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International polo player Nick Cifuni has been hooked on the sport since childhood. When he was 6 years old, his father was transferred to Buenos Aires, Argentina, a hotbed for high-goal polo. Nick’s best friend’s father played polo there, and the boys often went to watch the matches. From then on, Nick’s sights were set on polo.
He had to wait a few years to realize his dream. When his family moved back to the United States, Nick started riding jumpers and did three-day eventing. But he was never too far away from polo. He stabled his event horse at a polo and equestrian center in Denver, where he began playing polo when he was 14.
Nick worked at the polo facility for 10 years, mucking stalls as a teenager and ending his tenure as Assistant Manager upon graduation from college in 2003. He also played on the polo team his four years at Colorado State University, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in construction management.
He then turned professional and is currently rated at 3 goals. He is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and plays for The Villages Polo Club in Florida. In 2012 he was named Most Valuable Player on The Villages circuit and won a 12-goal tournament there. He also played for the winning team that year at 14-goal tournaments in Sarasota, Florida, and Lexington, Kentucky.
Several years ago Nick represented the U.S. in international tournaments with the Federation of International Polo (FIP).
Nick says he loves the sport, the game and team play, but adds that "Most of all, I love the horses. You put your legs and on them, and they take you where you want to go. Polo ponies are amazing."