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Meet The Leadership Team

Meet The Leadership Team USPA National Polo Center-Wellington Opens Its Inaugural Season With Visionaries At The Helm

Fresh off the massive success of hosting the FIP World Polo Championship, the USPA National Polo Center-Wellington (NPC) is gearing up for its inaugural winter high-goal season. Most notably, the calendar will feature the return of the prestigious three-part Gauntlet of Polo series beginning in February. As NPC prepares for what will undoubtedly be a historic first season, after the USPA purchased the former International Polo Club Palm Beach last summer, let’s get to know the faces behind the newly rebranded facility, and the people who have worked tirelessly to turn a promising vision into reality.

Stewart Armstrong: Planting The Seed

The mastermind behind the USPA-owned facility, USPA Chair Stewart Armstrong first detailed his vision for a permanent center for polo in America in the Spring 2020 issue of Hurlingham Polo Magazine in an essay titled, “The Sunday Field.” In it, Armstrong discussed the vitality of the Brackenridge Park field for the San Antonio Polo Club in Texas, and how the disappearance of that shared resource in the 1970s forever altered and stifled growth of the sport in the area.

This lived experience propelled his idea of a perpetual Sunday field as a principal element in the health and well-being of a polo club. Believing polo will not thrive without a centrally located Sunday field to underpin growth, showcase teams, players and horses, as well as unite the wider community, Armstrong approached the USPA Board of Governors and proposed that the USPA acquire a communal facility to ensure longevity and prosperity of the sport in America. With this idea in mind, NPC will welcome not only high-goal tournaments, but also tournament play at all levels, guaranteeing inclusivity across all realms of the sport.

Now serving as the committee chair of USPA Sunday Field LLC, which will manage the polo operations of the center alongside NPC Polo Operations LLC, Armstrong continues to eagerly lead the USPA in the height of this new endeavor to establish NPC as the epicenter of American polo.

Armstrong’s polo knowledge and passion comes from a lifetime in the sport. A third-generation player, Armstrong’s grandfather was one of the founders of the San Antonio Polo Club and established a horse breeding program. Armstrong picked up the sport when he was 11 and never turned back. He achieved a 7-goal handicap and won the illustrious C.V. Whitney Cup twice in the 1980s. His experience both on and off the field has made him an exceptional leader for the USPA, especially during a time that offers many thrilling new changes and challenges for the association.

Charles Smith: Cultivating Growth

Recently elected as USPA president after formerly serving as secretary, Charles Smith has been extremely active in the creation of NPC, especially on the operations side, also serving as chair of NPC Polo Operations LLC.

Much like Armstrong, former 7-goaler Smith draws experience from an incredibly successful career in polo, joining the NPC leadership team as a three-time C.V. Whitney Cup winner, two-time USPA Gold Cup victor and five-time U.S. Open Polo Championship title holder. To recognize his talent and excellence in the sport, Smith was also inducted into the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame in 2004. Smith hopes to use his deep understanding of polo to create both a competitive and enjoyable atmosphere for players and spectators.

At the USPA Fall Board of Governors meeting that took place in early November, Smith relayed important updates about NPC Polo Operations LLC, detailing a progress report of the ongoing polo-related renovations. Similarly, he discussed the plans to revitalize the stadium, parking areas and main entrance in a multi-phase renovation project scheduled around the 2023 winter season schedule.

Tim Gannon: Nourishing The Idea

Tim Gannon, co-founder of Outback Steakhouse and three-time U.S. Open Polo Championship winner, has been a vital contributor to the vision of NPC becoming a reality. Outside of creating an empire in the restaurant business, Gannon has a long and fruitful history in the sport. He began playing in 1992 and, as his passion grew, he created the Outback Polo team, which went on to win the U.S. Open five times, three of which he competed in. The team’s success also produced three consecutive wins in the prestigious competition (1999, 2000 and 2001), a feat that has not been duplicated since.

Off the field, Gannon is widely known as a selfless and devoted supporter of polo and its players. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Philip Iglehart Award, an honor that recognizes exceptional lifetime contributions to the sport. Continuing to remain connected to polo despite not being in the saddle, Gannon now chairs NPC’s Hospitality Operations Inc., setting his sights on reinvigorating the club’s offerings with his extensive experience in the food service industry. He is inspired to use his expertise to add to the culinary side of the club and elevate NPC into a great entertainment and dining experience.

At the USPA Fall Board of Governors meeting, Gannon discussed many of the projects that are ongoing in those areas. He detailed projects aimed at updating the hospitality facilities, expanding and modernizing the Mallet Grill kitchen, bringing in new culinary talent, investing more in catering, and uplifting the experience and what people can expect from the hospitality assets and the club.

Chris Green: Ensuring Longevity

After 40 years as a USPA member and several serving as a governor-at-large and active member of countless crucial USPA committees, Chris Green stepped into the role of chief operating officer/in-house counsel in July 2021. Green is involved in nearly every aspect of the facility and its operations, contributing to all three NPC-focused subsidiaries: USPA Sunday Field LLC, NPC Polo Operations LLC and NPC Hospitality Operations Inc.

Green’s connection to horses began in Lexington, Kentucky, where he grew up in the horse racing industry. He was introduced to polo in his 20s while attending the University of Kentucky and now plays outdoor polo at Giant Valley Polo Club in Hamden, Connecticut, and arena polo at Gardnertown Polo Club in Newburgh, New York. Green’s vast knowledge of the game and the rules, formerly serving as chair of the Rules/Rules Interpretation Committee, have made him an invaluable resource in launching NPC and generating early success for the facility.

An overall incredible achievement for the association and the sport of polo, NPC will and already is redefining the American polo experience thanks to the leadership of these individuals, alongside the hard work of many others within the United States Polo Association, NPC Polo Operations and NPC Hospitality Operations. This is only the beginning of a revitalized and prosperous future for American polo, with many more developments and opportunities on the horizon.

Visit to learn more about the USPA National Polo Center-Wellington.


