29th September 2018
Through its 27-year history, Newport Polo's charitable initiatives have helped raise over $1,366,880 for civic and charitable organizations.
It was a perfect summer weekend for the polo fans as India faced USA in the New England International crescendo of Season 27 of the Newport International Polo Series. The series which is presented by BMW witnessed record mid-September spectator audience in the match. Thousands of supporters turned out to embrace the Royal India Polo team’s humanitarian mission to support education and clean water access in rural India on their polo tour. Fundraising efforts organised by Newport Polo helped yield over $4000, which was donated to the Shivrati Trust and Water Wisdom Foundation, organizations supported by the Indian Polo Team’s captain, Maharaj Raghav Raj Singh Shivrati of Udaipur. A benefit reception, named Bollygood, at Newport’s Merrilton mansion welcomed the international guests of honor on the eve of the polo match, greeted by an enthusiastic entourage in the colors of India. Attendees enjoyed a menu of Indian hors d’oeuvres and extraordinary libations created by The Cocktail Guru.
A record mid-September crowd assembled at the Newport International Polo grounds to cheer on both. USA squad was playing in their home club and held the home-field advantage against India. A special field-side lounge was created for attendees to take in the match, sponsored by The Cocktail Guru, to fund the Shivrati Trust and Water Wisdom foundation. India narrowly edged the victory in the last minutes to finish its U.S. tour on a high note.
The Royal Indian team fielded Kailash Parmar in the #1 position, Raj Jain at #2, Mahesh Parmar at #3, and Raghav Raj Singh at #4 position. Playing for the USA polo team were Minnie Keating at #1, Heather Souto at #2, Rory Torrey at #3, and Stephanie Still and Peter Friedman alternating in the #4 position.
The match was a 6 chukker match. It was a very close competition between the two teams. India were leading by 3 – 2 till the second chukker and the first half ended with a score of 4 a side. The fourth chukker ended at 5 a side but a breaking field-goal by Indian Captain, Raghav Raj Singh gave India an edge and the 5th chukker ended at 6 – 5 with India in the lead. Both the teams scored a goal each in the last chukker and the match ended at 7 – 6. India won against USA. The cheering crowd encouraged the home team til the final bell, and lauded the players with ovations as they circled the stadium for a 'high five' salute.
The match concluded with the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Toast & Trophy Presentation, as well as an autograph signing to meet the players. Lani Shufelt from official team hotel, The Chanler at Cliff Walk presented the 1996 perpetual USA vs India trophy - a Paul Revere replica liberty bowl, symbolic of the New England region. Through its 27-year history, Newport Polo's charitable initiatives have helped raise over $1,366,880 for civic and charitable organizations.