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Turkish Airline Finals Match Report

Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Our final match of this year was an epic battle of the sexes at the Newport International Polo Series 31st season, presented by Turkish Airlines.  It was a cool and crisp afternoon, perfect for a classic face-off to round out an amazing season. Spirits were high as players and ponies prepared to take the field one last time for the Turkish Airline Finals

William Crisp, our beloved commentator, welcomed players and officials to the field for the start of the final match and the national anthem. The men marched triumphantly to their start points in the line up with Felipe Rojas and Peter Jenkins splitting the #1 position, followed by Peter Friedman in the #2 position. The team was backed by Leo Mejia and Dan Kinsella splitting the #3 spot, and Lucio Chavez at #4. Next up was the women's team. Leading the ladies in the #1 spot was the mighty Catie Reed followed by Georgia Markell and Touba Ghadessi splitting the #2 position. Megan Schulz and Minnie Keating anchored the team at the #3 and #4 positions to round out an impressive group of players. 

The ball was bowled in, and the battle began. The first two chukkers were close and competitive as both teams put a single goal on the scoreboard. Just before halftime, the men snuck ahead with a goal from the field and a penalty shot successfully executed by Lucio Chavez. The final divot stomp was one for the books. Crowds flooded the field to soak up the last bits of September sunshine and enjoy a bubbly glass of Veuve Clicquot. The Pro Shop was bustling with patrons exploring the plethora of new cozy items, perfect for the encroaching cooler weather, while Vendor Village drew curious customers exploring the tasty food options for the day. 

Both teams returned to the field to finish the second half of the game with vigor and high hopes. Leo Mejia kept the men in the winning position with two beautiful goals from the field. Between chukkers, Stella Artois Best in Show judges presented the award for the best cowboy-themed tailgate, to a festive group, decorated with western whimsy. The women fought hard throughout the last two chukkers, successfully scoring two penalty shots, executed impressively by Caitie Reed. Despite their best efforts, the women were unable to gain the lead and the men left the field victorious to conclude the final game of the season. 

The final victory lap around the field was full of smiles and well wishes from the fans that make every Saturday game so amazing. Everyone gathered in front of the Pavilion Patio for the Veuve Clicquot Trophy Presentation and Champagne ToastTurkish Airlines's Yasin Kapanci, GM Boston and Alper Gurses, Marketing Representative awarded the Providence Diamond player trophies to the winning men's team. The lucky winner of the long-awaited Turkish Airlines Grand Prize was drawn during the ceremony and thrilled to receive their winnings. A toast was made to all for a season well played, and the players dispersed among the crowd for the autograph signing and cocktail hour. Complimentary Gosling's Dark 'n Stormies were enjoyed in the Modern Luxury Lounge to wrap up an eventful and successful evening.

View the Photo Album.

Live audiences can enjoy the Newport International Polo Series polo matches every Saturday as they have for 31 years to witness the timeless sport unfold on the manicured, emerald green at Glen Farm, home of the Polo Series, in a classic exhibition of horsemanship and valor, with host, the Newport Polo Club, where the home team - Newport/USA - meets challengers each season from around the world as well as teams representing major US cities and regional rivals in one of Newport's unique traditions and renowned attractions.   

The Polo Series is scheduled to continue every Saturday through September, with 6 remaining international teams, 4 city challengers, a Pro-Am and more. The schedule of teams is subject to change without notice, as per RI State mandates and US travel bans which may impact travel and Adult Sports.  Stay current with the 2022 team lineup & stats, latest news, events, and more by e-scription to the Gameday Briefing (sign up) and weekly eMagazine (sign up). Both subscriptions are private and spam-free.

The Polo Grounds' favorable proximity to the shores of the island's Sakonnet east passage provides reliably cool coastal effects, moderating afternoon temperatures and providing a dependable breeze for the late afternoon polo matches all summer.  Minutes from the bustling Newport waterfront, the International Polo Grounds are located on the acreage of Glen Farm, 250 Linden Lane (off of Rte. 138) in Portsmouth, RI. This bucolic setting 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, to become the future home of polo in the next century. Its classical 19th-century stone barns and its park-like grounds were rehabilitated by Polo Series founder, Dan Keating in the early 1990’s and continue to thrive as an equestrian & community recreational property, and home of the Polo Series.  

The Newport International Polo Series is proud to roll out its 2022 sponsors including Brenton HotelBDTD BankTurkish AirlinesModern Luxury BostonHerb Chambers ExoticsVanderbilt International PropertiesHotel Viking, Santa Margherita Wines, Providence DiamondVeuve ClicquotClarke Cooke House, Atria Senior Living, US Polo AssociationStella ArtoisVisit JamaicaGoslingsROCKSTAR Limo, and Classical 95.9 WCRI; and promotional partners including Newport Helicopter ToursThe Cocktail GuruNewport Jaguar ToursInternational Tennis Hall of FameNewport MansionsNewport ClassicalIsland Surf and Sport, Newport Picnic Co., Northeast Equestrian LifeNewport Vineyards and Audrain Automobile Museum.

“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.

This is the 31st season of the Newport International Polo Series, which has hosted teams from 36 nations including, Colombia, Ireland, Germany, Spain, England, Argentina, France, Egypt, India, Australia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Canada, Chile, Jamaica, Nigeria, Portugal, New Zealand, Barbados, Scotland, South Africa, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Kenya, Brazil, China, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, Singapore, Monaco, Morocco, Peru, Poland, Switzerland and Colombia.

Gilded Age Legacy.  Polo is, without a doubt, the oldest ball game in the world today. First recorded in the 6th-century B.C. when the Turkomans beat the Persians in a diplomatic tournament, the alluring game caught on with equestrian royalty and cavalry, and took off with globalization, withstanding the tests of time. Arriving on Newport’s shores during the Gilded Age, the sport had evolved for nearly 2500 years, steeped in tradition, captivating newcomers like Newport's summer sporting set who embraced the new pastime, establishing America's first polo club in 1876.  A charter member of the United States Polo Association, the club today is still a trailblazing model polo club, hosting the Newport International Polo Series public exhibition matches, supporting philanthropic causes, organizing tournaments, polo club member services, and polo instruction year-round. Experience the king of games in its American landing at Newport Polo.