The following is an excerpt from the press release by the United States Polo Association. By: Kimberlyn Beaudoin
All 20-26 Goal Tournaments Will Drop to 18-22 Goals in 2019
Wellington, FL – October 11, 2017 – The United States Polo Association® (USPA) Board of Governors, Committees, Subsidiary Boards, Club Delegates, Members and staff met in the Pacific Northwest Circuit in Stevenson, Washington, September 27-30, for the 2017 USPA Board of Governors and Annual Member Meeting. Following much discussion, the top USPA national tournaments: U.S. Open Polo Championship® along with the USPA Gold Cup®, C.V. Whitney and Butler Handicap were awarded to the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) in Wellington, Florida, for the years 2019-2021. In 2004, the tournament’s 100th anniversary, the U.S. Open Polo Championship relocated to the IPC, where it has been held since. The U.S. Open is the final leg of the Florida High-Goal Winter Season, which regularly attracts the top players and teams from around the world. The USPA is pleased to announce that the U.S. Open Final will be televised on CBS Primetime from IPC for the next three years (2018-2020).
It was also decided at that these four top national tournaments will move from 20-26 goals to 18-22 goals for the years 2019-2021. This is a significant change for polo in the United States intended to support growth of the sport by increasing the number of teams participating, thereby resulting in more competitive tournaments.
International Polo Club Palm Beach will host the U.S. Open Polo Championships from 2019-2021.
“We were advocates and big supporters of this move from the beginning. It is critical for us to re-energize the sport and get more teams involved. This is a step in the right direction,” said Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP), which owns and operates IPC. “It is going to increase the number of participating teams and I believe we’ll see the tournament become more competitive. In addition, this will provide more opportunity for American players and lower the cost of fielding a high-goal team. We’re looking forward to hosting the U.S. Open again at IPC for 2019-2021.”
“The USPA did not take this decision lightly,” said USPA CEO Robert Puetz. “As the U.S. Open is the most respected and prestigious tournament played in the United States, we continually strive to keep the handicap level as high as possible. However, based on recommendations from the High Goal and Tournament Committees and input from team owners, the Association decided to lower the handicap level for a three-year period. We will monitor and revisit this decision over the course of the next few years.”
Together with IPC in Wellington, Florida, the United States Polo Association will host the 2018 national high-goal tournaments which will remain at 20-26 goals, with the U.S. Open Polo Championship Final culminating on April 22, 2018.
Wellington Equestrian Realty enjoyed a busy summer season in Tryon, with many familiar WEF equestrians migrating to beautiful Tryon for top-level competition. Cam Scott has been on site at the TIEC and we recently caught up with him regarding Tryon’s summer highlights and the current fall season.
“Tryon is beautiful in the summer, and the variety of entertainment and competition at the Tryon International Equestrian Center has been diverse. My favorite events of the summer have been the Gladiator Polo, the International Hunter Derby and the sold out 3* Grand Prix. The American Eventing Championships in early September was also an action-packed weekend for Wellington Equestrian Realty here at our booth in Tryon!”
Intermediate Winner, and top Florida Based Event Competitor, Jennie Brannigan, and FE Lifestyle. Photo credit Sportfot
Welcome Back to Grand Prix Show Jumping and Saturday Night Lights!
With summer firmly in our rearview mirror, it’s now time to celebrate fall in the beautiful rolling hills of Tryon and Grand Prix show jumping competition. The core action with the FEI ranked show jumping started back up this week with Santiago Lambre and Doloris Conquering $35,000 Suncast® Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 2*.
Winners $35K Santiago Lambre & Doloris. photo credit Sportfot
The Tryon International Equestrian Center is prepared for an action-packed fall series, featuring 14 FEI World Ranking classes for international show jumpers and a multitude of national and international hunter classes, offering competitors in excess of $1.6 million in prize money! Saturday Night Lights begins this coming Saturday and runs through the end of the month, with a 5* international show jumping Grand Prix on Saturday, October 21st. The entry list during the series promises to be the who’s who of Wellington’s top competitors, so plan a visit to Tryon this fall as a warm-up for the winter season at WEF!
