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Thanksgiving Tournament Report

November 27-28, 2021

Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2021

A gaggle of competitive local players strutted their stuff in the 9th annual Thanksgiving Arena Polo Tournament hosted by Newport Polo on November 27-28, enjoying a lengthy run of Autumn arena polo competition.  The two-day tournament drew 4 teams for a friendly rivalry over the holiday weekend in the outdoor arena.

Teams

TENACIOUS DIVAS (Royal): Leslie Strueli #1, Touba Ghadessi #2, Ula Green #3

NEWPORT W2PLAY (Charcoal): Abby McElroy #1, Jair Zenteno/Anna Dwyer #2, Minnie Keating #3

KINSELLA BUILDING CO (Green): Phil Gonzalez #1, Felipe Rojas #2, Dan Kinsella #3

NEWPORT (Yellow): Kayla Ostergard #1, Nicole Dusang #2, Dan Keating #3

Saturday, Nov 27: Semi-Final Games 1 & 2

Tenacious Divas faced Newport W2Play in a four-chukker Semi-Final game for the first berth in the Sunday Championship.  The Divas dominated in the first half, accumulating 8 goals to their opponent's 1, but the second half saw a momentum shift in favor of NptW2P who outscored the Divas 6 goals to 4, but it was not enough to overtake the Divas, who finished ahead 13-7 to advance to Sunday's Final.

Semi-final Game 2 pitted Kinsella Building Co against Newport in a relatively close and up-tempo, four-chukker match.  Newport came out swinging, and Kinsella Building matched them goal for goal in the second chukker, for a 5-5 tie at the half.  In a repeat of the first half, Kinsella was unproductive for a chukker before reigniting in the subsequent period to trail by a point at the buzzer, giving Newport the go ahead to Sunday's Final.

Sunday, Nov 28: Consolation & Championship

Runners-up from the Semi Finals, Newport W2Play and Kinsella Building Co returned to the arena for a four chukker Consolation match on Day 2 to vie for a podium finish.  Kinsella Building Co played 3 consistent chukkers racking up 4 or more points in each, for a strong lead, while Newport W2Play kept fairly close in the first half, but a weak start to the second half left a deep hole to climb out of in the remaining period, in which a 5 goal rally was not enough, condeding a 14-11 consolation victory for Kinsella Building Co and 3rd Place Finish in the tournament.

Final glory came down to the Championship contest between Tenacious Divas and NewportNewport held the upper hand for the first half, 7-4, but living up to their name, the Divas were 1 goal up on Newport in the 3rd chukker, and 2 goals up on Newport in the 4th chukker, resulting in a tie in regulation play.  A penalty shootout took place to break the tie, and in the second round of penalty shots, Touba Ghadessi scored the winning point for the Divas, to claim the 2021 title.

Ghadessi was named the MVP and Best Playing Pony was Pepper, played by Dan Keating in the 2nd chukker. Special thanks to volunteered services of umpires Patrick Quigley and Chris Fragomeni, along with goal judges Hanalei StreuliCharlie Bullis  and Gus Reed, timekeepers Mary Roda, and photographers John Lincourt and Scott Trauth.

View the photo album on Facebook.  Cover Photo by John Lincourt Photography.

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 delegate, Dan Keating. Known today as Newport Polo, the Club supports a vibrant arena polo program of tournaments and club chukkers in spring and autumn, polo training program developing players in weekly polo lessons with open enrollment for new players. Click Here to read & subscribe to this week's brochure with opportunities to play!  Newport Polo is also home to the Brown University Polo Team, and the Newport Girls Varsity & JV teams. Newport Polo also hosts the Newport International Polo Series, a popular summer exhibition series held annually on Saturdays, June - September.