Tag Archives: Polo

Team Dublin Captures Gladiator Polo Championship Final

Photo Credit ©AlexPacheco.

Wellington, FL – April 15, 2019 – Team Dublin sponsored by Horseware Ireland rallied from a loss at the beginning of the season to reign supreme atop the Gladiator Polo™ standings after besting Team Palm Beach sponsored by Five Star Builders in the Gladiator Polo™ Championship Final with a final score of 17-14. Team Dublin surged back from an early deficit in the first few chukkers of the match to overtake the lead in the fifth chukker to ultimately secure their win.

Team Dublin’s three players shined as Mariano Obregon, Juan Martin Obregon, and Tito Ruiz worked efficiently and effectively to help bring their team back into the match after halftime. The trio cut the score to one in the fourth chukker after keeping Team Palm Beach scoreless. Team Palm Beach, which saw fantastic play from Geronimo Obregon, Toro Ruiz, and Tommy Biddle, almost sent the match into overtime after nearly tying the game in the sixth chukker with Obregon and Ruiz tallying a combined three points for Team Palm Beach.

Team Palm Beach’s Toro Ruiz played a masterful game, tallying points in each chukker except the fourth to help keep Team Palm Beach in the hunt for the 2019 title. Geronimo Obregon supported the effort with five points, while the team’s anchor in Tommy Biddle played a more defensive role in the match.

Mariano Obregon, who has played strongly throughout the 2019 season, earned his second Most Valuable Player Award presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic of the season, this time honoring his performance in the final match, which saw him total five points in the match and help lift Team Dublin to victory. Obregon, who has been an integral player in the Gladiator Polo™ league since its inception in 2017, commented on the season and his team’s performance in the final match.

“We started shooting on goal early, but didn’t make that many and then in the second half they started to go in. We just kept shooting and even when we were down by three or four, we kept our cool and kept going through the game and it eventually paid off,” he said. “We had a team change early in the season since one of our players was injured. Juan Martin jumped in and I’ve played with him a lot. He’s my brother, so it worked out really well.”

As for the future of Gladiator Polo™, Obregon is excited to explore the potential opportunities that will come from this new derivative of polo, which he believes will help expand and grow the sport. “It’s amazing. I really hope that we can get it going and get it on television, but it’s a lot of fun to play for sure and I think the spectators really enjoy it. There’s a lot of contact and back and forth. We try to make it quick and make it fun for everyone,” he explained.

To learn more about Gladiator Polo™, please visit www.gladiatorpolo.com.

Team Dublin Set to Face Off with Team Palm Beach in Gladiator Polo Championship Final

Photo Credit ©AlexPacheco.

Wellington, FL – April 8, 2019 – Team Dublin sponsored by Horseware Ireland edged Team New York sponsored by Spy Coast Farm for the win in the third Gladiator Polo™ match of the season on Saturday, April 6, pushing them into the season finale to be hosted this Saturday against Team Palm Beach sponsored by Five Star Builders in U.S. Polo Assn. Coliseum at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC). Team Dublin outpaced Team New York to finish the game on a final score of 20-18.

The Gladiator Polo™ Championship Final will be hosted on Saturday, April 13 at 8:00 p.m.

A children’s Ninja Polo™ match featuring Team Miami vs. Team Buenos Aires will be hosted before the start of the final game. General admission and parking are free.

Team Dublin, who was victorious in their first game over Team Los Angeles sponsored by Alugha, headed into this weekend’s match requiring an all-out effort from their talented team roster of Juan Martin Obregon, Tito Ruiz, and Mariano Obregon in order to move forward to the final game of the season. The trio came from behind in the first chukker and maintained their pace of play throughout the six chukker match. New York’s Pelon Escapite registered the first tally of the game before Juan Martin Obregon put Dublin on the board.

Holding Team New York scoreless in the second chukker, Team Dublin went on an eight-point streak to lead 12-6 heading into the third chukker. The match evened out in the fifth chukker with Team Dublin only holding a two-goal lead heading into the last minutes of play, but rallied to add three scores pulling them within reach of the win. Mariano Obregon was awarded with MVP honors presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic.

