If you’re looking for something a little different for your vacation to Newport, check out the Newport International Polo series held at Glen Farm in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, just a short drive from the Inn. Polo is held every Saturday until the end of September and games are held at either 4pm or 5pm and feature a variety of teams from around the globe. For more information about the schedule and to buy tickets, click here.
In 1876, the publisher of the New York Herald, James Gordon Bennett, held a dinner party where he introduced a dozen men to the sport of Polo. The men immediately took to the sport and added it to their summer retreat in Newport. They formed the Westchester Polo Club right in Newport, which was the first of its kind in the United States. This club started a trend and soon polo clubs were opening up and down the East Coast. Ten years after the opening of the club, Bennett challenged the Englishmen, who introduced him to the sport, to compete in the first international polo match.
Newport gained a reputation as an international polo and recreation destination after the Westchester Cup in 1886. The International Polo Cup was one of the earliest international sporting events, predating the Olympics. The matches attracted large crowds who wanted to see who would walk away with the sterling silver trophy cup designed by Tiffany & Co.. The English won the match and this tournament helped popularize the sport of polo.
Newport remained the international polo capital of the world for almost 40 years, until WWI and the Great Depression took their toll. Thankfully, the legacy of James Gordon Bennett was resurrected in 1992, on a much larger scale. The current Newport International Polo Series brings teams in from six continents and features top-level amateur players.