FACES OF WEF
Exciting Competition Season Ahead At WEF Meet Course Designer Andy Christiansen Mighty Wolverine Sound Travels To London Ocean One: Great Food At Incredible Value Plus A Day In The Life With Jumper Daniel Bluman
Sunday Brunch Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Join us for a lavish Sunday brunch with friends and family during our 1.50 Grand Prix Jumper Classic Series. at Wellington International Scan the QR code for ticket information
ROYAL INN • 166 ROOMS & SUITES (WITH KITCHENS) • • 7 RESTAURANTS FOR BREAKFAST/LUNCH/DINNER WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF YOUR ROOM/SUITE • • HAIR SALON & BARBERSHOP ON PREMISES • (561) 793-3000 CENTRALLY LOCATED WITHIN 5 MINUTES DRIVE OF WELLINGTON • ROYAL PALM BEACH • LOXAHATCHEE • ACREAGE N.W. CORNER SOUTHERN BLVD. & ROYAL PALM BEACH BLVD. www.royalinnhotel.com Dog Friendly Rooms Available Your Safety is our Concern • Our Staff wear Masks and Gloves • Practice Social Distancing • Continuous Sanitizing of Rooms & Common Areas LAKEFRONT HOTEL RESORT
50TH STREET · $12,000,000
20 Acres in Wellington’s South End · Manor House With Private Entrance and 3-Car Garage · 8-Stall Barn With Another 8 Stalls
Possible · 6 Lush Paddocks · All-Weather Riding Arena · Oversized 3-Bay Storage Building · Riding Track Encircles This Equestrian’s Dream Property · Adjoining 10-Acre Farm Also Available for Purchase
PALM BEACH POINT EAST
Scenic 10 Acres on Stables Way · 16-Stall Barn · 4-Horse Walker · Round Pen · 5 Large Paddocks · 3-Bedroom, 2.5-Bath Pool Home With Garage · Custom-Built 4-Bedroom, 5-Bath Staff House · Top of the Line Bermuda Grass Grand Prix Field · Easy Access to WEF Showgrounds · Adjoining 20-Acre Farm Also Available for Purchase
WELLINGTON · $520,000
Well Located, No HOA · 3-Bedroom, 2-Bathroom Home · Light and Bright Featuring Cathedral Ceilings · Screened Entertaining Area · Large Fenced Back Yard · New Roof in 2021 · This Well-Kept Home Is Available Furnished
ST. ANDREWS · $399,500
2-Bedroom, 2-Bath Condo · Updated Kitchen and Floors · Light and Bright · 1-Car Garage · Furnishings Included · Community Pool and Clubhouse Amenities · Make This Affordable Home Yours for Future Equestrian Seasons!
Home is Where Your Horse Is
MARTHA W. JOLICOEUR, PA Broker Associate / Director of Luxury Sales 561 797 8040 www.marthasproperties.com 1111 LINCOLN RD, MIAMI BEACH, FL 33139. 305.695.6300 © 2023 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.
CLASSICALLY MODERN LIVING. There’s a place in the heart of Palm Beach County where new Minto homes open the door to friendly neighborhood traditions. It’s a place where the conveniences of tomorrow meet life’s timeless simple pleasures. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer, looking to move up, or downsizing, it’s a place where you can enjoy life at your own pace. From the bustling Westlake Adventure Park to the quiet of your own backyard, experience the best of both worlds in Westlake.
CLASSICALLY MODERN LIVING. There’s a place in the heart of Palm Beach County where new Minto homes open the door to friendly neighborhood traditions. It’s a place where the conveniences of tomorrow meet life’s timeless simple pleasures. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer, looking to move up, or downsizing, it’s a place where you can enjoy life at your own pace. From the bustling Westlake Adventure Park to the quiet of your own backyard, experience the best of both worlds in Westlake.