The Gladiator Polo™ Championship Final is expected to be a fast-paced and intense match-up between this year’s two best teams. Team Palm Beach has notched wins in two stellar performances this season and Team Dublin hit their stride as a team following their well-played match against Team New York, dethroning the early season favorite.

Team Palm Beach boasts a strong roster featuring arena veteran and inaugural first pick of the 2019 team draft, Tommy Biddle, who plays alongside talents Toro Ruiz and Geronimo Obregon. Team Dublin has shown their team grit in their first two matches and will need to bring their best game to the arena for Saturday’s showdown.

The Ninja Polo™ match featuring Team Miami vs. Team Buenos Aires will be hosted before the start of the Gladiator Polo™ Championship Final set for this Saturday, April 13 at 8:00 p.m. with gates opening at 6:00 p.m. General admission and parking are FREE.

To view the full Gladiator Polo™ 2019 schedule, click here.

To learn more about Gladiator Polo™, please visit www.gladiatorpolo.com.

GJ Racing Wins Brooke USA’s Sunset Polo Tournament

Wes Finlayson on the Provident Jewelry team races Marwan Mohey-El-Dien, of team Invicta, to the ball.

Polo match supports Brooke USA’s efforts to help working equines and the people they serve in the developing world.

WELLINGTON, Fla. – March 24, 2019 – Brooke USA’s Sunset Polo™ & White Party kicked off a weekend birthday celebration for Hope Arellano. She serves as an ambassador for the organization and played for the winning team, GJ Racing, and was named Most Valuable Player (MVP). The next day Arellano played in the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship final, and Sunday she turned 16 years old.

“It was super fun! I had a blast playing with everyone,” she said after the event at the Wanderers Club. “Brooke USA is a great organization, and I was very pleased to be able to play in a game that benefited them.”

Brooke USA strives to improve the welfare and alleviate the suffering of working horses, donkeys and mules and the people they serve in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Three 8-goal teams competed in the six-chukker round robin tournament composed of three two-chukker games. GJ Racing won the first two chukkers 4-1 over Provident Jewelry, the defending champion. Provident Jewelry’s Henry Porter made the first goal of the game with a midfield missile straight into goal.

The first chukker closed with a goal by former 8-goal player John Gobin, who ran the ball in from a distance and scored on a cut shot for GJ Racing. In the second chukker, he assisted on two Arellano goals. With 30 seconds left in the second chukker, Arellano made the winning goal of the first round. It was a complex play, with Porter on a breakaway until Arellano ran him off it and scored.

GJ Racing won the first two chukkers 4-1 over Provident Jewelry. Provident Jewelry’s Henry Porter made the first goal of the game with a midfield missile straight into goal.

Round two (chukkers three and four) was a 2-1 victory for Provident Jewelry over Invicta. Matías Gonzalez sent a pass to teammate Justin Daniels, who made a long run to goal for Invicta. Sam Farahnak and Wes Finlayson, a Brooke USA ambassador, each scored for Provident Jewelry in the fourth chukker. Finlayson, who had dashed to the Wanderers Club after playing a high-goal game at International Polo Club, blazed past nearly everyone else on the field to score the last goal of round two.

The fifth chukker opened with an Invicta goal by Tony Calle, who moved to Wellington from Quito, Ecuador three years ago. In the sixth chukker Gobin passed the ball on two long shots to Arellano, who tied the game at 2. Gonzalez swooped past Brooke USA ambassador Benjamin Avendaño to score, ending round three 3-2 for Invicta over GJ Racing.

GJ Racing won the tournament with the highest cumulative score. The remaining places were determined by round robin rules, with Invicta second and Provident Jewelry third.

For GJ Racing sponsor Gil Johnston, a longtime sponsor of teams, youth tournaments and the Polo Training Foundation, this was her first time sponsoring a team in Brooke USA’s Sunset Polo™ & White Party event. “It’s for a good cause and a good organization, so why not?” she said, adding that she felt her team played exceptionally well.

Lisa Bair also sponsored a team (Invicta) in this event for the first time. “I couldn’t be more happy and proud,” she said. “I have attended this event for four years, and I’m impressed by Brooke USA’s work, both in its mission to help animals and in how it has raised awareness in Wellington about the plight of these animals.”