Faces of Polo 2023

Faces of Polo 2023

The 2023 winter season heralds a new era in the sport of polo, both here in Wellington and across the United States. Over the summer, the United States Polo Association took control of Wellington’s signature polo destination, the International Polo Club Palm Beach, which has now been rebranded the National Polo Center-Wellington, or NPC. After its debut by hosting the prestigious XII FIP World Polo Championship in November, NPC is ready for its first winter high-goal season as the nation’s “Sunday Field” for polo. Watching the “sport of kings” on Sunday is a tradition to be enjoyed by everyone, from jet-setting socialites to year-round residents, polo experts to those new to the sport. As is our annual tradition, Wellington The Magazine this month highlights just a few of the elite players who will power their horses down the fields, mallet in hand, in pursuit of glory. We invite you to turn the page and start enjoying Faces of Polo 2023.

A long-time legend in the sport, Adolfo Cambiaso grew up playing polo in Argentina. Quickly rising in handicap, he obtained the illustrious 10-goal status at just 19 years old, the youngest player to achieve the sport’s top rating. In 2000, he founded La Dolfina with Bartolomé Castagnola, one of the most successful Argentine teams in history. That same year, he began his own breeding business from scratch. He went on to become a pioneer in horse cloning, producing the first clone in 2010 with Alan Meeker of Crestview Genetics. In his decorated career, Cambiaso has triumphed in a wide array of prestigious tournaments, many of them on multiple occasions. These include the Argentine Open, the Hurlingham Open, the USPA Gold Cup, the U.S. Open Polo Championship and more. He has played with Scone in the Gauntlet of Polo for the past two years alongside his son, Poroto Cambiaso.

Finding early success much like his father, 16-year-old Poroto Cambiaso emerged on the high-goal scene in 2020, when he captured the King Power Gold Cup in England as well as the Copa Cámara de Diputados, the Copa Pilar and the Repechaje Clasificación in Argentina. He played in the Gauntlet of Polo for the first time in 2021 with Scone, during which Scone won the USPA Gold Cup. He played with Scone again in 2022. Over the summer, he triumphed in the NetJets Pacific Coast Open with L.I.N.Y. Donning the same helmet as his father, which features the signature Argentine flag, 9-goaler Poroto is racing toward a 10-goal handicap and shows no signs of slowing down.

Currently the No. 1-ranked polo player in the world, 10-goaler extraordinaire Facundo Pieres is fresh off a successful Gauntlet of Polo season in 2022, winning both the USPA Gold Cup and the U.S. Open Polo Championship with Pilot alongside teammates Curtis Pilot, Mackenzie Weisz and Matias Torres Zavaleta. Pieres grew up playing with his brothers Gonzalito and Nicolas Pieres in Argentina. He became a professional player in 1997 when he won the Copa Potrillos with the Ellerstina Jr. team. He continues to travel the world playing in the most prestigious tournaments, often finding his way to the podium in the process.

Originally from San Antonio, Texas, and coming from a polo-playing family, Stewart Armstrong reached the status of a 7-goal handicap while competing in tournaments worldwide. Today, he continues to play while also serving as chairman of the United States Polo Association, a role he took over in 2019 and has used to continue his lifelong work to grow the sport in the United States. He received the Hugo Dalmar Trophy in 2019, played on the Aspen team during the 2021 Ylvisaker Cup, played in the 2021 Gauntlet of Polo series with Aspen/Dutta Corp, and competed again in the Gauntlet of Polo in 2022 with La Indiana alongside Jeff Hall, Lucas Criado Jr. and Mariano Aguerre.

Born in New York but raised in Argentina, Pablo “Polito” Pieres is among the few polo greats who have achieved a 10-goal handicap. Becoming a professional in 1997 at age 18, Pieres was introduced to the sport by his father, Paul Pieres. Pieres has played on winning teams in the British Open, the Deauville Gold Cup in France, and the USPA C.V. Whitney Cup and USPA Gold Cup here in Wellington. He played with Santa Rita Polo Farm in the 2022 Gauntlet of Polo and found success in 2020 with La Indiana in the USPA Gold Cup. Most recently, Pieres triumphed in the 2022 Tortugas Open, and the 2021 Argentine Open, Hurlingham Open and Queens Cup.

Achieving the elusive 10-goal status in 2017, Hilario Ulloa has remained among the top players in the world, competing in the United States, England and Argentina. Playing with Park Place for the last two years in the Gauntlet of Polo, Ulloa has experienced great success, winning the 2021 and 2022 C.V. Whitney Cup, as well as making it to the U.S. Open Polo Championship Final in 2021 and the USPA Gold Cup Final in 2022. He is a three-time winner of the U.S. Open Polo Championship, a three-time winner of the C.V. Whitney Cup and a one-time winner of the USPA Gold Cup. Outside of the U.S., this polo prodigy has triumphed in the Hurlingham Open, the Tortugas Open, the Ellerstina Gold Cup and more.

Mariano “Peke’’ Gonzalez Jr., 23, represents the latest generation in a polo-playing dynasty. The son of Mariano Gonzalez Sr., he currently sports a 6-goal handicap. Gonzalez has a wealth of experience in some of the most competitive tournaments here and in Argentina, as well as representing Team USA in the 2018 Westchester Cup. Gonzalez won the 2017 Copa Provincia in Argentina, playing alongside his father in a tournament won by his grandfather back in 1958. On the Iconic team during the Gauntlet of Polo in 2019, he was a part of the Postage Stamp Farm team in 2020. Gonzalez played on the victorious Scone team in 2021, claiming the U.S. Open title alongside Adolfo and Poroto Cambiaso, along with David Paradice. This summer, he played with Farmers & Merchants Bank in both the Farmers & Merchants Bank Silver Cup and the NetJets Pacific Coast Open, making it to the final of the latter before falling to L.I.N.Y.

American Jeff Hall was raised in Santa Barbara, California, and Houston, Texas. He began riding when he was just four years old. He became a professional at the young age of 12. Still one of the highest-rated American players at 7 goals, Hall has won every high-goal trophy in U.S. polo, including the U.S. Open Polo Championship in 2003. He most recently won the USPA Gold Cup with La Indiana in 2020. Over the summer, he also competed with and won the Farmers & Merchants Bank Silver Cup, marking his 10th win in that prestigious competition. While he travels for polo frequently, he calls New Pueblo, his Houston ranch, home. He also lives in Wellington during the winter season.

