An international polo star is promoting the versatility of retrained racehorses.
On Monday (23 January) in Lauderdale, Florida, American polo player Nic Roldan met a fellow national star — champion racehorse California Chrome.
He watched California Chrome train before meeting the thoroughbred.
Fellow professional player Kris Kampsen, who specialises in retraining racehorses for polo, was also present.
Nic said there was “no hesitation” when he was given the opportunity to meet California Chrome.
“In the sport of polo a lot of my horses are throughbreds,” he said.
“We’re trying to give horses an ‘afterlife’ when they are done with their career in racing.
“The good thoroughbreds in the right size, for me, there’s nothing better.”
Four of Nic’s own string of polo ponies — Tulsa, Ducati, Cohiba and Cubana — are retrained racehorses and he hopes to promote the continued partnership between the two disciplines.
Earlier this month (8 January), Cubana was chosen as the best playing pony in a league game of the Joe Barry Cup at the International Polo Club.
The six-year-old chestnut mare, by City Zip, was bought by Kris as a three-year-old. Kris started playing her at Grand Champions Polo Club, after which Nic bought her.
She played in the 2015 East Coast Open at Greenwich Polo Club and this is her first full Florida high-goal season.
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California Chrome is racing’s all-time leading earner with $14,452,650.
He is a seven-time Grade 1 winner and was the horse of the year in 2014 and 2016.
On Saturday (28 January), California Chrome will make his final start in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park.
He will then retire to stud at Taylor Made Farm in Kentucky.