Governor’s Cup Presented by Charles Schwab Match Report

The sun was shining this past weekend for two exciting four-chukker matches to name the winners of the Governor’s Cup. The first of the two matches was a consolation match between Bonafide and Acoaxet. This was followed by an exciting match between finalists The Avery and Foxtrot, both winners of the tournament’s semifinal rounds. After a week of matches, the competition was fierce as the finalists lined up to take home a thrilling win. Spectators came dressed in their best nautical-inspired attire for this week’s Best in Show theme, Anchors Away, with hopes of winning a special prize from our friends at Stella Artois!

The Patio Bar was abuzz with energy as spectators enjoyed refreshing beverages from Absolut, Veuve Clicquot Champagne, and Stella Artois. The Cocktail Guru also crafted a special drink of the day, The Polo Grog, a rum and ginger beer drink with subtle flavors of cinnamon and lime, a fresh and unique combination for a hot, summer afternoon. Cocktails from Goslings were also readily available, including the Dark ‘n Stormy, the official drink of the Newport International Polo Series. The Pro Shop set out charming new arrivals, including the Men’s Anchor Shorts, a perfect New England summer staple. Gourmet Food Trucks and Vendors were parked field-side serving up delicious offerings from Hawaiian Jim’s, Milk Caffe, Chelsea’s Creamery, Wiener Wagon, Amano Pizza, Newport Chowder Company, and Gnarly Vines Farm.

At the appointed hour of 5PM, the match began as two mounted umpires led the first two teams onto BD Field for the opening ceremony starting with player introductions. Wearing white for the day was Pony Up/Bonafide, led by Meghan Ziobro and Laurel Howe splitting the #1 Position, followed by Dig Singh in the #2 position, Agha Musa Khan in the #3 position, and finally Rick Salter in the #4 position. In black was Acoaxet with Stuart Odell leading the team at #1, Peter Jenkins at #2, Jennifer Williams in the #3 position, and Charlie Bullis anchoring the team in the #4 position. Following introductions, Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee came onto the field to conduct the pre-match coin toss, after which the game began!

Dig Singh came out strong scoring the first goal of the game, but this was quickly matched by Stuart Odell. Bonafide fought back as Singh scored another goal for the team in white. Bullis fought back to score again for the black, ending the first chukker in a tie, 2-2. The second chukker opened with a third goal from Singh to put his team back in the lead but was once again matched, this time by Williams to tie up the second chukker, 3-3. The third chukker was an exciting one for Bonafide as Agha Musa Khan scored an impressive three goals for his team, accompanied by one more from Singh. Acoaxet’s Odell scored, but couldn’t close in on Bonafide’s lead as the third chukker ended 7-4. In an incredibly exciting fourth chukker, Acoaxet fought back as Bullis scored three incredible goals, along with one more from both Odell and Williams. To tie things up, Singh scores another two goals, securing the win for his team and third place in the Governor’s Cup.

With the conclusion of the first match, spectators flooded the field for a traditional divot stomp at half-time to prepare for the second match. Once the divots had been stomped, many dropped off their raffle ticket at the Pro Shop for the chance to win the Daily Door Prize from Veuve Cliquot. Each week’s winner is then entered in the 2023 season’s grand prize, two business class tickets to anywhere in the world, given by Turkish Airlines.

Half-time concluded, and we welcomed the second set of teams onto the field for the finals. First up was The Avery in orange, with Touba Ghadesi at #1, Chris Fragomeni at #2, Minnie Keating in the #3 position, and finally Oscar Monzon in the #4 position. Next, in white, was Foxtrot, led by Becca Nordstrom at #1, Roger Souto at #2, Dan Keating in the #3 position, and George Hempt anchoring the team in the #4 position.

Monzon scored the game’s opening goal for The Avery. Hempt of Foxtrot quickly matched this, but Monzon was on a roll as he scored another three goals in the first chukker. Hempt scored again to end the first chukker of the finals 4-2. As the players swapped their ponies, the winner of the Stella Artois Best in Show Contest was announced and this nautical group left with a special gift from Stella Artois.

The game continued with another goal from both Monzon and Hempt to end the second chukker 5-3. In the third chukker, Hempt scored once again to try and narrow in on The Avery’s lead, but goals from Ghadessi and Monzon ended the third chukker 7-4. In the fourth and final chukker, Monzon is on a roll and scores again! The last goal of the match was scored by Foxtrot as the ball bounces off a pony and into the goal, but it was not enough to secure the win. The Avery is victorious as the match ends 8-5.

After the match, the teams took a lap around the field followed by the Veuve Clicquot Trophy Presentation of the Governor’s CupGhadessi was named MVP and Tarzan played by Monzon was named Best Playing Pony! The USPA player’s trophies and the winner’s cup were presented to The Avery, and after the presentation, spectators and players made their way to the Modern Luxury Lounge for a complimentary Goslings Dark ‘n Stormy to celebrate another amazing Saturday of polo!

Check out photos from the match here and video highlights here!


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. The schedule of teams is subject to change without notice, subject to RI State mandates, US travel bans which may impact travel and Adult Sports, and force majeure.  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 HotelBDTD BankTurkish AirlinesModern Luxury BostonHerb Chambers ExoticsVanderbilt International PropertiesHotel VikingThe VanderbiltThe Chanler at Cliff WalkNewport LifeProvidence DiamondVeuve ClicquotABSOLUTClarke Cooke HouseCCE Golf CarsBMW of NewportAtria Senior LivingNorthwestern MutualCharles SchwabInsperityAAA Northeast | VikingA-1 RoofingUS Polo AssnStella ArtoisVisit JamaicaGoslingsROCKSTAR Limo, and Classical 95.9 WCRI; and promotional partners including Newport Helicopter ToursThe Cocktail GuruNewport Jaguar ToursPicnic ChartersIsland AdventuresOn Watch SailingInternational Tennis Hall of FameNewport VineyardsNewport MansionsIsland Surf and SportNewport 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. 

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