Argentine polo player Raul “Gringo” Colombres is hard to miss in his bright red helmet. Rated as an 8-goaler, Colombres returned to high-goal play in Wellington in 2019. He wasted no time making his presence known, leading Dutta Corp to a string of early season victories, including the Herbie Pennell Cup, the Joe Barry Memorial Cup and the Ylvisaker Cup — and along the way capturing consecutive MVP awards for himself. Colombres returned in 2020 to play on the Palm Beach Equine team with Lucas Diaz Alberdi, Gonzalo Ferrari and Scott Swerdlin, again winning the Joe Barry Memorial Cup. In 2021, Colombres was back in action with Palm Beach Equine for the Ylvisaker Cup, and he competed with Aspen/Dutta Corp in the Gauntlet of Polo series. In 2022, he played with Cessna alongside Miguel Novillo Astrada, Camp Campbell and Will Johnston.

Fourth-generation polo player Hope Arellano comes from a long line of polo players — with her father Julio Arellano achieving a 9-goal handicap at the peak of his career. Picking up the sport at a young age, Arellano played in her first adult tournament at age 11 and won her first 12-goal tournament alongside her father and two older brothers, Lucas and Agustin, at age 12. At 14, Arellano became the youngest player ever to win the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship. Now 19 years old, Arellano hasn’t slowed down a bit, recently competing for the United States in the FIP World Polo Championship, becoming the first woman to ever compete for the U.S. in that prestigious international contest.


Behind The Microphone

Behind The Microphone Retired Polo Player Toby Wayman Is Now Known As One Of The Sport’s Top Commentators

By Mike May

Toby Wayman was born and raised to be a polo player, but his true destiny was to be the voice for the “sport of kings” as an announcer and commentator at polo matches here in Wellington and at top matches across the nation. Wayman has been found behind the microphone since 2010, and he does it very well. He is a natural, talking about polo with a microphone in his hand.

Wayman, who lives in Wellington with his wife and two sons, spends his time these days as a livestream announcer for polo matches in Wellington, as well as Sheridan, Wyoming, and Santa Barbara, California. In Wellington, he provides commentary at the Gauntlet of Polo, which includes the C.V. Whitney Cup, the USPA Gold Cup and the U.S. Open, as well as the Wellington Polo Tour, which is a 16-goal league.

While Wayman has the “gift of the gab” when it comes to talking about polo, his background as a polo player is the foundation for his current role. He can “talk the talk” because he has “walked the walk” in polo.

Wayman’s polo background goes deeper than his career as a player. He is a fourth-generation polo player — born into the sport and raised within the sport. As a player, he was a 4-goaler, while his father, Tommy Wayman, was a 10-goaler.

Wayman, 40, was a good polo player, but he was not among the greats of the sport. He, unfortunately, had to retire from playing at age 28 due to an injury. He didn’t realize it at the time, but his career-ending injury was probably the best thing that ever happened to him, career-wise, since he was perfectly qualified to make the transition to being a polo announcer.

“After I quit playing, I sold my horses, and I only had a high school education,” Wayman recalled. “All that I knew anything about was polo.”

While Wayman knows a great deal about polo, he added that his father was his top teacher.

“Everything I know in polo, I learned from my dad,” he said. “Polo is the only topic that I ever talked about with my father while growing up. We still only talk about polo every time we get together.”

Soon after he retired from being a player, Wayman received an offer from longtime friend Jimmy Newman to come fill in as an on-field announcer at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, now the National Polo Center-Wellington. If it had not been for that invitation from Newman, he probably would not be where he is today.

As they say, success in life is often based on who you know and not what you know. In Wayman’s case, he both knew all the key people in the industry and had all the background knowledge to make a go as a polo announcer.

Wayman is forever thankful to Newman for giving him a chance to do what he does best, which is talking about polo.

“Initially, I saw my role as an announcer as a way to use my knowledge of polo to stay relevant in the sport,” Wayman said.

Now, livestream announcing of polo is a way for Wayman to make a living in the sport.

Soon after his guest debut with a microphone in 2010, Wayman started working as a livestream announcer for Melissa and Marc Ganzi at Chukker TV, which included providing play-by-play commentary for the “Featured Game of the Week.”

He then made the transition to working for the United States Polo Association and is now providing livestream commentary for Global Polo TV.

Looking back since 2010, Wayman has probably provided commentary for more than 1,200 polo matches. Yet he honestly feels that his best days as a polo announcer are still ahead of him.

“Polo is a sport that is always evolving, and it always feels fresh,” Wayman said. “Today, there are so many brilliant players with the ball, and the horses are equally amazing.”

One of Wayman’s unique on-the-air skills is his ability to correctly anticipate what’s about to happen on the polo field, and then to analyze what just happened.

“I have good vision, and I can tell what’s about to happen before it actually takes place,” Wayman explained. “Then, I like to go back to review what happened and explain why it happened. I like to be precise and accurate. I want the viewers to understand what it is they are watching.”

After the polo season ends each spring in Wellington, Wayman and his family will relocate to his childhood hometown of Sheridan, Wyoming, where polo is big in the summer months. His parents also live in Sheridan, so it’s a great family time, as well.

From his home base in Wyoming, and with access to technology, Wayman provides commentary for polo matches in California, as well.

“On Thursdays and Saturdays, I’m commentating on polo matches in Sheridan, and on Fridays and Sundays, I’m announcing polo matches being played in Santa Barbara, California, from my home base in Wyoming,” Wayman said. “I can watch the video feed from California on my iPad and provide the commentary through a microphone. The two big polo events in California are the Pacific Coast Open and the Silver Cup.”

Clearly, Wayman has a unique way of making a living, and it’s a profession which he’s in no hurry to stop doing. “I’d like to do this ’til the day I die,” he said.

When he’s not providing commentary on polo, Wayman spends a great deal of time at home with his wife and two sons. When he needs to relax, he likes to sharpen his knife collection and look after his bonsai tree.

“It’s very relaxing to prune, water and nurture my bonsai tree,” Wayman said.

As someone who has been around polo for years, Wayman has his own thoughts about some of the best polo players and polo horses currently on the scene.

Two of his favorite horses to watch are Aji, ridden by Lucas Criado Jr., and Magnifica, owned and played by Facundo Pieres. According to Wayman, both horses sense the significance of any occasion and make things happen with their riders aboard.