2017 Fall Series
Upon the conclusion of the Grand Prix show jumping season in Tryon, it will be time to set our sites on the Wellington show circuit. Until then, Cam Scott from Wellington Equestrian Reality will be in TIEC booth 11B to show our current sales and rental listings and to discuss all your Florida Real Estate needs!
If you are in Wellington and wish to set an appointment to tour real estate, please contact:
Fans pack stands at Rolex Central Park Horse Show. Photo Credit Mid-Atlantic Equestrian Svcs.
Farrington Donates Prize Money & Bellissimo Announces ‘Triple Crown of Arena Eventing’ at Rolex Central Park Horse Show!
Wellington Equestrian Realty took a road trip to New York City to take in two evenings at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show, held at Wollman Rink. The show, which ran from September 20 – 24th, showcased the best in equestrian sport across multiple disciplines. Organized by Mark Bellissimo and the International Equestrian Group (WEF, Tryon, and now Central Park), the show’s mission was to showcase horse sport to the masses.
Orchestrating this event was quite remarkable, as all the classes were held within the constraints of Wollman Rink, an open-air ice skating rink near the entrance of Central Park. Horse show organizers had to choreographing the hauling of horses and set up of stabling, schooling, courses, fans and horses in a very confined setting. In addition, the atmosphere for the animals was very electric, which would intimidate the finest of horses and competitors.
In the end, it was another brilliant year of equestrian sport, showcasing the best horses and riders from the Arabian, Hunter, Show Jumping and Eventing disciplines.
Grand Prix Winner Kent Farrington Donates Prize Winnings to Storm Relief
In a remarkable gesture to those less fortunate, leading international show jumper, Kent Farrington, capped off a thrilling evening of competition with generosity. Prior to the start of the class, Farrington announced that all of his earnings from the win at the Central Park Grand Prix would go to Direct Relief, a non-profit dedicated to helping those affected by the recent storms.
Farrington dominated the ring on the handy Creedance, a feisty and fast Dutch Warmblood gelding who is still relatively young for this level of competition. At 10 years old, Creedance clearly has a successful career before him.
“Kent Farrington (USA) made an impressive jump to the top of the leaderboard in the $216,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by Rolex, topping the class aboard his vigilant mount Creedance to take his first ever win in the main event at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. Currently ranked number one on the FEI World Ranking List, Farrington solidified his knack for victory today, besting a competitive class of 27 entries. Hardin Towell (USA) and Lucifer V, winners of last night’s $40,000 CSX FEI Speed Class, finished in second place with a jump-off time of 37.58 seconds, ahead of Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili.”
Kent Farrington & Creedance Top $216,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by Rolex. Photo Credits Mid-Atlantic Equestrian Svcs.
Bellissimo Announces Future Triple Crown of Arena Eventing
Leave it to the publicity mastermind of the WEF, Tryon, and Central Park Horse Show series to pull off another miraculous PR save this past weekend in New York City!
After a scheduling conflict for several of the European riders forced a cancellation of Saturday night’s dressage competition, Bellissimo and the International Equestrian Group had to think fast. Bellissimo, who has become a huge fan of eventing, called his business partners to suggest bringing a bit of the Wellington Eventing Showcase to the Big Apple.
Photo Credit Mid-Atlantic Equestrian Svcs.
After securing course designers Mark Phillips and Eric Bull, the team worked out the logistics of building a hybrid cross country/show jumping course in Central Park! Bellissimo kicked into high gear, recruiting top 10 international event 4* riders and Olympians to take part in this thrilling format. The final result was an electric atmosphere for competitors and spectators alike, that showcased the sport of Eventing!
Our hats off to the event organizers who quickly formulated the competition format. Teams of two riders, representing well-known areas of the city, battled it out over a hybrid eventing course which was a blend of solid cross country obstacles (shipped from Tryon) and pure show jumping fences. The top 6 fastest teams advanced to a shortened jump-off round, with refusals and rails adding to the final overall time.
