POLO - OTTBs
OTTBs IN POLO
Over half of Nic's current string are OTTBs, or Off-the-Track-Thoroughbreds, meaning that they started life as racehorses. In all facets, Argentina has the monopoly on polo, and players breed copious amounts of polo ponies on the pampas plains. However, Stateside, people often look to the racetrack as an alternative source for their playing partners, giving failed racers another chance at an exciting, fulfilling life.
A polo player is only ever as good as his horses and in many ways they are my extended family. Having many off the track TBs in my string it made sense to me to draw people's attention to the huge numbers of these amazing athletes used in polo in the States.
NIC & OTTBs
Nic’s love for polo comes as result of his passion for horses. In polo, it’s considered that horses are 80% of the game whilst players only contribute 20%. As such, it’s the team with the best mounts that wins. Nic often highlights his mounts and gets a great response from not just the polo world but also the racing community and fans of OTTBs. This provided a great and wonderful opportunity for these two disciplines to combine.
TB RACING & POLO
In 2017 Nic had an a unique opportunity to meet California Chrome, 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. Thanks to Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made Farms this was was a serendipitous moment where two entities at the top of their game were bought together and to highlight how these two regal disciplines can compliment each other and draw attention to the fact that polo is a fantastic avenue for the OTTB’s.
The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and the Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program are doing a great job at starting to highlight the versatility of TBs in the USA. Nic's horse Cubana was chosen as 2021 OTTB High Goal Horse Of The Year by the Jockey Club Incentive Program.
In the UK “Retraining of Racehorses” (RoR) is a similar program. They have a special scheme by which OTTBs are recognized in polo. OTTBs are marked with a special sticker so the public on the sidelines know they are OTTBs, and often a special prize is given to the best OTTB in a game. Those are two of their incentives to help generate awareness in this area.