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TALENTED JUMPER LILLIE KEENAN ENJOYS HER EDUCATION, IN AND OUT OF THE RING
At just 24 years old, Lillie Keenan is one of the most talented show jumpers in the United States. With a maturity beyond her years that has been evident since she started riding horses, Keenan has used education, both in and out of the competition ring, to advance her career. Having recently made Wellington her full-time home, she is reaching for new heights and learning along the way. BY JENNIFER WOOD
When equestrian Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum first set foot in Wellington in the late 1980s, she used it as a stepping-stone to one of the most successful careers in the equestrian sport of show jumping. More than 30 years later, she is a regular winter visitor with her husband, Markus Beerbaum, a top rider and trainer, and her 10-year-old daughter, Brianne. BY JENNIFER WOOD
FACES OF WEF: OUR ANNUAL SPOTLIGHT ON THE AMAZING RIDERS COMPETING AT WEF The world-renowned Winter Equestrian Festival has returned to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, bringing 13 weeks of top hunter, jumper and equitation competition. Although this year will look different due to COVID-19 rules, with very limited spectators, that does not mean that the quality of the sport will be any less impressive. Our Faces of WEF pictorial puts a spotlight on just a few of many amazing riders competing at WEF this year.
NEW YEAR, NEW GOALS: MAKE ONE OF THEM TO BECOME THE VERY BEST VERSION OF YOU Now is an ideal time to start a fitness, exercise and wellness program just for the health of it. While getting physically active and healthy are often goals for people early in the calendar year, it should become a daily way of life, as the many health benefits of a physically active lifestyle are long-lasting and life-altering, in a positive way. BY MIKE MAY
OVER THE TOP STABLES IS CREATING THE NEXT GENERATION OF JUMPING STARS When Alexa Schwitzer first sat on a pony when she was one year old, she could not be pulled out of the saddle without a fight. Today, at just 21 years old, she is the co-founder of the internationally recognized Over the Top Stables LLC and is an avid amateur competitor at some of the nation’s leading equestrian events. BY OLIVIA AIRHART
on the cover
SHOW JUMPING FAMILY THE BEERBAUMS ENJOY SPENDING TIME IN WELLINGTON
EQUESTRIAN PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCY JUMP MEDIA TAKES CLIENTS TO NEW HEIGHTS Some would say it was fate. Others might say it was simply a coincidence. Whichever way you look at it, the coming together of two Jennifers — Jennifer Ward and Jennifer Wood — to form leading equestrian public relations agency Jump Media has been an overwhelming success.
Talented show jumper Lillie Keenan competes at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington. PHOTO BY SPORTFOT
Departments WELLINGTON SOCIAL SCENE 12 14 16 18
Exciting Season Of Polo Action Has Returned To IPC In Wellington Wellington Seniors Club Members Enjoy A Drive-Through Lunch Lights 4 Hope Gives Back To Help Chandler Family Of Wellington Wellington Garden Club Hosts A Document Shredding Fundraiser
69 WELLINGTON TABLE Kaluz Restaurant is a dining gem, brimming with upscale modern cuisine with a unique ambiance all its own. When you visit, keep an eye out for the herb-crusted lamb rack, the signature dish we feature this month. BY MELANIE KOPACZ
72 WELLINGTON REAL ESTATE Presented by Martha W. Jolicoeur, this month’s Wellington Real Estate feature visits an impeccably landscaped equestrian estate nestled in the quiet Wellington neighborhood of Saddle Trail Park with an owner’s residence, a staff residence and equestrian amenities.
77 CELEBRATE WELLINGTON Wellington Village Manager Paul Schofield is proud of his two decades of service to the community, including 13 years in the top job. He is retiring this month but is leaving the village in capable hands. BY M. DENNIS TAYLOR wellington the magazine | february 2021
publisher WORLD’S TOP EQUESTRIANS BACK IN WELLINGTON FOR THE ANNUAL WINTER EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL The 42nd annual Winter Equestrian Festival is underway at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center bringing top-level competition to Wellington. WEF includes dozens of divisions of hunter-jumper competitions, featuring everything from short stirrup up to Olympic-level show jumping. In this month’s issue, we feature some of these amazing WEF competitors in our annual Faces of WEF pictorial section. On the cover this month is Lillie Keenan, one of the most talented show jumpers in the United States. She has a maturity beyond her 24 years that has been evident since she started riding horses. Having recently made Wellington her full-time home, the New York City-born equestrian is reaching for new heights and always learning along the way. Also featured this issue is the international show jumping Beerbaum family, which includes jumping star Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, a Wellington regular since the late 1980s, along with her husband Markus Beerbaum, a top rider and trainer, and their 10-yearold daughter Brianne. With a new year underway, now is an ideal time to start a fitness and wellness program just for the health of it. While getting healthier is often a goal for people early in the year, it should become a daily way of life. We visit Orangetheory Fitness and Revive Wellington to learn more about how to make that happen.We also profile Alexa Schwitzer, co-founder of the internationally recognized Over the Top Stables LLC and an avid amateur competitor, and visit with the two Jennifers — Jennifer Ward and Jennifer Wood — who make up the growing equestrian public relations firm Jump Media. Wellington Table this month introduces a new “Signature Dish” format with a visit to local hotspot Kaluz Restaurant to sample the popular herb-crusted lamb rack.Wellington Real Estate returns with a look at an amazing equestrian estate in the Saddle Trail Park neighborhood, presented by Martha Jolicoeur. Finally, our new Celebrate Wellington feature chats with retiring Wellington Village Manager Paul Schofield regarding what he is most proud of, looking back on his two decades of service to the community. As we move into a new era, Wellington The Magazine’s team is looking forward to healing for our country, success with overcoming the pandemic and the future days when we can fill the stands throughout all of Wellington’s equestrian venues once again. Until then, we still enjoy seeing our many equestrian friends out and about, reading about all the success on the field and continuing to watch all the livestreamed polo, show jumping and dressage action. We’ll be back next month with our annual Faces of Dressage issue. Until then, have a happy, healthy and love-filled Valentine’s season.
Dawn Rivera, Publisher
10 february 2021 | wellington the magazine
volume 18, number 2 FEBRUARY 2021
executive editor Joshua I. Manning
senior graphic designer Stephanie Rodriguez
graphic designers Nancy Pobiak Yolanda Cernicky
account managers Betty Buglio Evie Edwards Joetta Palumbo
Jill Kaskel Carol Lieberman
photography Abner Pedraza
Olivia Airhart Matthew Auerbach Meredith Burow Erin Davisson Denise Fleischman Melanie Kopacz Mike May Callie Sharkey M. Dennis Taylor Y.A. Teitelbaum Jennifer Wood Deborah Welky
WELLINGTON Bringing You The Best Of Wellington Since 2004
12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 33 Wellington, FL 33414 Phone: (561) 793-7606 Fax: (561) 793-1470 www.wellingtonthemagazine.com
Wellington The Magazine. LLC
Barry S. Manning Wellington The Magazine is published monthly in Wellington, Florida. Copyright 2021, all rights reserved by Wellington The Magazine, LLC. Contents may not be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising. The publisher accepts no responsibility for advertisement errors beyond the cost of the portion of the advertisement occupied by the error within the advertisement itself. The publisher accepts no responsibility for submitted materials. All submitted materials subject to editing.
wellington | social scene
PHOTOS BY ALEX PACHECO
Exciting Season Of Polo Action Has Returned To IPC In Wellington The 2021 polo season got underway at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington in January with 18-goal action.The three-week Joe Barry Memorial Cup tournament ended with Santa Clara taking the trophy.The Ylvisaker Cup followed before the 22-goal Gauntlet of Polo series gets underway in mid-February. Learn more at www.internationalpoloclub.com.
(Left to right) Santa Clara finished with an undefeated record to claim the Joe Barry Memorial Cup trophy; Santa Clara’s Keko Magrini and Luis Escobar celebrate a goal; and Hilario Figueras in action for Beverly Polo.
(Left to right) Santa Clara’s Lucas Escobar fights with Palm Beach Equine’s Robi Bilbao for possession during Joe Barry Memorial Cup action; Beverly Polo’s Tolito Ocampo was named Most Valuable Player during the featured match on Jan. 10; Palm Beach Equine defeated Beverly Polo to win the Bobby Barry Cup on opening day; and Palm Beach Equine’s Gringo Colombres was named Most Valuable Player of the opening day match.
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12 february 2021 | wellington the magazine
Focusing On Clients Is Key At KELLER WILLIAMS
Our team of experts represents the best and brightest in the industry, and we’re always striving to lead the field in research, innovation and consumer education. Today’s buyers and sellers need a trusted resource that can guide them through the complex world of real estate. With our extensive knowledge and commitment to providing only the best and most timely information to our clients, we are your go-to source for real estate industry insight and advice.” This expertise is why many clients return time and again to the agents of Keller Williams Wellington. We take great pride in the relationships we build and always work relentlessly on the clients’ behalf to help them achieve their real estate goals. Our philosophy is simple: clients come first.
