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At age 30, Nic Roldan has become an icon in the dangerous and exciting world of international, high-goal polo where injury can be just as prevalent as a champagne toast. Fueled by intensity, passion and raw talent, Nic holds many of the highest accolades prized by the adrenaline-charged sport and is one of the highest ranked players in the United States today.
Born in Buenos Aires and raised in the United States and Brunei, Nic remembers swinging a polo mallet by age four. His father, Raul Roldan, who played for the Sultan of Brunei’s team for many years, provided early inspiration for the prodigy. Nic captured his first major win – the coveted U.S. Open Polo ChampionshipTM – in 1998 with team Escue shortly after reaching professional status at age 14. Nic ended his inaugural season with the title, Young Player of the Year. The win and title earned him standing alongside seasoned players and catapulted him onto the polo world’s list of most celebrated athletes.
Nic has charged polo fields on five continents and has won the Camara de Diputados of Argentina, The Bronze and Gold Cup in Sotto Grande, Spain and the Melbourne Cup in Australia. His roster of wins quickly grew to include the C.V. Whitney Cup, Pacific Coast Open, Texas Open, Mercedes Benz Polo Challenge, Monty Waterbury and the Gold Cup of the Americas, all of which he has won twice. Nic spends two or three months a year in Argentina, perfecting every aspect of his game under the watchful eyes of polo veterans. His career ambition is to reach 10-goal status and win the Argentine Open, claim a second U.S. Open Polo ChampionshipTM victory and propel popularity for the sport.
Polo’s hottest rising star has attracted a variety of opportunities including host of the annual Charity Polo Classic in the Hamptons as well as numerous guest appearances on a host of television shows. In 2012, Nic was the recipient of the prestigious Harriman Cup, honoring individuals who have made huge contributions to the world of polo. His rugged good looks and exceptional physique have also garnered attention, landing him recognition in the Sunday Styles section of The New York Times and as one of Vanity Fair’s 10 Hottest Horsemen. From photo shoots with GQ Taiwan to the covers of Hamptons magazine and Palm Beach Illustrated, Nic is quickly reaffirming his position as the sports world’s latest stunner.
Few athletes have enjoyed a similar level of success at such a young age. Nic Roldan sets the gold standard and it becomes only more apparent as his career churns onward.
Team One: AutoWeek/Nissan
- Frank Stitt 0
- Orrin Ingram 1
- Nacho Figueras 6
- James Armstrong 4
- Cathy Brown 0
- Whistle Uys 5
- Stevie Orthwein 4
- Zulu Scott-Barnes 2
Ignacio "Nacho" Figueras
Ignacio "Nacho" Figueras is an Argentine polo player and is ranked as one of the top 100 polo players in the world. Figueras began playing polo at the age of 9 and turned pro at 17, playing at various locations in Europe before arriving in Bridgehampton, New York in 1999. He currently plays for and is captain of BlackWatch, a team he co-owns. Nacho started modeling for Ralph Lauren in 2000, eventually become the face of Ralph Lauren Black Label in 2005.
In May 2009, he was made the face of the World of Polo fragrances, including Polo Black, Polo Blue and Polo Modern Reserve. Black Watch is also a label under the Ralph Lauren umbrella, offering tight polo shirts emblazoned with Nacho's number 2, an idea of Figueras' to make it a billion-dollar brand. Despite his success in the modeling arena, polo continues to be his passion. He says his mission in life "is to bring polo to the world a little more," doing his best to raise the profile to the sport of polo however he can. To that end, he has helped organize matches such as the Veuve Clicquot Manhattan Polo Classic exhibition in Governor's Island, New York; the most recent edition on June 27, 2010 also featured England's Prince Harry. Nacho has been married to Delfina Blaquier, a photographer and former model, since 2004. The couple currently have 4 children, Hilario, Aurora, Artemio and Alba.
Frank Stitt III
All Time Best Horse: Leah—a Dark Bay Appendix, she has played with me for the last 15 years.
Most Exotic Place Played: Jackson Hole, WY
Bucket List Polo Wish: To play in Argentina
Frank Stitt III is the owner and executive chef of Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega Restaurant, and Chez Fon Fon in Birmingham, Alabama. He was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's "Who's Who of Food and Beverage" in 2011. He was also named the "Best Chef in the Southeast" in 2001 foundation, and was a 2008 finalist for the its national "Outstanding Chef" award. He has also been recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance for his elevation of Southern cuisine and his early advocacy of locally-grown food.