World Equestrian Games Brings Two Weeks Of Exciting Competition To Tryon

World Equestrian Games Brings Two Weeks Of Exciting Competition To Tryon

The FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018, hosted only for the second time ever in the United States, captivated the global equestrian community from Sept. 11-23 at Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina, hosting world championship-caliber competition for each of the eight FEI-sanctioned disciplines: dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, para-dressage, reining and vaulting over the two-week timeframe.

WEG is held every four years in the middle of the Summer Olympic cycle and features top equestrian competitors from around the world vying for top team and individual titles in their respective disciplines.

The story of WEG arriving at Tryon was different than initially anticipated, as Mark Bellissimo and the Tryon Equestrian Partners stepped in more than halfway into the planning cycle to save the event after initial host city, Bromont, in the Canadian province of Quebec, dropped its nomination. Working on an 18-month timeline instead of a four-year plan, the Tryon team had to work quickly to ensure that the sporting venues and infrastructure was completed in time.

The event officially opened on Tuesday, Sept. 11, a day before competition began, welcoming the world to western North Carolina with special words spoken by FEI President Ingmar de Vos and Tryon 2018 CEO Mark Bellissimo. Grammy-nominated country music artist Hunter Hayes wowed the crowds, following an emotional Parade of Nations to officially commence the start of competition.

“This WEG showcased incredible top sport in each of the disciplines hosted throughout the two weeks; some of the best competition in history,” said Michael Stone, president of the Tryon 2018 Organizing Committee. “We’re proud of what we were able to accomplish in such a short time frame, and our team worked incredibly hard to make sure that we were able to deliver these games for the athletes, horses and spectators.”

Isabell Werth of Germany and her superb mare, Bella Rose, who has been absent from the international dressage competition circuit for nearly four years due to an injury, returned in incredible form. The duo went toe-to-toe with the United States’ top combination and current world number one, Laura Graves and Verdades, who are regulars on the Adequan Global Dressage Festival circuit. Julio Mendoza, also a regular on the AGDF circuit, competed as the first individual ever for his home nation of Ecuador.

“This was my answer to all those who did not understand how I could leave the world’s number one horse at home for this one,” Werth said. “Most horse people here know how close I am to Bella, and to bring her back after a long recovery after WEG 2014 is extra special. We always knew it could be a risk, but it is like that with every horse.”

The British Eventing Team stormed to the top of the leaderboard, finishing on the lowest combined team score in the history of WEG, as all four team riders completed each of the three phases, and each finished within the difficult optimum time on cross-country. Ros Canter finished atop the individual podium for the British team as well — the team’s first individual win since 2006.

Reining saw the first-ever individual gold medal for the nation of Belgium, won by Bernard Fonck, while the top guns of Team USA secured team gold, continuing their dominance in the discipline. Cade McCutcheon, the youngest competitor for Team USA at the age of 18, finished in a runoff for third place to take the individual bronze aboard his mount, Custom Made Gun.

The second week of the event brought jumping, para-dressage, driving and vaulting competition to Tryon, featuring another six days of outstanding sport.

Para-dressage competition kicked-off the week with riders from the Netherlands, Great Britain and Denmark making their mark to begin a five-day stretch of medal competitions. The Netherlands ultimately dethroned the reigning champions of Great Britain, earning their first team gold in para-dressage.

“It is so amazing,” said a tearful Sanne Voets, who competed for the Netherlands. “It was my dream, and now it is real. This horse two years ago won the first-ever paralympic gold medal for the Netherlands, and he contributed very much to our first ever team gold medal on Friday, and now he is the first one taking home triple gold for the Netherlands at the World Equestrian Games.”

Vaulting competition showcased the athleticism and beauty of the horse and rider connection in the indoor arena at Tryon, filling the stadium for the team final on the second-to-last day of the event. Team Germany ultimately defended its gold from the 2014 WEG in Normandy, France. The strong German team also secured the female individual gold medal with strong performances from Kristina Boe.

An unprecedented performance from Team USA in the discipline of driving brought yet another gold medal to the count for the U.S., as Chester Weber, Misdee Wrigley-Miller and James Fairclough defeated the odds, and their combined score narrowly edged Team Netherlands and Team Belgium for the gold. All three drivers expressed their pride in this accomplishment for Team USA, a first in the federation’s history.

“It’s unbelievable. It takes a village to make this whole thing work,” Weber said. “I said all week that I was going to keep my head down and concentrate on my own game, and hopefully on Sunday, I’ll pick my head up with a medal or two around it.”

In what will be remembered as one of the best demonstrations of top sport in history, the jumping team and individual finals featured many of the world’s best riders going head-to-head for two of the most prestigious honors available in international competition for the discipline of jumping.

Ultimately, after a strong display of prowess from the Swiss team, the United States made its mark on the leaderboard after an unprecedented team jump-off against Sweden for gold. McLain Ward, Adrienne Sternlicht, Laura Kraut and Devin Ryan composed the team for the United States. Sweden captured the silver medal, while the Germans took home bronze.

