A pleasantly, mild day perfect for polo was present for the classic, BMW of Newport a Grieco Family Company Pro-Am on Saturday September 9th featuring the consolation and championship matches consisting of professionals and international players. The match continued the 32nd season of the Newport International Polo Series, presented by Turkish Airlines. Spectators from New England, the South, the Western states, and everywhere in between convened to cheer on the players in Oktoberfest-inspried attire and tailgate spreads coming early to enjoy the peaceful breeze and the amenities of the International Polo Grounds.
Gourmet Food Trucks with classic Newport flavors were field-side to satisfy the masses including Newport Chowder Company, Wiener Wagon, Hawaiian Jim’s Shaved Ice, Amano Pizza & Gelato, and Milk Caffe. Specialty vendors lined the west side of the BD Field such as Gooseberry Leather, Harvey Travelor, and Cocoa & Co. Photography. The Patio Bar served up delectable drinks like Veuve Clicquot Champagne, and Stella Artois on tap. The Cocktail Guru’s handcrafted specialty cocktail, The Rum Radler was all the rage on game day. The Pro Shopwas abuzz with energy as spectators restocked on their favorite merchandise, souvenirs, and sportswear.
As the afternoon came to a close, the match began at 4PM. Commentator, William Crisp led the pre-match coin toss, and introduced the teams. Wearing orange was Team Blue Pegasus with the speedy Timothy Day at #1, Rory Torrey #2, Jennifer Williams at #3, and South African, Callum Shaw anchoring the team at #4. Ladder Hill were in blue for the day with fan favorite Digvijay “Dig” Singh at #1, the seasoned Patrick Marinelli at #2, expert Agapito Morgan at #3, and Agha Musa “Moose” Khan, at #4. After their introductions and the Star Spangled Banner the game was underway.
The start of the match featured lightning strikes by an incredible 3-goal scoring streak by Singh, putting the team on his back. The remainder of the chukker saw tight defense as the bell rang to signal the end of the 1st with Ladder Hill up 3-0. The second opened with Blue Pegasus striking back with an immediate goal by Torrey, followed by one each from Shaw and Day tying the score 3 all. Feeling the pressure with impending halftime, Khan scored a goal to give Ladder Hill the slight edge 4-3 at half. The 3rd chuuker was rigid as both teams played stingy defense giving up zero goals. The 4th however saw Shaw score three penalty goals and Torrey net his second goal resulting in Blue Pegasus victorious of the BMW of Newport Pro-Am consolation round to the tune of 7-4!
Half-time between matches brought the spectators out to the BD field for the beloved half-time divot stomp while some refreshed their drinks at the Patio Bar making the most of the new cocktail additions from Gosling’s. The Pro Shop was also a key half-time destination for spectators to get new seasonal merchandise. The Veuve Clicquot Door Prize had fans excited to see if their names might be called to win a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne. Photographers circled the field to search for the Stella Artois Best in Show Contest winner sporting their best Oktoberfest attire and spreads to win a Stella Artois prize at the end of the fourth chukker.
The Championship Match of the BMW of Newport Pro-Am was even more challenging than the first with fouls and goals from both teams left and right. Representing Kingswood in white, Emerson Bruce at #1, James Thames at #2, Federico Wulff at #3, and Ernesto “Rulo” Trotz II at #4. Clad in blue, The Firm was led by the masterful, Oscar Monzon at #1, Christopher Fragomeni at #2, owner and founder, Dan Keating at #4, and local legend Matthew Fonseca at #4. The first chukker opened in dynamic fashion as Wulff and Trotz went back and forth for Kingswood in a scoring explosion to put them up convincingly 4-0. Dredding the end of the first, Fragomeni responded with a goal to put The Firm on the board. The second opened up again with the dangerous duo of Wuiff and Trotz scoring a goal apiece to extend the lead to 6-1. Fragomeni again put The Firm on his back and put another goal through to end the first half with a score of Kingswood 6, The Firm, 2. The forth and final chukker opened with an immediate goal by Fonseca. Trotz answered back minutes later with a brilliant goal to keep the lead plentiful. Fragomeni and Fonseca added another goal respectively putting the game within three but Bruce scored the final goal in the final seconds to award Kingswood as the 2023 BMW of Newport Pro-Am champions to the tune of 9-5!
Both teams reunited after the match for their victory lap around the field in the traditional victory salute, a well-loved tradition of Newport Polo since 2003. The field lit up in celebration for the visiting players and the international players that call Newport home. Following the salute, the players made their way back pavilion-side for a trophy presentation hosted by Veuve Clicquot Champagne. Trophy prizes from Providence Diamond and the Pro-Am Cup were awarded by announcer, William Crisp and The Firm sprayed them with champagne in celebration. To further celebrate their win, the teams headed to the Modern Luxury Lounge to enjoy a complimentary Goslings Dark ‘n Stormy and other Patio Bar cocktails. Spectators finished off the day with an apres polo catered dinner by Newport Chowder Co.
Join us next week for the final international match, USA vs. South Africa at 4pm!
Photo by Stephen Almeida
Live audiences can enjoy the Newport International Polo Series polo matches every Saturday as they have for 32 years to witness the timeless sport unfold on the manicured, emerald green at Glen Farm, home of the Polo Series, 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 as well as teams representing major US cities and regional rivals in one of Newport’s unique traditions & renowned attractions.
The Polo Series is scheduled to continue every Saturday through September. Stay current with the 2023 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.
The Polo Grounds’ favorable proximity to the shores of the island’s Sakonnet east passage provides reliably cool coastal effects, moderating afternoon temperatures and providing a dependable breeze for the late afternoon polo matches all summer. Minutes from the bustling Newport waterfront, 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, to become the future home of polo in the next century. Its classical 19th-century stone barns and its park-like grounds were rehabilitated by Polo Series founder, Dan Keating in the early 1990’s and continue to thrive as an equestrian & community recreational property, and home of the Polo Series.
The Newport International Polo Series is proud to name its 2023 sponsors including Brenton Hotel, BD, TD Bank, Turkish Airlines, Modern Luxury Boston, Herb Chambers Exotics, Vanderbilt International Properties, Hotel Viking, The Vanderbilt, The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport Life, Providence Diamond, Veuve Clicquot, ABSOLUT, Clarke Cooke House, CCE Golf Cars, BMW of Newport, Atria Senior Living, Northwestern Mutual, Charles Schwab, Insperity, AAA Northeast | Viking, A-1 Roofing, US Polo Assn, Stella Artois, Visit Jamaica, Goslings, ROCKSTAR Limo, and Classical 95.9 WCRI; and promotional partners including Newport Helicopter Tours, The Cocktail Guru, Newport Jaguar Tours, Picnic Charters, Island Adventures, On Watch Sailing, International Tennis Hall of Fame, Newport Vineyards, Newport Mansions, Island Surf and Sport, Newport Picnic Co. and Audrain Automobile Museum.
“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 32nd season of the Newport International Polo Series, which has hosted teams from 36 nations including, Ukraine, Colombia, 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, Poland, and Switzerland.
Gilded Age Legacy. Polo is, without a 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. Arriving on Newport’s shores during the Gilded Age, the sport had evolved for 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 tournaments, polo club member services, and polo instruction year-round. Experience the king of games in its American landing at Newport Polo.