NEW TOWNHOMES, SINGLE-FAMILY AND ESTATE HOMES FROM THE $400 s
CLASSICALLY MODERN LIVING. There’s a place in the heart of Palm Beach County where new Minto homes open the door to friendly neighborhood traditions. It’s a place where the conveniences of tomorrow meet life’s timeless simple pleasures. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer, looking to move up, or downsizing, it’s a place where you can enjoy life at your own pace. From the bustling Westlake Adventure Park to the quiet of your own backyard, experience the best of both worlds in Westlake. NEW TOWNHOMES, SINGLE-FAMILY AND ESTATE HOMES FROM THE $400s
Ask about our Welcome Heroes Program – a special discount on Minto homes for civil servants such as healthcare workers, first responders, teachers and more!*
Ask about our Welcome Heroes Program – a special discount on
Ask about our Welcome Heroes Program – a special discount on Minto homes for civil servants such as healthcare workers, first responders, teachers and more!*
For location, hours of operation and further details about our award-winning communities, visit MintoUSA.com.
Minto Communities, LLC and/or its affiliates. 2023.
Communities, LLC and/or its affiliates. 2023.
For location, hours of operation and further details about our award-winning communities, visit MintoUSA.com.
| WestlakeFL.com | 16610 Town Center Parkway North | City of Westlake, FL 33470 *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. Base price of the home does not include homesite premium or options and upgrades. ©Minto Communities, LLC 2023. 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 approximate and subject to change without notice. Minto, the Minto
the Westlake logo are
Communities, LLC and/or its affiliates. 2023.
NEW TOWNHOMES, SINGLE-FAMILY AND ESTATE HOMES
and more!* For location, hours of operation and further details about our award-winning communities, visit MintoUSA.com. (561)475-2659 | WestlakeFL.com | 16610 Town Center Parkway North | City of Westlake, FL 33470 *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. Base price of the home does not include homesite premium or options and upgrades. ©Minto Communities, LLC 2023. 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 approximate and subject to change without notice. Minto, the Minto logo, Westlake and the Westlake logo are trademarks of
WestlakeFL.com | 16610 Town Center Parkway North | City of Westlake, FL 33470 *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. Base price of the home does not include homesite premium or options and upgrades. ©Minto Communities, LLC 2023. 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 approximate and subject to change without notice. Minto, the Minto logo, Westlake and the Westlake logo are trademarks of Minto
THE DOOR TO
CareYou Can Count On
When it comes to your family’s health, you can count on our dedication to deliver compassionate, quality care every time. Wellington Regional is here with award-winning services, including cardiovascular, maternity and Level III NICU, emergency medicine, an Accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI and Resuscitation by the American College of Cardiology, an Accredited Comprehensive Stroke Center by DNV, an Accredited Bariatric Center of Excellence by MBSAQIP and much more.
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. 231322353-1360522 12/22 To learn more about hospital services, visit wellingtonregional.com or call 561-798-9880 to find a provider.
22 EXCITING SEASON OF HUNTER, JUMPER AND EQUITATION COMPETITIONS AHEAD AT WEF
The 44th annual Winter Equestrian Festival has kicked off its 13 weeks of competition at the Wellington International showgrounds featuring world-class hunter, jumper and equitation competitions.
FACES OF WEF 2023: MEET SOME OF THE EQUESTRIANS COMPETING IN WELLINGTON
As is our annual tradition, Wellington The Magazine this month highlights just a few of the amazing athletes who will guide their horses over jumps at the Winter Equestrian Festival this season.
LIVING THE HORSE LIFE: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF SHOW JUMPING STAR DANIEL BLUMAN
Show jumping is an international sport, which can be showcased by the professional and international lifestyle of world-class show jumper Daniel Bluman. Born in Colombia, now living in Wellington, he competes internationally for Israel. BY MIKE MAY
HORSEPOWER TRAVEL: DUTTA CORP. OFFERS TOP-CLASS EQUINE AIRFREIGHT SERVICE
The Dutta Corporation, founded in 1988 by businessman Tim Dutta, is a global equestrian air transportation firm based in Wellington that serves the many equestrians and equine residents and visitors to the Wellington area.