WELLINGTON Nancy Jennings, Broker Michael Menchise, Team Leader
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wellington | social scene
PHOTOS BY DENISE FLEISCHMAN
Wellington Seniors Club Members Enjoy A Drive-Through Lunch The Wellington Seniors Club held a drive-up box lunch event on Thursday, Dec. 17 at Wellingtonâ€™s Village Park. As the seniors checked in at the gate, they received cookies and a coffee mug. The box lunch was from TooJayâ€™s, and the goody bag sponsors were Healthy Partners,Wellington Regional Medical Center and Harbor Chase.
(Left to right) Robert Nappi, Shirley Horn, Ray Silvacoll, Rosemary Goldson, Santa, Eileen Kuhnel and Marie Coleman; sisters Sherie and Janet Scalzitti with dog Buddy; Robert Nappi and Marie Coleman speak with Nancy Koloff; and Elizabeth and Gerzy Skrodziki arrive at the park.
(Left to right) Kyle Ostroff, Rich Febles, Jenifer Brito, PBSO Sgt. Matthew DeJoy, Mayor Anne Gerwig, Santa, Joe Piconcelli and Michelle Garvey prepare to hand out lunches; Tony Alfalla visits for his boxed lunch; Selma Waters wishes everyone a happy holiday; and Michelle Garvey, PBSO Deputy Scott Poritz and Jenifer Brito.
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561.793.2012 | www.tackeria.com 14 february 2021 | wellington the magazine
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12008 S. Shore Blvd. Suite 201 Wellington, Fl 33414 Nancy Jennings, Broker
| firstname.lastname@example.org www.stallmatch.com Rare opportunity to own 10 acres - (high and dry with Development Rights) on Atlantic Ave. just west of State Rt 7. This unique property with 1,400 ft of Atlantic Ave. frontage is located close to the entrance of West Delray County Park and adjacent to a 100 acre thoroughbred training center. Located 15 minutes to equestrian venues in Wellington, Downtown Delray Beach and beaches. 30 minutes to PBIA or FLL airports. Single family courtyard home with pool has 5 bedrooms and 3 ½ baths. There is 5,000 s.f. workshop / barn building and 3 separate grooms quarters on the property as well as a 12 stall barn. Property is adjacent to a 5,000 acre state owned preserve. Offered at $3,990,000
We are proud to be part of Keller Williams Luxury International Team, providing unmatched personalized service for our clients.
wellington | social scene
PHOTOS BY ERIN DAVISSON
Lights 4 Hope Gives Back To Help Chandler Family Of Wellington Lights 4 Hope, the nonprofit that produces the holiday drive-through light show at Okeeheelee Park, recently helped out the Chandler family of Wellington. Two years ago, Katie Chandler and her daughter Valerie were in a car accident, leaving Valerie paralyzed from the waist down. On Sunday, Dec. 20, Lights 4 Hope held its holiday drop-off of items for Valerie and her family.The event also happened to be the day before Valerie’s birthday. In addition to the drop-off, there was a large birthday caravan.
(Left to right) Valerie Chandler surrounded by family and friends during the drop-off event; Lights 4 Hope President Jason Wilson with his family, joined by volleyball coach Nestor Garrido and event organizer Meghan Buser; Valerie Chandler with her sister Camryn and parents Katie and Donald; and Valerie Chandler and her mother Katie watch as friends drive by.
(Left to right) Valerie Chandler received many presents; supporters from the Wellington Volleyball Academy; and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office was on hand to help out at the event.
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Wellington Florist would like to welcome back the equestrian community for a prosperous 2021 season. Never be without the beauty of Wellington Florist’s signature floral designs with our weekly delivery program. Our expert designers will come to your location and customize the perfect floral accents to fit your particular taste and decor. Never pay for containers or worry about wilted flowers as arrangements are swapped out on a weekly basis. Just tell us what you like and we will do the rest. We carry a large selection of the finest flowers from all over the world and our weekly clients enjoy new and interesting varieties all the time. Our delivery professionals are background checked, discreet, and highly trained to make the weekly service seamless and as unobtrusive as possible. Follow us on instagram @wellingtonflorist for daily examples of our cutting edge designs by our A.I.F.D. accredited florists.
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16 february 2021 | wellington the magazine
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wellington | social scene
PHOTOS BY DENISE FLEISCHMAN
Wellington Garden Club Hosts A Document Shredding Fundraiser The Wellington Garden Club held a document shredding fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 16 at the Wellington Municipal Complex with support from Total Shredding. Proceeds will support the club’s charitable contributions for high school, college and camp scholarships for environmental studies, Habitat for Humanity, community beautification projects and Junior Garden Club programs. Learn more at www.wellingtongardenclub.org.
(Left to right) Joyce Smith, Alison Albury, Jan Seagrave, Maria Wolfe, Bobbi Ziegler, Barbara Zenker and Danese Sloan Kendall; Barbara Zenker collects money from Dolly Rose; Twig Morris hands Paul Chamberlain of Total Shredding papers to be shredded; and JoAnn Akins hands money to Jan Seagrave.
(Left to right) Regis and Tom Wenham support the event; Victoria and Brian Matuszka brought papers to be shredded; Stormi Bivin with her grandson Anthony Caragol; and Bobbi Ziegler, Ann Finch and Lisa Ferrano.
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18 february 2021 | wellington the magazine
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MARTHA W. JOLICOEUR, PA BROKER ASSOCIATE 561 797 8040 www.marthasproperties.com 1111 LINCOLN RD, MIAMI BEACH, FL 33139. 305.695.6300 © 2021 DOUGLAS ELLIMAN REAL ESTATE. ALL MATERIAL PRESENTED HEREIN IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. WHILE, THIS INFORMATION IS BELIEVED TO BE CORRECT, IT IS REPRESENTED SUBJECT TO ERRORS, OMISSIONS, CHANGES OR WITHDRAWAL WITHOUT NOTICE. ALL PROPERTY INFORMATION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO SQUARE FOOTAGE, ROOM COUNT, NUMBER OF BEDROOMS AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN PROPERTY LISTINGS ARE DEEMED RELIABLE, BUT SHOULD BE VERIFIED BY YOUR OWN ATTORNEY, ARCHITECT OR ZONING EXPERT. EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY.
Ken Adams Our Neighbor, Our Friend Palm Beach County Commission Chairman Ken Adams.
Ken and Arle Adams.
Ken and Arle with Jess and Victoria.
Ken with six girlfriends.
Michelle and Ken.
The Fox Hunt.
Ken and Arle lead the Fox Hunt.
A chamber ribbon cutting.
Ken with Village Manager Paul Schofield.
Honoring the veterans.
The Wellington Community Foundationâ€™s Board of Directors
Ken on his fast scooter.
Ken and Michelle scooter racing at Target.
Ken at Carlos Arellanoâ€™s stable.
Celebrating Christmas with friends.
Michelle, Piper and Ken.
President Ronald Reagan chats with Ken Adams.
Vice President Dan Quayle with Ken Adams.
Wellington honors Ken with his own road.
Ken Adams’ polo team.
The Wellington Village Council names “Ken Adams Way.”
Ken with two special ladies, Jill and Michelle.
Enjoying lunch at Gabriel’s Cafe.
President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush with Ken Adams.
Ken with Bobby and B.J. Ewing.
Ken with favorite aide Jill and her son Alex.
“I can still swing a mallet with Carlos Arellano.”
Frequent bodyguards Michelle and Great Dane Piper.
Riding in the annual Wellington Holiday Parade.
“Thank you, Michelle for all you do for me.”
Air Force Major Ken Adams.
Ken salutes 10-year-old Alex.
Ken walking his two dogs.
Ken with Ben and Joanna Boynton.
The Santamarias with Ken Adams.