Simone Blum, the youngest female competitor to ever take an individual gold, wowed on her mare DSP Alice for Germany, as the pair did not accumulate a single jumping fault over four days of competition.

“This was sport at its best,” U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland said. “The odds on a jump-off being required were incredible, although we realized it was a possibility. This, today, is why we do it. We have been dreaming about this for so long. We have a tremendous group of talented riders.”

Learn more about the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 at


Brooks Koepka From Wellington To The World Stage

Brooks Koepka From Wellington To The World Stage

Did you know that current U.S. Open and PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka grew up in Wellington and got his start at the junior golf program at a local public golf course?

Koepka, who also won the 2017 U.S. Open, honed his golf game on the Okeeheelee Golf Course. At Okeeheelee, Brooks, now 28, spent countless hours as a youngster hitting balls on the driving range, plus pitching, chipping and putting.

Brooks’ memories of his days playing at Okeeheelee are vivid. “Growing up at Okeeheelee was a blast!” he remembered. “We would get dropped off at 7:30 every morning, and we would get picked up at dark. I learned how to play the game there, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.”

He was not alone at Okeeheelee. He was joined by his younger brother, Chase, who currently plays professional golf on the European PGA Tour.

Brooks’ mother, Denise, recalls her oldest son saying, at age 12, that his career goal was to play professional golf.

Much of the credit for Brooks’ interest in golf must be given to his father.

“Brooks hit some of my cut-down clubs from the time he was three until I got him his first junior set of clubs at age seven to play in a tournament at Okeeheelee,” Bob Koepka recalled. “He liked golf at an early age, and from ages 7 to 12, he started showing a passion for the game, especially after I took him to the Masters at age eight.”

Those who have watched Brooks grow as a golfer have fond memories of his golfing childhood.

“I had the privilege and honor of coaching many fine golfers and many fine young men during my 10-plus years of coaching the golf team at Cardinal Newman High School,” recalled Greg Sherman, the future star’s high school golf coach. “I can’t really exactly say why Brooks stood out among them, but he did.”

Donna White, director of Golf Professional Services Inc., said that his passion for golf and his work ethic stood out. “He and his brother would play, play, play all day. He was always a serious player,” she said. “With such great facilities at Okeeheelee, Brooks had an advantage over other junior golfers in South Florida.”

Mary-Lee Cobick, president of the Junior Golf Foundation of America, agreed.

“Brooks was the young man you saw arrive first in the morning and was the last to leave at night,” she recalled. “Brooks played and worked on his short game all day long.”

Brooks attributes his success to his local junior golf experiences.

“I can’t say enough about the Junior Golf Foundation of America’s programs at Okeeheelee,” Brooks said. “It was on those golf courses and through those tournaments that I fell in love with the game. I can honestly say that I would not be where I’m at today if those opportunities were not available to me when I was younger.”

Brooks was also good enough to start playing high school golf as early as the sixth grade, as a member of the Wellington Christian School golf team.

Bob Koepka taught his sons that winning at anything doesn’t just happen. It requires focus and determination.

“I always made the boys figure out how to win at anything and never let them win, whether it was playing cards or sports,” he explained. “It was up to them to either physically or mentally rise up to the challenge.”

Brooks has certainly risen to the challenge — and he’s still rising.

Bob Koepka has known for a while that his oldest son has what it takes to win golf tournaments.

In the fall of 2006, during Brooks’ junior year in high school, that moment of clarity took place when Brooks was playing in the Florida high school state championships.

“I had his high school coach tell him he was four shots back with seven holes to play for the state championship,” Bob recalled. “[Brooks] proceeded to go five under to capture the title.”

There is a strong charitable side to Brooks. When he was recovering from a severe wrist injury this past spring, which kept him away from the PGA Tour, he made a public appearance at Okeeheelee during the club’s 11th annual Putting Classic — and he brought along his U.S. Open trophy, too.

“This is the first time that the actual U.S. Open trophy has ever been on display at our golf course,” beamed Mac Hood, the golf course manager at Okeeheelee.

With his PGA Championship win in August, Brooks has now won three out of the last seven majors that have been played, dating back to the 2017 U.S. Open.

Bob Koepka knows that his son has what it takes to add a green Masters jacket to his wardrobe, which could come as early as next April, when the world’s greatest golfers play the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. “Brooks is at his best when his back is against the wall, and he is mentally strong enough to take his game to the next level to reach the goal at hand,” Bob explained.

As this year’s PGA Tour season concluded, Brooks finished the year third in the Official World Golf Rankings, sixth on the PGA Tour’s money list and ninth in the season-long Fed Ex Cup playoffs. In late September, the PGA of America named Brooks its Player of the Year.

Another highlight for Brooks, now living in Jupiter, was qualifying for this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team, which competed against Europe in September at the Le Golf National, located near Paris in France. Expect Brooks to be a regular member of many U.S. Ryder Cup teams over the next 10 to 15 years, possibly alongside his brother Chase. Only time will tell.