BY CONNIE SAWYER
CREATING UNIQUE COURSE DESIGNS IS ALL IN A DAY’S WORK FOR ANDY CHRISTIANSEN
Andy Christiansen specializes in creating course designs for those who compete at the Winter Equestrian Festival in the hunters, show jumpers and equitation events. Christiansen, a certified international FEI Level 3 course designer, is very good at what he does.
BY MIKE MAY
COTA FEATURES DANCING HORSES AND FAMILY FUN TO FIGHT BREAST CANCER
Paint the town pink on Friday, March 10 at the Challenge of the Americas (COTA) and experience a colorful, family-friendly equestrian extravaganza, as horses and riders from around the world dance to music to help fight breast cancer.
TENACITY IN TOP FORM: HOW HUNTER RIDER JOHN FRENCH PAVED HIS WAY TO THE TOP
A professional rider with a reputation that precedes him, John French is known for his natural talent, horsemanship and, of course, many appearances in the winner’s circle.
BY JESSICA BRIGHENTI
WHS MIGHTY WOLVERINE SOUND MARCHES IN LONDON’S NEW YEAR’S DAY PARADE
First invited to London’s New Year’s Day Parade in 2020, the awardwinning Mighty Wolverine Sound, Wellington High School’s marching band, was finally able to make the trip this year. BY DEB
FIND WAYS TO ENHANCE YOUR HEALTH AND WELLNESS AT MASSAGE ENVY OF WELLINGTON
on the cover
Show jumper Daniel Bluman, featured this issue, competes at the Winter Equestrian Festival. COURTESY WELLINGTON INTERNATIONAL © SPORTFOT
WELLINGTON SOCIAL SCENE
67 55 60 22 74
The Village of Wellington is now undertaking some of the projects that the Wellington Village Council approved last fall in the Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Budget and the 2023-2027 Five-Year Capital Improvements Program (CIP). BY JIM
Ocean One Bar and Grille has been reeling in the customers since its debut in Royal Palm Beach’s Southern Palm Crossing shopping plaza last fall, hooking people with its savory menu of seafood, steaks and more, at an incredible value. BY
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WELLINGTON REAL ESTATE
Wellington Real Estate this month visits a luxurious, impeccably renovated estate in the Eagles Landing community of Palm Beach Polo & Country Club, presented by Robert Ross of Keller Williams Realty.
contents February 2023
wellington the magazine | february 2023 9
Departments 14 16 18
Annual Wellington Dinner Dance Supports Boys & Girls Club Village Hosts Casino Night At Wellington Community Center NPC Event Raises Money To Support Pups4Patriots Program
Each new year, the resolutions come rolling in, often focused on better self-care. A great way to both treat yourself and improve your wellbeing can be found at Massage Envy of Wellington. BY CALLIE
FACES OF WEF 2023: EXCITING EQUESTRIAN SEASON WELL UNDERWAY IN WELLINGTON
Wellington’s winter equestrian season is approaching its high point with the 44th annual Winter Equestrian Festival well underway at the newly rebranded Wellington International showgrounds featuring hunter, jumper and equitation competitions for all skill levels. While youngsters are getting their first taste of the show ring, the world’s best riders are here getting in their qualifications for the 2024 Olympic Games, which are right around the corner! We feature Wellington’s signature show series this issue with an overview of WEF 2023, as well as the return of our Faces of WEF feature section, which profiles just a few of the amazing riders soaring over jumps at the showgrounds this season.
What does it take to be a world-class show jumper? To find out, we sat down with Daniel Bluman to learn more about what a day in his life is like during the equestrian season in Wellington. We also chatted with Tim Dutta of the Dutta Corporation, which specializes in air transport for top-level horses, to learn more about this unique process. Meanwhile, if you’ve ever wondered who is behind many of the gorgeous, yet challenging courses featured at Wellington International, we also profile course designer Andy Christiansen.
Also this month, we preview the amazing Challenge of the Americas (COTA), which returns Friday, March 10 with a colorful, family-friendly equestrian extravaganza that raises money for breast cancer research. Next we profile Wellington-based equestrian John French. As one of the sport’s most accomplished hunter riders, French has been a prominent figure in the equestrian community for decades. Shifting off equestrian topics, we learn more about the Wellington High School marching band’s recent trip of a lifetime to London, where these talented student musicians marched in the New Year’s Day Parade.
