The Newport International Polo Series will host the Vanderbilt Cup on Saturday, July 11 at 5pm, in a rivalry that dates back to the Gilded Age, pitting the Vanderbilts against the Astors in an action-packed 6-chukker ride off.
The polo matches are one of destination Newport’s unique traditions & renown attractions, dating back to 1876 when Newport’s sporting set founded America’s first polo club. Members of the Vanderbilt family were among the earliest players of the new pastime.
Rivals in business and New York society, the Astors, Vanderbilts and other notable scions would convene annually in Newport for summer retreats. As leisure & sporting pursuits became the gentlemanly form of one-upmanship, dueling fell out of fashion and several new traditions became mainstays including Polo, Sailing, Tennis, Golf, and eventually automobile racing, among lasting American institutions. Influencers of their day, they brought about many cultural changes from sports, art, technology and social & political reform, shaping Newport’s rise to prominence to this day as an international seaside sport and resort destination, and one of America’s most desirable places to live and work.
Color commentary is provided by William Crisp, arguably the most highly respected polo commentator in the world. The match will begin with an Official Coin Toss following player introductions and the US National anthem, with a half-time intermission, and conclude with the Newport Polo Fan Salute around the perimeter, a tradition originating at the Newport International Polo Series in 2003, and now emulated at polo clubs around the world, and the trophy presentation awarding the sterling silver Vanderbilt Cup, inaugurated in 2010.
Under a State-approved plan including reduced capacity with socially-distanced tables in the Davitt Pavilion, fieldside Tailgates and Picnic Patches on the lawn from which to view the matches at the polo grounds, sold-out audiences have enjoyed the Newport International Polo Series polo matches every Saturday since Opening Day on June 6, where spectators for generations have witnessed the timeless sport unfold across an argyle-patterned emerald green at Glen Farm, home of the Polo Series for the past 28 seasons, 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 and as well as teams representing major US cities and regional rivals.
Safety being a top priority, RI State approved COVID-19 safety measures are in effect at the polo grounds this season including online sales, masks required when not seated, social distancing and greatly reduced capacity. Read full details
The Polo Series is scheduled to continue for the next 12 weeks, every Saturday through September. The schedule of teams is subject to change, as per State mandates in effect at the time, on international travel and Adult Sports. Tickets are by online reservation only, supported by a Wait List, at www.nptpolo.com.
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.
Its classical 19th century stone barns and its park-like grounds were rehabilitated by Polo Series founder, Dan Keating in the early ‘90’s and continue to thrive as an equestrian & community recreational property, and home of the Polo Series.
Minutes from the bustling Newport waterfront, the polo grounds’ proximity to the shore provides a cooling coastal effect for late afternoon polo throughout the summer, continuing a 5-week trend of mild summer weather conditions in the weekend forecast.
RAIN DATE: If a regularly scheduled match is canceled prior to its start (due to weather/field conditions), the match will be postponed to the following day, Sunday at the same time.