In the end, Team East Village consisting of Aussie riders, Dom Schramm & Ryan Wood, took home the winning check. Team Times Square, consisting of Boyd Martin and Holly Payne Caravella was second, with Team Chelsea, Oliver Townend, and Willam Fox-Pitt, securing the 3rd place finish.
Mark Bellissimo weighed in after the class during the press conference and this quote from the Chronicle of the Horse. “I walked around during the competition and the crowd was just really excited and engaged in this format,” he said. “Again, this is not to replace eventing, but it’s an opportunity to take passionate athletes who are very courageous and gutsy at all three disciplines and put them in the spotlight here in New York, which is one of the largest media markets in the United States.
“At the very least we want to turn this into a three-event series, like a Triple Crown of this event. I am confident that this will become the biggest money in this country for the sport, especially with our sponsors. This is something we’re very excited about.”
We at Wellington Equestrian Realty suspect that the Wellington Eventing Showcase may be the first leg of this conceptualize “Triple Crown of Arena Eventing”, so stay tuned for updates! To get a true feeling for the evening’s action, check out this video footage of Will Coleman riding Gideon in his first round of the event.
To see the full list of results and highlights of the Arena Eventing, please visit Eventing Nation.
Wellington Equestrian Realty has enjoyed a busy summer season in Tryon, with many familiar WEF equestrians migrating to beautiful Tryon for top level competition.
Cam Scott has been on-site for the season and we recently caught up with him regarding Tryon’s summer highlights.
“Tryon is beautiful in the summer, and the variety of entertainment and competition at the Tryon International Equestrian Center has been diverse. My favorite events of the summer have been the Gladiator Polo, the International Hunter Derby and the sold out 3* Grand Prix.”
Wellington resident Schuyler Riley, who usually competes in the Grand Prix jumper divisions, showed her multi-talented ability by topping the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. The house was also full for the $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 3* in early July, with the top 3 riders, Andrew Kocher, Sharn Wordley and Richie Moloney, all being WEF regulars.
Tryon is currently on summer break for the A circuit shows, with a series of B rated shows running through the end of August. The core action will start back up in the late summer/early fall and WER is eagerly anticipating the return of the American Eventing Championships (AEC’s) being held at TIEC August 30 – September 3, 2017.
Gladiator Polo is Returning to Tryon
Running concurrently with the AEC’s, Tryon is bringing back the ever popular Gladiator Polo series, to entertain the throng of eventers who will be descending upon Tryon.
“Gladiator Polo™ will return to Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on Friday, September 1st. Witness this radical new sport where arena polo meets arena hockey on horseback. The evening will begin at 6pm with TIEC’s signature entertainment including free carousel and pony rides, face painting, live music, Gladiator-inspired games and more.”
Parking and admission are free, and there is an assortment of upgraded tickets for VIP seating and dinner. There are also so many choices for food and beverages throughout the TIEC, so plan to make a day and evening of entertainment on September 1st!
Shortly after the conclusion of the AEC’s, Tryon will prepare for the action packed fall series. The TIEC Fall Series features 14 FEI World Ranking classes for international show jumpers and a multitude of national and international hunter classes, offering competitors in excess of $1.6 million in prize money! The entry list during the series promises to be the who’s who of Wellington’s top competitors, so plan a visit to Tryon this fall as a warm up for the winter season at WEF!
Cam Scott from Wellington Equestrian Reality will be in TIEC booth 11B to show our current listings and to discuss all of your Florida Real Estate needs!
If you wish to set an appointment in Wellington, please contact:
Wellington, FL – July 29, 2017 – The International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC), which was named 2016 Florida Sports Venue of the Year by The Florida Sports Foundation, has started major renovations and upgrades to polo fields 1, 3, 4, 5, and Outback, ahead of the highly anticipated 2018 polo season. Each of the fields have been sprigged with TifTuf Bermuda grass, a one-of-a-kind strain of durable Bermuda grass, which will lengthen the longevity and durability of the fields at IPC.