22 february 2021 | wellington the magazine
Show Jumper Lillie Keenan Enjoys Her Education, In And Out Of The Ring BY JENNIFER WOOD
At just 24 years old, Lillie Keenan is one of the most talented show jumpers in the United States. With a maturity beyond her years that has been evident since she started riding horses, Keenan used education, both in and out of the competition ring, to advance her career. Having recently made Wellington her full-time home, the New York City-born equestrian is reaching for new heights and learning along the way. Keenan first came to Wellington at the age of seven, when she convinced her parents to forgo a skiing trip on their winter break from school and instead travel to South Florida for her to compete on her pony Aspen Spring. They have since spent every winter traveling to the warmer climate.“That is why I still don’t know how to ski!” she noted. The talented young rider has made a habit of convincing her parents and others of what she already knew: her passion for horses, riding and competing would always be foremost in her life. While horses take center stage, Keenan has also valued the importance of education and all of the relevant skills that come with learning. Keenan said that her parents, Pam and Howard, were “used to sacrificing for their kids’ passion,” with her older brother being a professional hockey player and her sister a professional ballerina with the New York City Ballet. For
Keenan, it meant her mother, who was a successful junior rider herself, ferrying her to ride with Andre Dignelli and Patricia Griffith at Heritage Farm and traveling to horse shows throughout the year, including to Wellington every winter. “They were incredibly supportive,” she said. As a student at the Spence School in Manhattan, Keenan commuted every winter from ages eight to 17, her junior year at Spence. “JetBlue was like a second home to me,” she laughed. “I was in a position that my family could make that possible, so I was very lucky. I kept my grades up and was allowed to do it. [Spence] set me up for success with academics and with sport.They made it possible, but taught me discipline, and I could manage to do well in school while also jumping five star [Grand Prix classes] while still in high school.” This sometimes required taking matters into her own hands. “When I was in eighth grade, I spoke to my head of school about missing every Friday for three months,” Keenan recalled.“She explained that anything is possible as long as I’m the one who makes it happen. I had to talk to the head of school and my teachers myself, rather than my parents. I had to be responsible for my own work and time management. If I missed anything, I had to make a plan and communicate. I was comfortable with it.” wellington the magazine | february 2021 23
Show jumping star Lillie Keenan has been coming to the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington since she was just seven years old. PHOTO ©ESP
While Keenan visited six schools for higher education, Harvard University was her first choice.“It was the one
place that I had a feeling that I could be myself there,” she said. “What made Harvard different was that every person
that I met there, they didn’t have to understand show jumping and horses, but they had something in their life they were passionate about, too. They were driven by something; it connected all of us.” Keenan continued her equestrian passion through her college years. “I don’t remember feeling like I wished I wasn’t doing both,” she explained. “I didn’t want to miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of the experience of moving away from home and being a college kid. I liked it, but I realized there was never a moment at a party or something that I wasn’t missing horses and the sport. Once I realized horses is what I wanted to do, I was able to commit myself better to studies and sport. At school, I was at school. When I wasn’t, I sat down and got work done.”
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february 2021 | wellington the magazine
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For location, hours of operation and further details about our award-winning communities, visit MintoUSA.com. For location, hours of operation and further details about our award-winning communities, visit MintoUSA.com. *Program is available for a limited time for active workers and is subject to change without notice. Restrictions apply, see a Minto New Homes Sales Professional for details. ©Minto Communities, LLC 2021. Not an offer where prohibited by state *Program is available for a limited time for active workers and is subject to change without notice. Restrictions apply, see a Minto New Homes Sales Professional for details. ©Minto Communities, LLC 2021. Not an offer where prohibited by state statutes. All rights reserved. Content may not be reproduced, copied, altered, distributed, stored or transferred in any form or by any means without express written permission. Artist’s renderings, dimensions, specifications, prices and features are statutes. All rights reserved. Content may not be reproduced, copied, altered, distributed, stored or transferred in any form or by any means without express written permission. Artist’s renderings, dimensions, specifications, prices and features are approximate and subject to change without notice. Minto, the Minto logo, Westlake and the Westlake logo are trademarks of Minto Communities, LLC and/or its affiliates. 2021. approximate and subject to change without notice. Minto, the Minto logo, Westlake and the Westlake logo are trademarks of Minto Communities, LLC and/or its affiliates. 2021.
WEF In a remarkable junior career that included wins in the USEF Pony Finals, the ASPCA Maclay Finals, the USEF Medal Finals, the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Finals, double gold at the North American Young Rider Championships and winning the USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals against a full slate of professionals, Keenan kept her laser focus on her goals. She jumped in her first Nations Cup at the age of 17 in Bratislava, Slovakia, and turned professional in 2015 during her freshman year at Harvard. In 2017, she was a part of the first all-female team to win the Aga Khan Trophy in the Nations Cup at the Dublin Horse Show. She has remained not only one of the best Under 25 riders in the world but is also consistently one of the top 10 riders in the country. Keenan has fond memories of growing up wintering in Wellington at the Winter Equestrian Festival, watching the Grand Prix classes under the lights at 10 years old and feeling that she would never jump that high, and then four years later being anxious to try. She rode in her first Saturday Night Lights with Pumped Up Kicks at 17 years old. “The crowd there is a different experience than a lot of shows,” Keenan said. “The atmosphere is electric.The crowd definitely raises you up.” After graduating from Harvard, Keenan turned her commitment full-time to horses and show jumping. “After 15 years or so, my focus was on one thing,” she explained. “I really looked forward to it; I never had that other than in the summers.” Keenan has now made Wellington her permanent residence with Chansonette Farm, and a bonus of being in one place so much is the chance to go to the local Pilates Rocks every day. 26 february 2021 | wellington the magazine
At age 15, Lillie Keenan won the George Morris Excellence in Equitation riding Clearway. PHOTO BY SPORTFOT
“It has really become home,” she said. “It’s the only time in my life where I have lived where my horses are and had that constant every day, where I can wake up and go and ride. I love having other [equestrian] disciplines at such a high level so close to home. I enjoy watching dressage and learning from seeing that. I think it’s a very unique community that you don’t find anywhere else in the world.” Keenan’s current string includes top horses Fasther, Skyhorse and Agana van het Gerendal Z, along with promising nine-year-olds El Balou OLD and Cazaan, as well as Ann Thompson’s eight-yearold Delta de la Rasse. It’s a family affair, as her mother Pam helps pick out young horses and develop them for the future. “From the very beginning, one thing my mom never pushed to try was rid-
ing,” Keenan said. “When she stopped riding, it was hard to give up; it was her entire life.This sport is so up and down, and you lose a lot more than you win. You need support and people around you to understand how much commitment it takes. Horses are always going to be the priority. I’m very lucky that I get to share that with my mom.” While it has been two years since she graduated, Keenan’s love of learning continues. Six months after she left school, she was tutoring high school students. “I love learning, and there are parts of school that I really enjoyed. I think that will be true for life,” Keenan said.“That’s why I started my own business with designing show jackets, and I push myself in new ways, in more than just sport. It makes me a better rider and a better person.”
Markus Beerbaum rides Tequila de Lile in Wellington. PHOTO BY SPORTFOT
28 february 2021 | wellington the magazine
International Show Jumping Family The Beerbaums Enjoy Spending Time In Wellington, Their Winter Home BY JENNIFER WOOD
When equestrian Meredith MichaelsBeerbaum first set foot in Wellington in the late 1980s, she used it as a steppingstone to one of the most successful careers in the equestrian sport of show jumping. More than 30 years later, she is a regular winter visitor with her husband, Markus Beerbaum, a top rider and trainer, and her 10-year-old daughter, Brianne. While studying political science at Princeton University, the Californian won her first big Grand Prix in 1989 at the age of 19 in Wellington riding Quick Star. At that time, the Winter Equestrian Festival was based at the old polo stadium grounds, currently home to Equestrian Village and the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Flying down on the weekends to compete, Meredith balanced riding and school like many junior and young amateur riders do to this day. Two years later, in 1991, Meredith moved to Germany to work for legendary trainer Paul Schockemöhle, and when she met Markus, she stayed. The couple started their own riding and training business in 1994. After marrying in 1998, Meredith became a German citizen and was the first woman to ever earn a spot on the German national team when she competed at the 1999 European Championships.
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum with daughter Brianne and husband Markus Beerbaum. PHOTO BY SPORTFOT
While Meredith was focused on her career and competing in Europe — which led to three victories at the FEI World Cup Jumping Finals, Olympic team bronze, three World Championship medals and six European Championship medals — Markus, who has won team
gold medals at the European Championships and World Championships himself, was traveling to Wellington annually to ride and train students such as Alison Firestone, who was the alternate for the U.S. show jumping team at the 2000 Olympic Games in Athens. wellington the magazine | february 2021 29
WEF Brianne Beerbaum is continuing the family’s winning ways. PHOTO BY WEF
“He was doing more of the Wellington circuit than I was,” Meredith remembered.“It’s a bit of a contradiction! I would commute a little bit back and forth; he was based in Wellington doing the full-time WEF circuit.” When the Beerbaums gained new sponsors who lived in Florida and were interested in having their horses compete in Wellington, Meredith joined Markus in more regular trips to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Meredith brought two young, talented horses, Jim and Nancy Clark’s Shutterfly and Checkmate, to give them experience.Those two horses would turn into her most successful mounts with seven championship medals between them. Shutterfly took Meredith to the top of the podium three times at the World Cup Finals in 2005, 2008 and 2009. Checkmate returned to WEF in his late competition years, until he was 19, to compete in Wellington. Since 2012, Meredith and Markus have spent winters in Wellington, with horses owned by Jim and his wife Kristy Clark of Artemis Farm, and working with students such as Saer and Audrey Coulter, Lucy Davis and Chloe Reid. The Beerbaums’ daughter Brianne was born in 2010, and the family trade has been passed down. 30 february 2021 | wellington the magazine
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum rides Comanche 28 at WEF. PHOTO BY SPORTFOT
“She started in the walk-trot classes in the South Ring, and now she’s out there on Pony Island,” Markus said.“She adores it and has a great time, and she established a network of friends.” Brianne trains with Patricia Griffith of Heritage Farm, and she attended school at Binks Forest Elementary School for the semester they live in Florida. With COVID-19 making schools virtual, Brianne will continue with her German online school in 2021, working with Upper Echelon Academy in Wellington, which was founded by equestrian Clementine Goutal. Markus and Meredith will be primarily training students this winter, but they have brought one pony for Brianne to compete. There are many facets of life in Wellington and at the Winter Equestrian Festival that make it an ideal place for the Beerbaums in the winter, both professionally and personally. “The weather is fabulous, and we get to ride outside. You can’t ride [outside] very many places in the world [in the winter], particularly in Germany,” said Meredith, who is based the rest of the year at the Beerbaums’ stable in Thedinghausen.“The [PBIEC] show grounds has everything in one location, which is so attractive for a family like us. I can
“We have a really comfortable, nice family life and still ride our best horses, compete at the top level of the sport, plus watch our daughter shine in the pony ring. It’s a win-win-win for us.” — Markus Beerbaum help Brianne in the pony ring, then go and ride in the Grand Prix without traveling to another show. In Europe, that is not possible because the big shows don’t have [classes] for kids.” Markus also enjoys his winters in Wellington. “We have a lovely life as a family in Wellington, and we get to all share and enjoy our time together,” he said. “We have a normal time schedule, having dinner in the evening, and are able to sit around the pool and throw steaks on the grill. We have a really comfortable, nice family life and still ride our best horses, compete at the top level of the sport, plus watch our daughter shine in the pony ring. It’s a win-winwin for us. It’s a wonderful time to be together and enjoy what we all love to do, but in the same place for a good length of time.” While the whole of Palm Beach County has much to offer residents and visitors, the Beerbaums tend to stay closer to home in Wellington, usually enjoying restaurants and shopping.“I think the Village of Wellington offers so many things,” Meredith said. “It’s really convenient. You can get whatever you need: Pilates, golf, a tennis lesson, all next to the stable or where your kid goes to school.”