Follow Brooks Koepka’s career at


Visions Hair Salon Has Been Making Wellington Beautiful For Thirty Years.

Visions Hair Salon Has Been Making Wellington Beautiful For Thirty Years.

For 30 years, Visions Hair Salon has been making Wellington residents beautiful with satisfying hairstyling capabilities that have kept the hair of local men and women of every age looking its very best.

Owner Tom Monticello grew up in the industry at his father’s barber shop in New Jersey. After extensive training, he moved to Wellington and opened Visions Hair Salon in 1988. While the shop has expanded — featuring 32 staff members today — it remains in the same shopping plaza where he first opened his doors and began to watch the community grow.

“We really care about satisfaction, and that attitude toward customer satisfaction is what keeps the people coming back,” said Monticello, who noted that many other salons have come and gone during his tenure. “For many salons, 10 or 20 years is a very long time. We have clients and employees who have been with us almost that long.”

Visions Hair Salon offers its clients a wide array of services.

“We handle every aspect of modern hair design, including color work, cutting and styling, conditioning, hair extensions, specialized treatments and much more, but we never got into nail and spa treatments — we specialize in hair,” Monticello said, explaining that the salon also uses and supplies the best hair care products. “It’s all about the client’s satisfaction. We use the finest, internationally known products.”

Monticello is proud that his facility has been a Nick Arroyo Ambassador Salon for the past nine years.

A well-known celebrity stylist with 30-plus years in the industry, Arrojo, who is based in New York City, was a pioneer of his own signature, razor-cutting, precision-based hairstyling technique that today is practiced worldwide because it offers versatility for stylists and beautiful, wearable styles for clients.

With exposure in magazines worldwide, and as the hairstyling host of the TLC show “What Not To Wear,” and with his own line of top-quality products, Arrojo has become an industry icon for his internationally renowned techniques and as an author, educator and mentor.

“We also use the Goldwell hair color line and award-winning products, programs and techniques from Balayage and others,” added Monticello, who said that his stylists, junior stylists and apprentice stylists attend seminars as well as on-going education and training on a weekly basis, and sometimes multiple times per week.

Monticello said clients come to Visions Hair Salon because the entire staff works to deliver the highest-quality professional service. “We start with a complimentary consultation about your hair and your goals,” he said. “Again, it is all about the client’s satisfaction.”

Monticello noted that some of their first-time business comes from clients needing his experts to correct color and fix mistakes made by others.

“We use only the finest products for each application that have been developed by hairdressers for other hairdressers,” Monticello said. “[The products] have to perform to help make the client’s hairstyle work, so it looks as good next week as it did when they left the salon.”

Sunday, Nov. 11 will be a banner day for Visions Hair Salon, as it celebrates the past three decades with an event starting at 6 p.m.

“It will be a two- or three-hour free event,” said Monticello, who said that Arrojo, as well as representatives from Goldwell and others will be present at the celebration and that many products will have featured percentage-off prices.

The evening will include a raffle with proceeds and a portion of the product sales benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Visions Hair Salon is located at 12793 W. Forest Hill Blvd. in the Wellington Plaza. Call (561) 790-1696 or visit for more information.


CycleBar Combines Best Of Fitness, Fun & Philanthropy

CycleBar Combines Best Of Fitness, Fun & Philanthropy

Whether at home, in business or in the saddle, Erin Schiller has always led a driven life. When the opportunity to open a CycleBar indoor cycling studio in Wellington presented itself to her, she jumped at the chance to combine her passions of fitness and business.

Since opening to great anticipation in July, CycleBar Wellington has become a popular new fitness option in a community that values being active.

“Opening in the Wellington community is very meaningful to me,” Schiller said. “As an equestrian, Wellington obviously holds a special place in my heart, but it is also home to an active group of people who get very excited about new fitness options. I am really excited to be a part of the movement now.”

Created in 2004, CycleBar has grown into the largest network of premium indoor cycling studios in the world. It is the first and only premium experiential fitness concept offered in franchising. CycleBar is unique from other cycling studios because of the full sensory experience it offers during each class through CycleBeats, CycleTheatre, CycleStats and CycleStar instructors. The cyclists in each class can expect to have an upbeat and immersive experience from a motivational, professional instructor every time they enter the studio.

An integral part of the CycleBar success is the CycleStar instructors who motivate riders not only as a trainer, but also as a DJ, drill sergeant, educator and friend. Each instructor is dedicated to helping riders achieve their fitness goals by bringing incomparable energy, training, enthusiasm and charisma to each ride, which takes approximately 45 minutes.

The CycleStar instructors are also able to create highly motivating, energetic playlists for riders through CycleBeats, which is a proprietary, state-of-the-art in-house and online music database. CycleBeats allows CycleStars to personalize their classes, making it fun to try each class to get to know all of the instructors.

“I worked really hard to make sure that the instructors I chose for my studio were an elite group of fitness educators,” Schiller explained. “I feel like I have an incredibly high-quality group of 10 trainers who are passionate about CycleBar and helping people have a great time at every class. To me, that makes all the difference. If your instructor is fun and energetic, it is hard to not have a great time.”

