Along with the launch of Gladiator Polo™ in June at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), The Polo School at Tryon Resort was also created and is accepting students of all ages, riding levels, and disciplines for polo lessons. The program currently has six ponies available for polo lessons seven days a week by appointment. The ponies are stabled onsite at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), where the lessons will be held. Single lessons are available in 30 and 60-minute timeframes and in packages of 10. Prices start at $75/per lesson. Individuals may also sign up for lessons on the polo simulator, also located at TIEC & Tryon Resort.
Tryon Resort Polo Manager Gates Gridley, a polo player of more than 17 years, has competed professionally throughout the United States. Gridley also manages Gladiator Polo™ – a new version of polo that resembles ice hockey on horseback. The concept was founded in January of 2017 in Wellington, FL, by Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP), whose properties include Tryon International Equestrian Center and Tryon Resort, as well as the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) and the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Bellissimo’s motivation behind Gladiator Polo™ was to broaden the reach of equestrian sports to fans and enthusiasts of action-packed, mainstream sports such as hockey or football. Bellissimo is now motivated to grow interest in polo through the new Polo School at Tryon Resort.
“We are excited to introduce polo more boldly to this area through Gladiator Polo™ and now The Polo School at Tryon Resort,” said Bellissimo. “The Polo School is our first lesson-based equestrian program at Tryon Resort and we look forward to offering more opportunities for people to engage in equestrian sport from beginning to pro.”
Seventh grader Chase Dixon of Mooresville, North Carolina, has been taking polo lessons since he came to watch the inaugural Gladiator Polo™ match at TIEC in June, and he’s hooked. He said that he was looking for a different way to ride horses and polo is the perfect fit:
“I got tired of doing Eventing, so it’s a fresh start for me. My favorite part is the speed. I like going fast, and the simulator helps a lot, too. But, my favorite polo school pony is Max.”
Dixon said that his goal is to be able to make friends who play polo and compete with them. “I want to be able to play with my friends, and maybe join a boys’ team, since in every other equestrian sport I’m always the only guy.”
To anyone who might be on the fence about exploring polo, Dixon said that it’s worth a try: “Polo is really fun, and it takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, you learn exponentially,” he concluded.
For pricing, more information or to sign-up for lessons at The Polo School at Tryon Resort click here.
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For more info on Tryon International Equestrian Center, Tryon Resort or Gladiator Polo™, please visit www.tryon.com.