We all know and love the Fiesta Bowl, Waste Management Phoenix Open and Barrett-Jackson’s Collector Car Auction, but now a new player is joining that list of must-see annual events — the Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower.
The event, which takes place October 20, is projected to attract thousands of viewers and will showcase a three-match showdown featuring some of the biggest names in American polo — including Nic Roldan, one of the highest-ranked players in the United States.
The two strongest teams in polo will play against each other – The Hamptons, led by top-ranked, American polo star Tommy Biddle Jr., verses The Bel Air Polo Club captained by the equally-as-famous Roldan.
Roldan, 29, says he’s looking forward to competing in the Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower.
“These events bring a lot of attention, and I think that’s fantastic,” Roldan says. “I want the sport to expand, and I want it to become as mainstream as possible. I think it’s a great sport, and it has a lot of potential.”
Roldan has won countless tournaments, including the U.S. Open Polo Championship at the young age of 15. This made him the youngest child ever in the history of polo to win that tournament and helped earn him the title of Young Player of the Year.
“That was an amazing experience,” Roldan says. “It really determined and made my decision on what I wanted to do in life.”
Although he became professional at 14 and came from generations of polo competitors, Roldan says he never felt pressured.
“My father put me on a horse before I could even walk,” Roldan says. “He used to stick me inside of a paddock by myself, and I had to figure it out on my own. He never put pressure on me to do anything; it just sort of fell into place.”
But it isn’t just Roldan’s success in polo that has put him in the spotlight; he’s a GQ model as well. From magazine features to modeling jobs and TV appearances, it could be said that he’s becoming a bit of a celebrity, and he says he believes it should positively impact the sport.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Roldan says. “Not only that but we are promoting the sport as well, which is ideally what I want to do.”
Roldan says he thinks polo has grown immensely, especially in the past five years, and will only continue to grow.
“It’s a great spectator sport,” Roldan says. “It’s fast, it’s intense, it’s physical, and I think people like that. The fact that we are riding horses, animals that have a mind of their own, has that uniqueness.”
The Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower not only allows you to enjoy great polo, but will also offer a sneak preview of both the 2013 Scottsdale Arabian Horseshow and the 2013 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction.
For more information about the Scottsdale Polo Championships or to purchase tickets, visit thepoloparty.com. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Work to Ride and Scottsdale Healthcare’s Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health program.
Meet Nic Roldan:
Video by Cooper Rummell