Newport Polo
Just moments after the horse was injured | Photo via Mike McDonald

USA vs Ireland, the most anticipated face-off yet this season in the Newport International Polo Series, saw tragedy on Saturday afternoon.

Just after Ireland had one of the quickest scores possible and just minutes into the match, there was commotion on the field as a jockey from the Irish Polo Team fell off of his horse and onto the pitch. What was first a joke from the announcer “you need to stay on your horse”, soon become a serious situation in front of the packed crowd when the horse the jockey was riding could not get up off the ground.

With an apparent leg injury or injuries, the horse appeared to make the situation more difficult when it looked as if it got tangled in its reins, the announcer instructing over the speaker system “get the reins off”.

All other competitors, their horses, a horse trailer and at least six vehicles rushed onto the field, forming a circle around the injured horse. Some spectators in the crowd suggested it was to prevent the horse from trying to run, while others thought it was a move to prevent the audience from witnessing the effort to get the injured horse into the trailer.

After the horse was removed from the pitch and a round of applause for the horse, play quickly restarted. The announcer did share with the audience that since 2001 this was the first accident that he and organizers could remember.

“The horse injury was an unfortunate occurrence.” Agnes Keating from Newport Polo told What’sUpNewp.

A request for an update on the condition of the horse has not yet been answered from the horse’s owner.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.