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Ukraine 37th Nation to Debut

2023 Newport International Polo Series Opens June 3

Date: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Opening Day of the 2023 Newport International Polo Series will see the 37th nation debut with USA vs. Ukraine on Saturday, June 3.  Now in its 4th decade, the Polo Series carries on the legacy of the first polo club in America, established in Newport RI in 1876, and host to the world's first international polo match.  18 teams spanning the globe and major U.S. cities are scheduled to compete against the home team, USA/Newport, every Saturday, June through September in exciting two-hour exhibitions.

Set your sights on summer as the Box Office opens online Feb 1 to reserve your spot field-side (follow this link to read our shopping guide).  Meet all the upcoming challengers in a month-by-month season forecast below.

JUNE will herald the start of summer in Newport, and bring with it the first match in the 32nd season on June 3 for Opening Day, featuring USA vs. Ukraine.  Ukraine's polo history is relatively new as the nation made progress into the sport since declaring independence in 1991.  With a favorable endorsement from the International Federation of Polo, Newport Polo is honored to invite the team for its debut, whose players may currently be university players residing outside the nation while we hope for an end soon to the Russian invasion and national lockdown.  The 3rd annual Bentley vs. Rolls-Royce match will pit apex rivals on the field, with ample horsepower on display for automotive fans on June 10.  Spain is set to return for its 8th contest for its perpetual cup since its last attempt in 2013 for June 17.  The Spaniard's team is generations deep, descendants of polo's founding father in the Domecq family line.  Newport's closest city rival, Boston, will close out the month on June 24, with the home team seeking to reclaim the perpetual cup after a tough loss in 2022.

JULY: Independence weekend has long been received with much fanfare in Newport County, home to the oldest 4th of July parade in the country as celebrations abound in the beautiful seaside communities for a jubilant start to July.  Newport Polo's Independence Cup on July 1 will embrace the festivity and feature the high stakes championship match of the USPA Constitution Cup, the culmination of a 2 week tournament with the best teams in the Northeast vying for prize money and glory.  Perrenial favorite, team Ireland will be next up on the following weekend, July 8, riding high on an epic 11-10 win last year.  Hailing from the Garden of Ireland, the team from Wicklow might be taking advantage of its homeland magic, leading the historic rivalry.  Terrible Towels waving on the sidelines can only signal the return of Pittsburgh on July 15.  The Steel City fired up the crucible and boiled away the City by the Sea in last year's duel.  With a Lamborghini escort, team Italy rolls in for its 11th rematch against USA on July 22.  The Italians have been planning its strategy over 365 bowls of pasta to come back swinging this year, as its players have proven victorious in countless other international tournaments.  Another political contest will bookend July when the Governor's Cup presents the championship match of a Northeast regional tournament on July 29.

AUGUST: The season will reach its full crescendo on the first weekend in August and the social peak of the summer.  Sweden will headline at the 22nd International Polo Charity Gala, ABBA ca DABRA Ball, on Aug 4th at Marble House.  Returning captain, Jonathan Willen will helm the viking's quest to reclaim the perpetual cup the following day, August 5.  Rival resort city Palm Beach is scheduled to breeze through on August 12 with its typical hurricane force.  Thankfully, the home team has built a steady bulwark that has kept the win-loss record close, though recent engagements have favored the feisty Floridians.  Then, the competition heads even further south when Jamaica returns on August 19 for its 23nd challenge against team USA.  Caribbean vibes may be in the air, but it's a lava flow on the field as the Jamaican's stamina tests the home team's endurance to the final bell.  The month of heavy hitters closes with Newport's toughest city rival, New York, on August 26.  New York has certainly been A-number-one, logging the most wins out of all the City Series challengers, running on a streak since 2018.

SEPTEMBER may be the winding-down of summer but the intensity on the field continues through the final chukker.  England, the nation that exported polo to the world, will labour to stay on top in the holiday weekend challenge on September 2.  Despite losing the most recent engagement, USA is dead even in the war, in the historic standings against the Brits.  Top Northeast players in their peak form will follow on September 9 for the Newport Pro-Am, a high-stakes contest featuring the finalists putting it all on the line in the dramatic conclusion of the USPA Congressional Cup regional polo tournament.  The rainbow nation and polo powerhouse, South Africa is poised to return loaded for bear after defeat 4 years ago, as the final international challenger in the season on September 16.  when the silver cup will be perilously close to an ambush.  The September 23th Newport Cup has become the traditional battle of the ages, when Newport's senior squad (Masters) challenges the juniors (Hotshots). The Masters have been shut out in the 2 most recent contests, ready to check the upstarts back into line. Last glory of 2023 will be won or lost on September 30 for the Turkish Airlines Finals when a Grand Prize Trip for 2 will be drawn.  Recent years have closed the season with a battle of the sexes, when Newport's top women face the men in the age-old contest.  Often, only one or two goals separate the final outcome in one of the few sports with co-ed competition at all levels.

The cheering doesn't end at the final bell.  Gather round after each match for the centerfield Trophy Presentation and Champagne Toast for a final hurrah in a hard-fought contest.  Then join the players at the Patio Bar for a complimentary cocktail and DJ rhythms, autograph signing meet and greet with stories of polo exploits from the world over.  Additional Après Polo events are soon to be announced for cultural dining experiences field-side in honor of the visiting teams.  See Events/Tickets for the complete schedule.  Sign Up to receive our Emagainze by private email subscription for the latest updates on the 2023 season.

Schedule subject to change.  

Photo: Scott Trauth Photography

About Newport Polo: Newport Polo is the home of America's First Polo Club, founded in 1876, a charter member of the United States Polo Association. Newport Polo offers year-round polo club member services and polo instruction, and hosts the Newport International Polo Series public exhibition polo matches every June through September, now in its fourth decade.