The same thing can be said of Wayman when he’s providing commentary. He can sense the significance of the occasion, and he can accurately predict what’s about to happen. And, more often than not, he’s right.


POLO 101: All You Need To Know

POLO 101: All You Need To Know Get Ready For The Sidelines With A Primer On The ‘Sport Of Kings’

By Y.A. Teitelbaum

“Playing polo is like trying to play golf during an earthquake,” is a quote attributed to actor and avid polo player Sylvester Stallone.

While golf is generally an individual sport, polo is one of the oldest team sports, with its origins in central Asia more than 2,000 years ago. Mounted nomads played a version that had elements of sports and training for war, with as many as 100 men on a side and using the heads of their vanquished foes as the ball.

Polo has since evolved into an intricate sport of four players per team that combines intelligence, strength, power, flexibility and physicality while riding 1,000-pound horses at high speeds on a 300-yard by 160-yard grass field. Whoever scores the most goals, wins — like hockey on horseback, but without a goalie.

The best players in the world are in Wellington during the winter season, playing at the USPA’s National Polo Center-Wellington (NPC) and the Grand Champions Polo Club, among other area clubs.

Carlucho Arellano is a longtime professional player who grew up in the sport and currently is the USPA’s executive director of services.

“[Polo] is nothing short of the best sport in the world,” he said. “There is none other like it, really. A contact sport where you can get on an animal that requires excellent hand-eye coordination. Name another one like it. As a profession, it is the best. As a hobby, it is equal to snowboarding, skiing, flying and racing. As therapy, it takes you away from the hustle and bustle. And as a way of life, it is a family-oriented and healthy culture.”

Players are rated from minus-1 to a maximum of 10 by a committee, based on a player’s horsemanship, hitting ability, quality of horses, team play and game sense. Their handicap is not a reflection of how many goals they score. Each of the polo associations in the United States, Argentina and England update player handicap ratings at least once a year. So, a player could be a 10-goaler in the U.S. and England, and a 9-goaler in Argentina.

Player ratings, or handicaps, is a way to keep teams as equal as possible during a tournament. The four players’ handicaps must not exceed the tournament rating. For example, the U.S. Open Championship is a 22-goal tournament, so the combined handicap rating of the four players cannot be more than 22 goals. Most teams play with three professional players and a patron, an amateur who pays the other players.

Players, like in hockey, wear protective gear. There are leather boots specifically for polo, knee pads, white jeans, team jersey, a protective helmet and gloves. More and more players also wear protective eyewear and elbow pads. This helps protect them when bumping into an opponent, or if an errant ball or mallet hits them.

The mallet is made of bamboo and its length varies, depending on how big the horse is and how tall the player is. Mallets usually range from 49 to 54 inches and are changed throughout the game, depending on the horse or if they break. The ball is about 3.5 ounces and made of hard plastic that starts out round but quickly develops an odd shape after being hit many times.

The game starts with teams lining up at midfield, and an umpire rolls the ball between them. Play continues throughout the seven-and-a-half-minute chukker (period) unless there is a foul or injury. The most common fouls are “crossing the line,” an imaginary line created by the ball as it goes down the field. Some are obvious, others not so much, and it creates animated discussion both on and off the field.

Other interesting rules distinctive to polo is that teams switch sides after each goal to mitigate advantages of sun, wind and field conditions. And all players must play right-handed, even if they are natural left-handers, for the safety of the rider and the horse. This rule decreases the chance of a head-on collision if two players were riding toward each other.

Penalties are called by either of the two mounted officials on the field, and if they can’t agree, a third referee in the stands makes the final decision. There is also video review available during most major matches. Penalty shots are taken from 30 yards, 40 yards and 60 yards, or at the spot of the foul, depending on the severity of the foul. All goals are worth one point. There aren’t any two-point shots, except in exhibition matches.

Most team’s tactics use man-to-man coverage for defense, but sometimes the plan is to double-team the opponent’s best player. But no matter the tactics, many times the outcome is determined by which team has the better horses. Experts say that horses are at least 70 percent of the game. Most horses are Thoroughbreds trained specifically for the sport over several years. They usually play from about five years to 12 years old at the highest levels. For high-goal matches, the pinnacle of polo in the United States, each player will bring at least 12 horses. They usually play two horses per chukker and often will double their best horses. The better players have at least 16 ponies to play throughout the long, arduous season. Players are always trying to improve their string of ponies, either by buying from others or breeding their own.

The featured stadium match is usually Sunday at 3 p.m. at NPC and Sunday at 4 p.m. at Grand Champions. There’s pomp and circumstance, brunch, women wearing sundresses and hats, men in khakis and blazers. There isn’t a dress code at either venue; jeans, a collared shirt and sneakers are quite acceptable.

There are also games during the week on the club’s other fields in a more casual setting. Arellano has some insider tips for watching polo in Wellington at either of the major clubs.

“I recommend polo games during the week. They are free, and you’ll get a true feeling for it if you tailgate and just soak it in,” Arellano said. “The first time the players and horses come running over the boards by where you’re parked, you’ll feel the intensity and excitement. There will be family members cheering, kids practicing on the neighboring field with their foot mallets and one wheels, and the empanada guy will cruise by in his station wagon. You have to try the ham and cheese empanada or a milanesa sandwich. Befriend the polo player in the car parked next to you and ask him or her about the rules, line of the ball and teams. Polo players are friendly and outspoken.”

Veteran polo player Luis Escobar, whose two sons also play high-goal polo, suggests concentrating on the horses while watching the action.

“Look at how the horses and players move around the field with such ease, how they increase and decrease in speed, make big stops and small turns as fast as the rudder can stay on,” Escobar said. “Look at the players, how they hit and place the ball.”

He also had a warning for those new to the game.

“Polo is an addictive sport. Be careful,” Escobar said, smiling.


Silver Medal Finish For Team USA

Silver Medal Finish For Team USA FIP World Polo Championship A Monumental Debut For The USPA’s New National Polo Center

In a successful and monumental debut for the USPA-owned facility, the National Polo Center-Wellington (NPC) took center stage recently, hosting the global XII FIP World Polo Championship.

