The Patio At Polo Shines As A Premier Dining And Event Space

The Patio At Polo Shines As A Premier Dining And Event Space

The Patio At Polo is back, celebrating its third year as a Wellington staple. Sheila Motley and chef Mat Allen’s stand-alone seasonal restaurant and event space has returned and is welcoming the community to experience its intimate atmosphere and bold dishes.

The husband-and-wife team, along with their young son Collins, are the driving forces and creative minds behind this enchanting dining locale, situated within the Palm Beach Polo & Country Club. Combining Motley’s talents for event management and catering with Allen’s skills in the kitchen, the family-run restaurant has quickly become one of the community’s most charming jewels.

“We had the idea for the Patio At Polo because we spend so much time here each year that we wanted a way to utilize our skills in the culinary industry, as well as provide Wellington with a new and unique spot to enjoy wonderful food coupled with a great environment,” Motley explained. “I’m so proud that our vision came to fruition. We’ve had such a warm reception, and I’m excited to return for our third year of business.”

Overflowing with character thanks to its open-air concept, creative dishes and a wine list curated specifically with Wellington residents in mind, the Patio At Polo benefits from the combined talents of both culinary expert owners.

Classically trained chef Allen, who has worked for the Queen of England and the Royal Family at Windsor Castle, oversees the menu and food preparation. Guests can expect to be treated to premier cuisine sure to impress.

With a reputation for success in the catering and event planning spheres, Motley knows how to navigate the intricacies associated with event organization. A longtime equestrian, her ties to Wellington go beyond the dining scene and extend into the winner’s circle at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Between Motley and Allen, the dynamic pair pose the perfect skill set to build and grow their restaurant.

“I follow Sheila,” Allen laughed. “Really, our little man, Collins, is the big boss. He runs the show. He preps, he greets tables and he tells the servers when the tables need water or checks.”

Though Allen is quick to credit his wife and son, he is equal part of the family trio holding the reins. With much experience as a first-class chef, Allen brings his culinary expertise to the first-rate menu. The team at the Patio At Polo are experts at preparing both traditional favorites and unique, new dishes. Whether you’re craving to try something new or savor a traditional favorite, the dynamic menu is sure to excite, featuring classics such as a burger trio and fish tacos, complemented by plentiful options for the more adventurous palate, including seared scallops in a butternut puree, shrimp and grits in a bacon marmalade, and sun-dried tomato basil ice cream.

Adding to the appeal, the restaurant offers a uniquely family-friendly setting to appease both adults and children. Situated on an expansive lawn, it allows for children to play together beside the open-air restaurant within clear view of their parents, making for a stress-free and memorable dining experience for the whole family.

“We wanted to give Wellington what it deserves — to give them something new, something creative and something different,” Allen said. “People enjoy the Patio At Polo because they feel like they can escape a bit. You feel like you’re not in town. You get out of the shopping malls, the strip malls and the parking lots. Our space is unique in that sense.”

The Patio At Polo exemplifies the best that Wellington has to offer in a casual, yet elegant, atmosphere. Boasting a charming ambiance and an inventive menu, the unique open-air restaurant has been garnering local praise and attracting sold-out crowds.

“We have been so lucky that the community has accepted the Patio At Polo so warmly. Mat and I had wanted to open a restaurant in Wellington for quite a while, and to have it thriving means a lot to us,” Motley said. “We love inviting first-time diners to experience the restaurant, but seeing returning faces is especially rewarding. All of the support has given us another reason to do what we love.”

The Patio At Polo is located at 11198 Polo Club Road in Wellington. With the winter season in full swing, reservations are recommended. For more information, call or text (561) 660-3300. To view the current menu, visit


Allen Gillespie Of PC Pros Help Individuals And Businesses With Computer Repairs

Allen Gillespie Of PC Pros Help Individuals And Businesses With Computer Repairs

Allen Gillespie has been working professionally on computers since 2006. In 2011, he opened PC Pros of Wellington in the original Wellington Mall. Since that time, he has become the go-to computer expert for many individuals and businesses within Wellington and the surrounding communities.

Gillespie grew up in Wellington. His father, electrical engineer James Gillespie, brought his family from West Palm Beach to Wellington to build a new home on a large lot in Paddock Park, Phase 1.

“Wellington was a fresh, up-and-coming community,” Gillespie recalled. “My parents wanted a big lot and good schools.”

Gillespie attended Forest Hill High School before graduating from Wellington High School. He went on to graduate in 2003 from the New England Institute of Technology in Rhode Island with a degree in network engineering.

Gillespie now lives in Royal Palm Beach with his wife Cristina. They have two children together — Peyton, 3, named for Peyton Manning, and Conor, 1, named for Conor McGregor. Also part of the family are Cristina’s children from a previous relationship, Ethan, a student at Wellington High School, and Savanna, a student at Wellington Landings Middle School.

