Debut of Morocco in Polo Series This Sat, September 17th

Riding a tidal wave of excitement, Morocco will be the 32nd nation to debut in the NBC10 Newport International Polo Series, presented by your Rhode Island BMW Centers, as part of its 25th-anniversary celebration, followed by an après polo Marrakesh Express celebration with live entertainment and authentic culinary experience (by advanced reservation).

Competing for Morocco will be some of its highest rated civilian players.   “It is an honor to host teams that travel such vast distances to accept our invitation,” explained Dan Keating, USA team captain and founder of the Polo Series.

Polo came to Morocco in 1899, to the City of Tangier, a so-called “International zone”, much favored by merchants and government officials of the West, and the sport was taken up by the Moroccan Royal cavalry. From Tangier, polo spread to the cities of Casablanca (1907) and to Fez, in the first half of the 20th century, when Morocco was under either Spanish or French rule.  When Morocco recovered independence in 1956, Rabat became the new capital. The Royal Guard of Rabat — responsible for the safety of the king and his royal family—have been central to Moroccan polo.  Polo is played today in Rabat, Larache near Tangier, and Marrakesh.  Supported by Morocco’s monarch, King Mohammed VI, the sport continues to thrive. In 2006 the Federation of International Polo admitted Morocco as a member nation.

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The team will tour the famed Newport Mansions, enjoy helicopter tours with Birds Eye View, paddle boarding and surfing with Island Surf & Sport, tennis on the legendary courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, sail on 12 meter racing yachts with America’s Cup Charters, enjoy fine dining and dancing at the Clarke Cooke House, experience the Newport International Boat Show, and all the great goings on in the City by the Sea.

The Polo Series featured 8 international teams this season including Mexico, Australia, Ireland, Italy, France, Jamaica, England, and the debut of Morocco, as well as 5 City Teams from major US cities and a few top regional rivals for an action-packed season through the end of September.

The Polo Series will have hosted 32 nations this year over its 25 seasons including England, Ireland, Scotland, Chile, Kenya, Jamaica, Italy and Singapore this summer, and Costa Rica, Portugal, Germany, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, India, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Barbados, France, Canada, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Kenya, Brazil, and China, Sweden, Singapore, Monaco and Morocco.

September matches begin at 4pm, with seating & beverage service at the centerfield Pavilion starting at 2pm (by advanced reservation for $20/person), and noon access to Lawn Seating ($12/adult in advance or at the gate) for early arrival and picnicking in the bucolic setting at the International Polo Grounds, Glen Farm, 250 Linden Lane, Portsmouth.  Witness the exciting polo action -Tickets and full details for the 25th Anniversary Season Schedule are available at www.nptpolo.com.    Specialty vendors and concessionaires will be present in the Hospitality village at the polo grounds, including the Twisted Pony Bar, Newport Polo Pro Shop, and other specialty vendors and gourmet food trucks.

Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and serves on the Board of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and Lucy's Hearth. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.