The competition welcomed eight talented teams from across the world for ultimate international polo glory — Argentina, Australia, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain, Uruguay and the United States. Outfitting the teams with official performance jerseys and equipment as the official apparel partner and presenting sponsor, U.S. Polo Assn. was proud to join forces once again with the FIP World Polo Championship to promote the brand.

Visiting teams arrived by Oct. 26 and drew one of eight evenly matched strings of 22 horses provided by J5 Equestrian, then spent time leading up to the first day of competition riding and practicing them to develop strategies. Bracket play began Oct. 29, and the competition officially started in grand fashion with the Opening Ceremony at NPC, which featured a team parade in classic cars and plenty of sideline spirit from spectators.

Over the course of the week-long event, Team USA (Agustin Arellano, Lucas Escobar, Nico Escobar, Jake Klenter, Hope Arellano, Joaquin Avendaño and Nico Diaz Alberdi) and Spain (Nicolas “Tuki” Ruiz Guiñazu, Luis Domnecq Carrión, Pelayo Berazadi Rózpide and Nicolas Álvarez Cervera) rose to the top of the competition. Both captured a 3-1 record entering the final.

In their opening match, USA triumphed 9-4 over Australia, establishing their position as one of the tournament’s dominant competitors. A slight setback followed, falling to Italy 6-4. Desperate for a win in order to qualify for the semifinal round, USA worked tirelessly in a physically and mentally exhausting battle to edge out Uruguay 7.5-7. In the semifinal match, Hope Arellano entered the playing field substituting for Jake Klentner. Making history, the 19-year-old polo phenom became the first woman to compete for the United States in an FIP World Polo Championship. Her addition to the lineup continued USA’s forward momentum, allowing two sets of siblings — Hope and Agustin Arellano, and Lucas and Nico Escobar — to emerge with an electrifying 9-8 overtime win against the defending champions and competition favorites, Argentina.

USA and Spain met on NPC’s immaculate U.S. Polo Assn. Field One in front of a sold-out grandstand crowd. It was an exciting game, and regulation time ended in a 10-10 deadlock to force overtime. Fierce play on both ends kept the match going through the overtime chukker’s halfway point, but a foul from USA gave Spain a penalty opportunity, which Pelayo Berazadi Rózpide masterfully scored, sending the ball high above the USA defenders to capture Spain’s first FIP World Polo Championship title. For his five-goal performance, golden goal and leadership on the field, Rózpide was named Most Valuable Player. His third and fifth chukker horse, J5 Matilde, was awarded Best Playing Pony honors.

An event that was years in the making, USPA Executive Director of Services Carlucho Arellano expressed how meaningful the success of the competition was, especially after meticulous planning efforts. “One thing that I promised when the U.S. was still bidding to be the host of the world championship was that we would give the world the very best of the USPA — the very best horses we could find, the very best venue and the very best service,” he said. “I think all of that planning really translates into good polo.”

FIP Tournament Coordinator Felipe Del Sel also described his pride in being a part of the team to bring the FIP World Polo Championship to the United States. “I think that the event went smoothly and exceeded all expectations,” he said. “FIP and the teams were really impressed with all the attention to detail and the level of fields, horses and accommodation. It was the perfect event to present the National Polo Center-Wellington to the world.”


Equestrian Services Made Easy

Equestrian Services Made Easy Sport Horse Nutrition And GIT Barn Solutions Offer One-Stop Shopping For Your Horse-Care Needs

Story by Mike May  |  Photos by Abner Pedraza

Two Wellington-based equestrian businesses have taken one-stop shopping to a different level, making the shopping experience for equestrian customers even more convenient. The two retailers are Sport Horse Nutrition and GIT Barn Solutions. Both are located in the same building at 3080 Fairlane Farms Road in Wellington.

Sport Horse Nutrition

At Sport Horse Nutrition (, located in Suite 5, the goal is customer satisfaction following every single transaction.

“Here at Sport Horse Nutrition, we provide you with the finest and most efficient horse products to keep your horse healthy,” General Manager Youssef Bargach said. “We are here to provide you with the finest selection of horse supplies and products to keep your horse in the best shape possible no matter what.”

Sport Horse Nutrition has a wide array of horse supplies available because this retailer has the room to stock all the necessary equestrian supplies.

“We have a 12,000-square-foot warehouse for the hay and feed, as well as two and a half acres out back where we store the shavings, our trailers, flat beds and box trucks that are used for deliveries,” Bargach said. “We make sure that we have at least 30 days of inventory of all products at all times.”

If you are in the market for hay, horse care supplies, horse feed, supplements or wood shavings, Sport Horse Nutrition has what you need.

In the hay category, customers have four varieties to choose from: Alfalfa, Green Meadows, Orchard and Timothy. In horse care supplies, Sport Horse Nutrition has a large number of categories that it sells, such as fly control, grooming items, hoof care, horse treats, horse first aid, poultice and clays, salts and minerals, and wraps. Many of those supplies are produced by trusted brands, such as Pyranha, Farnam and UltraShield.

Under the horse feed tab, there are six categories: Hubbard, Hygain, Manna Pro, McCauley’s, Tribute and Divers. In the area of supplements, Sport Horse Nutrition stocks seven different sub-categories, which include Calmers, Digestion and Ulcers, Hoof Supplements, Joint Supplements, Oils, Performance and Weight Control.

Sport Horse Solutions also sells four varieties of wood shavings.

According to Bargach, the lifeblood of Sport Horse Nutrition’s existence is its ability to get products delivered to its clients in a timely manner.

“At first, every customer comes to our store to check out our inventory and discuss deliverables,” Bargach said. “After that, they submit orders via phone or text.”

Once an order is placed, Bargach and his 13 employees focus on getting that product delivered as soon as possible.

“We strive for same-day deliveries or next-day deliveries,” Bargach said. “Our goal is to stock quality products and provide great customer service.”

Sport Horse Nutrition delivers to customers in Wellington, Loxahatchee, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Palm City and Okeechobee. Orders can be placed via text at (561) 634-5252 or e-mail at

According to Bargach, he’s delighted to have a fellow equestrian business, GIT Barn Solutions, just a few yards away.

“They show support for us, as we show support for them,” he said.

In addition to enjoying working in the equestrian field, Bargach is also a fan of polo, dressage, racing and jumping.

“I’m a fan of all four equestrian sports,” he said.