After operating out of his home for five years, Gillespie chose to open a full-service retail location focused on computer repairs. He chose the original Wellington Mall because of a close relationship between his father and the Santamaria family, owners of the building.

“My dad had a business for years in the nearby professional building,” Gillespie explained. “When this spot opened up, he helped negotiate my first lease. It’s small, but perfect. This is the heart of Wellington.”

Gillespie enjoys a healthy business as a result of his reputation, expertise and location.

“Every year, it has just been growing,” he said. “I’ve been around a long time, and everyone comes back to me. I try to take care of as much of Wellington as I possibly can.”

Roughly 65 percent of PC Pros’ customer base is personal computer users, with the remaining 35 percent consisting of small to mid-size businesses.

“I provide end-user support,” Gillespie said. “The most common problems are viruses, or the device won’t turn on.”

Having worked professionally with computers since his college education in the early 2000s, Gillespie has had a front-row seat for many technological developments.

“There is a transition from desktops to laptops and tablets,” Gillespie said. “The trend is going more mobile. Many people are on the go traveling, such as students with laptops going off to college. Everything is getting smaller and smaller. They can cram a lot of stuff into a smaller case.”

The number-one complaint users bring Gillespie is that their existing computers and laptops are slow. He fixes this issue through a process he calls “supercharging.”

“It makes a world of difference,” Gillespie explained. “I give customers options, but the speed and warranty sells them. It’s my bread and butter. I do about two a day and 40 to 50 a month.”

“Supercharging” involves installing a solid-state hard drive, which benchmark tests have shown are 20 times faster than a normal hard drive. Gillespie then migrates their software to the new drive and installs a clean version of Windows 10 with the latest software and anti-virus updates. The result is often an upgraded computer or laptop that is faster than a new device.

Gillespie offers the service for $200 including parts and labor for a desktop and $250 for a laptop. His next most common service is RAM upgrades.

Having worked in the computer industry for so long, Gillespie has seen it all, including his share of strange and unusual encounters.

“A customer moved from New York, and his laptop wouldn’t turn on,” Gillespie recalled. “I was getting deeper into the computer and heard this clicking sound. There were roaches inside. They were all over my shop, and I had to bomb it with insecticides. I literally found bugs in the computer.”

In a similar vein, Gillespie once made a call to a mechanic’s shop to work on a desktop that would not power on. When he opened the case and examined the power supply, he discovered a small mouse inside.

Another recent occurrence included a customer who brought an iMac in for a trade only to drop it when removing it from the car. An expected $400 trade-in only resulted in $50 due to the damage.

Gillespie strives to remain up-to-date on the latest developments in the industry. He relies on different web sites, including YouTube videos, Experts Exchange and Knowledge Experts.

“Everything is routine for the most part,” Gillespie explained. “Nobody knows everything. Google and YouTube are your best friends.”

PC Pros of Wellington is located in the original Wellington Mall at 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 1B. For more information, call Gillespie at (561) 420-0554 or e-mail Visit them on the web at


It Has Been One Adjustment After Another For Dr. Brett Taylor’s Chiropractic Practice

It Has Been One Adjustment After Another For Dr. Brett Taylor’s Chiropractic Practice

With more than 30 years as a chiropractor, Dr. Brett Taylor of the Taylor Chiropractic Center has been caring for the residents of the western communities for 25 of those years.

“It’s all about helping people to get out of pain, getting function and improving their overall quality of life,” he said.

From his new Wellington office, Taylor and his team treat thousands of patients for short-term relief care for acute problems, all the way to a long-term wellness care for those clients who choose that option.

“We’re very hands-on. We never treat you in a way that you feel like just a number in a practice,” he said. “I choose to be involved with the patients from the moment of consultation through all treatments and adjustments. I want to know exactly how the patients are feeling.”

Taylor grew up in the business, so to speak, as a second-generation chiropractor. “I started getting adjusted when I was a kid, and I was always interested in science and nature,” he explained. “That’s what chiropractic philosophy is, a combination of science and nature — the holistic treatment method.”

Services at the practice include traditional hands-on chiropractic adjustments with spinal mobilization techniques, as well as a combination of therapeutic treatments including ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, flexion/distraction and others. Taylor is also certified in physiotherapy.

These comprehensive services give clients of the Wellington center a full spectrum of chiropractic wellness care: traditional chiropractic care, corrective exercises, lifestyle advice, nutritional counseling, massage therapy, and spinal and postural screenings.

These various modalities allow Taylor to treat multiple spinal conditions ranging from back and neck pain to more complex problems. This includes degenerative disc disease, sciatica, whiplash injuries and more.