CycleBar goes even further in offering the best in boutique fitness with CycleStats, a program that allows riders to achieve their personal best with every ride. CycleStats uses technology to measure six key metrics of a riders’ daily and historic performance. After every ride, patrons will receive an e-mail with their personal results, which shows calories, power, RPM, mileage, resistance and time. Over time, the cyclists can track personal progress to achieve and exceed their goals.

Another unique aspect of CycleBar is the drive to give back to the community. This desire led to the creation of CycleGiving, a philanthropic movement that partners with local organizations and charities to create exciting indoor cycling charity rides to support the organization’s cause. Since its grand opening, CycleBar Wellington has hosted fundraising rides for a variety of charities, both local and national, such as Kiehl’s LifeRide which supports amfAR, the Children’s Cancer Research Fund and the Parkinson’s Foundation.

“Supporting the community by supporting charities is very important to me, and it sets the CycleBar business model apart,” Schiller said. “We work hard to partner with other local businesses to ensure that the fundraisers are as effective and meaningful as possible. We encourage our members to enter the studio and leave it all on the bike. If we can help them to do that by also supporting causes that affect everyone, I think it makes the rides even more special.”

CycleBar opened to great success during the summer in Wellington, and now Schiller is looking forward to welcoming the equestrians who migrate to the area for the winter months. Schiller keeps her horses with Wellington favorites Todd Minikus and his wife Amanda, and she stressed how much CycleBar workouts can support equestrians.

“Part of the reason I was so passionate about opening the studio in Wellington is because I knew first-hand how much CycleBar can help riders,” she explained. “Every CycleBar ride encourages strength, core stability, balance and stamina, which are fundamental aspects of good riding. We are planning special equestrian-themed rides, fundraisers for equestrian charities, as well as a unique membership package and competitive class schedule especially for the season. I am really excited to share this experience with all the equestrians who come here, and then be able to cheer them on when they compete.”

First rides are always free and can be scheduled using the CycleBar web site or app. Shoes, towels and water are provided free of charge, and the CycleBar staff is excited to meet new people to help introduce them to this fitness movement.

CycleBar Wellington is located at 9312 Forest Hill Blvd. in the Kobosko’s Crossing Shopping Center. For more information, visit Area charities interested in working with CycleBar should call (561) 444-3185.


The Trophy Room Pairs Sophisticated Dining With A Dynamic Nightlife Experience

The Trophy Room Pairs Sophisticated Dining With A Dynamic Nightlife Experience

The Trophy Room, opening this fall on South Shore Blvd. in Wellington, is in for the win. It promises a sophisticated dining experience that combines a wide variety of New American cuisine, a lux atmosphere and dynamic nightlife, all in one.

“We want to create something that isn’t just a good meal — it’s an experience,” Trophy Room co-owner Rob Gray explained.

Gray and his team hope to score big, taking over the location that formerly housed the Grille Fashion Cuisine, a hotspot popular with locals and visiting equestrians alike.

Gray, who grew up in a family of equestrian riders, has teamed up with his friend and business partner, Teddy Vlock. The two formed T&R Development — first focusing on real estate, and now, a newly formed hospitality division. The duo hopes to win over the hearts and appetites of both the Wellington community, and those who visit the winter equestrian capital of the world, by offering a global menu.

“The menu is a great mix of what you would call New American,” Gray said. “It’s a broad term, giving you the freedom to touch on so many different areas. It has the steak house side to it, then Asian, mixed with some Italian flair. So, it’s a great combination of cuisines.”

Gray wants the entire experience to be desirable to people of all ages.

“Something that appeals to a younger crowd that wants to come in and have a meal that they’re sharing, and maybe later dinner,” he explained. “But also be able to cater to an older crowd that wants to have the traditional appetizer, entrée and dessert.”

Designing the menu is Executive Chef Joseph Bonavita Jr., a New York native who brings to the kitchen more than 12 years of experience. Bonavita studied at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago under world-renowned chefs. He was most recently executive chef of the Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa in Palm Beach, as well as executive chef of 50 Ocean in Delray Beach.

“He has a lot of experience, and he’s very versatile,” Gray said. “He has a passion for food. He loves cooking with all fresh ingredients.”

On the menu are a variety of sharable options.

“We have an extensive sharable menu, like steak tartare with octopus. We have a snacks menu with items like onion dip, as well as shaved Brussels sprouts,” Gray said. “Also, a sweet corn bisque, as well as everything from steak and seafood, a raw bar, to homemade pastas. We’re really going to utilize the brick oven for pizza and a few other dishes. It’s a great asset.”

Gray and his team are also trying to source products locally. “We’re trying to work with as many local people as possible,” he said. “We’re also bringing in oysters from Island Creek Oyster Farm in Massachusetts, which is one of the best oyster providers in the country.”