GIT Barn Solutions

At GIT Barn Solutions (, located in Suite 1, its specialty is collecting and disposing of horse manure, which is a major, year-round issue in Wellington and across Palm Beach County.

GIT aims to solve the horse manure concerns for its clients without the mess and the flies.

“By installing GIT plastic, closed, non-leaking dumpsters with lids, you avoid the flies and are using an environmentally friendly solution to manure removal,” said Jorge Falcon-Sillet, sales and customer care manager for GIT. “We also deliver super bedding pine shavings. Our drivers are friendly and prompt. Our goal is to serve you at the highest level.”

In addition to providing specific bins for the manure and shavings/bedding for the horse stalls, GIT Barn Solutions also sells top-quality hay from Canada.

“We store the hay in an air-conditioned facility,” Falcon-Sillet said.

The magnitude of the manure issue in Palm Beach County is eye-opening, he explained. During the high season, GIT Barn Solutions is picking up and disposing of 100 tons of manure a day, which is 200,000 pounds daily, if you do the math. It drops down to 30 tons a day in the off season.

Clearly, GIT Barn Solutions is doing a great job, as its business has grown from 50 systems with a handful of clients in 2016 to more than 400 accounts today — and there’s room for growth.

“Our business is growing 30 percent a year,” Falcon-Sillet said. “This is a big undertaking, which must be well organized. Some horse barns contain 40 horses, and that’s a great deal of horse manure every day.”

The biggest issue facing GIT Barn Solutions is purchasing enough land where it can dump and treat the manure by building its own compost. Right now, the company has to pay a third-party to legally dump the manure. That’s a charge that gets passed on to customers. There are three legal dumping locations in Palm Beach County that GIT Barn Solutions uses.

“If we can buy 30 acres, we can develop our own organic compost,” Falcon-Sillet explained.

Since manure accumulation is a daily issue, GIT Barn Solutions only takes off two days a year — Thanksgiving and Christmas. “We put out extra trucks the day before and the day after those holidays to pick up the extra manure,” Falcon-Sillet said.

The demand for shavings and bedding is also huge. Each week during the high season, four trailers of pallets containing shavings and bedding are delivered to GIT Barn Solutions from a factory in Leesburg, Florida. Each trailer has 28 pallets, and each pallet contains 45 bags of shavings/bedding.

To learn more about GIT Barn Solutions, call (561) 600-3407, e-mail, or drop by the office, which is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on Saturdays, and open on Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon during the winter season.


Keeping Our Focus On Quality Of Life

Keeping Our Focus On Quality  Of Life
Village Of Wellington Has Big Plans For 2023 After A Successful 2022

By Jim Barnes, Wellington Village Manager

The Wellington Village Council and staff are proud of the accomplishments of 2022 and even more excited for the beginning of a new year. Both have worked hard together to prioritize the village’s future efforts in the form of a 2023 operating budget and a 2023 to 2027 five-year capital budget. These budgets will help to provide the best quality of life and an environment in which our residents and businesses can thrive. The village continued to make many strides in 2022 and has planned its future efforts in the following five strategic focus areas.

Safe & Resilient Community
Resident and employee safety remains our highest priority. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) continues to provide an environment that is one of the safest in the county, state and nation. Our deputies and their leadership engage proactively with our residents, maintain a high presence throughout the community, and offer many services to raise awareness of and prevent crime.

We also work seamlessly with Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue to respond to any emergency, and we plan and train together to ensure that we are prepared for man-made and natural disasters. The village’s five-year capital improvement program will continue to invest in your safety through road maintenance and new road enhancements, adding shared-use paths, improving older playgrounds, replacing and repairing sidewalks, and replacing, maintaining and improving our critical water and reclaimed water systems.

Smart, Customer-Focused Government 
This past year, Wellington residents, through the National Community Survey, rated Wellington services with an overall approval rating of 85 percent — one of the highest among more than 200 municipalities participating in this national survey. A total of 94 percent of residents gave excellent and good ratings to the village’s overall image and reputation, the overall quality of life and as a place to raise children.

We take great pride in providing best-in-class services, ranging from recreation programming; curbside services such as refuse, recycling and yard waste; street sweeping; policing; parks maintenance; and so much more. Our departments continue to be accredited by their professional associations and consistently achieve high honors and awards that recognize them among their peer organizations and communities as some of the best and most innovative in the nation.

Economic Vitality
Great progress has been made on the expansion of our multi-modal path system, connecting various portions of the village with key destinations like parks and schools. The village remains focused on recreation and sports tourism, as it serves as an integral and contributing part of our local economy.

Community Engagement
The council, its boards and committees, combined with both the council and staff’s resident and neighborhood engagement efforts, provide many opportunities for residents and businesses to be involved. We are constantly communicating through meetings and in-person gatherings, as well as digitally through media outlets, mailings, our web site, social media and the GoWellington mobile app. Our efforts serve to better connect with you and respond to your questions and concerns.

Fiscal Health
The village’s fiscal health remains strong. Village revenues have continued to surpass estimates. By setting budgets accordingly, and operating within the council’s fiscal policies, the village continues to operate well within its means. For example, the village retains a healthy reserve in excess of 36 percent and operates within the confines of the village’s debt policy, leaving significant debt capacity now and in the future, should it be needed. Wellington has and continues to position itself to execute an aggressive five-year capital budget investing in its neighborhoods, setting conditions to attract future economic investment and reinvestments, while retaining the capacity to provide best-in-class services. This past year, Wellington’s budget was awarded the Distinguished Budget Award by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). The village retained its high bond ratings while simultaneously receiving another outstanding auditor’s report.

While we take some time to enjoy the accomplishments of 2022, I assure you that we won’t become complacent. We know 2023 will bring a new set of challenges, and in turn, new possibilities for success. We look forward to connecting Wellington to you, our residents and businesses, so that we can all thrive!


A Partner In The Fight Against Cancer

A Partner In The Fight Against Cancer Advocate Radiation Oncology Offers World-Class Cancer Care Close to Home

Advocate Radiation Oncology has recently established a new state-of-the-art cancer treatment center in West Palm Beach. Known for providing the most innovative radiation therapy available, it is Advocate’s second location on Florida’s east coast. This new office gives residents throughout Southeast Florida access to world-class physicians and advanced cancer treatment technology.