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Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum celebrates a win with her daughter Brianne Beerbaum. PHOTO BY ESP
Competition at WEF in 2021 will be as tough as ever, with top riders from around the world coming to Wellington to compete. More European riders are making the trip across the Atlantic as well, realizing something that Markus and Meredith saw years ago. “It’s vital to point out that this is the
top of the sport,” Markus said.“For years, before Europeans came, they knew [WEF had the] best American riders, but they didn’t realize how good the sport is. Now in the last few years, Europeans have come and seen how difficult the competition is, how the course designing is top, the facilities are great and the
prize money is outstanding. It’s not only the best Americans, but there is a European and international flair. That brings a lot to Wellington and makes it one of the best places to compete, particularly this time of the year.” Joining thousands who attend the Winter Equestrian Festival every year, the Beerbaums are happy to have made Wellington their winter home. Learn more about the Beerbaums at www.michaelsbeerbaum.com.
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The world-renowned Winter Equestrian Festival has returned to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, bringing 13 weeks of top hunter, jumper and equitation competition. The 2021 WEF opened last month and continues through April 4 featuring the best riders from across the nation and around the world. Although this year will look different due to COVID-19 rules and guidelines, with very limited spectators, that does not mean that the quality of the sport will be any less impressive. Show jumping riders will have 12 weeks of FEI competition, including four CSI5* events. Highlights will include the popular Great Charity Challenge on Saturday, Feb. 6, which will provide $1 million to local nonprofit organizations. As we do every year, our Faces of WEF pictorial feature puts a spotlight on just a few of many amazing riders competing at WEF this year.
wellington the magazine | february 2021 35
COVID-19 and Heart Inﬂammation: What You Should Know Myocarditis, or inﬂammation of the heart muscle, is a rare disease that has taken on new prominence as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
• • • •
According to a growing body of research, many coronavirus survivors experience some form of heart damage. While nearly a quarter of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 have cardiovascular complications, individuals with mild to moderate symptoms are also at risk of cardiac injury from the virus.
“Later stage signs of heart damage include swelling of the legs and ankles, difﬁculty sleeping at a ﬂat angle, and difﬁculty breathing when tying your shoes,” says Dr. Hernandez-Montfort.
Myocarditis is most often the result of an infectious process, like inﬂuenza or COVID-19. Inﬂammation can enlarge and weaken the heart and create scar tissue in later stages. This forces the heart to work harder to circulate blood and oxygen throughout the body.
Jaime HernandezMontfort, MD
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“What’s particularly worrisome is that a rise in myocarditis cases may lead to more patients experiencing heart failure and heart rhythm problems,” explains Jaime Hernandez-Montfort, MD, an advanced heart disease and transplant cardiologist with Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute in Weston. Who’s at Risk? Myocarditis can affect anyone, no matter their age. However, individuals who are young, healthy, and athletic are most often affected. That’s why interscholastic, intercollegiate, and professional athletic programs are required to adhere to strict protocols before allowing an athlete to return to play after a coronavirus infection. But recreational athletes and exercise enthusiasts are also at risk for complications and should take note. Warning Flags Those recovering from COVID-19 should watch for potential signs of a weakened heart: • Shortness of breath • Heart palpitations
Chest pain Dizziness Lightheadedness Loss of consciousness
Diagnosis & Treatment Diagnosing myocarditis usually entails a series of tests: • Electrocardiogram (EKG) • Chest x-ray • Echocardiogram • Blood testing for heart injury biomarkers • C-MRI • Endomyocardial biopsy “A multimodality approach may be needed to rule out other causes of heart disease,” adds Marcelo Helguera, MD, a cardiovascular medicine specialist who sees patients at Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Wellington and Palm Beach locations. “In severe cases, the gold standard is a biopsy of the heart muscle.” Myocarditis is typically treated with medications to help recover heart function. Antiviral and anti-inﬂammatory therapies may be used, as well as immunosuppression therapy, in certain patients. Patients with the most severe cardiac damage may beneﬁt from temporary heart support devices with a rare few requiring heart transplant or a durable heart pump. Get Help Make sure to schedule a heart health checkup with a cardiovascular specialist before starting or resuming an exercise routine following a coronavirus infection. In addition to identifying risk factors for cardiovascular disease, it will provide the ability to screen for myocarditis and other heart and vascular illnesses associated with COVID-19. To make an appointment with a Cleveland Clinic cardiovascular specialist, please call 877.463.2010 or visit www.clevelandclinicflorida.org/heart.
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Only the second person to be named U.S. Equestrian Rider of the Year three times, Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden has spent most of her life around horses. Riding since age 3, she was the first woman to pass the $1 million mark in earnings for show jumping. A seasoned athlete, Madden was part of the gold medal U.S. teams at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, as well as the silver medal U.S. team at the 2016 Olympics. She claimed the individual bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics. She also medaled at the World Equestrian Games in both 2006 and 2014. In 2014, Madden became the first woman to win the prestigious King George Gold Cup at Hickstead with Cortes C. Madden was only the fifth woman ever to win the FEI World Cup Finals. Madden followed up that win with a repeat in 2018 with Abigail Wexner’s Breitling LS. She heads into the 2021 season with an eye on the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
wellington the magazine | february 2021 37
Brian Moggre, a 20-year-old Texan, is considered a rising star in U.S. jumping circles. Moggre started riding at age 2 and never looked back. He shot to the top of the charts in 2019 after winning both the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Ocala CSI3* at Live Oak and the $225,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Lexington CSI4*-W. He had great success with mount MTM Vivre le Reve, a German-bred Westphalian gelding. Last year, he was named the recipient of the prestigious Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy from the United States Equestrian Team, which is presented annually to a junior or young rider on the team who demonstrates the values of sportsmanship and horsemanship. Moggre was part of a team of up-and-coming U.S. athletes who dominated the $150,000 Nations Cup CSIO4* last season at the Winter Equestrian Festival, and he is back in action this season at WEF in Wellington.
wellington the magazine | february 2021 39
Danielle “Dani” Goldstein Waldman splits her time between her homes in the Netherlands and here in Wellington, where her family owns and operates Starwyn Farms.Waldman declared her professional status in 2012 after 15 years of riding, training and winning as an amateur and junior competitor. Her equestrian career thrived under the tutelage of Frank Chapot, Norman Dello Joio and Todd Minikus. She competed in her first Grand Prix at the age of 16 and won both individual and team gold at the North American Young Rider Championships that year. In 2010, she acquired Israeli citizenship and began competing under the Israeli flag. In July 2019, she helped her squad qualify to represent Israel at the Olympics in Tokyo. Recent highlights for Waldman include first place at the $384,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* at the Winter Equestrian Festival in both 2018 and 2019, and first place at the 2020 $300,000 CP Palm Beach Masters Final CSI5*.
wellington the magazine | february 2021 41
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Dominic Gibbs is an up-and-coming equestrian based out of Colorado Springs, who has for several years now wintered in Wellington and competed at the Winter Equestrian Festival with a focus on equitation. The 17-year-old had an outstanding 2020 season, earning top-five finishes in all four major equitation finals, capping the year by clinching the prestigious 2020 ASPCA Maclay National Championship at the National Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky, with his mount Cent 15, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Mountain King Ranch LLC. He outperformed more than 250 other riders to take the honor, often called the sportâ€™s equivalent to the Heisman trophy. Gibbs trains with Stacia Klein Madden and the team at Beacon Hill Show Stables and one day hopes to become a professional equestrian and represent the United States at the Olympic Games.