In the initial, guaranteed satisfaction consultation, Taylor will determine which treatment is best for a patient’s situation. The guarantee promises that if you are not 100 percent satisfied with your initial visit, then you will not be charged by the office for that visit.

Taylor said that the practice’s goal is to get the patient out of pain fast, and they offer pain-relief treatment programs with that in mind. Yet he stresses that good health is much more than the absence of pain. It is taking care of yourself, going to the gym, eating right and using appropriate vitamin supplements. “I am a strong believer in vitamins,” said Taylor, who works holistically to restore patients to their full potential.

Taylor and his wife Pam, who runs the office, have been together 26 years and have a son who attends the University of Florida and a daughter who attends Florida Atlantic University. Over the years, they have been active supporters of the American Cancer Society and the Kids Cancer Foundation. In addition, Pam was a chair of the Acreage/Loxahatchee Relay for Life fundraiser. She also volunteers with Friends for Life, an organization that raises money to help local families with cancer. “We do try to reach out to the community and help where we can,” Taylor said.

Excited about the new location, he said that he will be able to provide caring service for all patients from the surrounding areas. “I like Wellington. It has a hometown, family feel,” Taylor said. “Patients say they like the office because we have a warm, caring, friendly atmosphere, and it shows that we like taking care of our friends and patients.”

Taylor recalled that one patient said the center should be called the “Cheers” of chiropractic, after the television show “where everybody knows your name.”

Taylor said that his slogan says it all: “You feel fine when your spine is in line.”

The facility offers same-day appointments, and walk-ins are also welcome. Insurance is accepted, not required, and the office is a provider for most major insurance companies, including Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana and United Healthcare, among others, in addition to accepting Medicare assignments. They also take Florida No Fault/PIP for auto injuries, plus there are affordable self-pay options.

The Taylor Chiropractic Center is located at 12788 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 2002, at the corner of Forest Hill Blvd. and Wellington Trace. For more information, call (561) 793-5050 or visit


Many Upgrades Featured In This Capistrano Model Olympia Home

Many Upgrades Featured In This Capistrano Model Olympia Home

This recently upgraded Olympia abode has both practicality and a wow factor. The Capistrano model home features a bedroom and full bathroom downstairs, in addition to a spacious master suite and three more bedrooms upstairs. In keeping with today’s trends, there are four bathrooms as well. There is also an attached two-car garage, and a pool area featuring the latest in salt system pools. Privacy hedges in the backyard imbue the property with a comfortable family feel, even as they provide a level of safety and security.

Front Elevation: The home’s front elevation features great curb appeal with upgraded landscaping and crisp, clean lines.

Great Room: Crown molding, designer window treatments, recessed lighting and contemporary colors all set this home apart. Even underfoot, no expense was spared. The open plan living area downstairs features extra-long planks of wood-look tile.

Staircase: Descending from the second floor, one can take in most of the downstairs common area and even part of the yard. The expansive great room allows for a variety of seating configurations, and the breakfast bar offers yet another place to gather.

Dining Room: The dining room can handle a crowd or be easily adapted to a more intimate setting. The well-lit room features a statement wall perfect for displaying beloved photographs.

Guest Bedroom: Three tastefully decorated guest bedrooms upstairs bring the total number of bedrooms to five in this spacious family home, which also features four bathrooms.

Kitchen: The light, bright and modern kitchen has a crisp, clean vibe thanks to its extended white cabinetry, granite counter tops and stainless-steel appliances. A sink in the island makes clean-up a breeze.

Master Bedroom: A vaulted tray ceiling in the master bedroom gives a dash of importance to the chandelier, while an ample bank of windows lets in plenty of light. There are two separate closets complete with organizers. The en suite bath features a soaking tub with a separate shower.

Lanai: A covered lanai adds more living space to the home, especially in the winter months. Two sets of sliding glass doors make for a seamless transition from inside to out, and fabulous stone decking adds pizzazz.

Pool: A large salt system pool by Sunsational Pools beckons from the backyard, protected by the comforting privacy hedge.



Luis Rodriguez Specializes In Equestrian Properties

Luis Rodriguez Specializes In Equestrian Properties

Luis Rodriguez of Keller Williams Realty is eager to sing the praises of Wellington in particular and Palm Beach County in general. After all, it’s the area where he grew up, and he speaks of the Palm Beaches with a mixture of knowledge and pride.

“I was raised in Miami and West Palm Beach and received my bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton,” Rodriguez said. “For more than 10 years, I lived in the Southland Park neighborhood near Flagler Drive close to the Intracoastal, so I know Palm Beach County well.”

Rodriguez was a natural for real estate. After being told he had the perfect personality and background for the job, he joined BRP Realty in Palm Beach. It was a matter of the heart that brought him to Wellington.