Returning sponsor Geoff Fear said Provident Jewelry came back ready to defend the title they won last year. “We wanted to win again, but the important thing is that it was a good competitive game, and everyone had fun,” he said.

Game organizer Gates Gridley said he strived to put the three balanced 8-goal teams together. “There was a lot of young up-and-coming talent on the field today,” he said, adding that the players consider it a privilege to play in Brooke USA’s Sunset Polo™ tournament because they support the organization’s cause.

Emily Dulin, executive director of Brooke USA, said she was grateful to the participating players for “giving their time to this cause to help the working equine world because like us, they truly understand the bond between people and animals.”

Longtime Coca-Cola player Julio Arellano (father of MVP Hope Arellano) selected the best-playing pony. “The last chukker is what decided it for me,” he said. “Marwan [Mohey-El-Dien] came out on a gray mare that played her heart out for him. She got him to a lot more plays than he was in before, and he did great.”

For more information or to donate, please visit www.brookeusa.org.

Best Female Polo Players in the World Go Head to Head in Inaugural Amazon Polo Match on Mar. 24

Wellington, FL – March 22, 2019 – Following the success of the launch of the 2019 Gladiator Polo™ season last week, it’s now time to bring on the women. This Sunday night, for the first time in history, the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) in Wellington, FL will showcase six of the top ten female players in the world in the launch of Amazon Polo™. This stellar gathering of female talent will include Dawn Jones, wife of Tommy Lee Jones, and captain of the San Antonio franchise. Having seen last week’s Gladiator Polo™ spectacle, she is delighted to promote the all-female version this weekend.

“There was so much energy and amazing entertainment featuring polo at the highest level last week and we can’t wait to have our turn. This is the modernization of the sport that fits perfectly with the explosion of female professional athletes,” said Jones.

Gladiator Polo™ and Amazon Polo™ are ushering in a new era for the sport, which focuses on the promotion of the athletes, as well as the development of high-quality sport and entertainment that targets a broad audience including millennials. The events will significantly leverage social media and live streaming to promote both the events and its commercial sponsors.

This Sunday’s teams’ lineups include:

Team San Antonio
Nina Clarkin
Dawn Jones
Sarah Wiseman

Team London
Hazel Jackson
Lia Salvo
Hope Arellano

When asked about her participation, World Number 2 Player Hazel Jackson-Gaona commented, “This is the most exciting thing to happen to women’s polo to date.”

Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions, renowned and respected for being a game changer in horse sport, introduced his Gladiator Polo™ concept to Wellington in 2017 and it proved an instant hit, attracting huge crowds and diverse new sponsorship relationships. In 2019, with the hosting of the Susan G. Komen U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship to IPC, he thought it was a perfect time to introduce Amazon Polo™.

A full profile of the players, sponsors, and vision for the league will be introduced over the weekend.

“A very exciting addition to women’s polo and one that I am extremely looking forward to participating in; it will be so much fun to play against the best women in the world!” commented Nina Clarkin.

The inaugural Amazon Polo™ game will take place on Sunday, March 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the U.S. Polo Assn Coliseum at IPC. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with a Kids’ Game, featuring two chukkers, beginning at 6:00 p.m. prior to the start of the match. General admission and parking are FREE.

To purchase VIP tickets in the Gladiator Marquee, click here.

To learn more about Amazon Polo™, follow on Instagram at @amazonpolo.

Team New York and Team Palm Beach Win First Matches of 2019 Gladiator Polo Series

New York’s Pelon Escapite and Los Angeles’ Gringo Colombres vie for the ball. Photo Credit ©AlexPacheco.

Wellington, FL – March 16, 2019 – The first matches of the 2019 Gladiator Polo™ season kicked off in the U.S. Polo Assn. Coliseum at International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC), as the double-header saw Team New York face off with Team Los Angeles, followed by the later contest between Team Palm Beach and Team Dublin. Team New York prevailed over Team Los Angeles to a score of 15-14, while Team Palm Beach out-scored Team Dublin 12-8 in the six chukker matches.

