Legendary hosts at Newport’s number one destination, The Clarke Cooke House, welcomed an exuberant contingent for Newport Polo’s annual Player’s Dinner and Westchester Polo Club Awards. Polo players, Newport International Polo Series sponsors and season pass holders convened to celebrate the season of achievements and recognize individual standouts from the 2023 season in the tradition of America’s First Polo Club.
“It is our pleasure to bring together leading figures of our unique community for an end-of-season ovation, to recognize our collective achievements and salute those individuals who went above and beyond over the course of the season,” explains Newport Polo Founder and President, Dan Keating.
Following the Skybar cocktail reception, Keating and Westchester Polo Club Manager, Dave Markell, called the official proceedings to order over a sumptuous 3-course seated dinner on the adjacent ‘Porch’, the establishment’s penultimate and timeless fine dining experience with harbor views from pillowed banquettes. Welcome remarks included appreciation for all participants in every capacity for continuing and strengthening the nearly 150-year-old tradition of America’s First Polo Club.
Glasses were raised to toast the 2023 Newport International Polo Series Sponsors including The Brenton Hotel, BD, TD Bank, Turkish Airlines, Herb Chambers Exotics, Modern Luxury Boston, Vanderbilt International Properties, Hotel Viking, The Chanlera at Cliffwalk, The Vanderbilt, Newport Life Magazine, Providence Diamond, Veuve Clicquot, Clarke Cooke House, ABSOLUT, Stella Artois, The Truth About Horses, CCE Golf Cars, BMW of Newport, Atria Senior Living, Northwestern Mutual, Charles Schwab, Insperity, AAA Travel, A-1 Roofing, US Polo Assn, Visit Jamaica, Goslings, Rockstar Limo and Classical 95.9 WCRI, as well as private lodging hosts who opened their homes to our international visitors.
Ovations for the game’s true heros, our 2023 Best Playing Ponies chosen by this year’s visiting international teams, including Ibiza loaned to Ukraine by Jennifer Williams; Cacuya loaned to Spain by Sergio Curro; Chilena loaned to Ireland by Jennifer Williams, Pepper loaned to Italy by Dan Keating; Athena loaned to Sweden by Minnie Keating; Jack loaned to Jamaica by Dan Keating; Ike loaned to England by Chris Fragomeni; and Lucero loaned to South Africa by Jennifer Williams.
Volunteers dedicated to the success of Newport Polo’s 22nd annual International Polo Charity Ball were given due accolades for another noteworthy achievement in fundraising, raising over $50K for the Newport Historical Society. Polo Club representatives, including Ambassadors Meg & Jeremy Stow, and Auction Committee Members, Meghan Tierney, Liz Pytka, Stacie Mills and Agnes Keating were applauded.
Then, it was on the highly anticipated Polo Club Standouts to recognize individual player achievements in 2023. Head Coach, Dan Keating saluted new player, Ariana Dans as the Coaches’ Rookie of the Year. 2022 Honoree Touba Ghadessi passed on the perpetual cups for 2023 Sportsmanship Award to Oscar Monzon from a field of 14 nominees, and Most Improved Player Jair Zenteno from among a dozen nominees in the annual voting by their peers. (See all past award winners). Closing the awards ceremony, Dan Keating, presented a gift of appreciation to Club Manager Dave Markell for over 20 years of service organizing weekly polo activities.
The floor was turned over to Newport Polo’s Equine Manager, Minnie Keating, for a dozen or so Minnie Awards of jovial player superlatives. DJ Regbo set the records spinning with the summer’s greatest hits and classic throwbacks to heat up the dance floor until bewitching hour.
Named the Polo Series’ Restaurant of the Year for the 13th consecutive year for innovative cuisine and legendary ambiance as the place to see and be seen, the Clarke Cooke House is a quintessential Newport experience and polo players’ entertainment headquarters in downtown Newport (historical details).
About Newport Polo: Newport Polo is the home of the Westchester Polo Club, America’s first polo club est. 1876, and a charter member of the United States Polo Association, offering public exhibition matches, polo club membership, and polo instruction year-round. The founding members, who hailed mostly from Westchester County, NY, established the club’s summer headquarters and polo grounds in Newport, RI where its members annually convened for summer recreation. The original club, based in Newport, is credited for organizing the world’s first international polo competition, the Westchester Cup, and remained active until 1929. The Westchester Polo Club was revived in 1992 by President and USPA Delegate, Dan Keating. Known today as Newport Polo, the Club supports a vibrant polo training program, developing players in weekly polo lessons with open enrollment for new players, as well as membership for club chukkers and tournaments in spring, summer, and autumn. Click Here to read & subscribe for the weekly polo schedule with opportunities to play for all levels including beginners! Newport Polo is also home to the Brown University Polo Team, and the Newport Varsity & JV Interscholastic Teams. Newport Polo also hosts the Newport International Polo Series, a popular summer exhibition series held annually on Saturdays, June – September.