Tag Archives: Polo

Cartier Queen’s Cup and ESPN Polo: Casares Illuminates US & UK with Stunning Photography

Ramon Casares and Martina Monteverde of the ESPN Polo Show.

London, United Kingdom (August 7, 2019) – As the hoofbeats drum and mallet swings to strike its white, round target, so too does the shutter hum and flash bulbs crackle to freeze a moment in time. For Ramon Casares, capturing the raw beauty, power, and detail of the equine form has been a defining theme in his career. His work includes portrait, sport, and private commissions set in a chiaroscuro style, an artistic trademark featuring high contrast and dramatic illumination. The Casares brand and its imagery have captured the imagination of numerous national and international art and sport audiences, including most recently ESPN Polo and the 2019 Cartier Queen’s Cup Polo Final held at the prestigious Guards Polo Club in Windsor, Berkshire, United Kingdom.

The mid-June Cartier Queen’s Cup did indeed feature Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II, decked out in a hot pink suit and hat, presenting Nicolas Pieres, Number 3 from the winning team Scone, with the day’s accolades, alongside a number of celebrities. But in addition to the Cup’s gameplay and social attractions, a more subtle form of entertainment and ambiance could be found in the VIP banquet area, where Casares’ portraits of famous equines stood vigil over partygoers.

“It was an absolute honor to have my artwork so displayed at the Queen’s Cup,” said Casares, who was present at the event to oversee the installation and presentation of his work. “My pieces have been showcased at the British Polo Days in the past, which is a highly regarded and star-studded charity exhibition, and I was thrilled to also be invited to the Queen’s Cup. My goal was to accurately depict the equine athlete as a source of grace, passion, strength, and beauty.”

With an equine portfolio that includes everything from rescued ponies to legendary polo champions and their clones, Casares’ breathtaking images also stole the attention of ESPN Polo Show International host Martina Monteverde. She and Casares spent an evening at one of Wellington, Florida’s many polo farms for a behind the scenes look at how he captures his iconic images. With a stage as dramatic as his artwork, Casares’ portraits include spectacular reflective lighting and elite equipment to capture every detail of his subject.

ESPN’s shoot with Casares is the most recent in a long line of rescued wildlife and sport horse portraits that have delineated Casares as an artist and conservationist. 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.

BROKEN is the final product of 4 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 or BROKEN, visit www.RamonCasares.net.

Media contact:
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Team Greenville Claims Repeat Win over Team Charlotte in Gladiator Polo Rematch

Photo credit ©Alex Pacheco.

Mill Spring, NC – August 3, 2019 – Team Greenville held on for a nail-biting 9-8 win over Team Charlotte to repeat their 2018 win at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, playing in front of a packed and energetic crowd. Jumping to an early lead on the efforts of Felipe Viana, Jared Sheldon, and Matt Coppola, Team Greenville was able to stave off a strong Charlotte offensive run in the fourth chukker to defend their title in Tryon Stadium. Team Charlotte was represented by Trevor Niznik, Mike Azzaro, and Patrick Uretz for a formidable trio to challenge the defending champions. The last two chukkers had fans on the edge of their seats as Greenville secured the win, taking home the top prize of $21,000.

MVP of the night, Felipe Viana, relayed that Team Greenville “clicked right away” despite not having all played in the famed arena prior to the match: “I think we all felt very comfortable playing with each other. We started with a strong defense and then were able to attack pretty quickly. We already kept a positive attitude, and we had a great time out there,” he said. “We got lucky as well – you have to have luck on your side in this sport. We won by one goal, and these games are always going to be very tight.”

Viana, a giant in the sport coming back to arena polo after a two-year hiatus, was thrilled to play in Tryon Stadium for the first time, and shared, “This is my first time in Tryon – it’s a blast, and it’s amazing. It’s awesome to see the sport [get this kind of exposure] and everyone that plays polo will agree with that,” Viana said of the electric atmosphere. “We [the players] are selected to put on a good show and to be ambassadors of the sport, and we thank the people who allowed us to do this tonight, and the people who brought horses for some of us to borrow. It’s great to put our names out there, and the prize money is great, too. We all live off the sport, so that’s an extra incentive!”