Team New York (1-0), a heavy favorite in the four-week series, saw outstanding play from Pelon Escapite, Mike Azzarro, and alternate Jesse Bray, who was substituted in at game time due third round draft pick, Jason Crowder, sustained an injury that will keep him sidelined for the remainder of the season. The fast-paced and aggressive style of Escapite and Azzaro helped to lift Team New York to their first victory of the season in an evenly played match, which saw only a single goal differential as time expired in the final chukker.

“I scored the penalty shot in the sixth chukker, which made a big difference in the game. They had missed two of their penalties and they’re very good players on that team. We’re all getting familiar with each other and I think it was a great start to the season and there will be some very exciting matches to come in the coming weeks,” said Escapite.

Team Los Angeles (0-1) saw solid play from players Tomas Garbarini, Gringo Colombres, as well as Santi Toccalino, who earned the match’s MVP honors. Garbarini totaled two goals on the day, one registering as a two-point score, with the shot coming cleanly from beyond the 25-yard line. Columbres scored four two-point goals to help lift Team Los Angeles within reach of Team New York. Toccalino added two goals to his stat sheet, also converting a two-point scoring opportunity.

Commenting on the buildout of the U.S. Polo Assn. Coliseum at IPC, which is the new and long-term home for the sport at IPC, Escapite elaborated, “This is the first big arena for Gladiator here in Florida, which is really exciting and it played amazing. The players can be physical in this arena and it’s better than ever. It’s going to be a great venue for us this season.”

Escapite finished the evening with seven goals for a total eight points after converting the only two-point penalty of the match. His teammate Mike Azzaro netted three goals, while Bray added an additional four to hoist Team New York to the top of the four-team standings, tied with Team Palm Beach at one win a piece.

“The environment of the draft was awesome. It was really a cool concept to bring into the sport. I’m very glad to be a part of this and am lucky to have been able to win tonight,” he concluded.

The second game of the night saw Team Dublin (0-1) take on Team Palm Beach (1-0) in the second six chukker match of the evening, with Team Palm Beach rising to the occasion and securing the win on a final score of 12-8. Team Palm Beach drew the first overall draft pick of the season during the inaugural Gladiator Polo™ draft and selected the prolific player, Tommy Biddle, to lead their efforts during the season. Biddle scored two goals in the team’s debut game. Geronimo Obregon and Toro Ruiz supported Team Palm Beach’s strong showing, with Obregon recording three goals on the evening and Ruiz netting four.

“It was a pleasure playing with them and it really felt great with these guys tonight. The plan was for them to really work in the back and then I either cut off the back end or pick up the trash plays in front of the goal. They made the goals and they played great,” said Team Palm Beach’s Tommy Biddle. “It’s always our strategy that not everyone needs to go in offensively and that someone needs to stay back and that worked well for us tonight.”

As the first pick in the highly anticipated Gladiator Polo draft, Biddle felt a sense of pride, but also added weight on his need to perform well in the first game of the season for Team Palm Beach.

“I felt some pressure tonight going in to tonight. It was a tough thing to be picked first and being rated ten goals in the arena, I know that everyone is looking at that,” he explained. “Maybe it’s not all flash, but I wanted to be steady in setting up plays, but I was just happy the horses played well and we’ve put together a really good team.”

The game was closely paced through its entirety, as Team Palm Beach took an early lead in the first chukker and started the second chukker up 3-1. At half time, the game was tied at 6-6 before Team Palm Beach pulled away in the fifth chukker to make it 11-8 and sealed their victory with the only goal of the final period to end on a final score of 12-8. Toro Ruiz secured MVP honors for the match for Team Palm Beach.

“Hopefully we keep getting better and I can play better so we keep it up. It was really fun and we have a great team dynamic,” said Biddle.

Team Dublin represented by Gallego Ferrario, Tito Ruiz, and Nino Obregon came out strong and set the intense tone for the match. Ferrario capitalized in the first chukker with a single goal, while Obregon supported with four goals and a converted penalty.

To learn more about Gladiator Polo™, please visit www.gladiatorpolo.com.

13th Annual Black and White Spider Awards Honors Equine Photographer Diana De Rosa

LOS ANGELES – February 21, 2019 – Professional equine photographer Diana De Rosa from Long Island, New York was presented with the 13th Annual Black and White Spider Awards Nominee title in the sport category at the prestigious Nomination & Winners PhotoShow streamed Saturday, November 10, 2018.

