Date: Thursday, July 1, 2021
For the first time in its 30-year history, the Newport International Polo Series will feature Newport vs. Los Angeles at the Newport International Polo Grounds this Saturday, July 3rd. While historic Newport is home to America’s first polo club, the sport has also established a burgeoning polo scene in California.
The Ocean State welcomes Golden State rival, the Los Angeles team, with Ernesto “Ernie” Ezcurra, Tomas “Tommy” Ezcurra, David Carlson, and Elise Markell. The East vs. West match-up represents a homecoming of sorts for the California team.
While currently based in Los Angeles, Elise Markell grew up playing at Newport Polo, where she took up the sport, competing in interscholastic polo as a teen. “I’ve always wanted to play in a Saturday game, so I’m really excited to be involved!” said Markell. “This club is home and everyone here is family!”
Markell’s triumphant return to Newport will not be the only reunion this weekend. Teammates Ernie and Tommy Ezcurra are brothers from Argentina, with 3 and 2 goal handicaps, respectively. Coming from a polo family in Argentina, the brothers grew up playing together. This weekend will be their first time playing together in 15 years.
Additional highlights of each weekly match include the Stella Artois Best In Show Contest - spectator picnics turned out in Newport's anniversary red and white colors will be eligible to win a customized prize and enjoy a Jumbotron moment of fame.
Lawn Tickets are available online and at the gates. Pavilion upgrades will be available after the first chukker, with an admission purchase for Lawn seating. Standby seating options including Tailgates & Chalets are available at Gametime, 5PM at the Main Gate, first come first serve.
The International Polo Grounds are located on the acreage of Glen Farm, 250 Linden Lane (off Route 138) in Portsmouth, RI, only minutes from Newport’s bustling harbor. This bucolic setting along the East passage of Aquidneck Island, enjoys a moderating coastal effect in summer for pleasurable afternoon polo spectating throughout the summer. The property 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.
Its classical 19th century stone barns and its park-like grounds were rehabilitated by Polo Series founder, Dan Keating in the early ‘90’s and continue to thrive as an equestrian & community recreational property, and home of the Polo Series. Read about its restoration.
Cover photo by Scott Trauth