Our new Wellington Today feature continues this month with a column by Wellington Village Manager Jim Barnes featuring a look at Wellington’s 202327 Five-Year Capital Improvements Program, which aims to invest in the village’s future. Wellington Health visits Massage Envy of Wellington to learn about the health and wellness benefits of massage and the many other services offered there. Wellington Table this month dines at the new Ocean One Bar and Grille in the Southern Palm Crossing shopping plaza, which serves up great food at an incredible value. Finally, Wellington Real Estate stops by an impeccably renovated home in the coveted Eagles Landing community of the Palm Beach Polo & Country Club, presented by Robert Ross of Keller Williams Realty.
Amid all the interesting changes in Wellington, we’re off to an amazing start to this year’s winter equestrian season. We’re excited to watch as the season continues, and we will return next month with our annual Faces of Dressage issue, which explores this beautiful and elegant equestrian discipline.
Joshua I. Manning publisher
senior graphic designer
Abner Pedraza contributors
12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 33 Wellington, FL 33414
Phone: (561) 793-7606
Fax: (561) 793-1470
Barry S. Manning
Wellington The Magazine is published monthly in Wellington, Florida. Copyright 2023, 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.
10 february 2023 | wellington the magazine
Dawn Rivera, Publisher
WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE Bringing You The Best Of Wellington Since 2004
volume 20, number 2 FEBRUARY 2023
from the publisher
www.wellingtonthemagazine.com published by Wellington The Magazine, LLC chairman/ceo
• Breach of Contract • Shareholder Disputes • Real Estate Litigation • Partnership Disputes • Trademark Litigation • Copyright Litigation • Equine Law The attorneys at the law offices of Pike & Lustig, LLP represent accident victims, and their families, throughout the State of Florida. • Auto Accidents • Motorcycle Accidents • Bicycle Accidents • Trucking Accidents
Michael J. Pike, Esquire
Daniel Lustig, Esquire
Talina Bidwell, Esquire
C. Johnson, Esquire
L. Hartstone, Esquire
Timothy O’Neil, Esquire Turn to Us For Your Legal Needs 561-855-7585 www.pikelustig.com Además, le podemos ayudar en Español Offices in Palm Beach County (WPB) and Dade County (Miami) MAIN OFFICE: 1209 N. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 | 561-291-8298 | Fax: 561-855-7710 WELLINGTON: 12008 South Shore Blvd., Suite 200, Wellington, FL 33414 MIAMI: 777 Brickell Avenue, Suite 500, Miami, FL 33131 | 305-697-9799 | Fax: 305-809-8009 The attorneys at the law offices of Pike & Lustig, LLP, a full-service law firm, understand our clients’ business litigation needs, in both State and Federal Courts. Business & Equine Litigation: Personal Injury Litigation: NEED HELP? We are here for you. TRIAL ATTORNEYS BUSINESS AND EQUINE LITIGATION PERSONAL INJURY LITIGATION
• Andrew J.
Raising the bar for all
Anna Niehaus has lived and worked in the western communities of Palm Beach County for more than 3 decades. Her expertise in single family home resales, equestrian properties, vacant land, investment properties and new construction have been award winning locally and in the South Florida Region. Anna’s priority is to find the perfect home for every buyer and to offer effective strategies to her sellers to ensure an efficient and lucrative transaction. Anna speaks German and English.
Specializing in Equestrian & Residential Properties. Whether buying, selling or leasing properties, Marcia is an expert negotiator with extensive local knowledge. From first time buyers to multimillion dollar farm sales, she personally coordinates every detail, minimizing stress, streamlining communications, and always provides a timely follow-up. Praised by her clients for her professionalism, her clients will tell you she doesn’t just meet their expectations, she consistently EXCEEDS them!
Making up one half of the Drahan-Keiser Team, Betsy Keiser is a real estate professional based out of Wellington. With her personalized service, positive attitude and calm demeanor, Betsy is constantly exceeding her clients expectations while making the entire process an enjoyable one. Betsy’s experience as an owner of a custom residential construction company as well as a state licensed property manager, provides her with unique and valuable insight into multiple facets of real estate.