This isn’t Gray’s first experience with the hospitality business. The 27-year-old entrepreneur began working in the equestrian business at age 18. He developed the Gallery nightlife venue at the Winter Equestrian Festival back in 2015. After much brainstorming, he and his team came up with the name Trophy Room.

“There’s no escaping the equestrian culture in Wellington. I didn’t want to play directly off of it. It seemed a good balance of embodying what we wanted to achieve, which was a lux rich interior with high-quality finishings. A great experience, classic food, but keeping with what you imagine to be in Wellington without being so direct about it,” Gray explained.

The restaurant space has undergone a complete transformation. It seats 175, which includes outdoor seating and the bar, along with a private dining room for 35, with the goal of streamlining it all together to give it a feeling of synergy.

A color scheme of black, white, navy and gold fills the restaurant. To give it a lounge feel, banquette seating fills the space with tufted navy leather and white Carrera tables with brushed gold bases. The private dining room is designed with navy velvet chairs. The tables in the room are an ebony-stained wood with white director’s chairs.

A fully custom back bar has also been built with black-and-white marble.

“The bar is now directly in front of the kitchen with mahogany shelves, an antique mirror, gold accents and an LED-lit back bar. It’s going to be really beautiful,” Gray said.

The full bar includes an extensive and diverse wine list.

“We’re at 110 bottles. It’s a lot of American vineyards, but because of Wellington being so international in the winter months, we have a great international selection of Spanish, French and Italian wines, among other countries,” he said.

An upscale cocktail list to suit all tastes was also created. “We really would love to bring an elevated cocktail culture with specialty cocktails ranging from your traditional margaritas to your classics like your gin fizz,” Gray explained.

The team plans to offer a regular happy hour to keep the Wellington community engaged and close to home.

“I think it’s something that will be a great addition to the community,” Gray said of the new restaurant. “Our goal is to bring something that isn’t currently in Wellington and wasn’t in Wellington before, which is a fine-dining restaurant with a lounge-type atmosphere and an upscale dining experience. There’s so much more to a great experience, a great meal, than the quality of the food. It’s the overall atmosphere, and so much of that comes from a great staff, from the moment you walk in the door to when you leave — it’s so important.”

The Trophy Room is located at 12300 South Shore Blvd. in Wellington. For more information, call (561) 793-2110 or visit



New Beginnings Medical Spa Offers Well-Known Diet And Treatments To Reverse Aging

New Beginnings Medical Spa Offers Well-Known Diet And Treatments To Reverse Aging

More than 20,000 clients from across the nation and around the world have visited New Beginnings Medical Spa at one of its six locations in South Florida.

With a facility in Wellington, area residents don’t have to travel far to lose weight and look younger.

Physician Assistant Alison Roloff works under the direction of a highly qualified doctor to administer services and treatments to combat the effects of aging.

“I am qualified to do all the procedures for the hCG diet, administering the cosmetic services and the IV treatments,” said Roloff, who has been a physician assistant for five years and worked in the cosmetic medicine field on the west coast of Florida before joining New Beginnings.

The family-owned New Beginnings Medical Spa began in 2007, providing the doctor-supervised hCG diet, and it has grown to half a dozen spa locations and expanded the service offerings to include cosmetic treatments.

“The hCG diet is the primary focus of the business with more than 20,000 clients having used it,” Roloff said. “With more than a decade and that many clients, you know it is something that works.”

The hCG diet is an advanced medical solution designed to achieve the greatest weight loss, effectively and safely. Heralded in medical journals for generations and first developed more than six decades ago, the program includes a very low-calorie diet, sometimes as low as 500 calories per day. This is combined with the hormone human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), which is a naturally occurring compound that is found in pregnant women.

The hormone regulates progesterone production and interacts with testosterone to promote weight loss in both women and men. The plan was extensively studied first in the 1950s when Dr. Albert T.W. Simeons developed the protocol, and a version of the plan is still being utilized effectively today. Called the number one diet in the country, some patients lose up to a pound a day.

Whether an individual is seeking weight loss or personal enhancement goals achieved through the most up-to-date cosmetic treatments, New Beginnings specializes in providing advanced, medically administered injectable solutions. These include Botox, Juvéderm, glycolic skin peels and more.

Roloff explained that while the natural elements of sun and wind, life’s worries and stress, and the effects of aging all take a toll on the body, faces are the most noticeable. With Botox, a person doesn’t have to live with this toll of looking older than they need to.

Roloff said that permanent creases and wrinkles on the forehead, between the brows and around the eyes can often be softened and smoothed for up to six months. Each person is different, but one treatment can yield results that show within days and last for months — and that’s just one of the various treatments offered.

“The thing that sets New Beginnings Medical Spa apart from other facilities is the many options available from a single medical spa,” Roloff said. “We offer a highly experienced staff with a high level of expertise in the treatments, and we have years and thousands of satisfied clients to prove our credentials.”

Patients who are interested in staying healthy and vibrant, gaining more spark and energy, increasing productive years and expanding lifespan, may choose the facility’s offerings of IV nutrient therapies.

