Polo star Nic Roldan’s high-goal target for equine charity Brooke

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Nic Roldan and Agustin Merlos celebrating their Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup Semi Final Win - La Indiana vs Zacara.
Nic Roldan and Agustin Merlos celebrating their Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup Semi Final Win – La Indiana vs Zacara. © Vanessa Taylor

On the field, US professional 8-goal polo player Nic Roldan is a force to be reckoned with, and he did not slow down for one second during the summer season in Britain.

Off the field, Roldan is a Brooke USA Ambassador and has been volunteering with the organization’s global headquarters in London to alleviate the suffering of horses, donkeys, and mules who work in some of the poorest communities on earth.

During his British sojourn with the La Indiana team, Roldan played alongside some of the world’s foremost polo players, winning the Jaeger-LeCoultre Tirripetts Challenge, a warm-up tournament, then playing in both the Cartier Queen’s and Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup Finals.

Violet Hyde with one of Toyhorse International's mini horse, raising funds for Brooke at the Gold Cup Final - La Indiana v. King Power Foxes.
Violet Hyde with one of Toyhorse International’s mini horse, raising funds for Brooke at the Gold Cup Final – La Indiana v. King Power Foxes.

“It was an amazing experience, and it was pretty cool to get that close in the final,” Roldan said of his summer season. “There aren’t many teams who have done that, and a team with a part American line-up has not won the Gold Cup since 1972!”

Roldan and the La Indiana team went head to head against the Dubai Polo Team during the Queen’s Cup, only narrowly missing the victory by one point. La Indiana dominated during the Gold Cup, qualifying for the semi-finals and beating Zacara with a one-point lead, and then facing off against 2015 winners King Power Foxes, to finish the tournament in second.

“I am at that point in my career where I want to play good polo,” Roldan said. “I got the lucky break to play this year with La Indiana. Getting to both finals was pretty epic, and it is something to build on.”

During the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup at Cowdray Park in West Sussex, Brooke was named the official charity partner. Roldan was proud to be able to support the organization while within such close proximity to its home base in London.

Roldan organized four mini horses and donned them in orange Brooke blankets. The mini horses were escorted field-side, where people donated to Brooke. Roldan also participated in the Cowdray Park Polo Club Academy Gold Cup Master Class Series, donating the funds raised from both adult and children’s lessons to Brooke. Roldan’s lessons included working with leading polo trainer Martin Perez, and insight into Roldan’s winning tips. Participants enjoyed a mini chukka and a welfare-orientated lunch. The final personal touch that Roldan added to his stay came down to the final day, when he wore the Brooke logo on his whites, alongside the Jeep UK logo with whom he partnered for the United Kingdom High-Goal Season, during the heated Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup Final.

“We coordinated everything, which was really cool,” Roldan said of his charitable efforts. “It was great to be behind the scenes and within such close proximity to the headquarters. I want to bring more awareness to Brooke, and what it does. The equine welfare organization is very important not only to me but also the polo and equestrian world. It was a huge success, and also nice to get local kids involved helping with the minis and of course supporting La Indiana at the same time.”

When Nic Roldan visits Brooke programs in Guatemala in September, he will travel with veterinarians as they conduct free health examinations on working animals in some of the poorest parts of the country.
When Nic Roldan visits Brooke programs in Guatemala in September, he will travel with veterinarians as they conduct free health examinations on working animals in some of the poorest parts of the country. © Richard Dunwoody

Roldan is back playing in the US before traveling to the Greenwich Polo Club to defend Audi’s title in the East Coast Open, on September 11. Only a few days after the open comes to an end, Roldan will board a plane with Brooke USA, and travel to Guatemala for his first on-site visit to a Brooke project.

Nic Roldan with up and coming polo player Alfie Hyde at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
Nic Roldan with up and coming polo player Alfie Hyde at Cowdray Park Polo Club.

“Being at ground zero and getting the first-hand experience as to what exactly is going on, and what the issues are that are involved is priceless,” Roldan said.

“For me, that is really important. I think it is good to witness the emotional side of it. I will be there for about six days. I am really looking forward to it, and I am really excited. It is one thing to support Brooke USA, but I think you really have to step over the edge and get the true experience of what you are raising awareness for.”

BrookeUSA.org

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