“Soon after, I met my future husband, documentary filmmaker Ron Davis,” Rodriguez explained. “He had moved to Palm Beach Polo in Wellington from New York City. I found that I really enjoyed the quiet equestrian lifestyle in Wellington, so I decided to make it my home as well. This month will mark my seventh year as a Wellington resident.”

Rodriguez specializes in equestrian lifestyle properties for both year-round and seasonal residents.

“My clients are looking for a comfortable lifestyle, which can range from a luxury condominium to a lavish equestrian estate,” he said. “I take great pride in getting to know what is going on in the community and what interests my clients, in order to help guide them to make the right choices.”

Rodriguez couldn’t be happier to be a part of the Keller Williams team, where he is the chair of the Wellington division of Keller Williams Luxury International. He is dedicated to consistently raising the bar when it comes to service and satisfaction.

“Keller Williams offers one of the most extensive training programs for new agents, as well as continued training for seasoned agents,” he said. “This ensures the highest level of expertise and that the most current marketing resources are at our fingertips to better serve the needs of buyers and sellers at every level. We have a lasting and positive effect on the lives of our clients. As I said before, this is a lifestyle business.”

Since his specialty is equestrian properties, it should come as no surprise that Rodriguez considers the horse community one of the true backbones of Wellington’s appeal.

“Money magazine recently named Wellington one of the eight best places to retire in the entire country, and we are the winter equestrian capital of the world,” he said. “Our little village offers some of the largest and most prestigious equestrian competitions in the world, showcasing the best in international show jumping, dressage and polo. These large equestrian venues offer a unique opportunity for competitors and fans to escape to the Sunshine State seasonally or year-round.”

Rodriguez keeps his eye on the ever-changing real estate market. When he looks at the big picture, he projects an optimistic future for the area.

“Wellington and its global equestrian roots are strong and give us a leg up, so to speak, on the rest of the country,” he said. “The large amount of private investments in property, and equestrian venues that are continuing to grow each year, help to stabilize our community. It reminds me of the baseball movie, Field of Dreams. The voice kept saying, ‘If you build it, they will come.’ Wellington is indeed building, and with our close proximity to Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, there seems to be no reason to believe that the market will do anything in the near future but continue on a steady, upward path.”

For more information, call Rodriguez at (561) 385-2383, e-mail or visit him on the web at


Gardening Is A Passion For Wellington’s Twig Morris

Gardening Is A Passion For Wellington’s Twig Morris

The distant smoke of burning sugarcane trigger fond memories for Wellington’s Twig Morris. Born in San Francisco, Morris relocated to Hawaii as a child. “I find it kind of interesting that I ended up here,” she said. “I can see the sugarcane burning, and it makes me feel at home.”

Morris’ father accepted a physician’s job on a sugarcane plantation in Hawaii. Her father was a true country doctor, who also enjoyed fishing in his spare time, which was one of the primary reasons that the family made the move, landing on the island of Oahu. Morris loved her time there. She had many friends, and life on the island was serene and safe.

“What a wonderful place to grow up. It was like any other small-town, country setting. Everybody knew everybody,” she recalled. “We lived on a cul-de-sac, so we were always out on the street playing. We could walk to the movies at night, and our parents never worried. It was a kinder, gentler time.”

Morris didn’t take her paradise-like surroundings for granted, taking full advantage of the beaches and the mountains.

“The beach was right there. If you liked to hike, the mountains were there, and it was always green, and it was always warm and like here in Florida,” she said.

Though life on the island was wonderful, she eventually had the desire to get out and experience a world beyond the idyllic setting.

“You know, when you grow up on the island of Oahu, if you can possibly afford it, you want to get off of the rock and go to the mainland and see the world. So, I did,” Morris said.

She left paradise and headed to the Big Apple. Well, specifically Adelphi University on New York’s Long Island, where she studied dance. Morris had gained an interest in dance while in high school, and also under the tutelage of her mother, who had been a dancer.

Spending lots of time in nearby New York City, Morris took every opportunity to hop on the train to see a show or enjoy the city’s museums. Following her graduation, she landed a job in New York, and soon after met Kevin Morris at an engagement party. He was a friend of the groom-to-be, who also happened to be Twig’s roommate’s fiancé. A year and a half later, Twig and Kevin married. They will celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary in July.

Setting aside plans to become a dancer, Morris instead worked for an advertising agency, before becoming a stay-at-home mother to her two daughters, Chrissy and Katie. Once the girls were in school, Morris returned to the workforce, landing a job she loved with a Fortune 500 company that manufactured medical supplies and diagnostic equipment. Morris was a part of the public affairs department at Becton Dickinson for 11 years.

Following retirement, Twig and Kevin Morris moved to Wellington. Daughter Chrissy lived in the area and suggested they come down and take a look. The couple settled in Village Walk, where Morris serves on the architectural committee. In an interesting twist, Chrissy later moved to Hawaii. Apparently, the old saying “you can never go home again” isn’t true. Morris now visits Oahu fairly often.