Each patient receives a custom treatment formulated to fit their individual needs and to achieve their specific health goals. IV nutrient therapy is designed to rehydrate the body, revitalize the patient’s mind and replenish energy stores. “Anyone interested in losing weight, feeling their best, reversing wrinkles and slowing down aging, and treating the aging process, should arrange for a consultation by giving us a call,” Roloff said.

New Beginnings offers periodic “party pricing” with $100 off the fee for services. For details, and to be invited to the next party pricing event, call the office.

The Wellington office of New Beginnings Medical Spa is located at 12300 South Shore Blvd., Suite 220. To learn more, visit or call (561) 210-9250.


Grand Prix Farms Facility Features Abundant Equestrian Amenities

Grand Prix Farms Facility Features Abundant Equestrian Amenities

This world-class, 60-stable, 14-paddock equestrian facility is located on one of the largest parcels of land in Grand Prix Farms, just a short hack from the Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds. The property was remodeled last year to include abundant amenities — a hot walker, a treadmill, a lunging area, a hunter arena and an oversized jumping arena with the finest footing available. The staff quarters feature five apartments for grooms and trainers, with 13 bedrooms and six baths between them. This includes an owner’s apartment, a manager’s apartment, a rider’s apartment and two grooms’ apartments.

Jumping Arena: There are two extra-large arenas, one of which is sand and the other features a privacy hedge. The U-shaped barn has been expanded to both the left and the right, taking best advantage of all nine acres of the property.

Manager’s Apartment: The manager’s apartment, located over the stalls, features two bedrooms and a balcony.

Storage Lockers: The oak-paneled cabinets to the left offer plenty of storage, while rubber mats are easy on horses’ hoofs.

Tack Room Area: Equipment trunks are located in front of the tack room, offering easy access to those on the go.

Walkway: Gracing the barn ceiling are light fixtures that would make any homeowner proud. The door to a groom’s apartment is to the left of the console.

Courtyard View: The courtyard view from the manager’s upstairs apartment is quite striking.

Pathways: This image, taken from the balcony, shows how the manager can survey almost the entire property from his or her apartment.

Equipment Lockers: Equipment lockers are strategically placed throughout the expansive barn area.

Breezeway: The stables have been situated with the ability to capture a breeze.



Community Service Is Important To Financial Planners Ben And Joanna Boynton

Community Service Is Important To Financial Planners Ben And Joanna Boynton

Ben and Joanna Boynton have been financial professionals in Wellington for more than 20 years. Ben is a fourth-generation native of Palm Beach County who grew up in Wellington, while Joanna hails from Gainesville. They met while studying finance at the University of Florida in the early 1990s.

Ben’s great-grandparents were pioneers in Palm Beach County who became active in the agricultural industry in the Glades in the 1930s. His parents came to the Wellington area because it was uniquely situated between the Glades and the coastal Palm Beach area. Ben remains active on the board of the family’s agricultural company, Wedgworth Farms.

Wellington was a vastly different community back when Ben was growing up in the 1980s. “I still remember when a fast food restaurant came to Wellington,” he recalled. “It was a Checkers, and we were all very excited to check it out.”

When the couple first met, Joanna had never heard of Wellington, but she still recalls her initial impression. “It’s very flat,” she said. “North Florida has a lot of hills.”

Both Boyntons graduated from the University of Florida with bachelor’s degrees in business administration with majors in finance. After graduating, they became certified financial planners (CFPs) and decided to settle in the Wellington area with the intention of starting their own financial firm. At the time, there were few financial services available locally.

“Our goal was to bring the first full-service financial brokerage to Wellington,” Ben said. “We achieved that in 1997.”

The offices of the Boynton Financial Group are located within the Mizner Place plaza on South Shore Blvd. They are currently in the process of renovating the interior of their building, which they recently bought, to make it feel more like a home. One of the rooms toward the center will designed to resemble a living room. Among the features is a vintage Coca-Cola machine, as Ben is a noted collector of antiques.

The Boyntons have two children: a son, William, and a daughter, Catherine. They attend the Oxbridge Academy, where they engage in a number of sports and activities. William is pursuing his pilot’s license, while Catherine is interested in the performing arts and recently appeared on stage in Wellington as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde for the Dance Arts Conservatory Broadway Stars program. Neither child has yet shown interest in a career in finance and following in their parents’ footsteps, which is fine with Ben and Joanna.

“We try to maintain a balance,” Joanna explained. “We encourage and support them, but we remind them that not everyone is as fortunate as they are.”

Ben and Joanna remain as active as their children. In addition to antiques, Ben enjoys hunting, water skiing and scuba diving. Joanna also enjoys outdoor activities and marathoning, and she has recently embraced her artistic side through oil painting.

The Boynton family currently resides on an estate in Loxahatchee’s Fox Trail neighborhood, which is zoned for livestock.

“We have a herd of Herefords,” Ben explained. “We take them up to Ocala.”

