Meet the members of Arizona Polo Club for 2016-17 season:
Andres Camacho Castilla
Occupation: Andrés moved to the Phoenix area in 2010 to attend Thunderbird School of Global Business, joined Honeywell in 2011, received his MBA in 2012, and plans to stay in the Valley of the Sun. How did he get into polo: Andrés comes from a family that has been playing polo for generations, his great great grandfather founded the polo club in Bogotá (1890’s) and his mother and father met on the polo field. His father was a 7 goal player, and it was only his hobby as he is a full time professional. He has a brother that is five years younger that is an active player in Bogotá as well. Currently he is rated at 3 goals outdoor, and 3 goals indoor. Favorite thing about polo: Although playing polo is his first passion, he enjoys teaching and training in his spare time. Andrés also rescues and rehabs off the track Thoroughbred horses to play polo. He currently owns 6 horses with his wife, Natalie
Occupation: Custom home builder, high end, high difficultly, specializing in concrete and steel. How did you get into polo: Avid rider since childhood, Bill began playing polo in 1993. He owns fours horses and his favorite, Valentino is a beautiful thoroughbred that was born on Valentines Day. You might have seen Bill and Valentino on local news doing polo promos! Look for those yellow wraps! Favorite thing about polo: Competing with Horses and camaraderie.
Michael Denby, Environmental Attorney
How did you get into polo? I have been riding horses since early childhood. Growing up with two bothers and a 66 acre horse farm in central Illinois, my brothers and I spent our youth in Pony Club and helping our mother run a Thoroughbred breeding and foaling operation. The whole family began playing polo after a very serendipitous chance encounter with the St. Louis Polo Club. It was the perfect fit for three young men who wanted more from horse riding. For over a decade the three of us were mainstays of the club driving our gooseneck rig with 9 ponies two hours to St. Louis twice a week in addition to anchoring the St. Louis traveling tournament teams throughout the Midwest and beyond. As life and careers unfolded, polo was left to the memories on my parents’ award table. Two decades later, with a horse-loving thirteen year old daughter who now wants to play polo, I have been inspired to dust off my old equipment (quite literally) and get back into the game. What do you like most about polo? For me, polo has always been a fantastic combination of power, speed, control and comradery. I am very much looking forward to playing with the Arizona Polo Club and my daughter.
Katalyn Denby, Student
How did you get into polo? I have always really loved horses and asked my parents for one. When they said I had to pay for one myself, I started saving up all of my money, and, when I was nine, started my own dog treat business “Joyful Bone”. The money I made from Joyful Bone allowed me to buy my own horse “Story” and to pay for all the fencing and supplies necessary to keep her in our backyard. I wanted to give polo a try because I knew my dad used to play, so I swung a mallet on my grandma’s old polo ponies and immediately wanted to do more. What do you like most about polo? Polo is a really fun way to spend time with my dad and our horses.
If Annica looks familiar its because she was recently on the cover over Arizona Jewish Life, Dec 2016. Annica grew up riding and recently joined our club. She trains 2 days a week after work and plays on the weekends with our Champs League.
Occupation: CFO at Cavco Industries (CVCO) How did you get into polo: Found polo after searching for a sport that would hold my interest. Danny has 3 ponies he has trained to play. He was also awarded the USPA Billy Linfoot Most Improved Player Award in 2013! Favorite thing about polo: Danny loves the combined intensity of hockey, golf and riding skills.
Occupation – Graphic designer and small business owner. How did you get into polo? – I grew up in the hunter/jumper world, but polo always looked so much more exciting. While attending the polo championships as a spectator, I signed up for lessons at the AZ Polo Club booth and have been involved ever since. What do you love most about polo? I love how challenging it is, and how inviting the polo community has been.
Occupation – financial advisor. How did you get into polo – Began riding horses casually a year and a half ago, met the club at the big tournament in the fall and signed up for lessons. What do you love most about polo? – The people and the friendly, relaxed/welcoming atmosphere at all the matches.
Occupation – Politics; Land Development.
How did you get into polo? My friend David Barnett introduced me to Polo and now I am hooked. What do you love most about polo? Polo is more than a game or competition. It’s about comradory with your fellow team mates and other polo participants and creating a partnership with your horse to make sure your competitive and safe.
