Gladiator Polo™ to Debut June 24th at Tryon International Equestrian Center

Jun 3, 2017 - 11:48 AM
Pre-Event Activities Include Argentine Asado, Craft Beer Festival, Live Music, Free Kids’ Activities and More
For Immediate Release

Mill Spring, NC – June 3, 2017 – Gladiator Polo™ – the newest and fastest-growing style of polo – is debuting at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on Saturday, June 24. Witness this radical, new sport where arena polo meets ice hockey on horseback. The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with TIEC’s signature “Saturday Night Lights” entertainment including free carousel and pony rides, face painting, live music, Gladiator-inspired games and more. Adults can pre-party at the Tryon Resort craft beer festival, or fans of all ages can feast on an authentic Argentine Asado buffet from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. The Gladiator Polo™ match starts at 8 p.m. Click here to purchase Asado tickets! Tryon Resort’s onsite shops, restaurants and bars will also be open. Admission and parking to Tryon Resort are free.

Click here to get a preview of Gladiator Polo™

Contrary to traditional equestrian competitions where audience participation is encouraged only before and after a rider competes, Gladiator Polo™ is fueled by a rowdy crowd. Spectators are encouraged to cheer on their favorite team throughout the entire match.

In Gladiator Polo™ two teams of three players are pitted against each other in a small, enclosed arena, giving spectators an up close and personal look at the action.In this Roman-themed event, horse and rider teams wear distinctive colors – from the players’ helmets all the way down to the horses’ leg wraps – making it easy for spectators to follow the game and cheer on their favorite side.

The match is played on a regulation 300-feet by 150-feet field, enclosed by walls of four or more feet in height. The game consists of six chukkers, or six periods of five minutes each. Riders change horses at the end of each chukker. Gladiator Polo™ does not require the large number of horses to play that outdoor/grass polo demands. Many players use two horses, alternating horses each chukker.

The first Gladiator Polo match at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) will take place on Saturday, June 24, at 8:00 p.m.
Gladiator Polo™ founder Mark Bellissimo is managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners that owns Tryon International Equestrian Center, and managing partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners that owns Palm Beach International Equestrian Center where Gladiator Polo™ was initially launched in January 2017. His motivation for creating Gladiator Polo™ was to broaden the reach of equestrian sport to fans of action-packed sports like hockey or football.
“We wanted to create a concept that will re-energize polo in this country and ultimately bring new participants, spectators, and sponsors into the sport,” said Bellissimo. “We are excited to launch this exhilarating sports initiative, highlighting the tenacity and speed of polo in an engaging and spectator-fueled atmosphere and look forward to growing the sport over the next year.”

The Gladiator Polo™ball is similar to a mini soccer ball, larger than the small and hard plastic ball used outdoors. While the larger size gives the new player confidence in learning to hit the ball, proper technique is necessary because the arena game is played on a dirt surface with the ball bouncing on the uneven surface and off the arena wall.

Gladiator Polo™can be played either indoors or outdoors, days or nights under lights and weather permitting, all year around. Many clubs only play Arena Polo due to the high cost of maintaining grass fields and the smaller field size required.

More Gladiator Polo™ demonstration events are planned in other cities, starting in the spring of 2017 and will be announced shortly. A Gladiator Polo™ City League will begin in the fall of 2017.

Argentine Asado Buffet & Craft Beer Festival
Kick-off the evening with an authentic Argentine Asado buffet on the Legends Club Porch starting at 6:00 p.m. As the international mecca of Polo, TIEC is celebrating the sport’s Argentine culture with this authentic fire-grilled, Asado experience. The all-you-can-eat buffet is $29.95 for adults and $12.95 for children 12-years-old and younger. Children three-years-old and younger are free. Click here to purchase Asado tickets!

Or, head upstairs to the Sky Deck above Legends Club for a craft beer festival. Enjoy unlimited four-ounce pours and all-you-can-eat tapas as you overlook the Gladiator Polo™ match in the George H. Morris arena. Tickets to the beer festival are $49.95 per person ages 21-years-old and older. Click here to purchase Beer Festival tickets!

An after party will be held outside of Legends Grille following the competition.

Purchase Tickets
Click here to purchase tickets to both the Argentine Asado and the Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, June 24th!

More Info
For more info on Tryon International Equestrian Center and Tryon Resort, visit For more information on Gladiator Polo™, please visit Admission and parking for Gladiator Polo™ are free.

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Photo Credit ©DianaDeRosa. These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release with credit.


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