Polo In­vi­ta­tional Brings World’s Best To Hawaii

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The four-day event will fea­ture the high­est level of polo with an all-pro, 50-goal for­mat, un­prece­dented for polo in the United States.

“Usu­ally teams are made up of one ama­teur and three hired pros, so a 1-to-3 ra­tio,” ex­plains Daw­son. “The ama­teur usu­ally pays for ev­ery­thing and takes care of the horses, so it can get bru­tally ex­pen­sive — that’s why they call it the ‘Sport of Kings.’ But this for­mat will fea­ture four pros play­ing against four pros, and that’s rare.”

Daw­son says the 2017 Ha polo des­ti­na­tion and will be on par with other elite polo events, in­clud­ing The U.S. Cup in the United King­dom, Dubai Polo Gold Cup and the

“It’s go­ing to be a his­toric event be­cause we’ve never had this level of polo in Ha - son. “You’re go­ing to see a whole dif­fer­ent abil­ity and speed. Some of the play­ers are in Eng­land and then com­ing

“This is go­ing to be a great ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­nity to see these in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned polo play­ers put on an ex­hi­bi­tion,” adds Hoe. “This is their way of giv­ing - to the his­tory of polo.”

- am­bas­sador Mar­i­ano “Nano” Gracida. He and his older brother, Car­los “Car­l­i­tos” Gracida Jr., will both play.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited about the for­mat,” says Gracida, 24. “You’re go­ing to see much more ag­gres­sive polo be­cause when there’s an ama­teur on the

Gracida says fel­low pro­fes­sion­als have voiced their ex­cite­ment about the op­por­tu­nity to play the game they

“They’re re­ally ex­cited be­cause some of them have nev to be able to play in an all-pro is a dream come true,” says Gracida.

“I t hink i t ’s men­tally harder (the all-pro for­mat) be­cause the match is faster but phys­i­cally, it’s not as much work be­cause you’re re­ly­ing on your team a lot more. Hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to play with pros is re­ally al­most like play­ing a dif­fer­ent sport. The games will be close and ex­cit­ing!”

The Graci­das’ polo roots in late fa­ther, Car­los, and un­cle, Memo Gracida Jr., com­peted at the old Honolulu Sta­dium (“The Ter­mite Palace”) in leg­endary in­ter­na­tional arena polo matches.

“The first time I came to play, I felt this love for my en­tire fam­ily,” re­calls Gracida. pas­sion for the sport, and they don’t treat us like for­eign­ers. We’re al­ways wel­comed here and al­ways have a good vibe from ev­ery­one.”

“Nano comes from a very fa­mous Mex­i­can polo fam­ily dy­nasty,” says Daw­son. “His fa­ther and un­cle dom­i­nated polo for at least two decades. He’s fourth-gen­er­a­tion polo, and the Gracida fam­ily has decades.”

Gracida says one of his big­gest goals is to help pro­mote polo to the rest of the world and he’s grate­ful his am­bas­sador is giv­ing him a plat­form to do so.

“I’m re­ally grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent the life­style that I love,” says Gracida. “It’s a bless­ing and a huge honor. Polo has taken me on fan­tas­tic ad­ven­tures, and I’m play­ing more polo than ever be­fore. I’m look­ing to build my own life­style brand some­day, and this has been a great learn­ing op­por­tu­nity for me. The peo­ple of

Daw­son be­lieves the invi In­ter­na­tional Polo As­so­ci­a­tion’s mis­sion to cel­e­brate es­tab­lish an equine re­tire­ment program for polo ponies at-risk youth via horse­man­ship clin­ics.

He says by draw­ing in­ter­na­tional world-class polo to more op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal play­ers and busi­nesses.

“The eco­nomic im­pact will be huge,” says Daw­son. “The a multi-year com­mit­ment, and Cartier can­celled all of their North Amer­i­can events ex­cept this one. We have Tesla and Hawai­ian Air­lines, we’re get­ting an enor­mous amount of mo­men­tum, we’re get­ting the word out, and it’s very big way. I want to ring the bell as loud as I can and get the at­ten­tion of the in­ter­na­tional polo com­mu­nity to check out Hawai‘i’s brand of polo.”

It’s a brand that will have a def­i­nite Hawai­ian fla­vor

“We’re cel­e­brat­ing t he polo,” says Daw­son. “We’re go­ing to let ev­ery­one take part in divot stomp­ing. When pulls you back in time and we’re go­ing to cel­e­brate that and re­mind peo­ple about their child­hood mem­o­ries and hope­fully take a walk with them down mem­ory lane.

love with polo all over again!”

Christo­pher Daw­son, Car­l­i­tos Gracida, Mar­i­ano Gracida, Luis Es­co­bar, Nic Roldan, Rob Yack­ley, Ju­lian Al­varez and Javier Gar­cia at the 2016 Hawaii Polo Cham­pi­onship.

Mar­i­ano “Nano” Gracida

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