Interview: Nic Roldan

Interview: Nic Roldan

Where were you born and where did you grow up? Tell us a little bit about your childhood family life
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. My father is Argentine and mother German, however, they had already established themselves and the family home in Wellington, Florida, the winter capital of equestrian sports in the US. My father was a professional polo player, who then became the manager of one of the longest established US high-goal teams and now works at Polo Gear, while my mother is a gifted interior designer. I have one sister Lupe, who is younger then me and has two sons, with whom I’m very close. Family is tremendously important to me.

How did you get into polo?
I’m a fourth generation polo player and as is typical in polo families, I already had a small mallet in my hand as soon as I could walk and started to ride at pretty much the same time. I was always very lucky that my father in particular supported me and made sure I had all the right tools at hand to help me progress, be it horses or knowledge. I started playing at a very young age and turned professional at 15.

One of the great things about polo is we get to play in some pretty spectacular settings.

Are there any other hats that you wear? Ambassadorial roles, hidden talents?
Yes, on the philanthropic side I’m ambassador to Brooke USA, the American fundraising arm of The Brooke, which is the world’s largest international equine welfare organisation dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules, through veterinary treatment and community programs, in the world’s poorest communities. I’m also an ambassador to Kids Cancer Foundation, which is a local charity where I live and a cause very close to my heart. Outside of polo, I set up an equestrian property development company, Bedford Park LLC, together with two good friends of mine and I also work with my mother on interior design and design projects – we very much enjoy bouncing ideas off each other, combining our tastes, and have flipped several properties together. It’s something I really enjoy doing.

Three words to describe yourself?
Fun, loyal, focused.

Your typical day consists of…
There is no such thing as a typical day in polo. That is one of the things to love about the sport – it’s endless variety. It all depends on if there is a game, a practice, or neither. Regardless, I’m an early riser and like to start my day off in the gym (lots of training each week to allow me to be in the best shape to play), followed by breakfast, a juice and a look through the day’s newspapers. Then off to the barn to see my horse carers and trainers and see the horses. This is the most important part of the day – to see how they are. In a single game I may play 13 horses, but they are all individuals with different needs, so we will make a plan for each one for the whole day.

On mind frame… How do you keep a positive mind frame? How do you deal with stress?
I’m innately a positive person and believe you have to live each day as if it’s your last. Having a good support team around me is so important: my family, friends and team provide me with the tools to deal with stress. Spending time with my nephews is always a great distraction. To unplug, I love to play golf, it’s still competitive and challenging, but very relaxing for me and, of course, I love to be outdoors.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If so, what is your’s this year? If not, why not?
No, I don’t, as I think they’re silly.

About the people who surround you… What kind of people do you like around you?
My family, friends and my personal team are the most important things to me.

Biggest life lesson you ever had to learn…
Life in general is a lesson learned and everyday brings you new lessons to learn. There is not one specific one, everyday I learn something new to improve my life and career.

About your 30s…
It’s the start of real life, feel better now than I’ve ever felt about myself and my career.

Advice for your 20-something self…
I don’t have any, I lived my 20s as I wanted and don’t believe in regrets you can’t change the past anyway.

Favourite quote…
Live everyday as if it’s your last.

Favourite place to play polo…
One of the great things about polo is that we get to play polo in some pretty spectacular settings and meet some amazing people, from Palm Beach, UK, and Argentina, to beach polo on Miami South Beach, to snow polo in Aspen. Polo has been my ticket to the world, I love the variety it offers and consider myself very privileged. Each place I go to is special in it’s own way.

Long haul flight necessities…
My MacBook Air and Beats Pro in black.

Last book you read…
How Champions Think: In Sports and in Life by Dr. Bob Rotella.

Favourite fashion brands…
James Perse, Double RL jeans.

Have you been to Australia before? What is your favourite thing about it? What are you most looking forward too?
Yes, I’ve been lucky enough to have played several years in Australia, particularly with Jamie Packer from 2003 through to 2006. In 2005 we had a particularly good year. I had a great time.

NIC’S GUIDE TO ASPEN:

Favourite restaurants…
Casa Tua or for a more casual affair, Peach’s Corner Cafe.

Favourite bar and what’s your tipple?
Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro and a Peroni Beer would be my fave tipple.

Best place for a haircut…
Doesn’t matter, any place.

Summer or winter in Aspen?
Summer.

Must do’s while in town?
Hiking, biking, dirt bike riding in the back country and golfing. Also, visit modern Art Museum and of course, come and watch the polo at Aspen Valley Polo club, where I play in the summer and also in the World Snow Polo championships just before Christmas.

www.nicroldan.com
@nicroldan