Wellington’s Winter Wonderland

Wellington’s Winter Wonderland The USPA’s National Polo Center Offers World-Class Polo And So Much More This Season

Situated in the heart of Wellington’s legendary horse country, the National Polo Center-Wellington (NPC) is the perpetual home for polo in the United States and enables the United States Polo Association to showcase the finest that the sport has to offer. The 2024 winter season at NPC is now underway, showcasing many of the finest teams and players in the sport.

The entrance to the stunning property takes you down a palm tree-lined drive that leads past tennis courts toward the pavilion and adjacent stadium. The natural Florida terrain is augmented by a large lake, lush tropical landscaping and some of the most carefully manicured polo fields in the world. Spectating from the stadium, private boxes, fieldside tailgates and special hospitality tents, all overlooking the prestigious U.S. Polo Assn. Field One, is an unparalleled experience.

The 161-acre venue hosts some of the sport’s premier events and tournaments, including the Gauntlet of Polo, which takes places from February to April every winter featuring the world’s preeminent teams, professional athletes and finest horses. They come together for three months to battle head-to-head for the coveted trophies of the C.V. Whitney Cup (Feb. 9 to Feb. 25), the USPA Gold Cup (Feb. 23 to March 24) and the U.S. Open Polo Championship (March 22 to April 21).

In addition to the Gauntlet of Polo, NPC offers the NPC 16-Goal Championship, which is comprised of four USPA tournaments, including the Joe Barry Memorial (Jan. 11 to Jan. 28), the Ylvisaker Cup (Jan. 26 to Feb. 24), the Iglehart Cup and the Outback Cup.

The debut of the National President’s Cup (April 12 to April 21), at the NPC venue and under a new format, unites some of the most talented 8-goal teams in the nation. Another marquee event, the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship (Feb. 3 to Feb. 18), brings together the world’s most talented female players to compete in the final round of the most prestigious women’s tournaments in North America.

The first-rate facilities at NPC include much more than its eight beautifully maintained polo fields and world-class competition. NPC boasts a stadium, restaurants, social club, spa, pool, gym and tennis courts. With more than 7,000 square feet of indoor event space, the Wellington venue is capable of hosting hundreds of guests and many special events.

The tennis program at NPC has grown tremendously in the last year with the addition of tennis instructor Scott Williams, who has coached a number of professional tennis players ranked on the ATP World Tour, such as Tommy Haas (Germany), Anna Kournikova (Russia), Max Mirnyi (Belarus) and more. The 2024 tennis season looks to bring on more competitive teams, tournaments and classes for NPC members. Other NPC fitness facilities include a gym, yoga and Pilates classes. The spa services at NPC have also been upgraded and now offer specialized massages, facials, chiropractic services, waxing and acupuncture.

The venue encompasses multiple restaurants and event spaces, making it the perfect place to spend a night out or to host an event. Sunday brunch at the Pavilion features an ever-changing array of delicious items spread out over various stations that open to a spacious outdoor terrace. With a fun atmosphere and a fieldside view of the nation’s best polo, the Pavilion is a prime ticket to the action. The Pavilion Café, which offers a delectable selection of salads and handhelds, is set to open to the public on Wednesday, Jan. 3.

Located in the center stadium, the 7th Chukker offers delicious dining and is now open to the general public. The lounge overlooking U.S. Polo Assn. Field One is open Wednesday to Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. Dinner service is by reservation only. The 7th Chukker offers an a la carte dinner service, an extensive wine list, and space that can accommodate 50 seated guests or 100 attendees for cocktail-style events.

The Polo Club at NPC offers a variety of membership opportunities, including social, junior and equestrian packages. Membership benefits include access to social facilities and participation in exclusive events held throughout the week, including poolside movie nights, lobster dinners, lecture series, chef’s tasting dinners and holiday brunches.

Events held in 2023 included wine dinners showcasing Orin Swift, Il Borro by Salvatore Ferragamo and Folded Hills & Vezer Family Winery. Last year, the center hosted 10-goal polo player and Argentine horse breeder extraordinaire Adolfo Cambiaso as part of its popular speaker series. The event featured cocktails and light bites in addition to Cambiaso’s presentation. 2023 holiday events included an Easter egg hunt, Holly Jolly Brunch and a New Year’s dinner. Other member-only events held in 2023 included Komos Tequila Night, a Mardi Gras celebration, a casino night, and Kentucky Derby and Preakness watch parties.

Throughout the week, Tuesdays will serve as game nights with a variety of entertaining card games available to play. Wednesdays will host the popular NPC Speaker Series, movie nights and the occasional wine or chef’s dinner. Twice a month, the Women’s Collective will gather on Thursday. To kick off the weekend in style, Fridays will offer a lush lobster dinner and live entertainment. Stop by the club on Saturday to watch a horse show via streaming and get excited for Sunday’s big match.

Enjoy live entertainment after every Sunday game at the Mallet Grille, which offers outdoor patio dining and poolside seating in addition to its indoor space. The patio provides spectacular views of the stadium and polo fields, while the indoor restaurant features exquisite cuisine in an intimate setting. The Mallet Grille serves seasonal menus with a variety of fresh seafood, grilled steaks and cocktails, making it an ideal setting for all types of events.

NPC stands as a crown jewel, offering an unparalleled experience for polo enthusiasts and a diverse array of amenities for its members and Wellington locals. The venue’s state-of-the-art facilities make it a hub not only for premier polo events, but for a wide variety of recreational activities. The diverse dining options provide fine culinary delights with fieldside views.

With a variety of membership opportunities and a calendar brimming with exclusive events, NPC not only celebrates the essence of polo but also fosters a vibrant community, making it a world-class destination for unforgettable moments.

The National Polo Center-Wellington is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington. Learn more about the 2024 season at www.nationalpolocenter.com.