The Scottsdale polo party brought the entire community of Phoenix and Scottsdale as well as other surrounding towns together. Many of the events’ sponsors were from the Phoenix, Arizona area and many businesses both large had VIP tables at the event. This event was also known under the title “Horses and Horsepower” because the American auto-auctioneer Barret-Jackson, many local car dealers and area auto clubs displayed their finest cars around the polo spectator tents.
Many of the guests said it was their first polo event, but they were captivated by the action. When the day started most people were sitting at tables but as the matches progressed and become more competitive most of the spectators moved their chairs to the edge of the tents conversation lulled and impressive polo action took center stage.
The Arizona Polo Club’s dedicated members played a big role in organizing the event and taking care of the horses as well as making sure guests were enjoying themselves throughout the day. The Arizona Polo Club also offered the newly made fans of the sport a chance to participate in one-day long polo class on the Sunday following the event.
The Polo Party was an enjoyable beginning to their season in the Polo Border Circuit which goes from November to April. The first of the 3 matches played was a rematch from last year with Team Columbia repeating as the champ over Team USA-Mayo Aviation edging them out by a score of 5-4. The second match began at 1:00pm with team Harvard against team “Work to Ride”. This was a match in some ways overshadowed by America’s class battles. Team Harvard, the highest social and academic elite played against Work to Ride, a program which gives underprivileged youth a chance to ride, a chance they wouldn’t normally have. This match stirred the crowd as they rooted for the supposed underdog team Work to Ride.
With a victory over Harvard with a score of 8-3, team Work to Ride’s hard work had paid off. They spend all day Saturday, every Saturday working at the stables, located in Philadelphia, and after school they visit the Work to Ride stables to practice for three or more hours at a time. Team member Brandon Nease, “I’ll always play polo. It’ll always be a part of me.” This love for the game is clearly shared by the whole team. They were fast and precise and worked well as a team. A former program member was there supporting the team, and Harvard tried their best, and to their credit none of the team members had played polo before they joined the team at Harvard, and Albany Mulholland had never even ridden a horse.
Work to Ride is 100% not for profit, and everything they do is supported by generous donations. The program is long-term, currently has 20 participants ages 7-18 and its main purpose is to inspire hard work, team work, and other important social skills. Harvard is also trying to extend their polo program by purchasing a barn. Both groups are accepting donations.
The final match of the day began at 3:00pm. Team Hamptons Polo with the Tommy Biddle Jr.(+10) and team Bel Air with Nic Roldan (+9) amazed fans with top polo. The quarterback at position 3 was the world renowned 8 goaler Nick Roldan. This pal of Prince Harry who was named by Vanity Fair as one of the world’s “10 Hottest Horsemen” was able to pull himself away from some his adoring female fans at one of the pre-parties to claim in Namath like fashion that if he lost he would retire from polo and donate all of his horses to the Harvard Polo Team. During the game Roldan hit the ball in the air, and then hit it again before it touched the ground. The crowd was stunned. This kind of amazing play from both sides resulted in a very close match, which kept the spectators eyes glued to the field. The final result was Bel Air with 6 and Hamptons with 4. Horses and players came off the field dripping in sweat after a hard match in temperatures of 35C+. Sponsor Smartwater kept the fans hydrated and the shade of the tents kept the fans cool.
“This was a party Arizona and the polo community will remember! The polo was as exciting as advertised and this is turning into one of the great polo events in the country. We’d like to acknowledge Scottsdale’s hospitality in helping give a huge boost to the sport of polo. Scottsdale has spring training baseball, professional golf, collector cars and championship horses. We hope polo joins the ranks of these great events,” said Nic Roldan, one of the top players in the world and an emerging fashion and pop culture star.
It was a great way to bring a community together around Polo, a sport that both intelligent fans and complete novices enjoyed. They went for the party and stayed for the polo. It was an exciting, energy-filled and sun-drenched day at WestWorld of Scottsdale’s Polo Field, where thousands of Arizonans and tourists flocked to intense polo matches, ogled eye-popping exotic collector cars at a sneak preview of the world famous Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, gaped at Arabian horses from the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show preview, and enjoyed a tempting range of food and drink. In all, 9,188 people attended the extravaganza throughout the day.
Stay tuned for more information about Scottsdale, an excellent luxury and polo destination on POLO+10 online.
About the Arizona Polo Club
The Arizona Polo Club has been playing on the Scottsdale horsemen park field at the WestWorld equestrian park in Scottsdale since 1982. The team also plays at indoor facilities throughout the state. The club’s outdoor and indoor season is played from November through April. New members are welcome.