By International Polo Club. All photos ©David Lominska/International Polo Club.
Gladiator Polo™ presented by U.S. Polo Assn. returned to the Equestrian Village of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), also known as “The Coliseum,” for an electrifying Friday night match.
The high-goal arena event featured a prize of $24,000 for the winning team and $9,000 for the losing team. Undefeated Spartacus (Jason Crowder, Felipe Viana*, Tommy Biddle) toppled Priscus (Facundo Obregon, Nic Roldan, Jeff Hall) in six high-speed five-minute chukkers of continuous play.
The first chukker was an even contest. Nic Roldan opened the scoring for Priscus, which was quickly answered by Spartacus’ Jason Crowder to end the chukker 1-all.
The remaining two chukkers of the first half would be dominated by Tommy Biddle and Roldan. Roldan scored two goals from the field while Biddle garnered the first two-pointer of the game along with two penalty conversions, giving Spartacus the edge 5-3 at the half.
A low-scoring first half behind them, both teams arrived for the second with more grit and accuracy. In a back-and-forth fourth chukker Jason Crowder opened the scoring floodgates as the teams traded three goals each to maintain the gap 8-6 in favor of Spartacus.
Roldan scored his fifth goal of the game on a penalty three conversion in the fifth to come within one, but Biddle countered with another field goal for Spartacus. Facundo Obregon scored the equalizing two-point goal that would tie the score 9-all moving into the final chukker.
Spartacus proved an unstoppable force in the sixth, unleashing a succession of two pointers, one from Biddle and two from Felipe Viana, which could not be contested. Spartacus thrashed Priscus in the final chukker to secure their position in the $50,000 Gladiator Polo™ Final with a final score 18-11.
The $50,000 Gladiator Polo™ Final on Saturday, April 8 will feature a rematch between Spartacus and Spiculus. Tickets are now available for Gladiator Polo™ at www.gladiatorpolo.com. Gladiator Polo™ games are available on demand on the USPA Polo Network on uspolo.org.