In the latest issue of Click Polo, Chris Dawson speaks on his polo experience in Denver, CO and his goals for the future.
You can also see his full interview below.
- How's the Denver Experience?
"The Denver Experience is epic, specifically the Valiente summer polo facility, it’s second to none. Robertito Zedda runs an extremely tight and well organized program. All of the horses, fields, and players are extraordinary. Seriously, the best that I have ever seen, and I’ve been all over the world. I understand why Bob Jornayvaz has entrusted him with managing Valiente."
- Why did you choose Denver?
"I'm here really because of my great friendship with Rob Jornayvaz and his business partner Ty MacCarty. They have been very helpful to me and building my brand, Hawaii Polo Life. We started working together in 2016, when they flew out to Hawaii to capture video of our annual event. Since then we have formed a tight friendship based on respect for one another. I find them to be very talented and authentic film makers. No one can film and capture the magic and intensity of polo better than Horseplay.
Denver is an incredible summer polo destination. I believe it to be the best summer polo destination in the US. The mix here is perfect. Erica is the club president and has a huge heart for growing polo. (Erica Gandomear-Sachs). Her club/school manger is Mark Wates from Jamaica. He’s a great guy and equally as enthusiastic as Erica. Together they form a great team. Valiente manages and maintains the fields, so the fields are amazing. And Horseplay covers all of the action. The chemistry between this team creates incredible polo.
Then there's Aspen with Malissa Ganzi and her program. IC played there as well and she does an equally and outstanding job. The take away is that the two biggest families in US Polo (Jornayvaz and Ganzi) are here in Colorado. So Colorado polo is clearly the place to be in the summer."
- How did you choose your team?
"My team selections were easy. 4-Goal Nano Gracida is our HPL brand Ambassador, 5-goal Tommy Collingwood has played with me in Hawaii, and I love the way he plays. He’s an intensely powerful back, track him this season as he travels to Florida to play High Goal. He is a stand out player. Then we got lucky with having Diego Cavagnah at 9 -goals. So far we've played well together winning our first two matches."
- Did you have any expectations?
"Honestly, I had none. I came here to have fun and make new friends. That's the best kind of polo right? But then again this is polo with Valiente and they do everything top-notch."
- Any plans to play in other states?
"Yes, Florida. I have a good year planned; Florida, Hawaii, Denver repeat."
- What are your goals?
"As a patron I want to play more high-goal. Thanks to the Jornayvaz family I was able to build a high goal team. I honestly told the guys I had no expectations. I'm not here to win, I'm here to have fun...then I found out very quickly that every one is here to win."
- Do your plans have a model?
"As far as I know, the only other guy from Hawaii to build high goal teams and play in the US was Peter Baldwin from Maui back in 1987, when Maui’s team won the Pacific Coast Open, the America’s Cup and the U.S. Handicap; that year, Peter was voted “Amateur Player of the Year” by the United States Polo Association.
As a proud native Hawaiian, I am honored to represent HAWAII here in the US.
It’s my intention to bring this level of polo to Hawaii which is why I’ve been producing the Hawaii Polo Life's Spring Invitational. Our Invitational is a 20-goal polo match followed by a music conference. We invite the best professional polo players from around the world and showcase their skills in HAWAII. I have been producing the Hawaii Invitational for the last four years and it just keeps getting bigger."