wellington the magazine | february 2021 43
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Show jumping star Kent Farrington began riding at age eight after seeing an old photo of his mother riding. He turned professional in 1999 and has been winning ever since. During his first three years as a professional, he earned more than $1 million in prize money and received the Maxine Beard Award. Originally from Chicago, the 40-year-old Farrington is now based in Wellington. He was on the gold winning U.S. jumping team at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara and took the team bronze at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. He also won a bronze in team jumping at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy. Farrington’s 2016 highlight was riding with the U.S. Equestrian Team at the Rio Olympics, where his team won the silver medal. He had some strong outings at last year’s WEF and was back in the saddle with wins during the summer and fall shows at PBIEC in the lead-up to this year’s festival.
wellington the magazine | february 2021 45
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Swiss Olympian Martin Fuchs, 28, is one of the top show jumpers in the world today. As of the latest update, he is ranked second on the FEI Longines rankings. He comes from a family of equestrians and began riding as a young child. Fuchsâ€™ first major victory was team gold at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010, and he went on to make his senior Olympic debut in 2016 in Rio with his gray gelding Clooney 51. Fuchs won individual silver at the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018 in Tryon, helping his Swiss team to fourth place and earning a team quota place at the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo. He had a stellar 2019, finishing as runner-up at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final in Gothenburg and taking the top spot at the Longines FEI Jumping European Championships in Rotterdam aboard Clooney 51. He is a regular on the WEF circuit, winning the $137,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI5* last year aboard Stalando 2.
wellington the magazine | february 2021 47
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Whether it’s Wellington, the Olympics or the World Equestrian Games, show jumper McLain Ward is wellprepared for the challenge.Ward started riding after being encouraged to take up the sport by his parents, who were professionals in the industry. In 1990, at age 14, he became the youngest rider to win the USEF’s Show Jumping Derby.At the 2004 Olympics,Ward won the gold medal as part of the U.S. team — a feat he accomplished again in 2008. He was back at the Olympics in 2016 as part of the silver-winning U.S. team. In 2017,Ward won the Longines FEI World Cup Championship aboard his 2016 Olympic mount HH Azur. That was also the year he was ranked #1 in the Longines FEI world rankings for the first time. In 2018, Ward and his mount Clinta were instrumental in the U.S. winning the team gold medal at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon.A talented rider,Ward is a dominant force to watch when he’s back in action at WEF.
wellington the magazine | february 2021 49
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Raleigh Hiler, a talented young rider out of Massachusetts who competes in the hunter, equitation and jumper rings, took up riding when she was eight years old after starting with lessons at a local farm. In many respects, she’s just like other young riders, but she’s also deaf. Hiler was born hearing, but after a bout with meningitis as a baby, she became deaf. With her cochlear implants in, she has 75 percent of her hearing in one ear, but little in the other. Intensive speech therapy and additional support throughout school has allowed Hiler to lead a fairly normal life — and pursue her love of riding at horse shows around the nation. Hiler capped 2020 by being named Show Jumping Hall of Fame Rider of the Month for October, earning the award by riding Cassina 64 to victory in the 2020 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Year-End Championship held at the National Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky.
wellington the magazine | february 2021 51
PHOTO ÂŠANNE GITTINS PHOTOGRAPHY
Tanner Korotkin grew up in Wellington, the son of well-known trainers Alan and Kirsty Korotkin of Castlewood Farm.While his parents introduced him to horses as a child, he did not express an interest in equestrian sports until he was 11 years old. Despite the late start, he caught up quickly and is now making a name for himself in show jumping. Korotkin earned the prestigious Junior Jumper Championship at the 2019 Devon Horse Show and concluded his junior career with ribbons at the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals-East, the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Final and the ASPCA Maclay National Championship. In 2019, he won the Potcreek Meadow Farm Junior Sportsmanship Trophy at the Winter Equestrian Festival. He spent last summer working under Irish show jumper Shane Sweetnam at Sweet Oak Farm and has returned to Wellington with an eye on a successful 2021 season.
wellington the magazine | february 2021 53
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Victoria Colvin has been an accomplished equestrian since she began showing ponies. She first made an impression at USEF Pony Finals, winning numerous championships, and continued her success with a record-breaking five Best Child Rider titles at the Devon Horse Show. Colvin dominated the equitation ring during her junior years, claiming titles in the 2012 and 2014 annual George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championships, the 2014 ASPCA Maclay Finals and more. In the hunter ring, she has six times won the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular. Colvin is a consistent sight at WEF, earning the WEF Overall Hunter Rider circuit championship in 2018 and 2019. In the show jumping sphere, Colvin made her debut appearance in the Grand Prix ring at the age of 13 and has racked up a long list of victories. In 2020, Colvin was named the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame Rider of the Year.
wellington the magazine | february 2021 55
NEW YEAR NEW GOALS MAKE ONE OF THEM TO BECOME THE BEST VERSION OF YOU STORY BY MIKE MAY | PHOTOS BY ABNER PEDRAZA
Now is an ideal time to start a fitness, exercise and wellness program just for the health of it. While getting physically active and healthy are often goals for people early in the calendar year, it should become a daily way of life, as the many health benefits of a physically active lifestyle are long-lasting and life-altering, in a positive way.
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For Wellington residents, the task of finding a fitness, exercise and wellness outlet has never been more convenient. Among the many wonderful outlets are Orangetheory Fitness Wellington and Revive Wellington, both located in the Whole Foods shopping center off State Road 7. The coaches at Orangetheory will help you get fit and healthy, while the staff at Revive will help you improve your health and wellness while upgrading your energy level. The atmosphere and experience at Orangetheory Fitness is truly unlike any other fitness venue around. “I think we have figured out what it takes to be successful in fitness,” Managing Partner Manny Ceara said.“We focus on endurance, strength and power with a heartrate-based training workout which lasts 60 minutes.” According to Ceara, the Orangetheory Fitness business model provides
members with a boutique fitness experience that makes members feel as if they are getting the attention of a personal fitness trainer in a group fitness class. “Every class is a 60-minute experience,” said Ceara, whose Wellington location celebrated its seventh anniversary in January. During each class, participants engage in activities that enhance their fitness, cardio and strength-building. While the studio at Orangetheory is equipped with many of the finest fitness machines and accessories, what makes the Orangetheory experience so special is its high-energy atmosphere. The place truly comes alive when the music and the orange lights are turned on at the beginning of every session. Every fitness hour is led by one of the coaches — head coach Shelby Bomford or one of her four assistant coaches. Each of them offers enthusias-
tic, professional guidance and personal direction, complete with an actual demonstration of any given workout routine for that day’s fitness experience. If you are not ready to start exercising upon arrival, the coaches will deliver a dose of verbal caffeine to get you going. “We provide technologydriven workouts,” Bomford said. “We focus on improving your endurance, strength and power.” At Orangetheory, the coaches know what they are doing, and they are watching your every move. “We are constantly scanning the room, always making sure everybody is staying safe,” Bomford said. All participants must wear a heartrate monitor, which allows certain health statistics to be tracked, such as calories burned, average heartbeat rate per minute and the percentage of your maximum heartrate. wellington the magazine | february 2021
The team at Orangetheory Fitness invites you to visit the Wellington studio.
By the way, those statistics are visible on the overhead monitors. If you are slacking, everybody knows it. Throughout the sessions at Orangetheory Fitness, you are motivated by the slogans on the wall, such as “Be the Best Version of You,” “Good Things Come to Those Who Sweat,” “Work Hard and Be Proud,” and “Don’t Just
Wish for It, Work for It.” At Orangetheory, you are inspired to perspire. Every day is game day at Orangetheory, which is open seven days a week. And when the fitness experience includes motivation from coaches like Bomford and her assistants, you will get fit and feel like a champion. Hygiene is another key part of the Orangetheory experience. Each participant is given wipes to clean their station immediately after they finish. And most fitness sessions involve a treadmill, rowing machine and an exercise area near the hand weights. That’s three wipe downs in an hour. “We were emphasizing cleanliness before COVID-19 hit,” Bomford noted. What’s unique about the Orangetheory experience is that the workout changes every day. You never repeat the same 60-minute session. “The coaches keep it fun,” member Larissa Malter said.“It’s a great workout.
The fitness sessions deliver results.” “I love it here,” added Stacy Dymkowski, a member since the location opened seven years ago. “It’s the best workout.” As for the significance of the color orange, you’ll find out when you get there. “The goal is to get to orange,” Bomford hinted. And with those high-energy Orangetheory Fitness coaches, you will. At Revive Wellington, located just a few steps away from Orangetheory, the goal is to get you feeling your best and living your best life. Revive opened last fall. “Why settle for feeling good when you can feel better,” said Melissa Skarzynski, co-owner of Revive Wellington with her husband Michal. “As our brochure states, your path to wellness starts here. We really help people optimize their health.”
