New Zealand returns to compete against USA in the Newport International Polo Series 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 www.nptpolo.com.  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 www.nptpolo.com.

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