The live online gala was attended by over 17,000 photography fans around the globe who logged on to watch the climax of the industry’s most important event for black and white photography. The 13th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from Penguin Random House, London; Contrasto Galleria, Milan; Young & Rubicam, Lima; Harper’s Bazaar, UK; Victoria Film Festival, Canada; Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels; Silvan Faessler Fine Art, Zurich; Time Inc., London; Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna; Conny Dietzschold Galleries, Cologne; and Fratelli Alinari Photography Museum in Florence who honored Spider Fellows with 692 coveted title awards and 952 nominees in 32 categories.

“Once again, another stunning collection of high-quality entries both professional and amateur. It’s always inspiring to see this classic medium being stretched into new and interesting directions,” said juror Marcel Wijnen, Creative Director at Anthem Worldwide/Marque Branding in Sydney. Cultural Heritage Consultant Andrea de Polo from Fratelli Alinari Photography Museum in Florence added, “The quality of work is incredible and for the jury selecting the best images is very hard work.”

“It’s an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 6,404 entries we received this year,” said Basil O’Brien, the awards Creative Director. “Diana De Rosa’s Polo Power, an exceptional image entered in the sport category, represents black and white photography at its finest, and we’re pleased to present her with the title of Nominee.”

De Rosa is a veteran equestrian journalist, who has traveled the world and has recorded equestrian history for over 35 years. A language major in college, De Rosa went on to run a riding school, then was editor of an equine magazine for 13 years, and eventually focused on her writing and photography.  She has over 1000 published stories and photos to her credit.

She is the past president of the American Horse Publications and is on the Executive Board of the Press Club of Long Island.

A long-time member of The International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists, De Rosa has been one of the few journalists to be credentialed to cover the past eight Olympic Games (including being on assignment for USA Today for the 1992 Olympics).  She has also covered or been on staff at every World Equestrian Games, numerous Pan American Games and World Cups.

Besides being a writer & photographer, De Rosa also does PR. Some past and present clients include the Hampton Classic, National and Washington International Horse Shows, USA Equestrian Trust, Healthy Horse Boutique, Running Wild, DreamWorks, the American Hunter-Jumper Foundation, and 20th Century Fox.

For ten years De Rosa co-hosted the annual Hampton Classic Horse Show for the local Hamptons’ TV Station WVVH.  She also does some radio reporting and voiceovers.  De Rosa enjoys bringing life to her many equestrian stories through her camera lens and keyboard.  For eight years until his death on October 11, 2004, she worked with the famed Christopher Reeve.

De Rosa is co-organizer of the EQUUS Film Festival, which takes place annually in New York City, with tour stops around the US, including the 2017 World Cup in Omaha, NE and the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, NC. She also spent part of the 2017 winter taking photos for the Equestrians Got Talent, Althea and at the International Polo Club in Wellington, FL, which is where she captured this polo power moment.

De Rosa is a part time actress and a SAG-AFTRA union member. She has performed in parodies, music videos, was a side-kick on a cooking show, appeared on The Food Network, featured on Gotham and Oceans 8 and much more. De Rosa is single and calls home Huntington, LI, NY.

BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in black and white photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in black and white photography. www.thespiderawards.com

CONTACT: Press Link/Diana De Rosa, dderosa1@optonline.net, 516-848-4867

British Polo Days Charity Exhibition Gets a Dose of Casares’ Photographic Style

Oxfordshire, UK (November 6, 2018) – The sport of kings got a taste of art this summer, as a host of celebrities, royalty, and some of the best handicapped polo players in the world descended on the Black Bears Polo Club outside of London for the 2018 British Polo Days. An unprecedented social and sporting event, the stage for this prestigious charity polo exhibition was set by a selection of artwork, including a large print of Adolfo Cambiaso’s cloned champion polo mare, Dolfina Cuartetera B09, donated by photographer Ramon Casares. Known for his dramatically illuminated and detailed artistic animal and equine portraits, Casares has been photographing horses and wildlife for famous polo teams and conservation societies around the world.

