Team Spiculus player Pelon Escapite.
Wellington, FL – April 9, 2017 – Team Spiculus rode to a rugged win in the 2017 final of Gladiator Polo™ presented by U.S. Polo Assn. tournament Saturday night, defeating Team Spartacus 17-10. The seven-game series took place at the “Coliseum,” otherwise known as Equestrian Village, and began with four teams. Saturday’s game concluded the inaugural season.
The play of the day happened early in the game, when Sebastian Merlos launched the ball three-quarters the length of the arena for a 2-point goal. Merlos came through again for Spiculus with two 2-pointers in the third chukker. Felipe Viana, playing for Spartacus, also contributed three 2-pointers.
The Spiculus line-up of Merlos (9), Mariano Obregon (7) and Pelon Escapite (7) dominated play for most of the game. The score was tied at three going into the third chukker, but Spiculus promptly put an end to that and stormed ahead to an insurmountable 10-5 lead at halftime. The gap continued to widen systematically, with Spiculus leading 14-7 at the end of the fourth chukker and holding Spartacus scoreless. Merlos poured it on for two goals in the fifth, giving Spiculus a 9-goal lead.
Viana gave Spartacus a glimmer of hope in the final chukker, adding three points (one 2-pointer and a 1-pointer). Spiculus clearly would have none of that. They sewed up the 17-10 victory in the final chukker, courtesy of yet another goal by Merlos (9 points on the day).
Joining Viana (7) on the Spartacus line-up were Jason Crowder (7) and Tommy Biddle (10). They were among a group of last evening’s players who autographed complimentary Gladiator Polo T-shirts for spectators before the game.
“This has been a tremendous inaugural season for Gladiator Polo™,” said Mark Bellissimo, Managing Partner of International Equestrian Group (IEG), who organized and hosted the series. “We want to thank all the patrons, players and sponsors who generously supported the tournament and were so enthusiastic.” He added that Gladiator Polo™ will be back in Wellington for the full 12-week winter 2018 season.
“I am almost speechless,” said Missy Sullivan of Don Graves and Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Equisport Division, who sponsored Spiculus. “Mark Bellissimo, with his endless vision and what he has done for the sport, never ceases to amaze me.”
In the youth chukker played before the game and at halftime, children of the world’s top players competed for the junior teams of Spiculus (Poroto Cambiaso, Santos Merlos and Kristos Magrini) and Spartacus (Lucas Criado, Mackenzie Weisz and Benjamin Quiroga).
Polo fans can learn what all three players on the winning Team Spiculus had to say after the game in exclusive interviews for the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) by Juan Cruz Diaz de Céspedes at www.internationalpoloclub.com.
To learn more about Gladiator Polo™, please visit www.gladiatorpolo.com.