Diego Florez, DVM
Occupation: Veterinarian (Aztec Animal Hospital, Owner and Operator). APC Club Manager. How did you get into polo: I took my first lesson 2008 and I was hooked. Prior to that I had lived in Indiana, New York City, and my home country Colombia where riding horses was part of my life. After trying many sports that didn’t fill my expectations polo gained all my attention. Favorite thing about polo: The interaction with horses and the adrenaline rush. I love to learn, educate and promote the sport of polo and improve polo in any possible way.
Natalie Grancharov Camacho
Occupation: Engineer Manager by profession.
How did you get into polo: I started playing polo at UC Davis in 1999. I have been involved in polo and other equine sports since that time and have really developed a passion for polo in the last 5 years. My husband and I have 6 horses now, there is always a new pony in training at our ranch! Favorite thing about polo: I love horses, but I also love being able to play and have an afternoon of polo with my family and friends.
Camila MogollonOccupation: student. I love to be around horses. My dream is to become a vet one day. I heard some colleges have polo teams, so I am preparing myself, learning the skills and rules of the game… And of course learning how to be a good rider! How did you get into polo? I started riding with Diego and Andres and helping them at the games on the weekends, and then I joined the club and started playing! Favorite thing about polo Definitely the adrenaline rush while playing and the community. It is tons of fun playing with great people that share the same passion. Greg Holditch Senior VP, Financial Planner Greg is in his second year of polo with the Arizona Polo Club and he’s loving it! Kathi Vidal-Kathi comes to the Arizona Polo Club from learning to play in California. Her fiance also plays and they own 2 beautiful Argentine horses as well as a beautiful thoroughbred .
Dr Martin Vidal – Owner Cave Creek Equine
Martin is a polo enthusiast and the owner of Cave Creek Equine Surgical & Imaging Center in North Phoenix. As a surgeon and sport medicine specialist Martin is totally committed to the health of all our polo ponies!
Favorite thing about polo: The athleticism of the polo pony, the thrill and finesse of the game and the camaraderie among all the club members.
Occupation: Policy Work at GoDaddy
How did you get into polo? I saw my first live polo match in 2012 and knew it was something I wanted to try. A chance encounter with another Club member at the end of 2015 prompted me to finally take my first polo lesson. After years of riding in other disciplines, the excitement and camaraderie of polo was exactly what I was looking for!
Favorite thing about polo? The people! It is truly a team sport and everyone is friendly and supportive
Occupation: Finance. How did you get into polo: Enjoyed watching some polo matches as spectator and horse trail riding growing up in Colombia. Took a lesson out of curiosity and got hooked. Favorite thing about polo: Adrenaline, challenge and competition. Playing polo is way more thrilling than watching as spectator, definitely I recommend you to try a lesson.
Occupation: Distribution of high performance racing parts
How did you get into polo: I started learning how to ride a horse and play polo on July 2013 after seeing some commercials on TV with polo in the background, it looked fun! Favorite thing about polo: The combination of adrenaline, animals, and its challenging nature.
Nini De Faria Occupation: Student. Keri McKeone Occupation: Lead Council at Lifelock. Bill Stalcup Occupation: Works at NalcoHow did you get into polo: Vince Azzaro taught Bil and his father as well as Walt & Steve Kuhn at Pheasant Run, IL in 1970Favorite thing about polo: Making ponies and scoring goals from distance. Bill owns 5 horses that he and his wife have trained.
Peggy Brosnahan Occupation: Equine DVM. How did you get into polo? I learned to play arena polo four years ago when I was a graduate student at Cornell University. Favorite thing about polo: The team aspect , first working to become a team with your own pony and then with the other players on your team and their ponies. Its a constant challenge and so much fun!
Occupation: Guest Ranch Manager. How did you get into polo? First job out of high school in the 70’s grooming for the high goal teams at Cowdray Park, UK. Favorite thing about polo: The challenge, excitement and friendly competition.
Dillon Rusk: Occupation: Just graduated and starting to work at Enterprise. Dillon comes to us with years of riding experience with Arabians and hunters. He’s been playing polo for about a year and has picked it up very well!