On Saturday, October 24th, nearly 12,500 spectators attended the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower, taking in all of the sights and sounds of the “world’s most interesting polo event.” This year’s attendance set a new one-day record. Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the event featured some of the world’s best polo players. Six competitive polo teams traveled to compete in three highly-contested matches, including the San Diego Polo Club. Some of the players included top American player Nic Roldan of the Aspen Valley Polo Club, top ranked player Andres Camacho of the Arizona Polo Club, collegiate player of the year Kareem Rosser, and Wales’ top rated player Pete Webb.
The day’s festivities included more than just polo. Fans also took advantage of The Canine Couture dog fashion show, the Larsen Art Gallery LIVE Art Auction, the World’s “Longest” Catwalk Fashion Show, and a preview of the world famous Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction. It also featured ballroom dancing field side for the first time ever, as well as a Phoenix Symphony quartet performance along with play, and a High Tea Tent by The Phoenician. This year also saw the debut of the Triyar Ivy League Lounge, packed throughout the entire day with over 1,000 people dancing and drinking in a nightclub like atmosphere.
The first match on Saturday began at 11:00 AM with Barrett-Jackson Automobile Auction Company Chairman and CEO Craig Jackson making the first drop in the match between Polo Azteca and Club Polo Cabo, presented by One & Only Palmilla of Los Cabos, Mexico. In that match, Club Polo Cabo beat Polo Azteca, 9-8, and was led by the play of team founder and San Diego Polo Club member, Tony Yahyai.
In the match that followed, local favorite Arizona Polo Club took on rival San Diego Polo Club. Six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Amy Van Dyken made the first drop to get the exciting match started. Despite the tremendous play of Andres Camacho in the match’s second half, San Diego Polo Club beat Arizona Polo Club by a score of 9-3. San Diego Polo Club’s first half lead proved too much for Arizona Polo Club to overcome. Alvaro Tadeo led San Diego as he executed both offensively and defensively.
The Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships’ Featured Match presented fans an opportunity to witness two of the world’s best polo teams face off against one another. Defending champion Clogau Wales Polo Team, featuring players Ricky Cooper, Pete Webb, and Roddy Matthews, faced Aspen Valley Club, led by Nic Roldan, Melissa Ganzi, and Juan Bollini. The Phoenix Suns’ Tyson Chandler, an NBA Champion and Olympic gold medalist, provided the first drop for the day’s most thrilling match. From the start, Aspen Valley dominated their counterparts and won 9-5 to be crowned the new champions of the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships. Roldan scored six of Aspen Valley’s nine goals.
In one of the most unique elements of the day, the Phoenix Symphony provided the musical backdrop to one of the featured match’s chukkers. Fans were regaled with classical music all while witnessing the two teams take on one another.
“Even though we weren’t able to defend our title, the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships have become one of my favorite polo events to compete in,” said Clogau Wales Polo Team captain Ricky Cooper. “It was a great crowd and we enjoyed ourselves fully.”