As a family, the Cambiasos of La Dolfina Polo Team hosted the La Dolfina Sunset Polo and Gala during the Polo Days. Designed to raise funds and awareness for Prince Harry of England’s charity Sentebale, which supports mental health and well-being of children and young people affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana, the Polo Days exhibition featured some of the top players and patrons of polo in the world, including Pelon Stirling and Juan Martin Nero, ten goal handicapped players of La Dolfina Polo Team, Cambiaso’s patron Bob Jornayvaz, young talent in the form of Cambiaso’s son and daughter, Poroto and Mia, Prince Harry himself, and a slew of famous spectators including the newest member of the house of Windsor Meghan Markle and tennis superstar Serena Williams. The two exhibition games were also highlighted by exclusive parties and a large fireworks show.

Casares’ contribution of a fine art print of Cuartetera 09 scratches the surface of the artist’s support of both humanitarian causes and wildlife conservation. In addition to portraits of some of the world’s top polo and sport horses, his rescued wildlife series BROKEN highlights both rare and common rehabilitated species on multiple continents. The intimate portraits and stories behind each animal provide a captivating look at the power, fragility, and complexity of nature.

Building on influences from his background as a native of Argentina and career as an exotic animal caregiver at the country’s largest zoo, Casares expanded his photographic talents to include all species of creature, from human and equine to possum and crocodile. He has photographed animals from nearly every phylum, class, and order in the animal kingdom. With Casares Fine Art Photography appearing across the globe and garnering international acclaim, his images have captured the imagination of audiences at major media outlets and international art shows.

But despite his passion for the horses and traditional commissioned work, Casares’ portrait style images of nature’s rarest and most common species are the artist’s true accomplishment and calling card along with his trademark style devoid of background distractions and illuminated to detail each whisker, feather, or scale. Casares captures an essence with each image that underscores his own passion and vision as a photographer and conservationist. As a former keeper for the Buenos Aires Zoo, Casares was witness to the beauty, ferocity, and fragility of the animal kingdom firsthand. During the evolution of his photographic career, he began to visit wildlife rescues to document the plight of their patients. Realizing his images could generate support and awareness for those injured and recuperating commonplace species, as well as those who are in danger of extinction, Casares embarked on a mission to unite his talent for photography with his passion for conservation. Broken was the result.

Combining Casares’ distinctive artistic style and the plight of rescued animals, Broken is the final product of 3 years’ worth of photography, the resilience of each animal, and the selfless efforts of their rescuers. In the oversized fine art book, the saga of each animal is told beside their stunning and emotionally evocative images with the goal of bringing awareness to their struggle and rehabilitation. An ever-growing endeavor, Casares intends to expand the Broken: Rescued Wildlife Fine Art Project to multiple countries and continents to maximize awareness and resources for endangered wildlife.

For more information on Casares Fine Art Photography, visit www.RamonCasares.net.

Media contact:
PR and Marketing
Holly Johnson
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
+1 954 205 7992

Team Greenville Charges to Victory in Gladiator Polo “Battle for the Carolinas” Series Final

Photo Credit ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – June 23, 2018 – The Gladiator Polo™ presented by Coca-Cola® $50,000 “Battle for the Carolinas” Series concluded on Saturday night at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), as Team Greenville presented by Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) conquered the arena and rode away with the ultimate win at the end of a hard-fought battle versus Team Charlotte presented by North Carolina Education Lottery (NCEL), topping the evening with a score of 13-11.

The electric atmosphere surrounding the George H. Morris Arena at Tryon Stadium was evident as the team representing South Carolina’s major upstate city, featuring Jared “The Fuego from San Diego” Sheldon, Pelon “Bam Bam” Escapite, and Jared “Soco” Zenni, faced off against their prominent North Carolina counterparts representing the city of Charlotte. Team Charlotte presented by NCEL was comprised of three top players, Mariano “Nino” Obregon, Tommy “The Great White Shark” Collingwood, and Kris “Colorado” Kampsen, a three-time winner of the U.S. Arena Polo Open Championship®.

The match started out fast as both teams punched multiple scores in the first chukker, immediately setting the tone of the match. The play was aggressive and strong as both teams settled into the game, resulting in one of the best head-to-head games the league has seen.

