Felliniesque Polo Ball Invokes Ancient Rome, Honors Italian Team

Dan Keating & Newport Polo photographer Susan Choquette

Veni vidi vici! The outcome of the polo game was yet to be known,
but the Italian Team (think Romans) and the Americans celebrated together at the 13th Annual Newport International Polo Charity Ball. This year entitled "Bacchanale", the party honored the italian team and called out sartorial styles of togas, sandals, and draped gowns.

The ebullient party, always themed, this year invoked the Roman Empire, the Caesars, and all things Roman. Including knee high sandals on the men, and golden laurel wreaths on the ancient city's "citizens".


The annual summer soiree, now in its 13th year, attracted bon vivants, polo enthusiasts and players from across the US and oversees for a weekend of festivities in our glamorous seaside resort.


Live auction display, showing the award-winning NISI

mega yacht, on which a day cruise was offered.

Host and captain of the Newport team Dan Keating mixed and mingled with the guests, and during dinner presented the guests of honor: Raimondo Visconti di Modrone , Colonel Paolo Galvaligi, head of the Italian Cavalry, Peter Elser, Italian Team Captain: Marco Elser and his wife Flavinia.


 The celebration continued the following day at the Newport International Polo Series, where the featured match is USA vs. Italy. concluded with a spectacular lobster bake.

Sponsored by Christofle and supported with a donation of 'saddle' charm bangles by Alex and Ani, the event 's proceeds of $11,000 went to benefit the Hope Funds Newport Polo is conducting a campaign for tax deductible pledges of $100,which are being accepted online or at the field side Pro Shop, which will be acknowledged with a special souvenir gift, exclusively available through Newport Polo, as well.


Another view of the live auction display, showing the award-winning

NISI mega yacht

Rosecliff Mansion, where the Ball is traditionally held,  is a premier estate amidst America’s finest collection of gilded age mansions. Commissioned by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1899, architect Stanford White modeled Rosecliff after the Grand Trianon, the garden retreat of French kings at Versailles. After the house was completed in 1902, at a reported cost of $2.5 million, Mrs. Oelrichs hosted fabulous entertainments here, including a fairy tale dinner and a party featuring famed magician Harry Houdini.


Seen were honored guests, Dr. Laura Berman  of TV fame, Stacie Mills, Tom Eberhardt, Pierre and Margot Merle, Ronald Lee Fleming, Brian Cunha and Becci Schenker and all those Romans.  Dinner was spectacular, and dancing to the Mac Chrupcala Orchestra went on until the witching hour, then took the bread and circus to last call in the Sky Bar.




Welcoming guests with sparkling Italian prosecco & Italian favorite

Bellini cocktails

Margo Connor, Ann Murray and Mary Jane Butler

The lawn at Rosecliff

Tom Brace & Billy Shaw, Regal Romans

Mr. Brace, Stacie Mills & Mr. Shaw

Patricia Mascali & Leo Orsi

Guests on the Romanesque lawn

 Abigail Brown with James Leach

Pierre Merle, Ronald Lee Fleming, & Margot Merle

Hostess Agnes Keating, Pebbles Stevens & Amy Howland

From Palm Beach,  Martin Gibbs & Alan L. Stanzler with James Leach

Rob Howe & wife, Gala Junior Ambassador Laurel Howe, ponder a bid

Bryan Tedesco and Erin Dahill of Grenada, West Indies

with Tom Eberhardt

Authentic Romans from the Italian polo team  Raimondo Visconti di

Modrone & team captain Marco Else with wife Flaminia and  children

Henry & Lavinia.

Cocktails on the lawn

Chris Williams , Mike Brenker & Andrea Sujkowski 

Authentic Roman footwear

Major John Orsmond, USMC

From St. Louis, Dr. Greg Mattingly and Judi Mattingly

The elegant table setting by Tom Kraig & Rentals Unlimited, with

Christofle candelabras, flatware and crystal stemware, & the Italian menu

created by Blackstone Caterers.

The Mac Chrupcala Band

Mr. Chrupcala playing two keyboards at once!

A gorgeous gown surrounded by Rick Lamarre & Susan McDonough

on left, Rob & Laurel Howe on right.

Capacity Crowd of nearly 300 for dinner and dancing

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