Gladiator Polo™ returns to Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) for a thrilling rematch between Charlotte and Greenville on Saturday, August 3, at 8:00pm ET 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 Charlotte and Greenville competitors and featuring a Ninja Polo™ showcase on Saturday night at Tryon Stadium prior to the Gladiator Polo™ match. Fans can expect an epic battle between the two teams as Greenville in black defends their title as “Battle for the Carolinas” champion against a motivated Charlotte in teal who lost in the 2018 championship match last June.
Fans will be thrilled to see the return of notable players like Jared Sheldon*, 2018 “Battle for the Carolinas” series winner as well as the U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship®, and Patrick Uretz*, who holds the 2017 “Battle for the Carolinas” title and was a two-time national intercollegiate champion. New to the TIEC Gladiator Polo™ stage, key players to watch include former 10-goaler Mike Azzaro, Team USPA member Felipe Viana*, and Matt Coppola*, who was a finalist in two of the three GAUNTLET OF POLO™ finals at International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) during 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 6:00pm ET, with kids activities, face painting, pony rides, entertainers, 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. All-inclusive Asado and beer festival tickets are available here. Following the match, don’t miss out on the karaoke after-party at the Silo Bar!
Both teams will collaborate the week prior to the Gladiator Polo™ match as instructors at the first-ever Ninja Polo™ Camp at TIEC Proudly Supported by the Polo Training Foundation, which will offer an immersive and hands-on educational experience for kids ages 11-18. Campers will learn from some of the world’s best professional high-goal arena players, a truly unique experience. Coaching staffing is headed by Gates Gridley, a USPA Certified Polo Instructor and lead instructor at the Polo School at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida. 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 mount, and onsite lodging is available.
About Gladiator Polo:
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, Florida, 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 third season that Gladiator Polo™ has been played at TIEC, where it has become a favorite venue for spectators and players alike. To learn more about Gladiator Polo™, visit www.GladiatorPolo.com.
*Felipe Viana and Matt Coppola are members of Team USPA. Jared Sheldon and Patrick Uretz are Team USPA Alumni. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.