In only his second ever Gladiator Polo™ match, Jared Sheldon played a pronounced role in his team’s win, scoring a total of three goals throughout the evening. The newcomer to the league noted, “Our team worked really well together today. When one person went down, someone else picked it up and it was a really good group. The crowd was amazing! It was so fun to feed off of them and everyone was loud which makes it so much more fun for us.”

After taking some time to adjust to the intense arena setup during the “Battle for South Carolina” hosted two weeks ago, Sheldon admitted that he felt more confident his second time around. “It felt so good to win tonight. I was definitely more comfortable in there than a few weeks ago. It’s a different arena and different rules, and it all clicked today.”

The California based player concluded, “The venue, the people, everything: all of it is my favorite and it’s a blast. I hope to be back when they do this again.”

The MVP of the game was awarded to Pelon Escapite, a veteran of the Gladiator Polo™ sport, and the only member of Team Greenville to play in not one, but two, Gladiator Polo™ Final matches. Last year, the competitor rode against Team Asheville presented by Ingles in a duel that ended in loss for the South Carolina team. Returning to take his revenge and stake his claim on top honors in the title match, Escapite assured a fast and furious fight down to the very last chukker.

“It feels great to win,” noted Escapite, who scored a total of four goals for his team. “Today was a great turnout with a lot of people and an even better atmosphere. Every chukker we went out there and people were cheering for us, against us, I mean it was a special atmosphere today.”

He continued, “My teammates work so hard. Like I have said before, I get a lot of the credit, but they are working so hard for me and it is all due to them. Winning is my favorite part about tonight. We played a great team. I mean those guys are hard to beat, but we pulled it off tonight.”

Jared “Soco” Zenni admitted his team lacked momentum two weeks ago, but regained their chemistry and ultimately resulted in victory. “It feels great to win. It always feels good to win. Two weeks ago we started out a little slower, but tonight we all knew each other; we knew each other’s strengths and the game started fast.”

Zenni scored a total of four goals for Team Greenville presented by GSP fueled by the enthusiasm of the crowd. He commented, “I love the crowd. I love the intensity: them yelling at us, booing at us – they’re so into it. I love it all, but winning is my favorite. I love winning.”

Gladiator Polo™ was inspired by Mark Bellissimo, CEO of International Equestrian Group (IEG) and Managing Partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP) and Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP), who understood that the sport of polo was in desperate need of revitalization in order to attract and broaden its traditional audience base. Combining elements of both Field Polo and Arena Polo, the concept of Gladiator Polo™ took form in Wellington, FL during the annual high goal season in South Florida and from there, the game expanded and has garnered both a national and international following. This is the second season that Gladiator Polo™ has been played at TIEC.

For more information on Gladiator Polo™, please visit www.gladiatorpolo.com. To learn more about Tryon International Equestrian Center, please visit www.Tryon.com.

Press Club of Long Island Honors Equine Photographer Diana De Rosa

LONG ISLAND, NY – June 7, 2018 – Professional equine photographer and EQUUS Film Festival Co-Organizer, Diana De Rosa, was presented with first place at the Press Club of Long Island annual awards in the category of Non-Local Photo. The photo was taken at a polo match during the 2017 International Polo Club season in Wellington, FL. Second and third place went to photographers from Newsday, the well-respected daily newspaper on Long Island. To win ahead of two Newsday photographers was a real honor.

The PCLI annual awards dinner was attended by over 230 guests, where close to 300 awards were given out to first, second and third place winners. De Rosa, who has covered eight Olympic Games, joined co-host David North and Eileen Lehpamer, from News 12, to MC the evening honoring the many award winners while also catching pictures throughout the night. The event was held at The Woodbury Country Club in Syosset, Long Island.

“I am thrilled to have achieved this honor,” De Rosa remarked. “My passion for photography has taken me all over the world. This photo was taken during an exciting polo match where top national and international polo players fought hard for their teams. To be recognized for my photography means a lot to me. I post a lot of my photography for people to view on my web site: www.dianaderosa.com so that others can share in the beauty of the horse.”

The photo appeared with an article De Rosa wrote on www.hubpages.com/@dianaderosa called “A Twist of Polo.”

