Nobody ever said that polo wasn’t a dangerous sport, and an injury suffered by arena 8-goaler Kris Kampsen in the quarterfinals of the recently-played 20-goal Joe Barry Memorial Cup will sideline him for the opening match of the high-goal Gladiator Polo Arena League. The opening match is scheduled to be played on Thursday evening at the Equestrian Village (EV) of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) at the corner of Pierson and South Shore Boulevard in Wellington.
“The shoulder is still sore from the fall, said Kampsen,” and as much as I would like to play in the arena game, I have my opening game of the Ylvisaker Cup the next day and I know that I wouldn’t be able to play at my best.”
Kampsen, a member of the Postage Stamp Farm team (Annabelle Gundlach, Kris Kampsen, Mariano Aguerre and Brandon Phillips) is slated to play Joe Barry Memorial Cup winner La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Gringo Colombres, Jeff Hall and Mike Azzaro) in the 10am Ylvisaker Cup opener on Friday.
Jason Crowder, who will be taking Kampsen’s place in the Thursday game, will ride into the arena with an impressive 7-goal arena handicap. An aggressive and adroit stick-man, Crowder has the recognition of being the leading scorer in the Joe Barry Memorial tournament.
A shuffled lineup will have Tommy Biddle (Americas only 10-goal arena player) and seven-goalers Felipe Viana and Jason Crowder playing for team Spartacus (named after the Thracian gladiator). Nine-goalers Matias Magrini and Mike Azzaro (both former 10-goalers in field polo) will be joined by 7-goaler Santi Torres and will compete against Spartacus as Crixus (named after the Gallic gladiator).
A purse of $100,000 is being put up making the competition the richest in the history of arena polo. The competition will take place on three consecutive Thursday evenings and will feature some of the game’s highest rated arena players.
The gates are set to open at 6pm and general admission spectators will be admitted for FREE with an optional $30.00 VIP ticket available that will include an Argentine Asado (BBQ). The six-chukker polo match scheduled to begin at 7pm.