For the first time in its 30-year history, the Newport International Polo Series will feature Newport vs. Los Angeles at the Newport International Polo Grounds at 5 pm on Saturday, July 3rd.

“While historic Newport is home to America’s first polo club, the sport has also established a burgeoning polo scene in California,” stated a press release from Newport Polo on Thursday.

The Ocean State welcomes Golden State rival, the Los Angeles team, with Ernesto “Ernie” Ezcurra, Tomas “Tommy” Ezcurra, David Carlson, and Elise Markell. The East vs. West match-up represents a homecoming of sorts for the California team.

While currently based in Los Angeles, Elise Markell grew up playing at Newport Polo, where she took up the sport, competing in interscholastic polo as a teen. “I’ve always wanted to play in a Saturday game, so I’m really excited to be involved!” said Markell. “This club is home and everyone here is family!”

Markell’s triumphant return to Newport will not be the only reunion this weekend. Teammates Ernie and Tommy Ezcurra are brothers from Argentina, with 3 and 2 goal handicaps, respectively. Coming from a polo family in Argentina, the brothers grew up playing together.  This weekend will be their first time playing together in 15 years.

Additional highlights of each weekly match include the Stella Artois Best In Show Contest – spectator picnics turned out in Newport’s anniversary red and white colors will be eligible to win a customized prize and enjoy a Jumbotron moment of fame.

Lawn tickets are available online and at the gates.  Pavilion upgrades will be available after the first chukker, with an admission purchase for Lawn seating. Standby seating options including Tailgates & Chalets are available at Gametime, 5PM at the Main Gate, first come first serve. 

For more information, visit www.nptpolo.com.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).