Contact: Press Link
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Team Charlotte Fights to Victory in Gladiator Polo “Battle for North Carolina”

Team Charlotte. Photo Credit ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – June 16, 2018 – The Gladiator Polo™ “Battle for North Carolina” saw Team Charlotte, sponsored by North Carolina Education Lottery, avenge last year’s loss to defeat Team Asheville, sponsored by Ingles Markets, 13-12, after an intense battle in the George Morris Arena at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC).

Team Asheville was held scoreless until the second chukker and trailed by four until the fifth, but the match came down to the final second of play: Team Asheville was able to put up a trio of points to close the gap in the fifth chukker and trailed by one heading into the sixth. Collingwood was able to slam a two-point goal to keep Charlotte’s dream alive, and when the final horn sounded, the team in teal remained on top.

Team Asheville, sponsored by Ingles Markets, was comprised of Santi “The Polo Kid” Torres, Nano “The Snake” Gracida, and Patrick “Tricky” Uretz, in purple. Team Charlotte, sponsored by North Carolina Education Lottery, saw teal jerseys donned by Mariano “Nino” Obregon, Tommy “The Great White Shark” Collingwood, and Kris “Colorado” Kampsen.

Tommy “The Great White Shark” Collingwood, a newcomer to Gladiator Polo™, scored the first goal of the match as well as the two-point shot that sealed the deal for Team Charlotte, ultimately being named the night’s Most Valuable Player for his efforts. Collingwood, 25, is a two-time winner of the $100,000 World Cup and complimented his team’s chemistry as well as the venue:

“This game was crazy. Team Asheville was pretty unlucky when we took the seven-goal lead, which can sometimes come back to bite you, and it almost did,” he admitted. “In the second half, Team Asheville played unbelievable and almost took the game right out of our hands. But luckily, we got a few quick goals at the end that gave us the lead. The great thing about our team is we all get along very well, which kept it very natural despite the intensity.

“It has been a great experience so far,” said Collingwood. “This arena is unbelievable. I personally know the Bellissimo family and [Mark] does an incredible job in Florida, and an incredible job around the country. TIEC is an amazing facility for world-class riders from every part of the sport, and my hat is off to them.”

Both Kampsen and Obregon credited Collingwood with the victory, and both acknowledged that Team Asheville didn’t go down without a fight: “It got very rough and physical, and Asheville really brought it to us with physicality in the game,” said Kampsen. “They had a bad first few chukkers, and we were lucky to capitalize on that, and that helped us hang on to that lead at the end. Tommy saved us with the two-pointer at the end – that was huge. Our plan always was to play strong defense, and allowing that to lead us into offense.”

Kampsen, a three-time winner of the U.S. Arena Polo Open Championship®, was notably effective muscle for Team Charlotte, but humbly credited his teammates for the opportunities they created, saying, “Following Nino and Tommy worked well, and just picking up whatever they left!”

“It was really intense,” added Obregon, who is coming off a recent U.S. Open Polo Championship® win. “It got kind of competitive at the end. The arena plays amazing, and it’s very open, and the crowd is great. It’s a lot of fun!”

Heading into next week’s final, Team Charlotte plans to study film and discuss strategy to overcome Team Greenville, and all players emphasized the importance of a good North Carolina crowd against the strong South Carolina opponent. “Come cheer us on in the finals, North Carolina! We’re going to need you,” concluded Obregon.

Gladiator Polo™ was inspired by Mark Bellissimo, CEO of International Equestrian Group (IEG) and Managing Partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP) and Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP), who understood that the sport of polo was in desperate need of revitalization in order to attract and broaden its traditional audience base. Combining elements of both Field Polo and Arena Polo, the concept of Gladiator Polo™ took form in Wellington, FL during the annual high goal season in South Florida and from there, the game expanded and has garnered both a national and international following. This is the second season that Gladiator Polo™ has been played at TIEC.

The “Battle for the Carolinas” Series presented by Coca-Cola® will conclude on Saturday, June 23. Team Charlotte, sponsored by North Carolina Education Lottery, will compete against Team Greenville, sponsored by Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, for the coveted champion title.

For more information on Gladiator Polo™, please visit www.gladiatorpolo.com. To learn more about Tryon International Equestrian Center, please visit www.Tryon.com.