Raymond Mooney, Head Agronomist at IPC who brings more than two decades of grass and field management experience to IPC, has overseen the entirety of the planting and sprigging process and is impressed with the rapid development of the TifTuf grass in only just a few days.
“TifTuf has been the most impressive Bermuda grass I have seen to date,” said Mooney. “I expect this to be a very good grass for us and a big improvement over Tifway 419. In South Florida, common Bermuda grass will eventually overtake Tifway 419 and I believe that this TifTuf grass will outcompete any of the common Bermuda grasses.”
An extensive amount of research and testing was conducted before the planting and sprigging of the TifTuf Bermuda grass on the IPC fields, which Mooney said clearly outperformed the other strains of grass formerly used at the venue in every trial category. He elaborated, “TifTuf has the playability and look of Tifway 419 but significantly out performs Tifway 419 in drought tolerance, winter-growth and color and nematode tolerance. We play the bulk of our polo in the winter months when Tifway 419 is not growing. Switching to TifTuf will help insure we have the best turf quality during the most difficult time of year for Bermuda grass growth.”
Latitude 36 Bermuda grass (left) is tested against TifTuf Bermuda grass (right) under same drought conditions in the spring of 2017 on the Outback Field at IPC.
The longevity and durability of field grass is crucial when hosting high goal polo for a prolonged season and the IPC management team is confident that the conversion from Tifway 419 to TifTuf will be beneficial for both players and the venue looking ahead to the approaching 2018 season.
“The fields did not play to our standards this past season,” said Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of the Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP). “The challenge is that over the years the fields were overrun with common Bermuda grass. After two years of working with this grass, we decided to make a significant investment in the ensuring that these are the polo fields in the world by replanting five of our primary fields with the best grass technology in the world.”
“We’ve used TifTuf at some of our other venues in North America and have been blown away by the rapid growth and sustainability of this type of Bermuda grass,” he continued. “This strain of grass has a much more significant drought tolerance and uses less water, fertilizer, and pesticide maintenance than other formulas of grass we’ve used in the past. The footing and playability for players will greatly increase with the addition of this new grass. We’re very eager to see the final results and are pleased with the progress we’ve experienced so far.”
In evaluations conducted by The National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP), TifTuf Bermuda grass ranked above popular strains of grass in the following categories: Turf Grass Quality, Turf Grass Quality Under Drought Stress, Leaf Texture Ratings, Winter Color Ratings, and Spring Color Ratings. Mooney noted that the performance of TifTuf in each of these categories will improve the overall permanence of field quality at IPC.
“I have never seen sprigs green up and root down as quickly as the TifTuf has on our fields. I expect the grown-in of the fields to go very quickly and be ready for polo way before polo season. I’m always slow to jump on the band wagon of new grasses but the research behind TifTuf is very convincing that it is a turf grass of the future. I’m very excited to get our fields grown in with TifTuf and start next polo season.”
Raymond Mooney, Head Agronomist at IPC, shows off the deep roots of the already growing TifTuf Bermuda grass only a few days after seeding the fields at IPC.
The 2018 IPC season will begin on Sunday, December 31, and continue through Sunday, April 22, featuring three months of the world’s best high goal polo. For more information on the International Polo Club (IPC), please visit www.internationalpoloclub.com.
Field rentals for the 2018 post-season are still available and can be reserved by contacting email@example.com.
Tour one of the many gorgeous farms in Wellington, FL today!
Gone are the days of buying properties during high season.
Although the spring and summer seasons are perceived to be the offseason for real estate sales in Wellington, the team at Wellington Equestrian Realty continues to be diligent and on top of the market trends 365 days a year.
Upon the conclusion of the Winter Equestrian Festival, property owners take advantage of the time of year to do maintenance and improvements in preparation for listing their home or farm on the market. This is where Wellington Equestrian Realty has the edge, through our personal and professional relationships, we work year round to earn those new listings.
Before purchasing property in Wellington, it is important to understand the regional horse farm and real estate market. The Wellington market is constantly changing and sales in this region are dynamic! In order to make the best decision on exactly where to buy your new Wellington horse farm, you need to be guided by our proven expertise in the local market.
