August 21, 2019
Looking more like a resident than a visitor, Nacho Figueras was right at home in the Hamptons with three of his four children and wife, Delfina. The Argentinian-born polo player spends most of the summer in the Hamptons, renting out a different house every time, but always sticking close to a stable and a beach. The remainder of his year is spent globe-trotting—from a North American winter in Argentina to Australia in December, and everywhere there is a polo match in between.
His love for the sport of kings started at the ripe age of 9. As one of the most popular sports in Argentina, Figueras grew up in the action-packed capital of polo, which led him to be dubbed the “David Beckham of polo” and ranked as one of top 100 polo players in the world. When he was 14 years old Figueras developed a talent for the sport. “I was exposed to a lot of polo and riding at a young age is important to become a better player,” he said. Figueras added, “I only played once or twice a week, which was normal, but today, my kids play four or five times a week—especially my son—which I think is crazy.” Not long after honing his skills in Argentina, Figueras started playing professionally at various locations all over Europe when he was 17, before arriving in Bridgehampton in 1999.
Now at 42 years old, Figueras never imagined he would be a professional polo player, let alone the embodied character of the sport. “I knew I wanted to have a career in some sort of sport,” he said. “I played tennis and did track, and field when I was young, but I didn’t know that when I started playing polo that was what I loved and thought I could do for the rest of my life.”
His career evolved at a fast pace—faster than a dash down the field. After making a name for himself in Europe, Figueras worked his way up to the top circuit and toured the polo capitals including Bridgehampton, New York and Palm Beach, Florida. From then he became a poster boy for the sport after a photographer approached him at a dinner party in the Hamptons. Figueras became the face of Ralph Lauren, which launched his modeling career. “I had an opportunity to become an ambassador for the sport,” he said. Not long after his first shoot, Figueras’s handsome face, luscious locks and his iconic smoldering look was in airports, magazines and campaigns all around the world. Figueras added, “I love this sport and to be able to showcase it to people is a big deal to me.” Figueras was also voted second most handsome man in the world. But according to his wife, Delfina, he is the most handsome man in the world—now that’s love.
His love of polo doesn’t stop on the field, but rather extends to the stables. “Horses are very important to me, and in polo, the player needs to have a connection to the horse,” he said. Figueras runs his own breeding program in a stud farm outside Buenos Aires, where he has a bloodline of top-ranked mares and stallions. “I’ve had a lot of horses in my life, and in one game we can use anywhere between six to eight horses, so being able to play a horse from my breeding program is special to me,” said Figueras.
His horses all hail rather familiar names too, such as Rihanna, Shakira and Coldplay. This is because Figueras names his horses after famous singers, painters, architects and some after hotels. With over 300 horses (and counting) in his breeding program, we can understand why.
His connection to horses is almost automatic, as we saw when Figueras mounted one of his prized polo ponies on the green pastures of the Beechnut Hill Farm, a $39.5M estate in Bridgehampton where we were getting a lesson in polo from the best. Players not only have a bond with their horses but with other players too. “All equestrians connection transcends,” said Figueras. That’s how it felt when I met Harry.”
The two met in 2007 at a charity polo match in Africa, which they still attend every year. Their relationship was automatic he said before adding that Harry is a great polo player. Today, the two continually meet up to play charity matches around the world and Figueras and his wife recently attended the royal wedding and private reception held after the wedding. “It was an incredible experience to watch my friends wedding. I was there for them, I had a great time and I was grateful to be able to share that special moment,” said Figueras.
Winston Churchill once said, “polo is a passport to the world,” and Figueras couldn’t agree more. He is constantly on the move flying from Argentina to New York, and, recently, Aspen and back. “I like to take my family with me whenever I can and being able to fly private with NetJets has made it easy for my family to stay together,” said Figueras who sported a NetJets cap and polo jersey. Figueras met the NetJets team at the Hamptons Cup match, which raises money for the Robinhood charity and has since become a brand ambassador. “I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to be able to travel and explore the world while playing polo,” he said. While he’s on the go, Figueras keeps fit and stays focused by riding (a lot) and running in the mornings, but more so the riding. “Eating properly is also an important part of my healthy living,” said Figueras, who has shown off his impressive physique before in shoots and social media posts.
To Figueras, nothing is more important than being a father to his four children. His 6-year-old daughter, Alba, ran up to him for a hug and stayed for a cuddle. A quick “hóla” was breathed by Figueras who continued to say, “Being a father is the best thing in the world. There is a before and after, and all of a sudden your life isn’t all about you anymore, it’s about your children.” Figueras expressed how humbled fatherhood had made him, before letting Alba down to play. His 19-year old son Hilario was in Aspen at the time, competing in a polo match, while his other children were running around the estate, riding horses, swimming in the pool and enjoying the Hamptons sun.
As for his legacy, Figueras is focused on supporting his family, passing on his love of horses to them and loving what he does every day. Polo is simply just another love in his life—and we can certainly see it loves him back.