Nic Roldan has become the recognizable face of polo, known for his dedication, team spirit, and raw talent on the field. His competitive spirit accompanies a large heart, and he joins a list of top equestrians who want to improve the lives of working horses all over the world by becoming an ambassador for The Brooke, a global animal welfare charity. That’s what we call high goal play!
A fourth-generation and professional polo player, Nic Roldan made history at 15 when he became the youngest player ever to win the United States Open Polo Championship—a distinction he still holds. His talent is immeasurable, and so is his passion for improving the lives of equines around the world.
Roldan is the first polo player to become an ambassador for Brooke USA. In that new role he hopes to increase awareness of the condition of working horses and the people who rely on them in some of the world’s most destitute countries.
Brooke USA supports the overseas work of the Brooke, the largest international equine welfare charity with a long track record of successfully improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in impoverished regions of the globe. The Brooke has been providing sustainable solutions to many equine welfare issues for 82 years. Last year alone the Brooke reached 1.8 million equines, benefiting 10 million people in countries where many people earn less than a dollar a day.
A seasoned polo player since the age of six, Nic Roldan’s name is on the trophies of almost every leading polo tournament in the U.S. He has won on five continents at every goal level and continues to gain worldwide acclaim. His goals are to increase awareness and participation for the sport at all levels and reach the highest accolade, ten-goal status.
Simultaneously, it is important to Roldan to be an advocate for the horses that have worked so hard for his sport throughout his career. He makes his living from the horses he works with, so the Brooke’s mission to help working horses and the people who depend on them resonated with him. He instantly felt a connection with the organization.
“I play polo for a living, and horses are my form of work; they’re my form of income as well. So Brooke USA was something that felt really close to my heart and something that really caught my attention,”said Roldan.
Also driven by the opportunity to gain a global perspective on issues surrounding equine welfare, Roldan is excited about the opportunity to give back and join the Brooke USA team.
“Being Brooke USA’s first polo ambassador is obviously huge, and it’s a big step for me,” he said. “It’s a big responsibility, and it’s an honor as well. I really want to carve the way and set the pace in the hope that many more people in the sport will join me. It’s not all about taking, but it’s about giving as well.”
Roldan supports the Brooke’s efforts and hopes to emphasize the importance of education. “I don’t think most people in my world are aware of what’s going on in much of the rest of the world in terms of working animals,” he said. “Having the privilege of being in an equine sport in the U.S. makes us obligated to improve the welfare of donkeys, mules and horses in much less fortunate countries. The animals are suffering because their owners don’t know any better. What the Brooke does is great in bringing education to the owners and free veterinary care to the animals.”
That certainly qualifies Nic as Most Valuable Player on the charity front.
For more information please visit www.brookeusa.org
©Dominic James & George Kamper for Equestrian Quarterly magazine