The Desino Brothers, Craig Martin, and Matt Varney are year-round Florida residents and their focus on the industry and combined work ethic don’t falter during the spring and summer months.
Craig Martin recently discussed market trends during the summers in Wellington, “We operate year round, unlike many other agents who leave for the summer. The old days where most of the sales happened in the winter are over. While other agents ramp down their business when April rolls around, business for them is over, we know it is the time to capitalize on real estate sales.
Chris Desino, Matt Varney, Craig Martin, and Rob Desino
“Our accessibility to potential buyers is consistent year round. When buyers contact us, we roll out the red carpet for them. Knowledge is power, and with real time information available at the buyers fingertips via the internet listings, buyers are more savvy than ever. We keep on our toes year round and we are ready to answer all of their tough questions right away. We educate them comprehensively so they understand the market and then we work hard to put deals together on their behalf.”
Wellington Equestrian Realty currently has a variety of property listings on the market, so now is the time to shop! As you contemplate your summer travel plans, why not look forward to next winter season with a trip down to Wellington to scout out your dream property?
Peruse our listings of farms and homes on the market, and order a free copy of our Wellington Equestrian Realty Portfolio. Our portfolio is stocked with 100 pages of the largest selection of quality Wellington farms, along with a comprehensive look at the winter season’s equine events and in-depth articles that take you on a tour of our area’s greatest treasures.
“We hope that you enjoy Wellington and the area that we have come to love. There truly is no place like this in the world.”
~ The Team at Wellington Equestrian Realty
Chris and Rob Desino, Matt Varney and Craig Martin
Spring I winner Jose Robert Reynoso and Azrael W. Photo by Sportfot
Following another exciting winter circuit, the Equestrian Sport Productions’ (ESP) Spring Series proved to be a continued success with five weeks of world class competition.
The ESP Spring Series offers a variety of hunter and jumper classes from April through May as riders and horse enthusiasts continue to enjoy all Wellington has to offer.
Spring I-III boasted two thrilling Grand Prix classes each week at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), alongside countless other hunter/jumper classes. During week four, the action moved to the Equestrian Village with Spring IV-V boasting an exciting 1.40m Open Stakes class, sponsored by TackNRider each weekend.
The Wellington Equestrian Realty Arena at the Equestrian Village also saw hundreds of competitors this spring, featuring classes from small ponies to green hunters to equitation. The availability of divisions for all experience and age levels during the spring season is a testament to ESP’s continued dedication to equestrian excellence year round. Click here to see the extensive prize list offered this spring in Wellington.
To look back at all the ESP Spring Series action, visit their website for their coverage of each week of competition.
With the ESP Spring Series now in the rear view, Wellington competitors look ahead to the upcoming ESP Summer Series, which begins Friday, June 2.
While show jumpers cleared colored poles, U.S. Polo enthusiasts cheered on 17 weeks of thrilling competition at The International Polo Club Palm Beach (ICP).
The season culminated with the 2017 U.S. Open Polo Championship® final on Sunday, April 23rd, where Valiente and Orchard Hill teed up for a rematch of the 2015 final. Ultimately, it was Valiente who tasted victory, winning 13-12 in overtime.
The action took off quickly with defending champion Orchard Hills scoring less than 30 seconds into the game. Their momentum continued as they lead 9-6 at the half, but Valiente fought hard to tie the game and force overtime where Diego Cavanagh scored the game-winning goal for Valiente. Find the full story as reported by Darlene Ricker by clicking here.
Meanwhile, Gladiator Polo™ Arena League proved a smashing success in its inaugural year. The fast-paced competition attracted hoards of spectators to the “Colosseum,” which is more formally referred to as Equestrian Village, from January through April.
The $50,000 Gladiator Polo™ final presented by the U.S. Polo Association was won by Team Spiculus, who was sponsored by Don Graves and Marshal & Sterling Insurance, Equisport Division.