“Every time we go back, it is always nice. My mother was very active in the community, and my dad was the doctor in the town,” she said. “Just about every kid born there, my dad delivered. My mom taught dance to half the community in the schools. When I go back, they go, ‘Oh, right, I knew your dad. I knew your mom.’ It was nice that they were being remembered that way. It’s a very special place with very special memories.”

It’s possible to fall in love with more than one locale. Morris has settled into the Wellington community quite well and feels at home here, too.

“We’ve met so many wonderful people in our community and, of course, through my involvement in the garden club,” she said. “All of my friends there are very special, and we’re all involved in similar pursuits, because we all love gardening.”

Morris has been involved with the Wellington Garden Club for more than a decade and is currently a committee chair. She first served as corresponding secretary, and then went on to serve as treasurer, first vice president and president in ensuing years.

Somehow it seems especially fitting that a dedicated gardener goes by the nickname Twig. Mary Tree is actually Morris’ given name. “Tree” is an old English surname that was passed down through her family.

“Twig is a nickname that I was given, actually before I was born. [My mother] said, ‘I know this baby is going to be a girl, and I am going to name her Mary Tree the Second, and we’re going to call her Twig,’” Morris explained.

Morris was introduced to the local garden club nearly by accident, during a visit to the Mounts Botanical Garden. The club was having a plant sale there, and Morris asked for more information.

The Wellington Garden Club is a nonprofit organization that dates back to 1981. Morris is a strong believer in the club’s mission to further the education of members and the public in fields of gardening, horticulture, botany, floral design, landscape design and environmental awareness.

Educating today’s youth on the importance of caring for the earth is a priority for Morris. The club sponsors garden clubs at schools and partners with the Village of Wellington on an annual tree planting.

“This year, the tree planting was in the Peaceful Waters Sanctuary in September,” Morris said. “We do a beach cleanup earlier in the fall, which also involves the youth. It is an eye-opener for the kids, and for the adults, too. You can see how much plastic is washed up on our beaches.”

While the Wellington Garden Club isn’t a social club, it is a great way to meet people, Morris said. “We want you to get involved, to help with the kids, to help with the fundraisers and various aspects of the club,” she said. “That’s why we invite folks to come to two meetings before they join.”

Morris is looking forward to the 2019 Garden Tour in April, a ticketed fundraising event presented by the Wellington Garden Club. The upcoming tour will feature the gardens at Deeridge Farms, which the club is touting as a once-in-a-lifetime tour of this impressive Wellington equestrian estate.

“There are numerous gardens on the property,” Morris said. “It’s very extensive. It’s acres and acres of a mobile-guided tour, because we will have golf carts that will take people from one garden to the next.”

Proceeds from the event are designated for the club’s outreach programs. Advance ticket sales are available. Learn more at

Morris is passionate about gardening, but she is also looking forward to new adventures with her husband.

“I’m looking forward to taking a few more cruises than we have done, doing more travel,” she said. “That was the original plan when we first retired, and we did do a couple of cruises, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside. I also learned about a train trip across the Canadian Rockies that takes place sometime next year, and I thought that sounds interesting.”

In the interim, there’s plenty of gardening to be done.


World Polo League Gallops Into Wellington In 2019

World Polo League Gallops Into Wellington In 2019

This season, high-goal polo in Wellington will have an exciting twist with the new World Polo League, which debuts in January with its first of five 26-goal tournaments.

Three high-goal players who own polo farms in Wellington founded the league, in conjunction with the top player in the world, to preserve 26-goal polo in the United States.

Other than in Argentina, 26-goal polo is the highest level of the sport played anywhere in the world and is unique to the United States. So, when polo patrons Bob Jornayvaz, Marc Ganzi and Melissa Ganzi learned that the United States Polo Association had decided to drop its 26-goal tournaments — including the U.S. Open — to the 22-goal level for the 2019 season, they got together with polo superstar Adolfo Cambiaso to see what they could do.

The answer was right in front of them. Jornayvaz owns Valiente Polo Farm, the Ganzis own the Grand Champions Polo Club, and all have organized and won 26-goal tournaments. Cambiaso, a WPL supporter from day one, has access to nearly every top player in the world. Among the four, they had all the ingredients for a 26-goal league: the fields, the players and the expertise to organize a high-goal league. They retained another big gun, Dale Smicklas, as league commissioner, and they were ready to roll.

Initially, the group planned a four-tournament series, but later decided to add a fifth, which opens the last week of January. The WPL season continues through April 14.

“We have added the World Cup as the fifth event to the WPL 2019 season,” Marc Ganzi said. “We believe placing the World Cup at the front of the season is exciting for fans and team owners, as it gives everyone playing in the Florida season a chance to compete for $100,000 in prize money irrespective of your handicap and where you will play your season.”