Herefords are a breed of beef cattle that originated in the United Kingdom in the county of Herefordshire and were first imported to the United States in 1817 by Sen. Henry Clay of Kentucky.

Over the years, both Ben and Joanna have been very active in the community with service on numerous boards. Ben is a trustee of the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce, chair of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County and chair of the Wellington Regional Medical Center Board of Governors. Joanna is on the board of the Wellington Community Foundation.

In this capacity, they have been involved in many community events and charitable functions, with the goal of enhancing the Wellington community and Palm Beach County as a whole.

While modest about their contributions, others in the community have taken note and recognized them for their combined efforts.

In 2009, the Boyntons received the Frank T. Gladney Award from the Wellington Rotary Club. The award is presented each year to Wellington locals who devote time, energy and resources to the betterment of the community. In receiving the award, the Boyntons became the first couple to be given the honor.

The Boynton Financial Group, which is affiliated with Raymond James, offers a number of financial services for a select clientele. Among these services are financial planning, including business and retirement, portfolio and investment management, and estate planning, including charitable giving and trusts.

Their relationship with Raymond James allows the Boyntons the freedom to run their business, but also provides their clients with additional resources. The Boynton Financial Group is in the top five percent of independent Raymond James offices in terms of managed assets.

Having been established for more than 20 years, Ben and Joanna agree that it is extremely important to maintain a quality of service for their customers.

The clients they serve come from a number of different roles, including corporate executives and business owners, but also families and retirees. A number of clients are healthcare professionals, and there has been an emphasis on women investors.

The Boyntons employ a select team of relationship managers and associates to assist their clients and have seen promising results from their internship program.

Ben explained that many of the lessons he learned at the University of Florida are still relevant in their business, and both are eager to assist in the education of the next generation of financial professionals. For their part, interns have reported back that the hands-on knowledge they gained working with the Boyntons has not just improved their academic work, but also their early job prospects as they graduate and enter the workforce.

The Boynton Financial Group is located at 12400-B South Shore Blvd. in Wellington. For more information, call (561) 795-9156 or visit


Chris Heine Jr. Of Chris Allen Realty Brings Unique Expertise To Clients

Chris Heine Jr. Of Chris Allen Realty Brings Unique Expertise To Clients

South Florida native Chris Heine Jr. of Chris Allen Realty comes to real estate quite naturally. After all, the profession runs in the family.

“My father was a builder while I was growing up, and construction and housing always caught my interest,” he said. “The industry is constantly evolving, and that is what intrigues me. Being a spec builder means I have to maintain up-to-date information about the market and watch trends as they shift in this area.”

Heine was born at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, attended Cardinal Newman High School and received his degree from Florida Atlantic University in 2006.

“I have always loved the area here, which is why I decided to stay local for my college education,” he said. “Wellington and the western communities have evolved along with the entire market in the past 20 years, and I have been here to watch.”

Heine’s unique skill set gives him a leg up on the competition.

“I specialize in construction and valuations because I am a real estate investor myself,” he said. “This helps my clients because I can decipher inspection reports and cosmetic items and put a real budget value on items, where a normal broker would not be able to give accurate estimates without referring out to third party vendors for every small detail.”

This make Heine a unique resource for his clients. “Knowing the construction lingo and dealing with the items first-hand is a valuable resource,” he explained. “I also study the market in the surrounding area daily to see what is happening for my own investments, so I can help when clients are preparing offers as buyers or coming up with an accurate listing price as a seller.”

Heine is also a licensed mortgage loan originator. He added this to his resume out of a desire to fully understand the workings of the lending industry.

“Lending is the largest factor in buying and selling real estate when a client does not have liquid cash to purchase a property,” he said. “I am also in the process of getting a trainee designation in appraisals. These extra courses help me be the best in the industry when it comes to real estate, and I pass on my knowledge to all my agents in our weekly sales meetings. We maintain a boutique size so each of my agents can strive to be the best agent for their clients and represent them well.”

As someone who has grown up in the area, Heine said the decision to settle down here was easy.

“Our area is special because you can drive from a multi-million-dollar horse farm with 20 acres to a multi-million-dollar waterfront mansion on a half-acre in less than 30 minutes,” he said. “South Florida is the perfect geographical location to have all types of people residing here. People come from all over the world to vacation here or move here from other states because of the weather, atmosphere, culture, etc.”

When Heine surveys the shape of the current real estate market, he’s pleased with what he sees.

“I feel that the market is exactly where it should be for the strength in the economy and the jobs that are being filled,” he said. “We had some catching up to do after the stall in the market… We have seen year over year returns and equity growth in the double digits; 10 to 20 percent each year. I think this will plateau, and we will start seeing the average return of 4 to 5 percent a year for real estate. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it is actually a good thing. It shows a stable economy and means that real estate remains one of the best investments an individual can make.”

To contact Chris Heine, call (561) 507-5448 or visit


A Lifelong Love Of Horses Has Always Guided Ruth Menor Of Vinceremos

A Lifelong Love Of Horses Has Always Guided Ruth Menor Of Vinceremos

Who knew that a little girl’s love for horses would one day turn into a passion that would positively affect the lives of hundreds of people in South Florida?

