The Newport International Polo Series will host the Hurricane Cup on Saturday, August 8 at 5pm, as the home team faces its next rival in a tempestuous series of challengers this month.
“Hurricanes have threatened the polo matches over the years, missing us by days or hours, from Sandy to Danny to Irene arriving hours after the match concluded, with an eerily empty grandstand., explains Dan Keating, Newport Captain in a statement provided to What’s Up Newp. “We have a series of challengers that will be every bit as unpredictable.”
The match will be witnessed by a limited live spectator audience in one of this season’s rare 17 matches, still the only attended sporting event in New England since the start of the pandemic. Limited seating is available, online only, at www.nptpolo.com.
During the match, Best of Show judging will be presided by special guest Ryan Belmore, publisher of WhatsUpNewp, awarding Stella Artois’ special prize and Jumbotron moment of fame to the most festive group of the day, with a Surf’s Up theme. Curated images of contest entrants will be published on the party pages of an upcoming issue of Boston Common Magazine, the region’s premier luxury/fashion/lifestyle magazine. Souvenir portrait photography by Cocoa & Co. will be available.
Amenities include beverage service for seated patrons in the Davitt Pavilion, and carry-out service from the Patio Bar, licensed gourmet food trucks with a variety of popular refreshments including handmade pizza, gourmet hotdogs, kettle corn, homemade ice cream and refreshing shaved ice, and unique signature souvenir sportswear debuts weekly in the fieldside Pro Shop. Expert commentary of the polo action is provided by William Crisp, as instant replays and live action are produced on the polo world’s first Jumbotron, and a half-time intermission will give spectators the opportunity to have a socially-distanced and masked stroll across the playing field to replace divots, a time-honored polo ritual that helps restore the field for the second half.
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After 6 periods of competition, called chukkers, the match will conclude with the Newport Polo Fan Salute around the perimeter – a salutatory tradition originating at the Newport International Polo Series in 2003, and now emulated at polo clubs around the world, and the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Toast & Trophy Presentation awarding the symbolic silver Paul Revere Liberty Bowl.
Under a State-approved COVID-19 safety plan for reduced capacity with socially-distanced seating options from which to view the matches at the polo grounds, including tables in the Davitt Pavilion, or fieldside Tailgates and Picnic Patches on the lawn, sold-out audiences each week have enjoyed the Newport International Polo Series polo matches since Opening Day on June 6, where spectators for nearly 30 years have witnessed the timeless sport unfold across an argyle-patterned emerald green at Glen Farm, home of the Polo Series for the past 28 seasons, 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 and as well as teams representing major US cities and regional rivals in one of Newport’s unique traditions & renown attractions.
Originally scheduled to feature USA vs. Dominican Republic, the international rivalry has been rescheduled to 2021. The Polo Series is scheduled to continue presenting polo matches for the remaining 8 weeks in the 2020 schedule, each Saturday through September. The roster of teams is subject to change, as per RI State mandates in effect at the time, on international travel and Adult Sports. Stay current with the 2020 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.
Safety being a top priority, COVID-19 safety measures are in effect at the polo grounds this season including online sales, masks required when not seated, social distancing and greatly reduced capacity. Read full details
“Opening Day 2020 was a monumental victory and a huge vote of confidence from our State. We are fortunate to have State officials that have worked tirelessly for RI’s recovery. With their guidance, the modifications that are in place are to ensure everyone’s safety attending polo, and will be enforced by security personnel,” adds Keating, Polo Series Founder.
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.
Its classical 19th century stone barns and its park-like grounds were rehabilitated by Keating in the early ‘90’s and continue to thrive as an equestrian & community recreational property, and home of the Polo Series.
Minutes from the bustling Newport waterfront, the Polo Grounds’ favorable proximity to the Sakonnet shore provides reliable cooling coastal effects, moderating afternoon temperatures and comfortable breezes, when much of the inland region experiences warmer conditions.
The Newport International Polo Series is proud to present its 2020 sponsors including Gallo|Thomas Insurance, Davitt, Boston Common, Hotel Viking, The Chanler, The Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina, Vanderbilt International Properties, Veuve Clicquot, Clarke Cooke House, Stella Artois, ROCKSTAR Limo, Atria Senior Living, Goslings, McGrath Clambakes and Catering, and promotional partners including The Cocktail Guru, TYGER | Event Design + Production, Newport Jaguar Tours, Newport Helicopter Tours, America’s Cup Charters, International Tennis Hall of Fame, Newport Mansions, Island Surf and Sport, Newport Sport Fishing Charters, Providence River Boat Company, and Newport Harbor Guide. Special thanks to Schultz Marketing Partnerships, Van Liew Trust, Tanglewood, and WCRI Classical Rhode Island. “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 29th season of Newport International Polo Series, which has hosted teams from 34 nations including, 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, and Poland.
Polo, since 600 b.c. Polo is, without 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. By the time Polo arrived on Newport’s shores during the Gilded Age, the sport was 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 USPA tournaments, polo club member services and polo instruction year-round. Experience the king of games in its American landing at Newport Polo.
* Photo provided by Newport Polo