The Gladiators are coming! Each Gladiator Spotlight will feature one of the players who will be competing during Gladiator Polo™ presented by Coca-Cola on September 1st at the Tryon International Equestrian Center! Meet one of our Gladiators, Alan Martinez, who will play for Team Spartanburg presented by Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.
Q: Where are you from originally?
A: I was born in the Dominican Republic and now I am based out of Columbus, GA.
Q: When did you start playing polo?
A: I have grown up around it and have been around it my whole life. I got really serious about it when I turned professional in 2002.
Q: What is your favorite polo pony and why?
A: I have sorta two. The first one was a mare named Bruja who I played for 5-6 years before retiring her due to injury. My second favorite is actually her son named Brujito, and he is my sixth chukker horse now.
Q: Where is your favorite place to play polo?
A: I love playing in Aiken, SC. I love the fact that I get to travel and go to different places all of the time.
Q: Have you ever played arena polo before?
A: I actually just got to play the US Open Arena finals and it was quite fun. I have never played much indoor polo of any sort, so it was sorta like unchartered territory. There is a completely different strategy to arena polo than there is to outdoor polo. I would almost go as far to say its a completely different game.
Q: What is the difference in field polo and arena polo?
A: There is a lot more action in a lot smaller area in arena polo. You dont really get any breaks, and it is a lot harder to control the arena polo ball than an outdoor ball. Theres a lot more reacting, and there is a lot going on. It is much more difficult to come up with a proper strategy and set plays.
Q: What are you most excited about for Gladiator Polo?
A: I have actually been to Tryon a few times and I saw photos from the first Gladiator game and it looked awesome. Having the bigger arena also makes it seem a little bit more like outdoor polo than the indoor smaller arenas.
Q: What’s your favorite drink?
A: I love drinking a monster energy drink. I typically drink one before every game.
Q: What is your current playlist or song you are listening to?
A: Im not really a music person. I will usually just listen to whatever is on the radio its all background noise. Im a movie guy. Whenever Im driving places I will just have a movie playing and I’ll listen.
Q: If you didn’t play polo what would you do instead for fun?
A: I like to play tennis! I am a big sports fan and a big movies fan.
Q: Who is your favorite superhero?
A: I have to say, I would probably go with Deadpool.
Q: Favorite dessert?
A: I am going to be very specific here. Domino’s lava crunch cakes. It is a chocolate lava cake, and I am telling you, it is amazing. They are better than anything. Short, sweet, and to the point.
Gladiator Polo™ Returns to #TIEC September 2017!
Schedule – $120,000 Battle for the Carolinas Fall Series
Friday, September 1st: Battle for South Carolina – Greenville vs. Spartanburg
Saturday, September 9th: Battle for North Carolina – Charlotte vs. Asheville
Saturday, September 30th: Battle for the Carolinas Championship – NC vs. SC