Story and Photos By Arné Williams
It was a full-on party during the Bentley Polo Championships Saturday on The Polo Fields at WestWorld in Scottsdale.
Celebrating its 10th year, the equestrian classic has become a traditional spot on the Valley’s social calendar and is a growing contributor to the area’s tourism industry.
The captain of the Wales Polo Team calls it “the best polo event in the world.” The Arizona Republic has called the event “polo for the masses.”
With more than 13,000 fans, it is the most attended polo event in the United States. It is one of the most extravagant outdoor sports spectacles in not only Arizona but the United States and has helped increase polo’s exposure and popularity.
Two of the biggest stars in the sport, Nic Roldan and Melissa Ganzi. represented the former champion Aspen Valley Polo Club as it went head-to-head in the day’s featured match versus La Mariposa Argentina Polo Club.
The championships target an affluent clientele but also caters to mainstream guests, including people who like to tailgate and party. Organizers said it’s a lure for younger adults boosting enthusiasm leading into the traditional influx of winter visitors.
The event leads into the high season that includes the Barrett Jackson collector car auction in mid January, the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament starting at the end of January, and the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show in February.
Besides the polo action fans also enjoyed the Canine Couture dog fashion show presented by Lugari Pet Salon, the World’s Longest Catwalk Fashion Show produced by Phoenix Fashion Week, a preview of Barrett Jackson’s 2022 Scottsdale Auction and halftime performances by the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show.