the queen of Newport Polo, Minnie Keating, at #4. After their introductions and the Star Spangled Banner the game was underway.  

The start of the match featured back and forth play between red and blue with an early goal from Minnie Keating to mark the first of the match and to pull the America's to an early lead over the Globetrotters. The America's were on fire for the remainder of the first chukker with two goals from Monzon to propel the America's to a solid lead at the end of the first chukker. However, the Globetrotters came out swinging in the second chukker with an early goal from Campbell followed by a clean execution from Clemens driving the score to 3-2. In the third chukker the roles reversed once again and Torrey rolled in with a powerful hit and goal to lead his team at a 4-2 lead going into the second half of the match.  

Half-time brought the spectators out to the field for the beloved half-time divot stomp while some refreshed their drinks at the Patio Bar making the most of the new cocktail additions from Goslings. The Pro Shop was also a key half-time destination for spectators to get their Father's Day gifts like the new limited edition Button Down Plaid. The Veuve Clicquot Door Prize had fans excited for the end of the fifth chukker to see if their names might be called to win a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, a ribbon adorned straw hat, and branded chalices. Photographers circled the field to search for the Stella Artois Best in Show Contest winner sporting their best Portuguese attire and spreads to win a Stella Artois prize at the end of the fourth chukker.    

The second half of the match was even more challenging than the first with fouls and goals from both teams left and right. The first goal of the fourth chukker was scored by Monzon off of a penalty followed by a retort from Campbell. The third goal of the chukker was a pony goal in favor of the America's helping maintain their strong lead. Their luck did not last long, however, with goals from Campbell followed by Clemens to end the fourth chukker at 6-7 with the Globetrotters inching towards the America's. In typical fashion, Monzon executed a nice goal to start off the fifth chukker but his work was met with opposition as Clemens scored followed by Meija making the score 7-all. The sixth chukker was the most complicated of the day with infractions abounding. To open the last chukker Torrey scored once again for the America's quickly followed by Clemens, both off of fouls. Campbell and Monzon then scored goals to tie up the match in the last few minutes. In the final minutes of the game Campbell and Clemens scored once again to capture the victory and finish off an incredible goal streak.   

The America's and the Globetrotters reunited after the match for their victory lap around the field in the traditional victory salute, a well loved tradition of Newport Polo since 2003. The field lit up in celebration for the visiting players and the international players that call Newport home. Following the salute, the players made their way back pavilion-side for a trophy presentation hosted by Veuve Clicquot Champagne. Suzanne Pritzker Salomon and Brandon Saloman of Providence Diamond presented the international players with their trophy prizes from Providence Diamond and the Pro-Am Cup. Announcer, William Crisp congratulated the Globetrotters on their close win as their opponents sprayed them with champagne in celebration. To further celebrate their win, the Globetrotters and their fierce American opponents headed to the Modern Luxury Lounge to enjoy a complimentary Goslings Dark 'n Stormy and other Patio Bar cocktails. Spectators finished off the day with Portovations: an apres polo catered dinner by Portugalia Marketplace.  

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 HotelBDTD BankTurkish AirlinesModern Luxury BostonHerb Chambers ExoticsVanderbilt International PropertiesHotel Viking, Santa Margherita Wines, Providence DiamondVeuve ClicquotClarke Cooke House, Atria Senior Living, US Polo AssociationStella ArtoisGoslingsROCKSTAR Limo, and Classical 95.9 WCRI; and promotional partners including Newport Helicopter ToursThe Cocktail GuruNewport Jaguar ToursInternational Tennis Hall of FameNewport MansionsNewport ClassicalIsland Surf and Sport, Newport Picnic Co., Northeast Equestrian LifeNewport 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.