Team Greenville’s Matt Coppola was also a first-time Gladiator Polo™ competitor at TIEC, and relayed that the experience was “unbelievable,” he said. “It was my first time here, and the fans were so into the game. The venue is beyond amazing, and all around it was just a lot of fun. I’m really happy that I got the opportunity to come!” Coppola continued, “We were just trying to play open polo, meaning hit it [the ball] and run, and play hard defense, and I think we did that well. We had a bad fifth and sixth chukker, but we managed to hold on and we got the job done.”

Veteran Gladiator Polo™ competitor at TIEC, Jared Sheldon, was praised by his teammates for coming back to the sport for a strong performance after a significant injury this winter. “I basically ripped the tendon off my bone in January, and they surgically repaired it,” he explained. “So, I’ve been back in the saddle for a little over three weeks, and it’s been about seven or eight months since I’ve played. This is my first game back, but it felt amazing to get back out there!”

Sheldon emphasized that the energy of the crowd was a huge motivator for a tired Team Greenville as they defended their title late in the game. “For me especially, coming back from the injury, I got a little tired, so the crowd helped us players to feed off of that and kept us going. It [the energy] gives us that little extra to finish the game off the way we need to,” he explained. “It was a blast. It was fun to get back out there. The crowd was amazing. The venue was amazing, as always, and it was a heck of a game. We made it a little closer than we wanted to, but we got it done!”

“I want to thank the other team,” said Viana following the awards ceremony. “We all played hard and respected each other, and we all put it on the line, but there was never a moment of bad faith, and that’s hard to find. I want to thank them all for taking care of us as we took care of them and played hard. Polo is a game we play because of pride. We want to be good at it. We want to thank Gladiator Polo™, Tryon International Equestrian Center, and Mark Bellissimo for allowing us the opportunity to play here.”

Throughout the week, Gladiator Polo™ competitors served as coaches to participants in the Ninja Polo™ Camp at TIEC proudly supported by the Polo Training Foundation, prepping them for a two-chukker showcase in Tryon Stadium ahead of the match and giving participants the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s best arena polo players. Sheldon emphasized that the young stars were a joy to work with and that the inaugural camp has an exciting future ahead growing the sport of polo:

“The kids were great,” he said. “I love working with the kids, and especially ones like these that are so focused and really into the sport. [These kids] want to get better and listen, and really give their best effort, so it was great to work with them.”

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

Equine Events in New York State – Summer

New York State is home to a ton of horse and equine events. Hunters, jumpers, Dressage, Western, polo, horse racing, and more.

The annual Saratoga horse racing summer meet is underway, and there are several significant changes to this year’s meet. Among them, the meeting will be longer in duration but with shorter race weeks, and the New York Racing Association is changing the format of its Pick 6 bet. Be sure to get your Betamerica Promo Code before you go.

Concrete Rose’s domination of last Saturday’s Belmont Oaks gave Arnold his first Grade 1 win in 2019 and had the third-generation horseman hearkening back to his first top-level victory in 1982, when he saddled Wavering Monarch to win the Haskell Invitational.

Region 16 Arabian Horse Championship is at New York State Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd in Syracuse. Then, at the New York State Fair in August, there will be hunters and jumpers.

Rolex Central Park Horse Show

Every year, in late September a four-day equestrian competition takes place at Central Park’s Wollman Rink. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show features a diverse program of multi-discipline equestrian sport and performances, ranging from Arabians and Dressage to Hunters and Show Jumping. One day of the competition usually offers free admission. The family-friendly celebration includes face-painting and educating equestrian exhibitions.

The New York Polo Series continues every Sunday, at Bethpage Polo at the Park.  Watch an exciting polo match led by world-renowned polo players. Gates open at 2pm, Game time 3pm.  Cheer from the sidelines during the match and participate in the divot stomp. Reserve your tickets now.  For more information, visit bethpagepolo.com.