Jennifer Drahan - Making up one half of The Drahan-Keiser Team, there is only one thing Jennifer Drahan is more passionate about than horses and that is real estate. Jen graduated from Texas A&M University (Fighting’ Texas Aggie Class of 1995) with a B.S. in Animal Science, during which time she built a successful hunter/jumper training and sales business. The extensive background Jen has in both the equine and real estate industry is a major benefit to the team’s clients.
Keller Williams LuxKore Luxury Division is an exclusive, elite and sophisticated group of real estate consultants raising the bar for service in the upper-tier home market.
MICHELLE “SHELLY” POWER
Born and raised in Chicago, Shelly began her real estate career in 1987. Shelly has 30+ years in the RE business, specializing in residential investment & relocation. Her career started in Chicago as a property manager and pertaining property acquisitions for investors. She later moved to NJ & managed luxury buildings & town homes. In the top 15% in her company and a member of Keller Williams Luxury Division.. Shelly lives in Wellington with her husband and has 2 sons and a sweet Golden Doodle Riley. (561) 310-6074
BRIAN AND JENNIFER WILDER
Combined 5th generation SF native and midwestern roots bring 23 years of real estate knowledge, passion & enthusiasm to our clients. Our strategy focuses on individual style, needs, and five-star service. Proud parents of 5 boys, we are deeply rooted in the community through mentoring and coaching youth baseball. Also find us boating, fishing, or swimming with our “surf dog”, Charlie. Let our top producing team welcome you and yours to South Florida living.
KELLER WILLIAMS WELLINGTON
1400 Corporate Center Way
Wellington, FL 33414
Robert’s success as an equestrian drew him to the east coast where he became a Grand Prix rider, co-founder of the Equestrian Aid Foundation and launched his RE career specializing in equestrian & luxury properties in Wellington. Robert’s passion and dedication to his clients has allowed him to remain among the Top 3 Keller Williams agents in SF since 2014. Although Robert’s expertise is farm sales & luxury homes, some of his fondest moments have been working with first time home buyers.
A lifelong resident of Wellington, FL, Michele Barone and her team of marketing, design and client care experts offer clients a concierge experience, ensuring that the client’s every need is always put first. A top agent award recipient for many consecutive years, Michele guarantees success by offering expert negotiation skills, honesty, advice and support from the moment you meet her and her multilingual team. (561) 762-6420
Marissa is a bi-lingual Wellington native who grew up with a passion for horses and riding. She applies that same passion in providing the highest quality of service whether dealing in Residential RE, Luxury RE, Equestrian RE, RE Investing or renting. Her love for her profession shows not only in the fact that she is in the top 10% of KW Wellington, but also in her dedication to her clients. When she is not devoting time to her clients, she enjoys spending time with her family, dogs and horses. (561) 329-1970
Born and raised in South Florida. I have lived in Wellington since 1985 with over 25 years of RE & Property management experience. I LOVE what I do and LOVE where I live. I pride myself with Honesty and Integrity. Customer service is my highest priority. I enjoy people and strive for a “WIN WIN” experience for all. My hobbies include Horses, Golf, Pickleball, Tennis and spending time with my family. Specializing in Equestrian properties, Luxury Homes, Golf & Tennis Communities, Investment properties.
Oskar Payot, with over ten years of experience in Real Estate, joined forces with the exclusive brokerage of KW Wellington Luxury Division in 2022. Wellington is Oskar’s home town, where he has lived for over 22 years. His nurturing and attentive personality has helped carve out the best techniques to provide excellent service to his clients. When Oskar is not enjoying quality time with his loved ones, he enjoys a very active lifestyle including working out and traveling.
I’ve been a member of Keller Williams Luxury division since 2017. As a founding member, I pride myself on my white-glove service. Previously, I taught in PBC and worked as principal of an online school. This unique family niche and extensive knowledge of location, education and valuation has led me to become one of Palm Beach’s most trusted realtors and in the top 5% of PBC closed sales volume year after year. I love working with a variety of clients to grow our community.
