2013-05-29 18:33:08 - Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County Presents Hurricane Sandy Relief Polo Benefit for New York’s Oldest 4-H Camp
JERICHO, NY ─ Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County (CCE-NC) presents the first annual Cornell 4-H Cup, a charity polo benefit to be held at 1:00 p.m. on Long Island’s North Fork at the Dorothy P. Flint 4-H Camp at 3186 Sound Avenue in Riverhead, on Saturday, June 22, 2013.
Internationally known Black Watch Polo team captain and co-owner, Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras, who is also one of Ralph Lauren’s best known models, was anticipated as one of the featured competitors for the inaugural benefit polo match, but suffered a broken pelvis on Sunday, May 20, 2013, when the front leg of his horse landed on the six-goal player during a fall in a match between Figueras’ South America team and an
English team at the Cowdray Park Polo Club in West Sussex, near London.
Figueras, 36, fractured his acetabulum in the accident, the surface of the pelvis where the hip joint sits, and is expected to be unable to compete for approximately six to eight weeks, which will keep him sidelined when the Cornell 4-H Cup takes place next month. It is not Figueras’ first polo injury, but he typically takes the sport’s risks in stride, telling the New York Post in 2008, the danger is just part of the game. "To play polo at a very high level you have to be a little crazy," he said, "the adrenaline turns me on."
The son of an Argentinian agriculturalist, Figueras has become the sport’s unofficial world ambassador. He told the Huffington Post he would someday soon “like to see people think of polo as a family-friendly Saturday afternoon activity in the way that they would a baseball or football game. It was that way back in the 1920s and '30s, he says, but real estate costs eventually pushed matches out of cities and into more spacious suburbia.” This is precisely the driving force behind the Cornell 4-H Cup; an event intended for savvy polo fans and curious first-timers alike, priced affordably for families to enjoy an entertainment-packed day in the heart of Long Island’s burgeoning wine county.
Cornell 4-H Cup co-founder Alberto Bengolea exchanged emails with Figueras following his recent accident and noted that although the injury is serious, Nacho was in good spirits and “wished all the 4-H Camp kids and event competitors great success next month.” Bengolea added, "Nacho made himself available right away when I explained to him the reasons for this fundraiser—no questions asked—he’s just a rare combination of incredible talent and charm; a down-to-earth person with natural generosity."
CCE-NC Executive Director, Laura Hunsberger, co-founder of the event which has enjoyed growing media sponsorship throughout Long Island recently, noted that “while everyone is certainly disappointed Nacho will not take the field on June 22nd, we are all relieved his injuries are not career-threatening and hope to see him return to the field again soon. I am not as experienced a rider as my co-founders, but there is no doubt polo is a demanding sport, both for the players and the horses. I truly admire the incredible skill and athleticism required to compete at that level and really anticipate the Cornell 4-H Cup competition, especially because it’s for a truly great cause.”
Seasoned polo player, Long Island real estate developer, and event co-founder, Nick Aliano, was disappointed the world-ranked Argentinian player and seasonal Hamptons resident would be sidelined for the Cornell 4-H Cup. “It had not been determined yet whether I would be playing with or against Nacho, but I was really excited to get on the 4-H Camp’s new field with him and compete. Nacho is a true ambassador for the world’s oldest sport, and we know he really wanted to be an important part of this event, especially with 100% of the proceeds benefiting New York’s oldest 4-H camp. The Dorothy P. Flint 4-H Camp builds leaders, creates memories for a lifetime, and provides fine equestrian training for inexperienced and skilled riders alike; it also offers a nascent polo program that shows great promise.” Aliano added, “I really hope Nacho and I get the chance to compete in the 2014 Cornell 4-H Cup.”
Advanced purchase general admission for the inaugural polo benefit match, which is slated to include musical entertainment and activities, as well as dinner and drinks, is all included for a low $50 price. Tickets at the gate are $60. Admission is half price for kids ages 5-12, and under 5 are free. All Cornell 4-H Cup proceeds will assist New York’s oldest 4-H Camp, located at 3186 Sound Avenue in Riverhead New York, on Long Island’s North Fork. Additional information about ticket sales, table reservations, sponsorships and event advertising for the family-friendly event is available at the Cornell 4-H Cup hotline at 516.779.1189.
Nacho Figueras image | Joan Wakeham (PoloPhoto UK)
CCE-NC is committed to building healthy lifestyles and healthy communities by conducting educational programs that connect Cornell University resources to community needs for all people in the county. CCE-NC is an educational subordinate governmental agency association that provides research-based information and educational programs designed to build strong and vibrant communities. CCE-NC has been educating and disseminating information since 1914, through funding and resources provided by Nassau County, New York State (through Cornell University), USDA, a variety of grant partnerships, and direct financial support from generous donors who support our public service mission.