Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Legendary hosts at Newport's number one destination, The Clarke Cooke House, welcomed an exuberant contingent for Newport Polo's annual Player's Dinner and Westchester Polo Club Awards. Polo players, Newport International Polo Series sponsors and season pass holders convened to celebrate the season of achievements and recognize individual standouts from 2022 in the tradition of America's First Polo Club.
"We delight in bringing together our leading figures each year for an end-of-season sendoff, outside the bustle of Polo Series matches and club competitions, to recognize our collective achievements and salute those individuals who went above and beyond over the course of the season," explains Newport Polo Founder and President, Dan Keating.
Following the Skybar cocktail reception, Newport Polo President Dan Keating, and Westchester Polo Club Manager, Dave Markell, called the official proceedings to order over a mouthwatering 3-course meal. Welcome remarks expressed appreciation for all participants in every capacity for continuing and strengthening the nearly 150-year-old tradition of America's First Polo Club.
Glasses were raised to toast the 2022 Newport International Polo Series Sponsors including The Brenton Hotel, BD, TD Bank, Turkish Airlines, Herb Chambers Exotics, Modern Luxury Boston, Vanderbilt International Properties, Hotel Viking, Santa Margherita, Providence Diamond, Veuve Clicquot, Clarke Cooke House, Atria Senior Living, Stella Artois, U.S. Polo Assn., ROCKSTAR Limo, Goslings, WCRI Classical 95.9, and private lodging hosts who opened their homes to our international visitors.
Ovations for the true polo standouts, our 2022 Best Playing Ponies were commended by this year's visiting international teams following each game, including Asai loaned to Colombia by Dave Bullis; Persia loaned to Ireland by Minnie Keating; Tarzan loaned to Italy by Dan Keating; Arnold loaned to New Zealand by Dan Keating; Isabel loaned to Jamaica by Sergio Curro; Roberto loaned to England by Dave Bullis.
Volunteers dedicated to the success of Newport Polo's 21st annual International Polo Charity Ball were given due accolades for another record-setting year that raised over $125K for the Jeffrey Osborne Foundation and the Boys & Girls Club of Newport County. Polo Club representatives, including Ambassadors Meg & Jeremy Stow, and Auction Committee Members, Jim DeAngelis, Agnes Keating, and Stacie Mills we recognized.
Then, it was on the highly anticipated Polo Club Honorees to recognize individual player achievements in 2022. Head Coach, Dan Keating saluted the two standouts among new players, Doug Brout and Courtney Lusignan with the Coaches' Rookie of the Year. In a first-ever clean sweep, the 2022 Sportsmanship Award and Most Improved Player were bestowed to one recipient, chosen by their peers, with congratulations to Touba Ghadessi. Past recipients Chris Fragomeni (Sportsmanship Award) and Felipe Rojas (Most Improved Player) presented the perpetual cups (See all past award winners). Closing the awards ceremony, Dan Keating, presented a gift of appreciation to Club Manager Dave Markell for over 20 years of service organizing weekly polo activities.
The floor was turned over to Newport Polo's Equine Manager, Minnie Keating, for a dozen or so Minnie Awards of jovial player superlatives. DJ Drew set the records spinning with the summer's greatest hits and classic throwbacks to dance the night away. See the evening's highlights in the Facebook Photo Album.
Named the Polo Series’ Restaurant of the Year for the 12th consecutive year for innovative cuisine and legendary ambiance as the place to see and be seen, the Clarke Cooke House is a quintessential Newport experience and polo players’ entertainment headquarters in downtown Newport (historical details).
About Newport Polo: Newport Polo is the home of the Westchester Polo Club, America’s first polo club est. 1876, and a charter member of the United States Polo Association, offering public exhibition matches, polo club membership, and polo instruction year-round. 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 recreation. The original club, based in Newport, is credited for organizing the world's first international polo competition, the Westchester Cup, and remained active until 1929. The Westchester Polo Club was revived in 1992 by President and USPA Delegate, Dan Keating. Known today as Newport Polo, the Club supports a vibrant polo training program, developing players in weekly polo lessons with open enrollment for new players, as well as membership for club chukkers and tournaments in spring, summer, and autumn. Click Here to read & subscribe for the weekly polo schedule with opportunities to play for all levels! Newport Polo is also home to the Brown University Polo Team, and the Newport Varsity & JV Interscholastic Teams. Newport Polo also hosts the Newport International Polo Series, a popular summer exhibition series held annually on Saturdays, June - September.