Report courtesy of Newport Polo Club.
The 2018 USPA National Sherman Memorial showcased some of the best arena players in the nation, traveling from across the country to vie for the prestigious George Carter Sherman perpetual silver trophy at Newport Polo Club in Newport, Rhode Island October 12-14. Among five closely matched teams that competed, Boston Polo came out the victors. “We are very excited to have hosted the Sherman Memorial, with players coming from across the U.S. to make their mark in polo history,” shared Dan Keating, Westchester Polo Club Delegate President. The three-day tournament took place at Newport Polo’s outdoor arena and training facility, home of Westchester Polo Club.
Despite overnight showers, the newly resurfaced outdoor arena played flawlessly from the opening round to the Final. Friday’s competition had the home team, Newport (Patrick Quigley, Dan Keating, Rory Torrey) defeated by Tolerance Cider (Lukas Merrick, Minnie Keating, Pedro Cabrera) 16-14. Tolerance advanced to Game 3 the next day, while Newport regrouped for Sunday’s consolation. Following the games, all teams enjoyed a waterfront meet and greet reception and dinner at a nearby marina eatery.
Competition resumed on Saturday with autumn weather for fast, high-scoring matches and plenty of 2-pointers. In the first game of the day, playing for a berth in the Final were Pittsburgh (Peter Jenkins, Justin Powers, George Hempt) against Boston Polo (Elizabeth Owens, Mark Tashjian, Jeff Scheraga) who came out the 20-12 victors. The second final position was determined by Game 3, when Acoaxet Polo (Ula Green, Charles Bullis, Dave Bullis) were edged out by Tolerance Cider, 10-7. A seaside Lobster boil and fireworks display under starry skies that evening set the stage for conclusion of the tournament the next day.
Supporters gathered on Sunday to cheer on the teams, starting with the Consolation round-robin, with Acoaxet finishing with the tournament’s Bronze, Newport finishing in fourth and Pittsburgh. In the suspenseful final, an early 6-2 lead by Tolerance was overcome, 8-7 by Boston, then leveled out 11-all after three chukkers, until Boston persevered 17-13 as the champions. Giving out awards was USPA Governor at Large Peter Poor, including naming Most Valuable Players, Elizabeth Owens and Minnie Keating, and Best Playing Pony, Tolerance’s Negrita. Owens is an Intercollegiate player at Boston Polo, Tashjian is Boston Polo Club Delegate and Scheraga is Polo Academy Director at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club.
Newport Polo thanks the United States Polo Association for this historic opportunity and great honor, its co-hosts, and its tournament staff and volunteers including Tournament Committee Amy Garrison, Ryan Fontaine et al, USPA Umpires Dan Healy, on call vet and official club veterinarian Dr. Margaux Buchanan, Equine Welfare Official Rory Torrey, Best Playing Pony Judge Peter Poor and volunteer horse handlers from its interscholastic and intercollegiate programs.