Get Ready for Polo Hamptons 2019 Hosted by Christie Brinkley

The Polo Match & Cocktail Party will be held in Bridgehampton, 900 Lumber Lane, on Saturday, June 29, 2019 and July 6, 2019. The Match and Cocktail Party will take place between 4 pm to 7:30pm. As guests enjoy the thrill of the polo match they will have access to an open bar paired with hors d’oeuvres and preferred seating. There is complimentary parking, but we suggest taking Uber. Only 500 tickets will be available for each date, so please purchase your tickets today. Rain or shine. To see more information, email: mj@madisonavenueagency.com.

Social Life will host its 3rd annual Polo Hamptons event this summer. Last year over 600 attendees & 20 plus sponsors joined forces to enjoy the afternoon festivities. All sat back in awe watching polo players on the field, while sponsors promoted B2C & B2B to the well-received affluent while enjoying cocktails & fine cuisine.

Social Life Magazine will produce the event. Its staff are experts in producing and managing high-profile events, with experience in managing celebrities and the media. The Polo Match setting is glamorous and exclusive. Ideal for luxury brands to showcase product or services. Professional production and management of your on-site activation throughout the event. A strong network of sophisticated, affluent, and influential clientele.

Gladiator Polo Returns to TIEC for Charlotte vs. Greenville Rematch Saturday, August 3

Mill Spring, NC – July 5, 2019 – Gladiator Polo™ returns to Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) for a thrilling rematch between Team Charlotte and Team Greenville on Saturday, August 3, at 8pm at Tryon Resort, featuring the world’s best arena polo players and bringing the action-packed fan-favorite event back to the venue. Brand new for 2019, a Ninja Polo™ Camp will be offered August 1-4 to kids ages 11-18, with instruction provided by Team Charlotte and Team Greenville competitors and featuring a Ninja Polo™ showcase Saturday night in Tryon Stadium prior to the Gladiator Polo™ match. Fans can expect an epic battle between the two teams as Team Greenville in black defends their title as “Battle for the Carolinas” champion against a motivated Team Charlotte in teal following their loss in the 2018 championship match at TIEC in June.

Fans will be thrilled to see the return of notable players like Jared Sheldon, 2018 winner of the “Battle for the Carolinas” series at TIEC as well as the US Arena Open, and Patrick Uretz, who holds the Battle for the Carolinas title from 2017 and was a two-time National Intercollegiate Champion. New to the TIEC Gladiator Polo™ stage, key players to watch include Mike Azzaro, former 10 goal player and winner of the US Open, Team USPA member Felipe Viana, winner of the US Arena Open, and Matt Cappola, who was a finalist in two of three GAUNTLET OF POLO™ Finals at International Polo Club at Palm Beach (IPC) in the recent 2018-2019 season.

General Admission and parking for Gladiator Polo™ are free. The stage will be set Saturday evening with free activities for the whole family beginning at 6pm, with kids’ activities, face painting and pony rides, entertainers and magicians, concessions stands, and onsite restaurants available. An authentic Argentine Asado buffet will be highlighted in the Legends Club and Sky Deck, offering premium seating ringside for an elevated competition dining experience along with a beer festival with unlimited four-ounce flights featuring numerous local breweries.

Both teams will collaborate the week prior to the Gladiator Polo™ match as instructors at the first-ever Ninja Polo™ Camp at TIEC, which will offer an immersive and hands-on educational experience for kids aged 11-18. Campers will learn from some of the world’s best professional high goal arena players for an experience that can’t be found anywhere else. Coaching staffing is headed by Gates Gridley, United States Certified Polo Instructor and lead instructor at the Polo School at IPC. The camp offers Beginner through Advanced instruction and no polo experience is required, though participants must be able to walk, trot, and canter consistently. School horses are available or campers can bring their own mounts, and onsite lodging is available. Click here to learn more about Ninja Polo™ Camp.

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

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