Ruth Menor, known today as the founder of the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, probably didn’t contemplate the future with much seriousness back then. She was just a happy girl with a deep respect for the equine friends she played with every day.

Growing up on a 500-acre dairy farm in Michigan was ideal for Menor, the youngest of four children. As the baby in the family, she often found herself paired with horses for playtime, rather than older siblings with other interests. She loved everything about the three horses that lived on the farm, riding them every chance that she had. She learned their ways, and they formed a close bond.

“My dad bought me a pony before I could walk,” Menor recalled. “Actually, he bought my brothers and sister a pony before I could walk, and none of them were so inclined. It ended up being my passion.”

Menor has trouble pinpointing why she had such an affinity for horses, but attributes it to several reasons, including the remoteness of farm life and the lack of playmates her age living nearby.

“In our therapy world, we call it authenticity. They [the horses] sense who you are. They sense your intent. They just have an innate sense about who you are, and when they have that confidence of you being authentic; you know, kind and loving, those are the things that they respond to,” she explained.

Menor never had riding lessons, but figured it out on her own, with the help of a naughty Shetland pony named Prince. She learned quickly to avoid the area of the yard where an apple tree grew, to prevent Prince bucking her off in favor of the apples. It is an amusing story, but also one that provides insight into a learning curve about horses that Menor mastered over the years on the farm. “I had a wonderful time of being out in nature and having that connection with my animals,” she said.

Life changed dramatically for Menor and her family when she was 12 years old. Her father passed away following a tragic farming accident. It was perhaps at this sad time that Menor began to experience the therapeutic aspect of horse life.

Her family moved from the farm and away from Michigan. Her mother, understanding the important role that horses played in her daughter’s life, arranged that she would always have a horse friend. They were unable to take the farm horses with her when the family relocated, but Menor’s mother knew that purchasing a new horse for young Ruth would help after losing her father and moving away from the farm.

“She knew that it was the thing that would help me to make those transitions to another kind of life, which was in a suburb, you know with sidewalks and neighbors within 15 feet of us,” Menor said. “I always had my horse friends.”

But life was very different. “It was quite a shift from having your horse in the backyard, to moving some place where it had to be stabled, and I had to go visit it,” she said.

Following the loss of her father, Menor remembers her mother making very wise decisions. Although there were changes, they didn’t come too rapidly.

“When you’re 12, you don’t think of all these things. It’s just how life is. But when I was 40 and had kids, I thought about what that would be like,” she said. “It was good to have that perspective and to know that it was a lot to manage.”

Menor’s attachment to horses was further influenced at a therapeutic riding center near Battle Creek, Mich. The Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center was a place where Menor’s mother felt her daughter would have fun, but Menor went far beyond what her mother intended. The facility ended up having a profound influence on Menor, who later graduated from Florida State University with a degree in therapeutic recreation. She returned to the Cheff Center following graduation, where she received her certification as a therapeutic riding instructor.

The year 1982 was a big year for Menor, who married her husband Michael, the brother of a good friend. Though she is credited with founding the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, Menor is quick to explain that she considers herself the co-founder, since her husband greatly supported the idea in its early days. When Menor began Vinceremos, there were just a handful of therapeutic riding centers in the state, and none near the Wellington area. The concept was completely foreign to the community at large. She and her husband had taken a huge leap of faith.

“I think I never considered it not working.” Menor said. “We just were going to make it work. It was going to happen.”

She believes it to be the grace of God regarding the success of the center and its current location.

“When we started in 1982, there was not the significant horse community that it is now, but if I had been really strategic about planning it, this would have been about where I landed, right here,” Menor said.

It was also well-timed due to the coming growth of the therapeutic riding concept.

“In 1982, children were just beginning to be diagnosed with autism, and no one really knew what to do with them,” Menor recalled. “You know, it’s interesting. With a horse, you deal with a non-verbal world, reading their behavior and creating an understanding. With some of our autistic clients, that’s what we do. We’re very conscious of what it is in their environment that is affecting their behavior, because often times they can’t verbalize. I was effective at working with those riders and children, because that was the world that we worked in, and I was accustomed to that.”

In the early years, Menor didn’t receive a paycheck, but eventually began to see the organization take shape and grow. At its origin, Vinceremos — which comes from the Latin for “we shall conquer” — started in a friend’s backyard with three horses and one client rider. Today, the therapeutic riding center has 21 horses available and provides a conquering spirit to approximately 140 clients each week.

Menor, currently the chief program officer, sees the mission of Vinceremos as a simple one: “Just to have everyone who comes here to not feel like they’re being treated as someone with a disability, but as someone who is just coming to ride. To have our clients be proud of their accomplishments. We never focus on the disability, but on the ability.”

The Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center is located at 13300 Sixth Court North in Loxahatchee Groves. For more info., call (561) 792-9900 or visit


Bringing You The Best Of Wellington Since 2004