Nacho Figueras is not only the world’s most handsome polo player. He’s also the world’s nicest incredibly handsome polo player.
Figueras, a 33 year old, six goaler and Ralph Lauren model, has “life missions.” One is to promote polo and spread his enthusiasm for the sport to audiences around the world by demonstrating that polo is not only for the wealthy and well to do.
Another mission, or maybe an extension of the above, is to support Philadelphia’s Work To Ride program, which provides disadvantaged urban youth with constructive activities centered around horsemanship, equine sports, and education. While most participants are trained in several sports, polo is the magnet that draws and keeps the 7 to 19 year olds doing their homework and staying in school. The program has drawn national media attention and produced graduates who go on to prep school and college on polo scholarships.
Nacho first encountered Work To Ride in 2006, when the kids played a warm up match before the high goal Courage Cup at Great Meadows Polo Club in The Plains, VA. “’I love the program, I want to help in some way. I will be in touch,’” is how WTR founder Lezlie Hiner recalls her conversation with him in 2006.
The opportunity to help arose when the patron of the Polo Club at Colt’s Neck, NJ, hired him as the celebrity player in a series of 10-12 goal games in July and August. At the August 15 fixture at Colts Neck, Nacho donated his celebrity fee to WTR. Brandywine Youth Polo coach Scott Brown, who was invited to play in the match, gave his chukkers and the opportunity to play against Nacho’s famed Black Watch team to Work to Ride player Kareem Rosser.
Labor Day weekend, Nacho planned a fundraiser for Work To Ride at the Bridgehampton Polo Club on Long Island. Private jet company Avantair hosted the "First Annual Sunday Classic with Nacho Figueras" which included a cocktail hour and private polo tutorial with Figueras and children from Work to Ride. Following the tutorial, Nacho, local polo players and zero goal Kareem Rosser competed for the first ever "Work to Ride Avantair Trophy." The event, sponsored in part by Ferrari, continued with a champagne reception, trophy presentation, silent auction and music.
“It raised a significant amount of money,” Hiner said.
“Nacho plans to have Kareem join him in Florida this winter to play polo, and he wants to have some of the kids down for a visit,” Hiner said. “He wants to mentor Kareem,” a Valley Forge Military Academy senior who will be heading for college next year.