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A former instructor at Orangetheory, she understands the symbiotic relationship between Orangetheory Fitness and Revive Wellington. The selection of services at Revive is an a la carte menu of health and wellness options, which includes hormone optimization, booster shots, cryotherapy, micro needling, ozone therapy, float therapy, facials and IV therapy, of which there are 10 signature IV cocktails with goals such as brain power and weight loss. At Revive, everything starts with an examination of your bloodwork, which is more comprehensive than what is done by your doctor at your annual physical. “Our medical professionals on staff look at 65 aspects of your blood,” Michal Skarzynski explained. Once your blood is examined by the medical team, Revive will be able to recommend what services you will need to improve your health and overall quality of life. “After you try any of our services, you will experience the difference in your health,” Melissa Skarzynski said. The clientele at Revive ranges from teenagers to seniors and includes professional athletes, cancer patients and people with auto-immune disease. Many of Wellington’s equestrian riders are also clients at Revive. The saying “try it, you’ll like it” may be the best way to describe the value of Revive’s services. The cryotherapy gives you an immediate energy boost. The float therapy reduces your stress and anxiety levels while also giving you a great night’s sleep. The ozone therapy improves your blood circulation and combats inflammation.The hormone replacement therapy restores normal hormone function. If you want a true wellness escape, take advantage of the IV Wellness Lounge and its reclining chairs, where
The team at Revive Wellington, which opened last fall, is always working to get you feeling your best.
you can infuse your body with any of the 10 signature IV cocktails. “You can always feel better,” Melissa Skarzynski said. After sampling one of Revive’s services, you will likely feel better, more energetic and revived. “Two days a week, I visit Revive for a vitamin C IV and ozone therapy,” client Cindy Marlow said. “I feel pampered and well looked after. I always feel better afterward.” If you are unable to visit Revive’s storefront location, the staff can travel to your location. “We also offer athome concierge services,” Michal Skarzynski said.“If necessary, we will come to you.” Revive Wellington is fully committed to getting you feeling your best and living your best life. So, when you select the path to follow for fitness, exercise and wellness, Orangetheory Fitness and Revive Wellington are great partners to pick as you pursue a physically active lifestyle that will generate positive, long-lasting benefits — just for the health of it. Learn more about Orangetheory Fitness at www.orangetheory.com or call (561) 296-0485. For more information about Revive Wellington, visit www.wellingtonrevive.com or call (561) 360-3520.
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february 2021 | wellington the magazine
Alexa Schwitzer riding Over the Top Stables LLC’s Coco. PHOTO BY ALLYSON LAGIOVANE
Over The Top Stables Is Creating The Next Generation Of Jumping Stars BY OLIVIA AIRHART
When Alexa Schwitzer first sat on a pony when she was one year old, she could not be pulled out of the saddle without a fight. Today, at just 21 years old, she is the co-founder of the internationally recognized Over the Top Stables LLC and is an avid amateur competitor at some of the nation’s leading equestrian events.This rising talent has found her stride as not only an up-and-coming rider, but also a budding businesswoman in Wellington, the horse capital of the world. Schwitzer got her start competing in the junior hunter and equitation divisions, racking up a long list of accomplishments at some of the most presti-
gious venues on the east coast. It was not until she competed at the Winter Equestrian Festival for the first time in 2015 that she decided she wanted to dedicate herself to the sport. “I came down to Wellington for one weekend during my sophomore year of high school, then my junior year I was allowed to come down on weekends,” Schwitzer recalled. “For my senior year, I begged my parents to let me spend the winter in Wellington. My mom and I ended up moving here for the season, and that was my first time competing during the entire WEF circuit. After putting in the hard work and the time, my dad realized that I wanted to do this se-
riously, and I fell in love with riding even more after that.” With one foot firmly planted in the center of the horse world, a career in the industry inevitably loomed. In 2016, during her sophomore year of high school, Schwitzer and her father, William Schwitzer, officially co-founded Over the Top Stables to expand their already impressive string of horses and support Alexa’s growing love for the sport. Choosing to dive head-first into the industry was a no brainer for the Long Island native, who found her home away from home in sunny South Florida. wellington the magazine | february 2021 61
Daniel Bluman aboard Over the Top Stables LLC’s Ladriano Z. PHOTO BY OLIVIA AIRHART
“Wellington feels like home,” Alexa said. “Everything is right here when it comes to our horses and competing. I can wake up, and I’m at the show. It’s so easy, and I never feel rushed. I think that is the best thing about being here — you can really take your time, and it shows in the ring that you are working hard.” Though the Schwitzer family does not have a show jumping background, William was raised by two Holocaust
survivors surrounded by animals of all kinds on his family’s 700-acre kosher cattle farm in Connecticut. Sparking his love of all animals, William and his brother competed in team penning growing up. Now a lawyer and CEO of his own firm,William never lost that first love and has since passed it down to his daughter. Residing at the heart of the business, he unknowingly helped the brand develop its namesake. “Everyone always says that my dad
goes above and beyond with everything he does,” Alexa said. “At some point in the process of coming up with a name for the LLC, I told him, ‘You are so over the top!’ It was honestly so fitting, and out of all the options we tried, that one just stuck.” Now recognized as a top producer of some of the sport’s most elite horses, Over the Top Stables has flourished in the bustling Wellington atmosphere with the help of Daniel and Mark Bluman of Bluman Equestrian.The Blumans have helped bolster the farm’s training and sales program since its inception, and they are helping to develop not only the next generation of top show mounts, but also train and support Alexa’s promising show jumping career. Alexa has grown to be a seasoned competitor under their keen tutelage. “I can’t really put into words what working with Mark and Daniel Bluman has meant for me,” she said. “I didn’t think I would be able to jump the class-
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es I have been jumping recently, and they have done so much for my mental game, as well as my riding.” With Daniel, Mark and Alexa in the irons, Over the Top Stables has rocketed to the top of nearly every major class within the past five years. Contending leading mounts like Cartouche, Vicomte De La Cour, Noortje VD Windheuvel and Daniel’s prospective Olympic mount Ladriano Z, Over the Top Stables has found a recipe for success. From watching her youngest mounts learn the ropes of the show ring, to witnessing Daniel’s win in the 2018 $324,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI5* at WEF aboard Ladriano Z,Alexa sees every moment as a teaching moment. “Watching Daniel and Ladriano Z win that Grand Prix together was really special,” she said. “It’s probably the most rewarding to be able to watch Mark and Daniel in the ring. I watch them every day at the barn, and they put so much work into the horses. It’s really incredible to see
Mark Bluman riding Over the Stables LLC’s Vicomte de la Cour. PHOTO BY GEORGIE HAMMOND
and to be able to learn from them.” As the co-founder of a top sport horse sales business at just 21 years old, Alexa has proven herself to be an up-and-coming force in the industry. The eager pupil, though at the helm of a budding business, thrives on being able to learn how to run and grow her operations as successfully as the Blumans have. She has big goals, not only for the 2021 winter season at WEF, but also
for her string of talented mounts. “We are having such great success with all of our Grand Prix horses, young horses, sales horses and even the horses in my personal string,” she said. “For myself, I just want to keep being consistent and growing, eventually jumping bigger classes. We are looking forward to continuing to grow Over the Top Stables, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.” Visit www.overthetopstables.com to learn more.
