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Saturday Polo: NZ to Challenge USA, 15 Years In the Making

New Zealand returns to compete against USA in the Newport International Polo Series, Presented by Brahmin, this Saturday, September 14th at 4PM, 15 years after its debut. The Kiwis were last seen sailing away in ’04 with the perpetual cup after a narrow 10-9 inaugural victory over the USA home team. The team from Christchurch is steeped in polo tradition and international competition, with an all-star lineup, determined to chisel another mark on the trophy this year.

New Zealand’s lineup includes Team Captain, Roddy Wood, a life long professional player, and world-renowned horse trainer.  Before opening his Waireka Polo Centre just outside of Christchurch, Wood was polo manager for the most prestigious club in the world, Guards Polo Club in Windsor, England.  Wood’s tenure at Guards included time as polo pro to HRH Prince Charles.  Joining Wood is New Zealand polo legacy, George Gould. Gould’s grandfather, D.W.J. Gould was one of the top players in his time, founding the Gould cup in 1938 which is still an annual fixture on the New Zealand polo calendar today.  The visiting team will be rounded out by Wood’s son Henry, a professional polo player based in England, and fellow Christchurch polo enthusiast Mike Stronach.

USA is determined to end its record on a high note for the year, which includes victories over Chile (10-7), Jamaica (6-4) and South Africa (11-9) and losses to England (8-7), Italy (8-7), Ireland (9-5) and Scotland (12-9). “This has been one of the most competitive seasons on record,” comments USA captain Dan Keating, “with an incredible diversity of players from the world’s top polo nations.  It is an honor to have teams traveling such great distances to compete here in Newport.  We have worked very hard to prepare our horses and players to meet the challenge.” 
New Zealand’s influence on the world stage of sports includes not only polo and rugby, among others but also sailing as it prepares to host the next America’s Cup in 2020. 

After 6 periods of play, called chukkers, the match will conclude with the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Toast & Trophy Presentation, awarding team prizes and the USA vs. New Zealand perpetual Liberty bowl to the winning team, as well as an autograph signing to meet the players. The event will conclude with the polo club’s favorite annual apres polo celebration – an Asado Lamb Roast with the teams – a polo tradition that the audience is invited to participate in, by advanced reservation at  Lamb is a New Zealand staple that will reach perfection, slow-cooked over hot coals field-side in the Argentine tradition.  Polo match tickets are sold separately. 

The polo grounds are located on the outskirts of Newport at historic Glen Farm, 250 Linden Lane, Portsmouth RI.  Tickets to the polo match and associated events are available online at

During the match, a weekly Door Prize drawing will award 2 pairs of Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses to one lucky winner, and our contest for the Best Tailgate will reward a coveted prize and jumbotron moment of fame, courtesy of Stella Artois. Specialty vendors and concessionaires will be present in the Hospitality village at the polo grounds including the Davitt Pavilion & Patio Bar, Horseshoe Wine Bar, Veuve Clicquot Champagne Cart, Newport Polo Pro Shop, and several other unique specialty vendors and gourmet food truck concessionaires.

Stay current with the 2019 team lineup & stats, latest news, events and more through our e-Magazine, by subscription to our Game Day Briefing (sign up) and our weekly Emagazine (sign up).  Both subscriptions are private and spam-free.

The Newport International Polo Series is proud to present its 2019 sponsors including Gallo Thomas Insurance, Brahmin, Davitt Inc., Modern Luxury/Boston Common, The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Hotel Viking, The Vanderbilt, Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina, Vanderbilt International Properties, Turkish Airlines, Veuve Clicquot, Clarke Cooke House, Stella Artois, Rockstar Limo, Atria Senior Living, Newport Daily News, McGrath Clambakes, Goslings Rum, Where Boston, Equine Journal, Classical 95.9 WCRI. “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.
While in Newport, the New Zealand team will enjoy the best of the City by the Sea including VIP ground transportation from Rockstar Limo; a day exploring 13 acres of the latest sail and power boats, marine equipment and special seminars at the Newport International Boat Show; a tour of Newport with the new Newport Jaguar Tours; an aerial tour from Newport Helicopter Tours; a glorious afternoon sail with America’s Cup Charters; sightseeing fun courtesy of Scooter World; paddleboarding with Island Surf and Sport; a special tour of Water Fire courtesy of Providence River Boat Company; angling excursions with Newport Sport Fishing Charters; tennis on the historic grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame; exploration of the famous Gilded Age ‘cottages’ thanks to Newport Mansions.

