Beach Polo Raises Thousands for MLK

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Newport Polo thanks its supportive Beach Polo audience for contributing 1,165 pounds of food and $268 in cash donations to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center at the 9th annual Beach Polo exhibition for the closing weekend of the 32nd Newport Winter Festival.

The lively two-day event pitted teams from the Newport Polo Club in 4-chukker polo matches during low tide on Sachuest Beach (locally known as 2nd Beach) free of charge for over 1,000 viewers each day. Spectators responded to the call for donations with non-perishable dry-goods, toiletries, and household items collected by MLK Center volunteers at the Beach Pavilion.

“Newport Polo has maintained a focus on benefiting the community since its beginning in 1992,” explains Newport Polo Founder & President, Dan Keating. “We are grateful to our enthusiastic audience for turning out in record numbers for Beach Polo and embracing MLK Center’s year-round hunger services, and it would not have been possible without the collaborative spirit of the Town of Middletown and Newport Winter Festival.”

Sunny and milder winter conditions helped attract the large turnout at the beach on both days, with food trucks, music and commentary adding to the ambiance, followed by hot chocolate and outdoor refreshments on the Terrace at The Chanler for the traditional Apres Polo celebration with the players.

About Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center

Last year alone, over 4,000 people were helped through meal programs, food pantry, and education initiatives of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, a multi-service provider for at-risk and underserved individuals, families and children in Newport County, Rhode Island. Founded in 1922 and renamed after Dr. King in 1968, the independent non-profit organization’s mission is to nourish, educate, and support Newport County residents to improve their economic and social well-being. 20 Dr. Marcus Wheatland Blvd, Newport RI 02840; Phone: (401) 846-4828; Fax: (401)848-7360;

About Newport Polo

Newport Polo is the home of America’s first polo club, founded in 1876, a charter member of the United States Polo Association, host of the Newport International Polo Series summer exhibition matches, and a model US polo club with member services for grass & arena polo and polo instruction year-round.

About Beach Polo

Beach Polo is a low-impact, eco-friendly exhibition, and a much-anticipated highlight on the closing weekend of the Newport Winter Festival. Over 1,000 spectators are expected to line the sandy playing area each day, within the intertidal area of the beach. The players are from the Newport Polo Club and other regional contenders, playing on finely tuned thoroughbred polo horses. Horses are accustomed to sandy footing in their natural habitats all over the world, including the US desert southwest.

The polo ponies are highly fit and exercised in arena polo, played on similar footing materials. All beach rules are in effect. Attendees are reminded that alcohol is not permitted and to stay out of the dunes which are protected. Well behaved leashed dogs are welcome. See current conditions on the beach cam. Free parking is available at Sachuest Beach. Spectators are encouraged to arrive early where they can meet the players and horses before the match and enjoy the beautiful ocean views.

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