wellington the magazine | february 2021 63
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Jennifer Wood and Jennifer Ward with the Jump Media team at the 2020 United States Equestrian Team Foundation “Take Me to Tokyo” fundraising event held at Deeridge Farm in Wellington. (L-R) Lindsay Brock, Bridget Love Meehan, Emily Daily, Jennifer Wood, Jennifer Ward and Emily Randolph. PHOTO BY JUMP MEDIA
Equestrian Public Relations Agency Jump Media Takes Clients To New Heights Some would say it was fate. Others might say it was simply a coincidence. Whichever way you look at it, the coming together of two Jennifers to form leading equestrian public relations agency Jump Media has been an overwhelming success. Jennifer Ward and Jennifer Wood were both enjoying successful careers running their own public relations companies prior to joining forces. Ward had a full roster of clients including Canadian Olympic show jumping champion Eric Lamaze, while Wood’s client list included Welling-
ton’s own Winter Equestrian Festival. The pair, who had known each other for a decade, were friends as well as colleagues when Ward called one day with an idea. With increasing interest in public relations services and not enough manpower to handle the demand on her own, she proposed that they join forces and create an agency that they could grow together. Given that they had partnered together on several work projects in the past, including promotion of an equestrian facility and breeding operation in Costa Rica, starting a new company
together was not a far-fetched concept. With a little convincing, Wood got on board with the idea and Jump Media, headquartered in Wellington, officially launched in 2015. “There weren’t a lot of surprises when we started working together,” recalled Ward, a native Canadian who has been spending winters in Wellington since 2000.“We already knew each other well and were familiar with each other’s strengths and talents. I think it’s easier to form a partnership when you already respect the other person’s experience and their quality of work.” wellington the magazine | february 2021 65
They both shared a similar commitment to doing the best possible job for their clients. “Like any good relationship, it’s actually quite easy to work together because we’re on the same page when it comes to running our business and insisting on a drama-free work environment for our team.We pride ourselves on our professionalism,”Ward said. With their door officially open for business, Palm Beach Equine Clinic became Jump Media’s first client. The Wellington-based veterinary clinic has a large team of practitioners, the majority with unique specialties in horse sport medicine, that has benefited from Jump Media’s promotion. “From my perspective, having a public relations agency like Jump Media working to promote our brand and our vets has increased our profile among the Wellington equestrian community and beyond,” said Dr. Scott Swerdlin,
president of Palm Beach Equine Clinic. “From handling our ad design and weekly newsletter to overseeing our annual sponsorships at the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, the team at Jump Media has been great to work with over the years. Not only are they good at what they do, they go above and beyond to seek out promotional opportunities for our clinic and our veterinarians. It’s that level of service and feeling like they are personally invested in our success that keeps me renewing the contract year after year.” According to Wood, the concept of team spirit is woven in the fabric of Jump Media’s culture. “We wouldn’t expect anyone on our team to do anything that we wouldn’t do ourselves,” said Wood of a staff that currently includes a managing director, three full-time account managers, and various contract workers that handle ev-
erything from photography and graphic design to website creation and hosting services. “When we’re on-site handling media relations at a horse show, for example, Jennifer and I are there putting in the same long hours as the rest of the staff. I think that demonstrates that we’re all on the same team, and how much we care about the quality of the work we are doing.” If two Jennifers are better than one, it’s even better still to have the entire Jump Media team involved in crafting opportunities for clients. While every client has an assigned account manager for day-to-day dealings, Ward and Wood lead a weekly meeting where they talk through each account and brainstorm ideas as a group. Jump Media serves a wide variety of clients ranging from insurance brokers and attorneys to a European horse sport auction and the United States Equestrian Team Foundation. It also handles press
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relations at several prestigious international equestrian competitions, such as the Washington (D.C.) International Horse Show and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Canada. Wellington-based clients include top Florida real estate broker Martha W. Jolicoeur, supplement company Equine Elixirs and the BarnManager app, in addition to several athletes, including Georgina Bloomberg and Sloane Coles, who call Wellington their winter home. Having a vast network of contacts is also one of the advantages that Ward and Wood bring to the table. “One of the tangible benefits that clients get from working with us is access to our connections,” said Wood, who is also the founder of Equestrian Businesswomen, a network of professional women working in the equine industry.“We are able to make introductions to other industry professionals that can lead to interesting opportunities and collabora-
tions for our clients.” With hard work, and a great team with two industry professionals at the helm, Jump Media is raising the bar in equestrian PR. “We’ve structured our company so that we don’t have all of our eggs in one basket by only offering a certain type of service or only appealing to a specific type of clientele,” Ward said. “We are diversified and have a wide range of clients for whom we perform marketing and public relations services. We also gain inspiration from our clients, as they have each worked hard to build their own successful businesses.” Learn more about Jump Media at www.jumpmediallc.com.
(Above) Public relations professionals Jennifer Ward (left) and Jennifer Wood (right) are the co-founders of Jump Media, headquartered in Wellington. PHOTO BY ELENA LUSENTI
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wellington | table The herb-crusted lamb rack is served with parmesan mashed potatoes and roasted heirloom carrots.
Signature DISH Herb-Crusted Lamb A Customer Favorite At Kaluz Restaurant STORY AND PHOTOS BY MELANIE KOPACZ
Kaluz Restaurant is a dining gem, brimming with upscale modern/new American cuisine with a unique ambiance all its own. Smooth circular lighting and relaxingly lit water fountains in the open concept dining room make for an elegant yet laid back atmosphere. Now in its third year, it’s all about new twists on traditional comfort foods.
“We provide excellently executed staples,” Kaluz Executive Chef Ian Carpenter said. “There’s a lot of places you can get a burger and fries, or a piece of fish, but we like to rise to the occasion and do that a couple steps above.” “We’re definitely a meat and potatoes kind of crowd,” General Manager Patrick O’Keefe added.
wellington the magazine | february 2021 69
Signature DISH One of those featured meat and potatoes dishes is the incredibly popular herb-crusted lamb rack with parmesan mashed potatoes and roasted heirloom carrots topped with a balsamic port wine reduction. “It’s a feature, once a week,” Carpenter explained.“It’s a cooler night food, almost a comfort food, but in an elevated way.” Ingredients include finely chopped herbs, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. “I encrust the lamb rack, sear it to render outside fat and slow-roast it in the oven. Most people prefer it mid-rare
to medium, but whatever you like. If you want it well done or want it rare, we can do that as well,” Carpenter said. It’s pleasantly plated with creamy parmesan mashed potatoes. “They’re a little rustic.You get a little bit of chunks in there. We don’t whip them to puree. They’re well-seasoned, so you can get all the flavors of the parmesan,” he said. The heirloom carrots are slow roasted with garlic, shallots, salt and pepper. “You can pair it with a cabernet or a nice blend, even a pinot. It’s definitely a nice meal to have when it’s 60 degrees
out, along with a nice bottle of wine,” Carpenter said. The restaurant’s ambiance complements what they call well-crafted food ranging from $16 to $46, and a wide variety of drinks to enhance the dining experience. “We have 15 hand-crafted cocktails. You pick a spirit and try to do something fun and new with it. A lot of classics revisited,” O’Keefe said. “The mojitos and the mules are quite popular, as is the Kaluz signature martini and anything with vodka. Tito’s is a go to. As is a large wine selection, and a number of beers.” The neighborhood hotspot is a staple for residents and equestrians during season. Flanked by hotels brings many out-of-town visitors. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., offering a wide selection of little bites and flatbreads all under $10.The main menu is equally diverse.
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wellington | table “The diversity of our menu is one of our standouts, being accessible to any pocketbook. If you want to come in and have two iced teas and a couple of burgers, you can get out of here for two people under $50. Or if you want a bottle of wine and two entrées, you can come in and knock yourself out,” O’Keefe said. The Wellington location opened nearly three years ago, with the original now in its eighth year in Fort Lauderdale with a more seafood-driven menu, being on the Intracoastal Waterway. A third location is in the works to open within a year in Plantation. Carpenter, who started with the company’s Fort Lauderdale location, calls himself very adaptable, coming from the Chicago restaurant scene and first getting his experience in Wisconsin Dells, where he was born and raised. He began working seasonally in the tourist town when he was 13 years old. Now, 23 years later, and a long résumé of
“It’s a cooler night food, almost a comfort food, but in an elevated way. I encrust the lamb rack, sear it to render outside fat and slow-roast it in the oven. Most people prefer it mid-rare to medium, but whatever you like. If you want it well done or want it rare, we can do that as well.” — Executive Chef Ian Carpenter work under many talented people, he said it’s that experience and hard work that drives him to make the Wellington location a happy one. “I try two to three recipes a week at home and think of how I can develop it into something here. How do I execute this on a large-scale setting? That’s what challenges me. That’s what motivates me,” Carpenter explained. “I like using the best ingredients to create the best food I can that someone’s going to enjoy.That’s what I take joy out of.” The restaurant is open Sunday
Joint Care+ Horse care with high-quality ingredients and unique compositions that matter. Joint Care + Natural horse supplement All-in-one formula with ingredients that really work!
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through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Carryout is available, ordering through the Kaluz web site, as is delivery through Delivery Dudes. Indoor and outdoor seating is available following all COVID-19 guidelines. Kaluz is located in front of the Mall at Wellington Green just off Forest Hill Blvd. at 2025 Wellington Green Drive. Call (561) 784-5500 for reservations or visit www.kaluzrestaurant.com for more information.
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wellington the magazine | february 2021 71
Barns: Two separate structures house 13 stalls, two tack rooms and two feed/storage rooms. All Bathrooms: All bathrooms on the property have been updated with high-end ministalls have openings facing outward, as well as into the main barn aisle. A few steps away is the 100-foot by 200-foot arena constructed with state-of-the-art GGT footing.
february 2021 | wellington the magazine
malist modern features, including marble-tiled showers and dual sinks in the master bath. Unwind after a long day of riding in these spa-like escapes that exude a clean and fresh feeling.
wellington | real estate
An Equestrian’s Picturesque Paradise In Wellington’s Saddle Trail Park PHOTOS COURTESY MARTHA W. JOLICOEUR
Located a short five-minute hack from the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, this impeccably landscaped equestrian estate is nestled in the quiet Wellington neighborhood of Saddle Trail Park. The stabling features two barns housing 13 stalls, two tack rooms, two feed/storage rooms, a laundry room, an office and a 100-foot by 200-foot arena with premium footing.The owner’s house has been updated with a spacious open floor plan highlighted by a chef’s kitchen and features two bedrooms and two bathrooms, including an oversized master suite. Staff housing includes a full kitchen, laundry, two bedrooms and one full bathroom. Modern updates can be seen across the entire property, along with finished hardwood floors and outdoor patios with ample seating.
Overview: The property covers more than two acres and includes an owner’s residence and a staff residence with ample parking for guests and four paddocks for horses to enjoy the Florida sunshine. Just off the property is a bridle path leading to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and other nearby equestrian properties.
Open Floor Plan: The property has been updated to showcase an open floor plan between living room, dining room and a fully equipped chef’s kitchen. The color scheme draws on classic equestrian neutrals with rich, wide-paneled hardwood flooring throughout the entire space. The modern farmhouse kitchen is complete with a large island featuring butcher-block countertops to accentuate the flooring.
