WestWorld of Scottsdale will become the center of the equestrian universe Saturday, Nov. 2 as the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses and Horsepower presented by the Talking Stick Resort roars back to “The West’s Most Western Town.”
Rooted in its horsemanship genes, the community of Scottsdale — and its equestrian event center — becomes host to beautiful people, things and some of the most competitive polo the Sport of Kings has to offer.
With attendees, fashion and competitors hailing from all over the world — the Scottsdale Polo Party is in a league of its own offering a spectacle of the intangibles of prosperity.
On Nov. 2 thousands of patrons are expected to descend upon WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road, to experience the one-of-a-kind event bringing together champagne flutes, caviar dreams and everything in between.
Scottsdale Polo Party proponents contend the event is likely the largest polo event in the world — and all of it came from the mind of Paradise Valley resident and public relations executive, Jason Rose.
“Thanks to the Wales Polo Team, we get to welcome the Royal County Berkshire Polo Club for the first time, which counts Prince Charles as its first member,” said Mr. Rose of his curated event spectacle.
New additions this year include:
But Mr. Rose assures old favorites will continue to rule the day at The Polo Party.
“Some of our old favorites will have new twists too like bottomless French Fries included with admission to the Barrett-Jackson Champagne & Jazz Lounge,” he pointed out.
“We have a few other surprises up our sleeve that we will announce closer to the event date as well. We are also expanding events associated with Polo Party Week including a new Player’s Reception in conjunction with Main Street’s Legacy Gallery during the Thursday Night Art Walk.”
A keystone effort of the Scottsdale Polo Championships is to bring the air of affluence to the ground level, Mr. Rose points out.
“Finally, anyone inspired by the event to try and take up the sport can do so by coming back to WestWorld on Sunday and take part in a polo clinic with the Arizona Polo Club,” he explained. “Who knows, maybe the next Nacho Figueras is right here among us?”
From nothing to something
Now in its ninth year, the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships: Horses and Horsepower sent a lightning bolt through the international playground of the game of polo.
“The first year was an experiment,” Mr. Rose said of the 2002 event. “We were surprised how many people showed up, but it was still a fraction of who attends now. And, now the best brands in the state and world trust us with our platform. That’s pretty cool.”
Mr. Rose points out polo is more than a sport — it’s a lifestyle.
“Recent years have seen a proliferation of celebrities and top polo players participating too,” he said. “This year will be no different as we welcome back the most famous professional polo player in the world, Ralph Lauren model Nacho Figueras.”
Mr. Rose says the presence of Mr. Figueras is a game-changer.
“It’s kind of like having Tiger Woods at a certain golf tournament,” he said. “That year is always better because of it. We don’t know how many years we will have him, so we are particularly grateful to the Aspen Valley Polo Club for again making it happen.”
But the event is not for those who know the sport of polo, the event is really designed for anyone who wants to have a good time, Mr. Rose points out.
“We are also seeing a proliferation of businesses using the event to entertain top clients, customers and producers,” he said. “There are 81 baseball games a year and 41 hockey games, for example. There is only one Scottsdale Polo Party.”
Lured by the excitement, the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club will be attending this year’s polo event at WestWorld of Scottsdale.
“The event certainly looks innovative with so much to offer the spectator,” said Jamie Morrison of the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club. “I think it’s great when events can include a diverse offering as it helps to attract people to the game and that is certainly a synergy we share with our events, club and vision.”
The 230-acre estate that is the Berkshire Polo Club, which is found in Windsor of the County Berkshire in the United Kingdom, is home to the Prince of Wales tournament — one of the most coveted high-goal trophies in polo.
Turns out, Mr. Morrison’s father, who founded the Berkshire Polo Club in the early 1980s, had a vision of creating a polo club for everyone.
“The very reason my dad set up our club in 1985 was he wanted it to be a club for everyone, no matter where you came from or how much money you had, so that people could enjoy the sport,” Mr. Morrison said of the parallels between the spirit of Scottsdale and Berkshire polo.
“That had royal support from the beginning, and going forward, we want to be a driving force in that message. My team and I are ambitious and committed to showing people why this sport is incredible and open to all, and we are also without limitation with the initiatives we bring to the club to expand our audience and that of polo.”
Mr. Morrison has both rock ‘n’ roll and polo in his blood as his father, Bryan, who founded the Berkshire club also served as a rock producer for iconic band Pink Floyd, Elton John and George Michael amongst a host of others.
“I think growing up around the sport sparked my love of it,” he said. “The sport attracts a varied demographic and has a good social scene, as well as a good camaraderie amongst the players and all of those involved with the game itself.”
Although Mr. Morrison seeks to offer a sport of polo that is approachable — it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
“I don’t think it’s about bringing it to the masses per se, but certainly we want to open it up as much as we can, so that those who have never played or watched the game before, can come and at least see what it’s about,” he said.
“I think those who have never been to a game or a club such as ours are surprised when they do. We want to represent the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club brand at events around the world and are really excited about the Scottsdale event and being a part of it.”