Nic Roldan’s 3rd Annual Sunset Polo & White Party, hosted by Mark and Katherine Bellissimo benefiting Brooke USA , proved to be an astounding success, receiving rave reviews from the Wellington, Florida, and Palm Beach social scenes.
Wellington, Fla. – March 31, 2018
Held at the Wanderers Club with over 1,000 in attendance, the event provided an entertaining evening highlighted by an exciting sporting event and Argentine asado, raising more than $240,000 to help alleviate the suffering of working equines in some of the world’s poorest countries.
“Everything turned out great,” remarked Nic Roldan. “A lot of people came out to support the cause and we were able to raise a great deal for Brooke USA. It was fun to get the next generation involved on the polo field. We had a really nice group of players. The work that Brooke USA funds around the world is really important, and it is really nice to promote it and help them out. We are very happy and we have a lot of people to thank.”
Brooke USA strives to significantly improve the welfare of working horses, donkeys and mules and the people they serve throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America by raising funds and responsibly directing them to the areas of greatest need.
“Mark [Bellissimo] and I are honored to be a part of such an important event,” said Katherine Bellissimo, Brooke USA board member and host of Nic Roldan’s 3rd Annual Sunset Polo & White Party. “We were delighted by the amount of funds raised to support Brooke USA and our work overseas. We saw the party reach a new level with its VIP section and we are exceptionally proud of the support from the equestrian and Wellington communities.”
The evening began with an exhilarating sunset polo match, where three teams played in a six-chukker round robin polo tournament consisting of three two-chukker games.
The tournament kicked off with Team Brooke USA, made up of Antonio Aguerre (age 10), Poroto Cambiaso (1), Justin Daniels (2) and Nico Pieres (8), and Team Tito’s Handmade Vodka , made up of Matt Bellissimo (0), Grant Ganzi (2), Kris Kampsen (6) and Roldan (8), taking the field for the first game, where Cambiaso and Daniels each scored to secure the win for Team Brooke USA with a 2–1 finish, while Roldan scored the goal for Team Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
With one win under their belts, Team Brooke USA then faced off against Team Provident Jewelry , consisting of Anthony Calle (3), Henry Porter (2), Martín Pepa (4) and Brandon Phillips (5). Daniels scored two more goals; however, Calle and Porter snatched the win with a 4–2 victory.
In the final game, Team Provident Jewelry challenged Team Tito’s Handmade Vodka in a match that went down to the wire as both teams scored one goal for a tie-game. Bellissimo scored for Team Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Phillips for Team Provident Jewelry.
In the end, Team Provident Jewelry was declared the winner with a final cumulative score of five. Team Brooke USA finished in second place, while Team Tito’s Handmade Vodka took third place.
Daniels, the highest scorer of the evening, was presented with the MVP award and the Best Playing Pony, sponsored by Cowdray Estate , was chosen by none other than Adolfo Cambiaso and went to Taquara, played by Aguerre of Team Brooke USA and owned by Mariano Aguerre.
Later in the evening, the event hosted a variety of auctions, led by ZooMiami goodwill ambassador, celebrity emcee and auctioneer Ron Magill, and featured exclusive, one-of-a-kind items up for grabs such as the players’ team jerseys donated by Polo Gear USA , a World Equestrian Games VIP experience donated by the Bellissimos, an Azamara cruise for two donated by Master Travel and Cruises, a Napa Valley wine country experience for two donated by “KR” and Laura Rombauer, exclusive equestrian jewelry donated by Provident Jewelry and a weekend trip to play polo at the Aspen Valley Polo Club courtesy of Ganzi, who serves on Brooke USA’s Young Leaders Initiative, led by Paige Bellissimo.
In addition, a separate travel auction was held, where 11 luxury travel experiences to numerous spectacular destinations around the world were auctioned off, generously provided by AmFund . Lynne Rubino, owner and designer of Equestrian Trends and Trading Company, also donated a fabulous door prize for the evening — a signed bronze medal, awarded to Giraud Marcel in 1959, set in sterling with baroque pearls.
Once the sporting action and official program were over, it was time for the highly anticipated White Party, where guests danced the night away to music mixed by DJ Adam Lipson, who will be performing at this year’s SunFest in West Palm Beach. Additionally, exotic sports cars were displayed throughout the Wanderers Club courtesy of FlexWheels
Those in attendance included Brooke USA ambassadors Jessica Jo Tate, Ramon Dominguez and Margaret Duprey, Brooke USA board members Marcia Kulak, John Nicholson and Laura Rombauer as well as Geoff Fear of Provident Jewelry, Grant Portier of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Curtis Pilot of the Pilot polo team and his players Gonzalo and Facundo Pieres.
Guests had the opportunity to help raise funds by purchasing legacy bricks for the upcoming World Equestrian Games as well as Brooke USA’s Women 4 Donkeys campaign, which seeks to improve the livelihood of women in Kenya. Brooke USA ambassador, Duprey, will be matching contributions made towards the Women 4 Donkeys campaign dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. To make a donation, click here.
“Brooke USA is thrilled with the support received from the equestrian community in Wellington, Florida, as well as those who traveled from afar,” said Emily Dulin, executive director of Brooke USA. “We are very grateful for event hosts Mark and Katherine Bellissimo and Brooke USA ambassador Nic Roldan. We are looking forward to producing an even greater event in 2019.”
Following a successful 2018 event, Wellington is already abuzz with excitement for what next year’s event will bring as Nic Roldan’s Sunset Polo & White Party continues to be an iconic staple on Wellington’s winter social calendar. For more information or to donate, please visit www.brookeusa.org . For more information on Nic Roldan, please visit www.nicroldan.com .
Photos by Phelps Media Group and Enrique Urdaneta Photography
Therese is the editor of Equilife, and is truly dedicated to equestrian sports and horses. She started riding as a little girl, and enjoys her free time with her two horses back home. Portrait interview is her favorite topic, as it has the gift to inspire others through peoples stories, knowledge, training and general life-philosophy, and certainly, their lives with horses.