Inaugural Philadelphia Polo Classic coming to Fairmount Park

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Philadelphia is in the process of officially becoming a polo city.

The inaugural Philadelphia Polo Classic will be held this Saturday, September 24 at Fairmount Park’s Edgely Field.

It’s the brainchild of West Philadelphia’s most famous polo champion.

Kareem Rosser says he grew up in two different worlds: the one he was born into and the one he was given access to. Now he is ready to bridge these worlds.

This Saturday, the 29-year-old is bringing the tradition and the competition to his hometown for the first time.

“I’ve dreamed of this for a really long time,” says Rosser. “To see this come to life and to be the person behind it is overwhelmingly awesome.”

Rosser learned to ride at the Work to Ride stables when he was in second grade.

“I started playing polo when I was 10,” he explains, calling it “life-changing.”

Rosser says Work to Ride gave him a peaceful place to escape the violence in his West Philadelphia neighborhood, often referred to as “The Bottom.”

“Polo has literally taken me all around the world,” he explains. “It’s finally time for us to do something like this in our own backyard.”

Rosser documented his journey and mission in a memoir entitled Crossing the Line.

“When we started playing polo, we didn’t see anyone who looked like us,” says Rosser, “and we still don’t see that.”

He hopes Saturday’s event will offer a new approach to sports for children in Philadelphia.

“Also, they will see people who look like them. Representation is certainly important,” Rosser said.

That’s exactly what the world saw when Kareem and his brother Daymar had the opportunity to headline a Ralph Lauren ad campaign.

“It was cool to see us on the billboards in New York,” Rosser said.

Now he is preparing to welcome more than 3,000 people to his homeland, including perhaps the world’s most famous polo player, Nacho Figueras.

They are friends and will face off in the big game of the day.

“And honestly, I think you’re going to see the field with kids and people of color for the first time, which I’m really excited about,” says Rosser.

One hundred percent of proceeds from Saturday’s Polo Classic will go to the Work to Ride program to help build a new indoor arena.

There will also be plenty of family fun and food, and they encourage viewers to get a little fancy.

Click here for details.

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