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Date: Saturday, September 3, 2016
A little English overcast didn’t dampen spectacular audience spirits, gathered to watch the annual challenge between USA and England in the NBC-10 Newport International Polo Series, presented by the Rhode Island BMW Centers.
The prolific polo nation, England, was represented by Martin Hay at #1, Omar Mangalji at #2, Ed Courage at #3, and Gus Prentice at #4.
Defending the title for team USA were Michel Nseir at #1, Heather Souto at #2, Dan Keating at #3, and Rory Torrey at #4.
A special live performance of the national anthems by Dennis Jeter, gave way to the first throw-in by Lucy Ratcliffe, season one winner of Britain’s Next Top Model.
With the ball in play, USA went on the immediate offensive, knowing that the players would have to give their all to defeat the Brits. Souto made an immediate play on goal for the home team, followed by Torrey, and then Souto again, giving USA a 3 goal lead to start the match. Chukker two saw strengthened defense as balls sent to goal were plucked out within feet of the line by opposing players. Keating managed one goal for USA, and Courage got England on the board, ending the chukker 4-1. England gained momentum in the third chukker. A well-executed penalty by Mangalji followed by a goal during regulation play closed the gap to one goal, ending the first half 4-3 in favor of USA.
Speed and determination brought the action to a new level in chukker 4 with Hay leading the attack for England. Hay leveled the score at 4 all, but Souto put USA back in the lead. USA’s lead was short lived as Mangalji closed the gap once again, tying the match at 5 all. Torrey stepped in, regaining a 2 goal lead for the home team before the clock ran out. Mangalgi led off the fifth chukker for England with another neat penalty conversion. Prentis tied the game for the third time, 7 all, with a goal during regulation play. Keen to get in on the action, Nseir put USA back in the lead with another goal just as the chukker ended. England was only two goals away from wresting the cup, but Souto widened the lead for USA, while the team’s effective defense kept England from goal. For a record two years in a row, Team USA defeated England, 9-7.
During the match, one lucky winner took home a magnum of champagne from Veuve Clicquot in the weekly door prize drawing. An English country-side transported to tailgate space 39 won the Best Tailgate Picnic Trunk from Stella Artois. Following the match, the USA vs. England perpetual cup was presented to the teams by Harriet Cross, Britain’s Consul General to New England during the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Toast and Trophy Presentation.
The Polo Series will feature 8 international teams this season including Mexico, Australia, Ireland, Italy, France, Jamaica, England, and the debut of Morocco, as well as 5 City Teams from major US cities and a few top regional rivals for an action-packed season through the end of September.
The Polo Series will have hosted 32 nations this year over its 25 seasons including England, Ireland, Scotland, Chile, Kenya, Jamaica, Italy and Singapore this summer, and Costa Rica, Portugal, Germany, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, India, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Barbados, France, Canada, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Kenya, Brazil, and China, Sweden, Singapore, Monaco and Morocco.
Dating back more than 130 years in Newport, the polo matches are one of Newport’s grandest & most popular traditions, a living legacy from the Gilded Age, and open to the public. Audiences of several thousand spectators enjoy the contests against international teams, as well as teams representing major US cities, playing against the home team every Sat, June thru Sept. at 5 PM / 4 PM in Sept.
Minutes from downtown Newport, the International Polo Grounds are located at historic Glen Farm, 250 Linden Lane in Portsmouth, RI. This bucolic setting is the last 100 acres of what was once a 700-acre manorial farm whose settlement dates back to the 1600's. Its classical stone barns from the Gilded Age and its park-like grounds were rehabilitated by Newport Polo founder, Dan Keating, and thrive today as an equestrian & community recreational property, and home of the Polo Series.
This is the 25th season of the Newport International Polo Series, with the supportof sponsors including NBC - 10, BMW, ALEX AND ANI, Cox, Forty 1° North, Vueve Clicquot, NAVSTA Newport, RISD Executive Education, Stella Artois, Rockstar Limo, Lufthansa, Green Gear Global, WaterRower, Atria Senior Living, Hotel Viking, Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel & Spa, Vanderbilt International Properties, Clarke Cooke House, McGrath Clambakes, Newport Daily News, Newport J House and promotional partners including The Preservation Society of Newport, Bird’s Eye View Helicopter Tours, America's Cup Charters, International Tennis Hall of Fame, Island Surf and Sport, The Cocktail Guru, Newport Mansions and Discover Newport. “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.
Discover Polo! Watch it, Play it, Support it. Newport Polo is the home of America's first polo club, est. in 1876, and founding member of the United States Polo Association offering public exhibition matches, polo club member services for grass & arena polo, and polo instruction year-round. Newport Polo hosts the Newport International Polo Series XXV. Information about Newport Polo's events, polo lessons, membership and sponsorship can be found in About Newport Polo.