Jacobs Family-Owned Delaware North Corp. Contributes Total of $540,000 In Support of Wellington Charter Change

5 years ago admin Comments Off on Jacobs Family-Owned Delaware North Corp. Contributes Total of $540,000 In Support of Wellington Charter Change
"Friday Night Lights Freestyle" at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. File photo © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
“Friday Night Lights Freestyle” at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. File photo © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 10, 2016–Delaware North Corp., owned by the family that wants to tear down the Global dressage show grounds, has contributed $540,000 in support of an amendment to the Wellington charter aimed at blocking development in the community’s Equestrian Preserve.

And at a hearing this week, the Jacobs family case against the Global dressage grounds including a covered competition arena and permanent stables was set for trial in Circuit Court the weeks of Nov. 28 and Dec. 5.

The contributions of $150,000 on Jan. 19, $140,000 on Feb. 23 and $250,000 on Feb. 25 were made in support of a campaign to amend Wellington’s charter by implementing a blanket ban against any development in Equestrian Preserve designed for horse farms. Opponents charge the amendment would face legal challenges as it is so sweeping as to prevent construction of grooms’ apartment.

The election is scheduled for next Tuesday, Mar. 15. Two council members including the mayor, who have voted in favor of measures supported by the Jacobs family, are being challenged by candidates promising to end the division between equestrians and non-equestrians in the community of about 60,000 people.

Wellington is home of the Winter Equestrian Festival of jumpers and hunters and the Global Dressage Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, both staged over three months and attracting riders and horses from around the world.

The horse shows, that are at a smaller scale most of the rest of the year, bring in hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

The Jacobs family donated $600,000 four years ago in support of three candidates for the five-member Village of Wellington council. The Jacobs-supported candidates won all three seats, took control of the council, reversed plans to develop the show grounds and blocked many improvements.

The contributions came from the Delaware North Corp., a privately held food service and hospitality company owned by the Jacobs family and based in Buffalo, New York. Details were included in campaign reports filed with the Village of Wellington as required by law.

The Jacobs family owns a large estate between the Global dressage grounds and International Polo Club and has organized horse shows on the property, including a World Cup jumping event earlier this month

A review of Wellington electoral rolls could not find the names of Jacobs family members registered to vote in Wellington, but registered to vote in New York where Delaware North is based and Massachusetts where the family owns the Boston Bruins National Hockey League team.

The elections in Wellington have been a major segment of political advertising on Palm Beach County television over the past month, even though the Florida primary for both the Republican and Democratic candidates is the same day.