Jornayvaz underscored that there is “a lot more at stake here than just playing 26.” An integral part of the league is the “New Polo Experience,” designed by the founders. Under this unique concept, the WPL will offer an optional turnkey program designed to foster and attract sponsors to high-goal polo by reducing the barriers to entry. It has attracted several international players who have never played 26-goal polo.

“You don’t have to buy horses, find housing for your grooms, lease barns, arrange practice fields — all the things that make high-goal polo intimidating outside your home country. You write one check and just show up with your boots,” Jornayvaz explained.

The league has created three “parachute teams,” each with a 10-goaler already committed. Sponsors can bring their own horses and play with that team, or rent 26-goal horses. Among the all-star players are Cambiaso, Juan Martin Nero, Pablo MacDonough, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Pelon Sterling, Rodrigo Andrade, Nico Pieres and Nic Roldan.

“We thought it would be neat for team owners to be able to play with a 10-goaler they have only been able to play against before because they were all hired by other teams,” Smicklas said.

WPL teams will vote on which rules they want to play under, selecting from a combination of USPA, HPA and AAP rules. “We want to empower team owners,” said Jornayvaz, adding that team owners will share in any WPL revenues from apparel sales and live streaming of games.

Most importantly, he said, is the WPL’s commitment to all-inclusiveness.

“Anyone is welcome to play in our tournaments, the USPA tournaments or both,” Jornayvaz stressed. “This is a very positive thing for everyone in the sport.”

For more information about the league, visit


World Polo League 2019 Schedule

The World Cup (Opens last week of January, dates TBA)

The All-Star Challenge (February 6-17)

The Founders Cup (February 20 – March 2)

The Palm Beach Open (March 6-24)

The Triple Crown of Polo (March 27 – April 14)


Uniting The Community At PBIEC: 2019 Great Charity Challenge, Presented By Fidelity Investments

Uniting The Community At PBIEC: 2019 Great Charity Challenge, Presented By Fidelity Investments

With a strong belief that change happens through the power of communities, Palm Beach County charities will get a chance to inspire and expand their impacts this coming February.

For the past nine years, equestrians and their mounts have been uniting the local community at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington. These teams of riders have one goal in mind: to give Palm Beach County charities a chance to win up to $150,000.

Through an open application process, the Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments, invited all Palm Beach County-based charities to apply to participate in the event’s 10th edition of a pro-amateur relay show jumping competition. Thirty of these randomly drawn charities will meet their randomly paired teams on Saturday, Feb 2, 2019, to receive a share of a million-dollar-plus purse.

The GCC, founded in 2010 by Mark and Katherine Bellissimo of Equestrian Sport Productions, along with their daughter Paige, has distributed more than $12.2 million from the equestrian community to 230 nonprofits in Palm Beach County. All of the money raised gets distributed to local nonprofits every year, with first place receiving $150,000 and all participating charities being guaranteed a minimum amount of $15,000. Staying true to its roots, a minimum of five nonprofits, out of the 30 participating, are guaranteed to be Wellington-based.

Over the last four years, the GCC brought team spirit to a new level by incorporating themes into this annual celebration. With riders dressed up in costumes and horses adorned to match them, this year’s theme of “We are the World” will focus on promoting unity and celebrate cultural differences in the community. An art contest involving all 12 Wellington-area public schools will showcase the different causes represented that evening, from fighting hunger to education and much more.

“This 10th year honors the diversity in our community,” said Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners. “With riders from all over the world, our organization showcases the benefit that comes from embracing each other’s differences and unity toward this greater good. This event is truly the legacy of the Winter Equestrian Festival and the sponsors involved. We can’t thank them enough for their support.”

Paige Bellissimo is actively involved with nonprofits in the community.

“The GCC is a unique event that allows us to raise awareness of the diverse charitable organizations throughout the community,” she said. “We hope that this year’s edition will unite all involved, from the sponsors and riders, to the nonprofits involved and the community at large. We are very grateful for those who support the effort.”

The drawing to select the first 24 charities from those that have applied to participate in the 2019 GCC will be held on Dec. 2 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

For the latest event information and application guidelines, visit www.greatcharity or follow them on Facebook at––m/greatcharitychallenge.


World’s Top Jumpers Among Thousands Expected To Participate In The 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival

World’s Top Jumpers Among Thousands Expected To Participate In The 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival

The Winter Equestrian Festival once again returns to the prestigious Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington from Jan. 9 through March 31, 2019, featuring 12 straight weeks of top equestrian competition.

The 2019 WEF is set to host 11 weeks of competition sanctioned by the Fédération Equestre International (FEI), the highest level of international jumping competitions available in the sport, alongside 12 weeks of top-rated hunter and equitation competition for many of the best riders in the world.