Led by Dr. Georges Hobeika and Dr. Thomas Klein, the West Palm Beach cancer treatment center features an experienced team of compassionate, board-certified radiation oncologists who partner with cancer patients to customize personal treatment plans that include the most precise cancer-fighting machines on the market.

After many years of dedication to cancer patients across the United States, Hobeika brings valuable experience and empathetic care to the region. He advocates an evidence-based approach that puts patients first, ensuring that they receive personalized treatment with an emphasis on minimizing side effects.

Fluent in English, French, Arabic and Spanish, Hobeika has participated in many cancer support groups, channeling his passion for improving the wellness of his patients.

“Dr. Hobeika combines extensive cancer-treatment knowledge with a caring and warm personality. His ability to create customized treatment plans using this approach aligns with the guiding principles of our practice,” said Dr. Arie Dosoretz, managing partner at Advocate Radiation Oncology. “We are excited to welcome Dr. Hobeika and to offer these services to the patients of Florida’s east coast with the addition of our West Palm Beach location.”

Hobieka joins Klein as a leader and advocate for cancer patients on Florida’s east coast. Klein is currently accepting patients in the West Palm Beach area. He values the personal relationships he forms with each patient and is committed to helping them in their fight against cancer both in and out of the clinic. He is passionate about raising awareness about cancer treatment and educates physicians around the country on making better treatment decisions for their patients.

Advocate Radiation Oncology is a locally owned and operated radiation oncology practice. The Advocate team of doctors work tirelessly to create individualized treatment plans that are aimed at maximizing effectiveness while minimizing the impact of treatment on a patient’s daily life.

A patient-focused approach requires the physician and surrounding staff to understand a patient’s goals and provide a compassionate and comfortable experience throughout the cancer treatment journey. The entire team at Advocate firmly believes that all patients deserve to feel that their care team is a source of strength and support from the moment they first walk through the door.

The process begins by first learning the essential details about each patient, their daily life and overall health. The goal at Advocate Radiation Oncology is to develop a highly personalized treatment plan that caters to each individual’s needs. This includes forming a well-organized and focused radiation oncology team that works closely with each patient, their caregivers and the other physicians involved in the patient’s fight against cancer. Then the Advocate team reviews the plan with the patient and their loved ones, so everyone knows what to expect and is comfortable moving forward together. As advocates, the team stays by the patient’s side throughout the treatment journey, every step of the way.

Most people may not know that radiation therapy has been used to treat cancer for more than 100 years. Radiation therapy is a safe and effective cancer treatment and is included in many treatment plans. Most likely, a patient’s treatment plan will be combined with chemotherapy and surgery to provide the best chance of controlling the disease.

With today’s technology, radiation therapy can target cancer cells with pinpoint accuracy. Advocate patients have access to the latest Varian technology, including the Halcyon, Identify and TrueBeam radiotherapy systems, widely recognized as the most innovative cancer-fighting machines on the market. Combined with a team of board-certified radiation oncologists trained at some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions, cancer patients receive compassionate, cutting-edge care.

Each Advocate treatment plan is unique to the patient, guided by the most up-to-date data to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate evidence-based cancer care. This allows patients to receive modern radiation treatment that can be delivered quickly and efficiently so that patients can live their lives with minimal disruption.

At Advocate Radiology Oncology, physicians provide treatments for breast, prostate, lung, head, neck and other types of cancer. The mission of this top-tier team of doctors and staff is in the name — to advocate for each cancer patient during their journey.

The West Palm Beach location of Advocate Radiation Oncology is located at 4832 Okeechobee Blvd., with additional Florida locations in Tamarac, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Bradenton and Naples. For more information about Advocate Radiation Oncology, call (561) 277-0786 or visit


Tasty Sushi Served With Great Flair

Tasty Sushi Served With Great Flair Fujisan Asian Bistro Opened Recently In Wellington’s Town Square Shopping Plaza

Story and Photos by Melanie Kopacz

It’s a splash of color mixed with happy vibes and fun décor as you enter the new Fujisan Asian Bistro in Wellington’s Town Square shopping plaza. That flair is also shown through the artistry put into the food.

“People like sushi in this area,” Fujisan Manager Nicole You said. “People like healthy food, and sushi is a great option.”

Fujisan officially opened its doors this past fall, welcoming sushi lovers to quench their cravings for fresh, mouthwatering and handcrafted creations ready to be devoured and enjoyed.

“We also do hibachi, but sushi is our specialty,” You said. “But people like it all.”

There’s a huge selection to try from, with about 50 sushi rolls in all on the menu.

Sit at the sushi bar with its soothing soft colors amid an array of fresh and colorful fish on display, and where patrons can watch the chef’s artistic talents put into each order with precision and pride.

That presentation is just as pleasing as the food itself, like the Tuna Tartare. The beautifully stacked diced fish with cubes of avocado are displayed with vibrant-colored tobiko and kimchi sauce. The Seared Tuna Over Crispy Rice makes for a gorgeous display of colors, with a flavorful combination of textures. It is topped with kimchi sauce, spicy mayo, wasabi sauce, tobiko and cilantro.

The Sweetheart Roll is a must try and a perfect sharable. This features a beautiful presentation of four individual heart-shaped rolls by combining two pieces of sushi, as rose petals line the plate. Inside is spicy tuna and avocado, topped with tuna and wasabi sauce. Each bite makes for a rich mix of flavors, while the tuna melts in your mouth.

The specialty rolls across the board are widely ordered, while there are also a number of traditional kitchen appetizers, such as the Gyoza (pan-fried pork dumplings), as well as the Rock Shrimp, which is fried and served with a spicy cream sauce. Both are staples on the menu.

As you wait for your food, check out the wall design that’s filled with traditional and whimsical Asian lucky cats, whose purpose is to bring cheer and luck. The steel blue seating and décor make for a calm and relaxing atmosphere. The restaurant’s quaint dining room seats about 30, with a few tables for two outside.

“We try to keep it fun and a little different, so we did the wallpaper, and the lighting, and tried to keep it cozy,” You said.

The sushi bar entrees are beautifully displayed and perfectly placed. The Sashimi Deluxe is a top choice, filled with 15 pieces of fresh, assorted raw fish layered among decorative pieces.

