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DUBLIN CAPTURES GLADIATOR POLO™ CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL 17-14

Apr 16, 2019 12:41 PM

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2019 Gladiator Polo™ winners Dublin (L-R) Juan Martin Obregon, Mariano Obregon, and Tito Ruiz pictured with Mark Bellissimo, Tom MacGuinness, George Linley and Glen Allen.
2019 Gladiator Polo™ winners Dublin (L-R) Juan Martin Obregon, Mariano Obregon, and Tito Ruiz pictured with Mark Bellissimo, Tom MacGuinness, George Linley and Glen Allen.

Dublin, sponsored by Horseware Ireland, rallied from a loss at the beginning of the season to reign supreme atop the Gladiator Polo™ standings after besting Palm Beach, sponsored by Five Star Builders, in the Gladiator Polo™ Championship Final 17-14. Dublin surged back from an early deficit in the first few chukkers of the match to overtake the lead in the fifth chukker, ultimately securing their win. Gladiator Polo™ will return to Wellington in 2020 and a game schedule for the remainder of the 2019 season will be published in the coming weeks.

Dublin’s three players shined as Mariano Obregon, Juan Martin Obregon, and Tito Ruiz worked efficiently and effectively to help bring their team back into the match after halftime. The trio cut the score to one in the fourth chukker after keeping Palm Beach scoreless. Palm Beach, which saw fantastic play from Geronimo Obregon*, Toro Ruiz, and Tommy Biddle, almost sent the match into overtime after nearly tying the game in the sixth chukker with Geronimo Obregon and Toro Ruiz adding a combined three goals for Palm Beach.

Team Dublin presented by Horseware Ireland raced to victory in the Gladiator Polo™ Championship Final over Team Palm Beach presented by 5 Star Builders on a final score of 17-14
Dublin maintains possession of the ball.

Palm Beach’s Toro Ruiz played a masterful game, scoring goals in each chukker except the fourth to help keep his team in the hunt for the 2019 title. Geronimo Obregon supported the effort with five goals of his own, while Biddle anchored the team with a more defensive role in the match.

A strong player throughout the season, Mariano Obregon earned his second Most Valuable Player award, presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic, in the final with five total goals to help Dublin secure the victory.

Team Dublin surged in the second half of the match to claim top honors in front of a full house at U.S. Polo Assn. Coliseum at International Polo Club Palm Beach
Dublin surged in the second half of the match to claim top honors in front of a full house.

Mariano Obregon, who has been an integral player in the Gladiator Polo™ league since its inception in 2017, commented on the season and his team’s performance in the final. “We started shooting on goal early, but didn’t make that many and then in the second half Palm Beach started to go in,” Mariano Obregon said. “We just kept shooting and even when we were down by three or four goals, we kept our cool and it eventually paid off. We had a team change early in the season since one of our players was injured. Juan Martin jumped in and I’ve played with him a lot. He’s my brother, so it worked out really well.”

As for the future of Gladiator Polo™, Mariano Obregon is excited to explore the potential opportunities that will come from this new derivative of arena polo, which he believes will help expand and grow the sport. “It’s amazing. I really hope that we can get it going and get it on television, but it’s a lot of fun to play and I think the spectators really enjoy it,” Mariano Obregon said. “There’s a lot of contact and running back and forth. We try to make it quick and make it fun for everyone.”

Dublin's Mariano Obregon.
Dublin's Mariano Obregon.

Dublin team owner and CEO & Founder of Horseware Ireland, Tom MacGuinness, commented on the success of the final and expressed his support and appreciation for the creativity and passion of Gladiator Polo™ CEO Mark Bellissimo, who helped bring the league to life at its new home in the U.S. Polo Assn. Coliseum at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida.

“Firstly, I’d like to thank Mark because this is a product of his imagination and Horseware was a product of my imagination,” MacGuinness said. “The world is about our imagination and how we can imagine something better and something different. I personally believe we can get this on ESPN and turn polo into a phenomenal mainstream sport.”

To learn more about Gladiator Polo™, please visit www.gladiatorpolo.com.

*Geronimo Obregon is a member of Team USPA. 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.

All Photos ©AlexPacheco.

USPA

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