With the inaugural year a success, International Polo Club CEO Mark Bellissimo has big plans for the continued promotion of this, his newest brainchild. You will want to be a part of the excitement next year, so follow updates on their website!
Wellington Equestrian Realty has returned to the Tryon International show grounds for a second year, anticipating another season of top-notch competition at one of the country’s premier equestrian destinations.
Tryon International Equestrian Center Logo
During the 2016 season, the team from Wellington Equestrian Realty and Ocala Horse Properties migrated north with many of our Florida friends and clients to experience the spring and summer show season in Tryon. The Tryon vendor cabin was a great way to promote all of our Wellington and Ocala listings to our equestrian clientele who travel the circuit during the summer to compete.
The Tryon International Equestrian Center is the newest passion of Mark Bellissimo and Equestrian Sports Productions, quickly becoming a magnet to the world’s best riders due to the roster of FEI competitions. The facility hosts international level events for the hunter, jumper, dressage and eventing disciplines and has won the bid to host the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
During the 2016 season, Wellington Equestrian Realty proudly sponsored the $130,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 3* at the Tryon Summer II series. Cameron Scott is pictured in the gallery with the winners, Samuel Parot and Dazzle White, along with Roger Smith of Tryon Equestrian Partners.
In addition, the facility hosts competitions throughout the year for every level equestrian, so you don’t need to be an international level rider to enjoy competing at the show grounds. The facility was designed to bring the equestrian sports to the masses, so TIEC is the perfect excursion for spectators and there is also plenty of family friendly entertainment, including festivals, restaurants and plenty of boutique shopping!
Cameron Scott, a Sales associate from the WER office, has just finished setting up shop at Cabin 11B at the Tryon Equestrian Center! Cam will be there all season to help you with any of your real estate needs regarding properties in Wellington or Ocala.
Feel Free to stop by the vendor cabin to chat with Cam, who can be contacted via email at Cam@wellingtonequestrianrealty.com or give him a call at 434-989-9639.
Sergio Alvarez Moya and Charmeur Winners $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*, Photo Credit ESP/COTH
It is hard to believe that the final week of WEF 2017 is upon us, as the busy winter season nears its end.
Last weekend concluded the pinnacle of the Grand Prix Show Jumping competitions at the PBIEC with the Rolex Grand Prix 5*, but there’s still plenty of excitement this coming weekend as well.
This Saturday night’s feature $216,000 4* Grand Prix are sponsored by The Wanderers Club. 143 horses participated in this week’s FEI 4* jog so it is sure to be another busy week!
For those of you who stay past the winter season, upon the conclusion of the Winter Equestrian Festival, Equestrian Sport Productions will host another 5 weeks of Spring Circuit Hunter/Jumper shows at the PBIEC.
$500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* Highlights
Last Saturday night the stands were packed and the crowd was entertained with a nail-biting finish in the Rolex 5*. Crowd favorite McLain Ward and Rothchild, who are rarely beatable, blazed around the jump off, taking the inside turns and leaving all the rails up. Surprisingly this time, that effort did not reward them with the blue, when Spanish Olympian Sergio Alvarez Moya stole the Rolex timepiece and the lion’s share of the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* prize purse. Moya’s lightening speed jump off edged out Mclain Ward by barely 1/2 a second, with WEF week 9 Grand Prix winner Karen Polle coming in third.
As reported by Equestrian Sport Productions, “Mclain shouldn’t be too disappointed, however, as he earned the Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series title and a lease on a brand new Range Rover Discovery Sport earlier that night.”
Week 11 Highlights and Week 12 Featured Events
ESP sent the following information on last week’s other classes and a list of the top equestrian events for this week. Don’t forget to get over to watch the Gladiator Polo on Friday night, and take in plenty of other equestrian action in the hunter, jumper and dressage rings!
Courtesy of ESP, “Tiffany Foster (CAN) wasn’t too happy with boyfriend Kent Farrington (USA) as he narrowly edged her out for the win in the $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final, with Portugal’s Luciana Diniz coming in third. Also last week, Switzerland’s Beat Mandli won the $50,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 2* on Sunday, and McKayla Langmeier won the 10 the annual George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship exhibition and Kerry McCahill won the Under 25 Grand Prix Series Semi-Final.”
