It was a fitting matchup for the 2017 National Sherman Memorial, honoring the founder of arena polo, played at the Westchester Polo Club, America’s oldest polo club. The two-day tournament on October 14 and 15, brought teams from across the country to vie for the prestigious sterling trophy in the 3-6 goal tournament.
Festivities commenced with a Draw Party on the eve of competition at the stately oceanfront Chanler, an iconic Newport mansion turned hotel which has hosted the likes of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and President Theodore Roosevelt. A steady rain set in on the opening rounds, challenging the players with less than favorable conditions in the outdoor arena and training facility at Newport Polo. By sundown conditions were clearing, for overnight recovery and a seaside Lobsterboil. Competition resumed on day two with ideal weather and excellent arena footing, making for fast, high-scoring matches, plenty of two-pointers, and a new champion in Tolerance Cider, who made a clean sweep of the competition to win one of arena polo’s oldest tournaments.
Day one competition was divided into two brackets by random draw into six-chukker round robins. Boston Polo Club, Husaria Lo$ Dogos and Tolerance Cider were first up. Sticky conditions forced the teams to adapt their game, favoring long hits and open play. With two decisive wins, Tolerance Cider was on to the championship from Bracket 1. Acoaxet Polo, Glen Farm, and Newport Polo competed in Bracket 2, where Acoaxet polo advanced to the championship round.
The tournament resumed on day two under ideal conditions for the Consolation, Bronze, and Championship games. As the third-place teams from each bracket, Boston Polo and Glen Farm were first up competing in the Consolation, resulting in a 19-15 victory for Glen Farm. Next up, Husaria Lo$ Dogos and Newport Polo competed in the Bronze game as the second-place teams from each bracket, ending in a 19-10 Newport Polo bronze tournament finish. The Championship Final was no holds barred as Acoaxet Polo took an early two-goal lead in the first chukker. A few costly penalties deftly converted by Tolerance Cider put the team in the lead by the end of the second chukker, which it carried through to a 20-11 victory. At the trophy presentation, Sugar, owned by Minnie Keating was named Best Playing Pony, with honorable mention going to Cathy, owned by Rory Torrey. Daymar Rosser of Tolerance Cider was named Most Valuable Player, and the George Carter Sherman Memorial Indoor Polo Cup was presented to the victorious Tolerance Cider team.