Newport Polo
Photo Credit: Newport Polo

Ahead of it opening of its 2020 season, Newport Polo is closely monitoring the impact COVID-19 is having on gatherings, international travel, and sports.

What’s Up Newp reached out to the organization to see how they were feeling and preparing for the upcoming season.

“We are closely following the guidelines set by our Governor and State Dept. of Health, as well as the governing body of our sport, the United States Polo Association, following the most stringent guidelines between all of them, Agnes Keating, General Manager of Newport Polo recently told What’s Up Newp.

Newport Polo is set to kick off its season on June 6th when USA takes on Switzerland.

As of Sunday there were 2,665 positive COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island, 201 people are currently hospitalized, 50 are in an intensive care unit, and 63 have died.

Through at least May 9th, Governor Gina Raimondo and the Department of Health are restricting public gatherings to no more than five people and have ordered all recreational business and events closed.

“Our polo lessons and team practices are suspended until May 8th, under the Governor’s current executive order.  Depending upon circumstances, if restrictions are extended, we will continue to suspend those activities. 
Local players are individually preparing themselves and their horses through solo training, so that they are ready for competition, when permitted”, Keating continued.

Audiences of several thousand spectators typically enjoy the contests against international teams, as well as teams representing major US cities, playing against the home team every Saturday, June thru September.

Governor Raimondo has indicated that when it’s safe to reopen the economy that it will be more like a dimmer switch than a light switch and that events will be the last to open. On April 8th, Raimondo responded to a What’s Up Newp question with, ” I think it’s safe to say in the months to come it’s going to be very difficult for us to allow large group gatherings”.

This is the 29th season of Newport International Polo Series, will include visits from Switzerland, Argentina, Los Angeles, Italy, Pittsburgh, Ireland, Dominican Republic, Palm Beach, Jamaica, New York, England, and South Africa.

“The travel ban from foreign countries will present an obvious challenge for us, if it continues into the season, in which case we will make the necessary changes,” Keating concluded.

For more information and updates about Newport Polo, visit www.nptpolo.com.

Ryan Belmore is the 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 - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

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 ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.