Covered Patio: With a view overlooking the arena and barns, the covered patio can be accessed from large sliding doors in the main house. The patio is large enough for multiple dining and seating areas. Enjoy meals together amid the beautiful landscaping, or simply watch what’s happening in the training arena. wellington the magazine | february 2021 73
wellington | real estate
Saddle Trail Park Property Presented By Martha Jolicoeur, P.A.
Meet Martha Jolicoeur Buying or selling a property with Martha Jolicoeur assures the highest level of professional real estate consultation in the Wellington equestrian community. Jolicoeur understands the importance of customer excellence and prides herself on dealing honestly and fairly while creating relationships with her customers that continue far beyond a transaction. PHOTO BY JUMP MEDIA
Jolicoeur first established herself among the equestrian community as a world-class show competitor. She has since combined her passion for horses with her career as one Jolicoeur, P.A. jumping of the area’s top-ranked real estate agents catering exclusively to equestrian clientele. She Broker Associate was selected as a member of the elite Douglas Elliman Real Estate Sports and Entertainment (561) 797-8040 division, a designation reserved for brokers who meet the highest standards of integrity and reputation. Jolicoeur serves her clients by consulting and guiding them to make the right real estate choices, at times sacrificing her own immediate gain. She prides herself on her work within the global equestrian community, offering her top-notch services to employees and staff of some of her well-known clients. Learn more about Martha Jolicoeur at
Welcome to Starr Family Dentistry in Wellington
A dental office designed specifically for serving the needs of the family. Established in 1983 Wellington’s first full-time, full service dental practice. Dr. Michael Starr
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february 2021 | wellington the magazine
OSTEOPATH/BODYWORK Registered FEI Permitted Equine Therapist
* Wellington’s * Hometown Auto Repair Facility Where You’re Always Treated Like Family
With heightened awareness to strict medication rules and demanding schedules it is imperative to assist our equine athletes with body discomfort. Osteopathic Bodywork Improves rideability and Holistic Equine improves their health more Danielle Torano & Feramoon naturally. The inclusion of these modalities will increase the likelihood of a more positive performance while not worrying about drug rules and their side effects. Riders/owners want the best outcome for their horses. Let us not forget the non competitors are equally important and can benefit more than you realize. Moving visual observations are made with a tactile feel and body tracing. Paper reports are submitted with the primary focus a drug and pain free result.
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The patient and any other person responsible for payment has the right to refuse to pay, cancel payment or to be reimbursed for payment for any other service, examination or treatment which is performed as a result of and within 72 hours of responding to the advertisement for the free, discounted or reduced fee service, examination or treatment. Photo on ad not an actual patient.
wellington the magazine | february 2021 75
ER at Westlake Don’t Delay Emergency Care! The closest emergency services provider to Westlake and the surrounding communities, ER at Westlake is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and staffed by emergency medicine physicians. Located at 16750 Persimmon Boulevard in Westlake, the freestanding emergency department offers: • 8 treatment rooms • 3 rapid medical exam bays • 1 triage room • 24-hour on-site lab services
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Physicians are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Wellington Regional Medical Center. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians. For language assistance, disability accommodations and the nondiscrimination notice, visit our website. 210080-7678 12/20
celebrate | wellington
Paul Schofield is retiring after 13 years as Wellington’s village manager.
Retiring Village Manager Paul Schofield Proud Of His Two Decades Of Service To The Community BY M. DENNIS TAYLOR
Retiring Village Manager Paul Schofield is leaving Wellington this month after 19 years of service to the community, including 13 of them in the top job. He exits the post leaving behind a vibrant, well-run community with many accomplishments that the village can point to with pride. With some 45 years in planning work, Schofield worked as planning director for the Village of Royal Palm Beach before joining Wellington staff as the planning, zoning and building director in 2001. In 2003, he was promot-
ed to director of community services, one of three senior department heads reporting directly to Wellington’s first village manager, the late Charlie Lynn. When Lynn retired in 2008, Schofield became the interim manager before being tapped for the job permanently. “Wellington is a really unique and wonderful community. There’s no place else like it anywhere in the world,” Schofield said. “It is a tremendous place to work.” When asked about the village’s accomplishments during his tenure, he
began by pointing to his highly qualified staff. “Wellington invests a lot in its people,” said Schofield, who also stressed the importance of the village’s elected leadership. “Currently, when you look at the composition of the council, we have a significantly younger council now than we have ever had. The council is changing, and they recognize the changing community, and Wellington really needs to continue to do the things that it does well.” What is that? Mostly things people don’t see unless there’s a problem. wellington the magazine | february 2021
celebrate | wellington “Of the things that you look back on, some of it is really mundane. Our roads are fine, we’re not falling behind on anything, everything is well-maintained,” said Schofield, adding that the village has modern sewer plants and quality roads and excellent parks. “But that’s what we’re supposed to do, and I don’t believe you should get kudos for doing what they pay you to do.” Fair enough, but during his tenure, Wellington has built a new municipal complex, a new community center, a new tennis center, several new parks and a number of new amenities, such as the Wellington Promenade completed last year. “I can refer to tons and tons of specific things we have done, like building the amphitheater and rebuilding the community center and all of those things, but they’re really just the kind of things that we are supposed to do,” Schofield said. “What makes a differ-
“The village has put in things like programs to help seniors, programs to help the disadvantaged, people with challenges and for children. I’m glad we did this, and I’m most proud of them. All the other things are things that we have done that every government is supposed to do.” — Paul Schofield ence to me is the fact that my elected officials and my staff care about our people and care about the communities that are out there, and they do things for the people.” He is also proud that there are real people behind every village interaction. “When you call, you can get us on the phone, and someone will come out and do the things we’re supposed to do,” Schofield said. While the new buildings are nice, he is just as proud of the programs that make life better for residents.
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“The village has put in things like programs to help seniors, programs to help the disadvantaged, people with challenges and for children,” he said. “I’m glad we did this, and I’m most proud of them. All the other things are things that we have done that every government is supposed to do.” While Schofield is leaving, don’t expect major changes in how the Village of Wellington operates with his top lieutenant taking over. He explained that every good manager has a succession plan in place.
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celebrate | wellington “Wellington’s workforce is kind of interesting in that about 20 percent of our staff is 55 years or older, so you need to have a plan for moving forward when they retire,” Schofield said, adding that he is proud to be leaving his successor, Jim Barnes, in charge. “He has worked for me for almost 17 years. I have always hoped that when I left, he would get the job.” When asked about his legacy, Schofield demurred. “I think folks who worry about their legacy don’t spend enough time doing their job,” he explained. “Some of the people in my profession spend more time worrying about keeping their job than doing it. I’ve always believed that the first time I make a decision based on keeping my job, it’s time to move on.” Still, Schofield is proud that he leaves Wellington in great financial health. “We have maintained and taken care of all our things, and we pay for the things that we need,” he said. “We have a sound financial plan to grow well into the future.” While Wellington is on a strong track today, only continued vigilance will keep it that way. “In terms of 30-year and 50-year time frames, we have to determine how we can make sure that we are still a viable community into the future,” he said, noting that as Wellington becomes a more mature community, it will need regular revitalization. This is particularly true since Wellington is largely a residential community. “Some of the homes are beginning to approach 50 years old,” Schofield said. “Even more recent homes are approaching 14 or 15 years old.” This means they will need to be renovated. Some may even need to be rebuilt. Wellington has been putting plans in place to make that process easier as time goes on. 80 february 2021 | wellington the magazine
“Homes are approaching what is a vital cycle for a community to remain sustainable,” he said. “We are in the process of rewriting a comprehensive plan so we can work on the process of remaining as good a family community as we are now, into the future.” The same process needs to be in place for Wellington’s commercial interests, particularly as the national economy changes with a shift from traditional retail to more service-related industries. “We are primarily a residential community, but we, as a government, can make sure that it is a comfortable and productive environment for our businesses,” Schofield said. The updated comprehensive plan also aims to protect Wellington’s worldrenowned equestrian community be successful over the next 20 to 30 years and more. “We’re not going to be all things to all people, but we’re really a great family community with very safe neighborhoods,” Schofield said. “People care about their community.” Schofield is very proud that Wellington is developing a central gathering place with the Wellington Town Center, bringing a deeper sense of community. “For many years, our recreational facilities were for activities, hectic and competitive activities, but as we move forward, you’ll see emphasis on family time and activities for family participation in the community.” While Schofield is technically “retiring,” he doesn’t see it that way. “I might be leaving [the village], but I’m not going far,” he said. “You’ve never heard me say the word ‘retirement.’ I want to get back to being a planner. I want to get back to working on projects that have long-term value. I don’t know specifically what those are yet, but that’s what I’ll be working on.”
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february 2021 | wellington the magazine
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February 2021 | ON THE COVER Talented show jumper Lillie Keenan competes at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington. Photo by SPORTFOT...
Published on Jan 29, 2021
February 2021 | ON THE COVER Talented show jumper Lillie Keenan competes at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington. Photo by SPORTFOT...