The 11th Annual Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships
By Lauren Wong
“The best polo event in the world,” as said by the Captain of the Wales Polo Team, made its 11th annual appearance in Scottsdale on Nov. 5. As America’s Most Attended Polo Event, the Arizona Republic has referred to the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships as “polo for the masses.”
Presented by Talking Stick Resort at the WestWorld of Scottsdale, some of the world’s greatest polo players came together to battle it out on the field. Some exciting appearances included polo star Nic Roldan and retired Arizona Coyotes star Shane Doan.
Whether or not you like polo, there are so many other things going on that even if you aren’t totally invested in the game, you’ll be entertained. My first question when I knew I’d be attending the event was “what exactly is polo?” As I said before, I knew there would be horses, a ball, and a mallet, but I needed to learn more.
I knew there was a lot of history behind the game, but I didn’t realize how far it dated back, from the 6th century BC to the 1st century AD. It’s one of the world’s oldest known team sports. As I assumed from the whole polo fashion attire, the game is known to be a spectator sport for high society. It’s nicknamed “the Sport of the Kings,” for a reason.
Essentially you’ve got two teams, each with four players riding horseback. The goal is to use the mallet to hit the ball into the opposing team’s goal. Games typically last between 1-2 hours and are divided into chukkers, or periods.
Once the gates opened for the Bentley Scottsdale at 9:45 a.m. the first of four matches took place. The Horse and Hound Charity Match (benefiting Arizona Equine Rescue and Fetch Foundation) started out the day with EPR and El Paso – Naranjo going head to head.
The King Charles III Salute Match featuring Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club vs. The Wales Polo Team was the second match to take the field. Match three was the Molina Cup: Aspen Valley Polo Club vs. Switzerland Polo Team. This match featured the return of Nic Roldan, Melissa Ganzi, and Grant Ganzi. The fourth and final match took place at 3:45 p.m. with the Barbara Lennox Wyatt Memorial Match featuring the USA Women’s Team vs. Arizona Polo Club featuring former NHL and Arizona Coyotes Star Shane Doan.
In between those four matches, plenty of other events took place. There was the World’s “Longest” Fashion Show brought to you by Phoenix Fashion Week, a performance from Arizona’s Top Saxophonist, Phoenix Boys Choir, and my favorite, the Canine Couture. Lugari Pet Salon presented this absolutely adorable dog fashion show full of some of the most extravagant outfits on the field.
While all of that is going on, you can also walk around to check out all of their vendors and get a sneak peak at Barrett Jackson’s 2023 World’s Greatest Collector Car Auction.
Every year gets bigger and better, keep your eyes out for next year’s Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championship!