Palm Beach Shows & International Polo Join in Scheduling & Promoting Wellington as Equestrian Destination

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International Polo Club, © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
International Polo Club, © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Fla., July. 13–International Polo Club Palm Beach and the organizers of the Winter Equestrian Festival announced on Monday an agreement to partner in scheduling, promoting and developing Wellington as an equestrian destination.

The announcement headlined “Wellington’s Two Largest Landowners Join in Partnership to Secure Future Growth of Equestrian Lifestyle,” referring to IPC and Wellington Equestrian Partners that own and operate the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The announcement said that the two entities own or control almost 1,000 of the 8,000 acres that make up Wellington’s equestrian preserve.

For the first time, the two groups said, they will work “collaboratively” to promote Wellington as an equestrian destination.

WEP will stage their main PBIEC events on Saturday evenings, while IPC will target their Sunday polo tournaments.

Mark Bellissimo and John Goodman. © 2008 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Mark Bellissimo and John Goodman. © 2008 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

John Goodman, IPC founder, has also become an investor in the WEP partnership and joins the group’s Operating Committee made up of its largest investors. The operating committee guides WEP’s investment in Wellington real estate and comprises Mark and Katherine Bellissimo, Roger and Jennifer Smith, Dennis and Marsha Dammerman, Craig and Frances Lindner, Robert and Lisa Lourie, Stuart and Susan Goldstein, Bruce Duchossois and Howard and Gwen Dvorkin.

PBIEC is the home of the Winter Equestrian Festival, the largest and longest running horse show in the world of 12 weeks that draws thousands of exhibitors and more than 5,000 horses from 46 states, and 23 countries to compete for more than $5.6 million in prize money.

WEF includes the only Nations Cup in the United States, the Exquis World Dressage Masters and the FTI Consulting Grand Prix Challenge which is the richest evening in U.S. show jumping with $600,000 in prize money. WEP operates almost 40 weeks of U.S. Equestrian Federation licensed shows and operates the Palm Beach Steeplechase which was inaugurated last year.

International Polo Club Palm Beach is home to 16 weeks of tournament play each winter, including the only high goal tournaments in the U.S. and is host of the U.S. Open Polo Championship, marking its 106th year in April 2010.

IPC has also integrated polo events into its affiliated property, the Wanderers Golf Club of Wellington, a private course that reopened in 2008 after a renovation completed by Jacobsen Hardy Golf Designs.

Bellissimo, WEP managing partner and chief executive officer of Equestrian Sport Productions, said: “John and our partnership have always shared a common vision, however, we have not coordinated our efforts. We are excited to be finally working collaboratively towards a common goal of making Wellington the premier equestrian lifestyle destination in the world. It is a very exciting time for this community and our respective sports.”

Goodman said, “I believe a partnership between IPC and WEP has been a long time coming. While Wellington is one of the greatest equestrian environments in the world, our joint efforts will raise Wellington to a new level.”