Nic Roldan, the leading polo player from the United States, has picked up a pen rather than a stick this month, as guest editor at Polo Times, the UK based trade magazine.
As Roldan told my colleague Rod Gilmour last year, he believes polo needs greater marketing. “It’s a tough sport to promote, because in general everyone thinks it is so elite, but really anyone can play and all ages too,” Roldan told The Telegraph.
“We just need to educate the masses. I also believe people can be encouraged to get more involved just like in any other sport, simply as spectators, getting behind their favourite players and teams.”
In the April issue of Polo Times, which will be out this week, the American professional has picked up the reins to write about a myriad of subjects that are close to his heart.
Roldan talks about saddle fitting, Monty Roberts, the Gay Polo League, how to survive the States, Brooke USA and three young players we should be keeping an eye on for the future.
Really excited that this edition of the @PoloTimes that I guest edited, with a focus on US Polo came out today. pic.twitter.com/paKYprAyfo
— Nic Roldan (@NicRoldan) March 24, 2016
Pearson hard at work
Irongate beat Los Nocheros by a narrow 9-8 score to capture the La Aguada 16-Goal Challenge, following the championship game that took place at La Aguada Polo Club, in Open Door, Argentina, the Novillo Astrada family’s club.
The Subsidiary went to Cowdray Vikings, led by 2-goal patron George Pearson, who defeated Ziani 9-7. La Aguada Polo Club had opened up its 2016 autumn season with a brand new competition.
The lineups are comprised of renowned international polo patrons as well as professional players. Among them were two Novillo Astrada brothers, 9-goaler Eduardo Jr. and 8-goaler Alejandro, who recently played with Mahra Polo Team, the final of the Julius Baer Gold Cup, in Dubai, the most important polo event of the Middle East.
Pearson’s Cowdray Vikings side was made up with Justo Novillo Astrada (1), Alejandro Novillo Astrada (8), and Nicolás Recaite (5).
Argentinians go head-to-head
Dubai and Audi contest the final of the USPA Gold Cup, the second tournament of the US Triple Crown on Sunday at IPC in Palm Beach, as the world’s two leading players go head-to-head once again.
Adolfo Cambiaso, recovered from being hit in the face by a mallet in the semi-finals, leads the charge for his long-time patrons the Albwardys, while Facundo Pieres leads the AUDI foursome.
In the semi-finals this week, Dubai defeated Coca-Cola 11-9 in the first game of the day, while AUDI, defending champions, beat Orchard Hill 12-10. Dubai did nit have the greatest of starts, as Coca-Cola led 5-2 at the end of the second chukka.
The low point of the day came when Miguel Novillo Astrada’s mallet accidentally hit Cambiaso in the face after a neckshot. The match was stopped for 10 minutes while Cambiaso received stitches.
But the Argentine great was soon back on his horse, even though Diego Cavanagh and Sapo Caset were on standby to replace him. Facu Sola raised his level as the game resumed to become top scorer in the match with 7 goals. Solid performances by Dubai’s Jejo Taranco and patron Rashid Albwardy helped Dubai gain momentum, as Dubai led by the end of the fourth chukka, and they slowly eased ahead for the 11-9 win and a berth in the final.
The second semi-final was a replay of last year’s final as AUDI plated Orchard Hill. Hilario Ulloa replaced an injured Polito Pieres, with Facundo Pieres starting the match after a slight injury in the week, and in a very even match, Audi made a great comeback to win the game 12-10 after a great 3-0 in the last chukka, having been 9-10 down.
The USPA Gold Cup final is live at 3pm. (US time). The match will be streamed live on Pololine TV, via Chukker.TV.