The annual start of WEF also signals the return of the highly popular Saturday Night Lights evenings, which are free and open to the public each week. Offering an array of family activities, including face painting, entertainment, carousel rides and more, Saturday Night Lights has become a pinnacle for the community during the winter season.

Each Saturday night features the highlight competition of the week, the Grand Prix, which regularly includes Olympians, world champions and the sport’s top talents jumping obstacles at the 1.60m height.

“We’re anticipating another fantastic season at PBIEC, as we welcome back riders from around the country and the globe to what has become a home base for many,” said Michael Stone, president of Equestrian Sport Productions, which produces WEF and manages the PBIEC show grounds facility. “Each year, we see more competitors, and the strength of the circuit continues to grow, solidifying it as one of the most elite competitions in the world.”

WEF will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 9, with the first week of competition of the circuit, featuring national-level competition for hunters, jumpers and equitation riders, and will welcome back the annual Battle of the Sexes competition on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. The Battle of the Sexes pits a team of male riders versus a team of female riders to see who will reign supreme after completing several different variations of jumping competition.

The fourth week at PBIEC will bring together excitement and philanthropy, as the Wellington Eventing Showcase is scheduled to return to the venue after a year of absence, bringing the world’s top eventing athletes back to Wellington, alongside the community-driven Great Charity Challenge.

The discipline of eventing, one of the three equestrian Olympic competitions, combines three different phases of competition: dressage, cross-country and jumping. The dressage and jumping phases will take place at PBIEC’s Equestrian Village site, while the cross-country course, will run across the grounds of the polo fields and the historic Derby Field at the venue.

The Great Charity Challenge has raised more than $10 million for Palm Beach County charities since its inception by Mark and Paige Bellissimo over a decade ago. In a professional-amateur relay race, participating teams, dressed in themed costumes, are paired with a locally based charity, for which their placing in the competition delineates the amount of money donated to the charity’s cause. The winning team will earn $150,000 for their partnered charity, while all participating charities will receive at least $15,000.

Four weeks of FEI CSI 5* competition, the highest designation of jumping competition available in the sport, will highlight competition during the WEF season. Each CSI 5* Grand Prix offers $380,000 in total prize money and will be hosted during WEF 5 (Feb. 9), WEF 7 (Feb. 23), WEF 9 (March 9) and WEF 12 (March 30).

The CSI 5* competitions continuously see the top riders in the world go head-to-head in a two-round format, with an exciting jump-off finishing against the clock determining the ultimate winner. The likes of Beezie Madden, Margie Engle, McLain Ward, Steve Guerdat and Lorenzo de Luca have all graced the top podium in years past.

The conclusion of WEF will feature the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* as the final evening competition of the season and the most highly anticipated class of the entire circuit.

“The CSI 5* classes at WEF are some of the greatest competitions seen all year in shows around the world,” Stone said. “It’s truly incredible to have this caliber of sport available to enthusiasts and fans during the winter here in Wellington. The crowds make the atmosphere electric for the horses and riders, and you can see that reflected in their performances in the arena.”

The historic FEI Nations Cup CSIO 4* is set to take place during WEF 8 (Feb. 27 – March 3), and for the second year in a row will take place on Saturday evening, bringing out fans and supporters of countries from around the world. Teams of three or four represent their home nations in a thrilling double-round battle in front of an always-packed house.

Hunter competition will be on display weekly and feature two major international hunter derby competitions during WEF 6 (Feb. 13-17) and WEF 12 (March 27-31), alongside some of the nation’s top equitation competition for children, juniors and adults.

The Winter Equestrian Festival will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 9, and continue through Sunday, March 31. Events are free and open to the public from Wednesday through Sunday.

The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is located at 3400 Equestrian Club Drive. For more information, visit or call (561) 793-5867.\


Palm Beach International Equestrian Center

2019 Winter Equestrian Festival Weekly Schedule



Premier AA

January 9-13



Premier AA/CSI 2*

January 16-20



Premier AA/CSI 3*

January 23-27



Premier AA/CSI 4*

January 30 – February 3



Premier AA/CSI 5*/CSI 2*

February 6-10



WCHR / Premier AA/CSI 3*

February 13-17



Premier AA/CSI 5*/CSI 2*

February 20-24



Premier AA/CSIO 4*

February 27 – March 3



Premier AA/CSI 5*/CSI 2*

March 6-10


WEF 10

Premier AA/CSI 3*

March 13-17


WEF 11

Premier AA /CSI 4*   

March 20-24


WEF 12

Premier AA/CSI 5*/CSI 2*

March 27-31


ESP Spring I

Premier AA/USEF Jumper 4*

April 3-7


ESP Spring II

Premier AA/USEF Jumper 4*

April 10-14


The Palm Beach International

Equestrian Center

3400 Equestrian Club Drive,

Wellington, FL 33414

For additional information, visit or call (561) 793-5867.



