An interview with Nick Manifold
"I don't have a lot of time left as a player, but I'll always be involved in the sport"
"I'm very happy. Winning at this stage of my career is fantastic, it's hard to imagine winning a Cup at my age, but I had a great team. Winning this Cup is second nature to Gringo Colombres, Nico Escobar is a very promising young player who I expect to have an amazing career and Dr. Scott Swerdlin is great, I had already won this Cup with him in 2013, with Gringo and Alessandro Bazzoni."
Having a lot of experience in both American and worldwide polo, Nick says Palm Beach Equine, an organization that keeps growing, has started to have a presence in Argentina. "Palm Beach Equine has been in Florida for a long time, they have the best horse clinic in Palm Beach by far and it is considered one of the best in the U.S. Scott has managed something amazing: he loves polo, he has played a lot and he also enjoys helping people. He helped me, and Scott has been working with Gringo here and in Argentina in the last few years. He's also bought a lot of horses from us at Los Machitos."
Nick thinks back on his career fondly. "I started working with White Birch in 1991. It has been almost 30 years. I don't have a lot of time left as a player, but I'll always be involved in the sport."
However, until that time comes – and Nick hopes it’s still quite a few years away - he's still an active player who is focused on winning tournaments even at the age of 50.
"The season in Palm Beach is great"
Nick has played polo throughout the U.S. and he likes what he’s seeing recently. He told CLICKPOLOUSA that "American polo is improving. Players are trying to organize themselves better, there are new people joining the sport as players and fans. They are trying to make changes, like some rules, to make the game more fun, which I think is essential. There are always going to be things to improve upon, but I think there is a good attitude among people in the sport, they are trying to get polo to grow again."
In regards to the season at Palm Beach, Nick said: "I think it's great. There is a lot of polo at every level. What they do at Grand Champions Polo Club is amazing, they have great fields and a good organization. At IPC they have 13 teams in the 20 Goal this year, it's very competitive. There is no team that is underpowered and there is no immediate favorite. Every team is organized and players are well mounted. And we still haven't started the 26 goal tournaments, which are always great. I think the Palm Beach Season is going very well."
Greenwich & Los Machitos
Besides playing for a renowned polo team such as White Birch, Nick’s heart is largely reserved for two entities when it comes to polo: Greenwich Polo Club and Los Machitos. He spends the summer every year at Greenwich Polo Club, the fall at Los Machitos in Argentina and the winter in Florida.
"Greenwich is the essential place for American polo. It is one of the most beautiful clubs in the world, and it is only 45 minutes away from Manhattan. It is the only place in the U.S. where you can play 20 Goal in the summer. The 2017 season was very successful with new patrons and it's a fun environment to encourage new and young players to play good polo in front of a crowd of 2,000 – 4,000 polo fans. One of the youngest teams ever won the 20-goal East Coast Open last season, and Shariah Harris made her start at Greenwich playing the Silver Cup. The club wants to keep growing in the coming years and has a strong base of supporters."
On Los Machitos, he said "We're doing well and have many new horses. I think we have a system that works for the breeding and starting, and it's excellent. I think we've had great results: there are many ponies horses playing polo around the world that are Los Machitos breed. A lot of people like our horses. I help a lot when there is a sale from Argentina with horses going to the U.S. I have a really good time working with my Los Machitos partners, Mariano Aguerre and Naco Taverna. All three of us love what we do and I don't think of it as a business, it's more of a passion."