Recently retired NRL star Billy Slater is trading the footy boots for Polo boots.
The Melbourne Storm legend was today announced as the newest ambassador for the Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival.
The Queensland great joined Gerry Harvey and Katie Page to officially launch the 2019 Carnival at Kurrawa Surf Club in Broadbeach on Wednesday morning.
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Slater will hit the polo field on the Gold Coast for the Celebrity v Jockeys game ahead of fellow Magic Millions Ambassadors Zara Phillips, international Polo legend Nacho Figueras and former leading Australian player Rob Archibald on Sunday 6 January next year.
He’ll then saddle up again on Tuesday 8 January to ride in the thoroughbred beach run ahead of the Barrier Draw for The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday.
NEWS: Billy Slater to Saddle Up for Magic Millions 2019!
We are delighted @billyslater has joined us a carnival ambassador. He was on the beach this morning to help launch the 2019 The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival.
Read more here: https://t.co/n0ywrfkxJs pic.twitter.com/nncIDYIGVB
— Magic Millions (@mmsnippets) November 28, 2018
The 35-year-old said he’s “really excited” to be involved in the event, with one of his Slater Thoroughbred horses also up for auction at the Magic Millions yearling sales.
“I’m probably most excited about my yearling going through the sales ring for the first time,” Slater said.
“I’ll be taking a very keen interest in all the auction ring action – keeping an eye on what prices are and working out our own values.”
The sports star admitted he’s most nervous about the Polo game.
“I didn’t ride much while playing footy so I’m a bit nervous about getting back in the saddle,” he said.
“I’ve got a strong competitive streak, so I’ll be fitting in a few lessons before playing in the Polo and to prepare for the beach race.”
Before his successful NRL career, Slater worked at a race track in Innisfail and as a former trackwork jockey for trainer Gai Waterhouse in Sydney.
He said his passion for horses stemmed from his grandfather.
“I used to go riding with him and then started working at the local racetrack… I also spent a bit of time down in Sydney with Gai Waterhouse.”
“I’ve always had two great passions in life, Rugby League and horses, and now that my footy career is over, breeding horses has taken over my drive to succeed,” Slater said.
The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival kicks off on Sunday, January 6.