2019  Schedule

May         31  Season Kickoff Cocktail Party              7pm     Clarke Cooke House & Team Dinner                                   

June           1  Opening Day: USA vs. Chile                5pm     Apres Polo: Con Mucho Gaucho                  

                  8  Newport Cup                                       5pm     VIP Lounge

                 15  USA vs. Scotland                                5pm    Apres Polo: Laird‘s Supper      

                 22  Newport vs. Boston                            5pm     VIP Lounge

                 29  East Coast Open Finals                      5pm     Apres Polo: Championship Dinner

July            6   USA vs. Ireland                                    5pm    Apres Polo: Irish American BBQ

                 13   Newport vs. Pittsburgh                      5pm    

                 14   All Charity Day                                    5pm     

                 20   USA vs. Italy                                        5pm    Apres Polo: Amici Riuniti

                 27   Newport vs. Palm Beach                    5pm    VIP Lounge       

Aug            2    Diamonds Are Forever                       7pm     Marblehouse

                   9    USA vs. South Africa                          5pm     Apres Polo: Lobsterbake

                 10   Newport vs. Washington                    5pm     

                 17   USA vs. Jamaica                                 5pm     Apres Polo: Jamaican Jerk Grill

                 24   Newport vs. New York                        5pm      VIP Lounge

                 31   USA vs. England                                 4pm     Apres Polo: Sailor‘s Delight

Sept           7   Newport vs. Baltimore                        4pm     

                 14   USA vs.  New Zealand                        4pm    Apres Polo:  Asado Lamb Roast

                 21   New England Pro-Am Challenge       4pm     VIP Lounge

                 28   Finals                                                 4pm


About the Newport International Polo Series:

Dating back more than 130 years in Newport, the polo matches are one of Newport’s grandest & most popular traditions, a living legacy from the Gilded Age with the founding of America’s First Polo Club in Newport.  Open to the public, audiences of several thousand spectators enjoy the contests against international teams, as well as teams representing major US cities, playing against the home team every Sat, June thru Sept. at 5 PM / 4 PM in Sept.

The Polo Series will feature 8 international teams this season including Chile, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Jamaica, England, New Zealand, as well as 6 City Teams from major US cities and a few top regional rivals for an action-packed season through the end of September.  This is the 28th season of Newport International Polo Series, which has hosted teams from over 30 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.

Minutes from downtown Newport, the International Polo Grounds are located at historic Glen Farm, 250 Linden Lane (off of Rte. 138) in Portsmouth, RI.  This bucolic setting is the last 100 acres of what was once a 700-acre manorial farm whose settlement dates back to the 1600’s.  Its classical stone barns from the Gilded Age and its park-like grounds were rehabilitated by polo series founder, Dan Keating, and thrive today as an equestrian & community recreational property, and home of the Polo Series.

L’esprit de Polo has flourished in Newport, RI, home of America’s first polo club, since 1876.  Newport Polo hosts the Newport International Polo Series public exhibition matches, and offers polo club member services for grass & arena polo, and polo instruction year-round; founding member of the United States Polo Association.

About Newport, Rhode Island:
For more than 375 years, Newport has been welcoming visitors from near and far to its charming New England coastal harbor, earning its reputation as America’s First Resort.  A renowned international destination, Newport is ripe with art, culture, history and scenic beauty, with miles of unspoiled beaches, distinctive shops, renowned restaurants, diverse accommodations, and world-class sporting and cultural events.
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