Matt Coppola, Felipe Viana and Jared Sheldon in their presentation ceremony alongside Gates Gridley, Gladiator Polo™ Competition Manager, and TIEC Chief Operating Officer Sharon Decker.
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 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 third season that Gladiator Polo™ has been played at TIEC, where it has become a favorite venue for spectators and players alike. Tonight’s match was supported by USPA and USPA-GL.
MVP of the night, Felipe Viana, relayed that Team Greenville “clicked right away” despite not having all played in the famed arena prior to tonight’s 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.”