Kerry McCahill, Winner U25 Grand Prix Series Semi-Final, Photo credit Sportfot
This Weekend’s Top Events:
Thursday: $86,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 12 (International Arena) Livestream Here
Friday, all day in the International Arena: Spy Coast Farm and Gut Einhaus Developing Young Jumper Series Classics
Welcome To the Gladiator Polo Coliseum, Photo credit International Polo Club/COTH
Gladiator Polo is yet another brilliant marketing masterpiece by equestrian powerhouse Mark Bellissimo, as he continues to bring all equestrian sports to enthusiastic spectators in Wellington and beyond.
Think of it as a cross breed of Polo, Ice Hockey, and Box Lacrosse. This is a high-speed game played within an enclosed arena, with 3 players on each team and non-stop continuous play.
Here’s a brief description of the competition from the Gladiator Polo website:
“Gladiator Polo is a professional arena polo league that combines the world’s best polo players with modified rules that keep the play fast. The event is played in a ring with all-weather footing that is approximately 300′ x 150′ which is 1/10 the size of a typical grass polo field. There are three players on each side. The Inaugural Gladiator Polo League will have prize money of $250,000, which is the world’s largest polo purse, and will be played over six Thursday evenings with a final $50,000 final game for the two highest ranked teams.”
There are 4 teams (consisting of 3 players each) battling it out throughout the season, which runs from January through April, with matches on Thursday nights.The teams are fielded with international high goal polo players, and the team names reflect their Roman influence; Spartacus, Crixus, Priscus, and Spiculus.
The series has also grabbed the interest of the local and national level media outlets.NBC Sports provided live coverage at the February 28th tournament, with Triple Crown racing commentator Kenny Rice accompanying hall-of-famer and 10 goal player Adam Snow, calling the play by play action. Rice is a recognizable voice from televised thoroughbred racing, while Snow is world renowned for his success as a high goal polo competitor.
Snow, a well-known personality on the polo circuit for at Palm Beach Polo, has recently diversified his professional focus within the polo world.After decades of traveling throughout the US and the world to compete in high goal matches, Snow now is a sought after clinician, sports commentator, and author. His book, Polo Life, Horses, Sport, 10 and Zen, co-authored with wife Shelley Onderdonk, perfectly captures the essence of the equestrian sporting life.
Bellissimo, a managing partner of the International Equestrian Group, has a passionate interest in the sport of polo.
As a result, the Gladiator Polo Series boasts top international level competitors and an impressive series prize purse which has grown from $100,000 to $250,000 in this first season. Aimed to attract crowds of spectators, there’s plenty of Roman themed entertainment.In addition to the main Gladiator Polo match, there are junior gladiators playing at intermission, gladiator games and music in between chukkers. Spectators have a choice of free general admission or VIP ticket options with various dining choices and live music at the after parties.
The following excerpt is from the initial press release on behalf of Mark Bellissimo and the International Polo Club:
“As the popularity of the event grows, Bellissimo is confident that there is a sustainable longevity for arena polo in Wellington, and it will have a home each Thursday evening during the winter starting in 2018. For many years Wellington has served as the winter hub for equestrians around the world, and the addition of arena polo will provide world-class equestrian sport from Thursday to Sunday during the high season. Adding to an already strong weekly schedule featuring the “Friday Night Stars” FEI Grand Prix Dressage Freestyle at The Stadium on Friday evenings, “Saturday Night Lights” Grand Prix Show Jumping competitions at PBIEC on Saturday nights, and concluding with high-goal polo at the International Polo Club (IPC) onSunday afternoons. Gladiator Polo will entertain audiences and begin the equestrian weekend on Thursday with action-packed family fun!”
There are still two Gladiator Polo matches left this season, Spartacus vs Priscus on March 31st and their Championship game on April 8th, so come join the Wellington Equestrian Realty team for a unique evening of polo and entertainment!