The are about 25 special roll offerings, with the Lobster Roll being one of the favorites. Inside is lobster katsu and mango, topped with avocado, steamed shrimp, fried kani and special sauce.

The Monster Roll lives up to its name, with shrimp tempura, cream cheese and avocado, topped with imitation crab meat, eel sauce and spicy sauce. The Dinosaur Roll is huge in flavor, deep fried with tuna, eel, cream cheese, avocado, scallion, eel sauce and spicy mayo.

There’s also a selection of soups from traditional miso to seafood hot and sour. A number of salads are also offered, including an Avocado & Crab Salad, and a Sunomono Salad with octopus, shrimp, conch, kani and cucumber in a vinegar sauce.

Those not looking for sushi can order hibachi, which is served with clear soup and a shrimp appetizer, vegetables and hibachi noodles. Order a single item or a combination from vegetable, chicken, shrimp, steak, scallops, lobster and more. There’s also teriyaki options.

Kids have their own menu, which includes chicken, steak or shrimp teriyaki with lo mein, as well as some traditional kid favorites, like chicken nuggets.

Lunch specials are offered Monday through Friday and come with soup or salad, and any of two or three roll combos.

Lunch bento boxes are also a favorite, from sushi to shrimp tempura, salmon and more, served with edamame, a spring roll and four pieces of a California roll. Rice and noodles or hibachi are also available lunch items.

Whether it’s lunch or dinner, the selection is sure to fill both the stomach and soul with the tasty food and cheerful, elevated presentation that Fujisan hopes will bring people back for more, as the beckoning cats await your next visit.

Fujisan serves lunch and dinner daily. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. for dinner. Friday hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. for dinner. Weekend hours are noon to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Fujisan Asian Bistro is located in Wellington’s Town Square shopping plaza at 11924 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 33. For more information, call (561) 513-8888 or visit


Prehistoric Fun At The Fairgrounds

Prehistoric Fun At The Fairgrounds
2023 South Florida Fair Jan. 13-29 Will Be ‘Dino-Myte’

By Doreen Marcial Poreba

Dinosaurs may be extinct, but they will come alive at the 111th annual South Florida Fair, which is themed “Dino-Myte.” The 2023 event will kick off at 5 p.m. with a Ride-A-Thon on Thursday, Jan. 12, and the full fair being held Jan. 13-29 at the South Florida Fairgrounds, located at 9067 Southern Blvd.

With a scale unmatched in animatronic dinosaur displays, Imagine Exhibitions will showcase some of the world’s most unique and recently discovered dinosaurs in a traveling exhibit titled “Dinosaurs Around the World.” Guests will experience a multi-layered narrative and cutting-edge research. They’ll discover which dinosaurs lived where and how they arrived, and learn about tectonic plates, geological formations and the latest paleontological research.

The South Florida Fair also will bring Jurassic Kingdom to fairgoers. Since 2014, this show has been one of the most beloved displays in the fair and festival industry. Host Miss Kala opens the show with an introduction that sends the audience back in time. Guests will have the opportunity to see lifelike dinosaurs in action and may touch and interact with them throughout the show.

Additional theme-related exhibits include prehistoric dinosaur adventures, a mobile museum, the Palm Beach Museum of Natural History, the Cox Science Museum & Aquarium, dinosaur explorer, the Dino Encounters Excavation Zone and Mr. Adler — an experienced paleontologist who loves to take his babies for a stroll around the fair.

“We like to present what we call ‘edutainment’ at the fair, where our guests can learn and be entertained at the same time,” said Vicki Chouris, the fair’s president and CEO. “We began creating themes in 1993, and our themed expositions are one of the most popular attractions of our 17-day event.”

New experiences at the fair are also a priority. All new for 2023 — two different wine pairing dinners, which will take place in the hospitality building on Monday, Jan. 23, and on Friday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. Presented by Cugini Winery, limited tickets will be available for $75 per person, which includes fair admission. Reservations are required. Wine tastings also will occur each day in Building 3, along with demonstrations (included in fair admission).

Another new feature will be a drumline competition on the community stage and two robotic competitions. A kids’ bake off on Jan. 21 will include 25 children from Palm Beach County schools who will make a variety of desserts. Artist Alley will feature the artwork of some of the area’s most creative artists in Building 2, and the Horton Fair Display will show off a giant fair display of rides and more, all made from recycled materials.

The tried-and-true fair favorites also will return, including quilts and other handmade items on display.

Among the top reasons guests attend the fair is to delight in the vendors’ wacky food creations. The usual “fried everything” will be offered, as well as new items, which include Miller Lemonade’s pickle lemonade, Holy Macaroni’s Thai bowls and its build-your-own macaroni bowls, which were introduced last year. Guaca Go is returning with its vegan guacamole and plant-based meat options that can be added.

New vendors include Mango Splash, which will tempt fairgoers with mango cups, mangonadas and empanadas. Guests will be able to build their own gourmet nachos at Rosie’s Nachos, Low & Slow will feature barbecue pork with assorted sides, the Biscuit Barn will create assorted biscuit sandwiches, and Bubble Tea & Bubble Waffles will prepare freshly made teas and waffles.

Of course, the rides are also among the top reasons people attend the fair. More than 200 rides and games will return, including the Midway Sky Eye, North America’s largest traveling Ferris wheel. New rides include the Wave Swinger and Corky’s Wipeout.

At the root of the fair is its award-winning agriculture and livestock program featuring more than 1,000 exhibitors from more than 30 Florida counties. The Mooternity barn is always a hit, giving guests a chance to see calves being born. This year, a new horse show titled Hollywood Horses Tricks & Tales is expected to wow guests as well.

Five stages of live music and entertainment will get guests on their feet, dancing the night away, and fans will appreciate that the Tribute Band Competition is returning. The traditional fair offerings that folks have come to expect and enjoy also will be back with attractions that include the racing pigs, ice skating shows, daily parades with custom floats from New Orleans and shopping.

“Our fair is really about making memories and keeping a tradition going that has lasted for more than a century,” Chouris said.

The South Florida Fair is produced by the South Florida Fair & Palm Beach County Expositions Inc., a nonprofit organization, and has a longstanding tradition of raising funds for educational and charitable purposes.

For more information, call (561) 793-0333 or visit