International Polo Club Plans Another Exciting Season Of High-Goal Polo In Wellington

International Polo Club Plans Another Exciting Season
Of High-Goal Polo In Wellington

The 2019 high-goal season is set to kick off at the International Polo Club Palm Beach on Sunday, Dec. 30 and continue through Sunday, April 21. As the premier polo destination in the world during the winter season, hosting the most prestigious tournaments in the United States, IPC is eager to begin a new season of world-renowned polo for players and enthusiasts alike to Wellington.

This season will feature an extensive competition schedule with several 20-goal tournaments returning, as well as the introduction of the United States Polo Association’s new 22-goal format.

The previous 20-goal tournaments will remain at the 20-goal level, including the Herbie Pennell Cup, the Joe Barry Cup and the Ylvisaker Cup. The four USPA tournaments — the C.V. Whitney Cup, the Butler Handicap, the USPA Gold Cup and the U.S. Open Polo Championship — will now be played at the 22-goal level.

“The 2018 season showcased incredible sport, and our expectation is the same for the 2019 season,” said Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners, which operates the International Polo Club Palm Beach. “Each year since our partnership purchased the venue, it has been our priority to invest in the sport in a way that we can grow a more robust spectator base and increase participation. This year, we will be launching several new initiatives at the Polo School to help engage and draw people to learn the sport at a deeper level, while also exposing new audiences to this incredible sport.”

The recent decision to lower the premier high-goal tournament level from 26 goals to 22 goals was made to provide an increased number of competitive teams, enhance spectator interest and generate greater opportunities for American players, while lowering the cost of fielding a team for team owners.

Along with this new format, the USPA’s Triple Crown of Polo events will now guarantee a significant increase in prize money to teams. An innovative “winner takes all” prize money arrangement pledges $125,000 to both the C.V. Whitney Cup winner and the USPA Gold Cup winner. The U.S. Open Polo Championship winner will be awarded $250,000. An added bonus will provide a team winning the Triple Crown of Polo up to an additional $500,000 bonus, yielding a total of $1 million in the prize money package.

An expanded partnership at IPC, with both the USPA and USPA Global Licensing, aims to continue growing one of the world’s oldest sports, enticing new spectators and demonstrating absolute top sport, with many of the best players and teams participating this season.

Additionally, IPC will be hosting the 40-Goal Challenge in February, as well as the U.S. Women’s Open Final in late March and the 10th annual Gay Polo League tournament in the beginning of April.

During the 2019 season, IPC also plans to expand opportunities and game play at the Polo School, establishing a permanent stick-and-ball simulator and featuring another season of low-goal matches for newcomers to the sport.

“Last year, we saw a huge increase in interest around learning to play the game of polo and fine-tuning skills in a real game setting,” said Gates Gridley, manager of the Polo School. “We’re really looking forward to getting things started again this winter and welcoming new students and players to the school. It’s a great way to get people involved in the sport.”

Competition will begin on Sunday, Dec. 30 with the Herbie Pennell Cup and continue throughout the season with regular matches taking place almost daily. Polo matches are open to the public and free during the week.

On Sundays, the afternoon matches will be held on IPC’s impressive Field 1 with expanded entertainment and offerings. Spectators can watch each Sunday’s featured game at 3 p.m. from the elegant stadium boxes, grandstand seats, tailgate spots or the pavilion.

The pavilion at IPC offers a weekly Sunday brunch with an ever-changing array of delicious items spread out over various stations.

With a fun atmosphere and a perfect field-side view of the polo match, the pavilion is a prime ticket to the sport and social action. Brunch begins at 2 p.m. each Sunday, and a variety of package options are available.

The International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington. To learn more about the competition, membership and ticket options at IPC, visit or call (561) 204-5687.

International Polo Club
2019 Competition Schedule

Herbie Pennell Cup – 20 Goal

December 30, 2018


Joe Barry Cup – 20 Goal

January 3 – 13, 2019


Ylvisaker Cup – 20 Goal

January 11 – February 10, 2019


The Lucchese

40-Goal Challenge

February 16, 2019



C.V. Whitney Cup – 22 Goal

February 13 – 24, 2019


Butler Handicap – 22 Goal

February 17, 2019


U.S. Women’s Open Final

March 23, 2019


USPA Gold Cup – 22 Goal

February 24 – March 24, 2019


Gay Polo League


April 4-7, 2019


U.S. Open Polo


– 22 Goal

March 27 – April 20-21, 2019


Tentative schedule, subject to change. Sponsors listed at time of print.


The International Polo Club Palm Beach is located

at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington.

For tickets and additional information, visit or call (561) 204-5687.


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