Wellington, FL – January 9, 2015 – Polo For A Purpose invites you to watch some of the best polo players in the Nation play a charitable polo game to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, FL. While this event will raise funds for lifesaving blood cancer research, it will also help support local patients and their families by providing critically needed financial aid.
On Monday, January 19, Polo For A Purpose will feature an all-star line up of polo players including Honorary Chairman Brandon Phillips, a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor and one of the best polo players in the country.
During his almost 20 years as a professional polo player and 5-goal handicap, Phillips has captured some of the sport’s most coveted trophies. Although Phillips has realized his dream to play at the top of his sport of polo, he considers surviving stage four lymphoma to be his greatest accomplishment.
Phillips has been riding horses since he was 18 months old and at 11 played his first match at the Toronto Polo Club, becoming the youngest player there at that time. Everything seemed to be falling into place for Phillips until the day he woke up with severe swelling and an aching pain in his right leg. Twenty-four hours later and at just 14 years old, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Though Phillips’ parents did not tell him at the time, his doctor’s gave him six weeks to live.
Phillips endured five grueling months of intensive chemotherapy sessions but never lost his spirit. He beat the odds and went into remission with an altered outlook that would change the course of his life forever. Once he recovered, he vowed to dedicate his life to doing what he loved – playing polo. Since then, Phillips has established himself as one of the world’s most talented polo players.
With all his professional success, Phillips continues to remember the catalyst that changed the course of his life. He strives to be a role model on and off the field by dedicating much of his time to philanthropy by supporting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. While his dream is to one day win the
US Open, his most important goal is a world without cancer.
(Top polo players will use their time to play Polo For A Purpose. Photo: Bob Dobens Photography.)
Friends of Phillips and polo greats themselves, such as Nic Roldan, Jeff Hall, Jeff Blake, Sugar Erskine, Chris Nevins, Kris Kampsen, and Mariano Gracida will join Phillips on the field to help raise money for the cause.
Nic Roldan, originally from Argentina, is a third generation polo player and currently rated at 8 goals. He became a professional polo player at the age of 14 and won the coveted U.S. Open in 1998. Roldan has become one of the top professional polo players in the world today and holds many of the highest accolades. He has charged the polo fields on five continents and continues to add to his roster of wins. Roldan is also a polo Ambassador for JustWorld International.
(Nic Roldan will be featured again this is year in the Polo For A Purpose game. Photo: Bob Dobens Photography.)
Jeff Hall was raised in Santa Barbara, CA and Houston, TX. He became a professional polo player at age 12. Hall has won almost every high-goal trophy in U.S. polo, including the most prestigious, the U.S. Open Polo Championship. Jeff is also one of only a handful of American players to have played in the highly regarded Argentine Open. Currently holding a 7-goal handicap, Jeff is one of the best players in the world, and one of just a few highly rated American players.
Jeff Blake is currently rated at 6 goals on the field and 7 in the arena. Blake has an extremely impressive list of high goal career wins, including winning the U.S. Open three times. Jeff has been awarded the Robert Skene Trophy in 1996 and 2004 – for 20 goal tournament players of extraordinary merit. Jeff is known for his quiet professionalism and extremely performance driven style of riding. Jeff is also an Equestrian Ambassador for Horses Healing Hearts.
Sugar Erskine was born into the sport and at nine years old was playing polo. His father, Andrew, was one of the highest rated South African players and Captain of the South African team. Erskine made his way to the United States in 1993 under the guidance of polo Hall of Famer Tommy Wayman. Since then, Erskine has become a favorite on the polo circuit in the United States. His sense of the ball and intuitive team play makes him an important ingredient to any team. He won the U.S. Open in 1998 and 2004 and was an Argentine Open finals Runner Up in 2002, among other high-goal career highlights.
Chris Nevins began playing polo in Houston, Texas in 1998 and is currently rated at 4 goals. Since becoming a professional polo player, Nevins has represented the United States in international competition and has played on some of the most prestigious teams in North America as well as Argentina. He has won the Texas Open and Silver cup numerous times.
Mariano Gracida, youngest son of the late Carlos Gracida, is rated at 4 goals. He and his brother Carlitos have been playing since they were toddlers. Father Carlos instilled in them the classical polo playing principles. Mariano is known for his textbook, beautiful swin- much like his famed family. Gracida has won many polo championships across the country, frequenting The Hamptons and Santa Barbara in the summertime.
Kris Kampsen, raised in Tampa and from an equestrian family, has been riding his entire life and at age 15, became a professional polo player. He is currently rated at 6 goals. Kampsen has competed in the United States, South America, Europe, and Canada winning accolades everywhere he played. Kampsen’s flat-out fast runs down field always make him a crowd favorite. Kampsen is also known for frequenting the U.S. Snow Polo Championship in Aspen, CO.
|Kris Kampsen hits the ball down field at last year’s Polo For A Purpose game. Photo: Bob Dobens Photography.|
Polo For A Purpose Fast Facts:
When: Monday, January 19, 2015
Gates open at 2:00 p.m. – Game begins at 2:30 p.m.
Where: International Polo Club Palm Beach – Wellington, FL
What: Enjoy a thrilling, world-class polo match featuring Brandon Phillips, Nic Roldan, Kris Kampsen, Jeff Blake, Mariano Gracida, Sugar Erskine, Chris Nevins, and Jeff Hall.
Spectators will also be able to test drive the new Tesla Model S. Sign up here:http://www.teslamotors.com/event/test-drive-model-s-international-polo-club-palm-beach
Why: To benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Tickets: Tailgate Tents – $200 each
General Admission Tickets – $5 each with access to Stadium seating & Cash Bar in 7th Chukker
Find out more:
– At lls.org/pb/polo
– By calling (561) 616-8682