Sophie Ghedin is one of the founding partners at Ghedin & Herz Key Advantage. She’s a premier award winning real estate professional, placed among the top five percent at KW, Wellington. Sophie a member of the National Association of Realtors with more than a decade of experience in residential and equestrian RE. Fluent in English, French and Spanish, her enthusiasm to meet the client’s demands is infectious. “As a realtor, my first priority is to make my clients happy.
A Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist with over 25 years’ experience that transcends nearly all aspects of a transaction. One of the most wellrounded real estate experts in Palm Beach County with unparalleled knowledge for the intricacies that go into a seamless and successful RE transaction. Maria has developed a reputation as one of the most trusted service-oriented professionals for helping you achieve your real estate aspirations. Ranked a Top Agent for Keller Williams Realty.
Sommar Clark is a real estate professional with Keller Williams Realty Wellington. A 35+ year resident of South Florida, her previous experience as a teacher in the Palm Beach County school district provides clients with a unique perspective on how neighborhoods feed into the various school systems. This experience combined with her dedication to transparent communication throughout the process has been instrumental to her reputation within the community as a trusted real estate professional.
JOAN “NAPPY” TRANTER
ANNUAL WELLINGTON DINNER DANCE SUPPORTS BOYS & GIRLS CLUB
Nearly 400 guests enjoyed a gala evening at the Wycliffe Golf & Country Club on Saturday, Jan. 7 at the 35th annual Wellington Dinner Dance, a philanthropic event held to benefit the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington. The elegant evening of auctions and entertainment yielded an impressive $385,000 worth of proceeds for the club this year. It is the club’s largest annual fundraiser.
14 february 2023 | wellington the magazine
wellington | social scene PHOTOS BY MEREDITH BUROW
(Left to right) Julie Kime presents Dr. Edward and Maria Becker with the Lifetime Achievement Award for their decades of service to the Boys & Girls Club; Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric and Dorothy Bradshaw; Wellington Mayor Anne and Alan Gerwig; and Maria Becker, President & CEO Jaene Miranda, Wellington Club Executive Director Latricia Jenkins, Marcella Montesinos, Sonali Mendiratta, Lidy Mata and Julie Kime.
(Left) Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County President & CEO Jaene Miranda, Wellington Board Chair Louis Eisenberg and Wellington Board Vice Chair Marcella Montesinos.
(Right) Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club members Vijaya Bharath, Averi Polynice, Gabriella Brito, Isabella Rodriguez, Jenna Pierre, Jaenathan Ross and Milan Ross.
Dan and Diana Brettler with stilt walker Cayla McDonald; Bryan Raymond, Paula Ramos, Charlene Ramos, Kristie Mason, Bon Hall and Julius Mason; Boys & Girls Club members Nevaeh Baker, Averi Polynice and Aniyah Walker with Wellington Club Executive Director Latricia Jenkins; Town of Palm Beach Mayor Danielle Moore with her mother, former Mayor Lesly Smith; and Megan and Damon Barrett.
(Left to right) Denzil Seedial, Dhruti Pandya, and Kila and Anil Mistry; Kelsey Abernathy and Tinka Grody; Brian and Gloria Coleman; and Kyle Eldredge with Dr. Andrea and Eric Horbey.
(Left to right) Ben Shenkman and Frank Suess; Herta Suess and Darlene Finocchietti; Stephanie Ruiz and Jenna Zorn; Dance Hub Palm Beach instructors Alexander Chudin and Natalie Didyk with student Andrea Hayes; and circus performer Julian Caldiroli entertains the crowd.
MACY’S | DILLARD’S | TOMMY BAHAMA | PANDORA | BRIGHTON CMX CINEMAS | LEMONGRASS | SUNGLASS HUT SHOPWELLINGTONGREEN.COM FOLLOW US MACY’S | DILLARD’S | TOMMY BAHAMA | PANDORA | BRIGHTON CMX CINEMAS | LEMONGRASS | SUNGLASS HUT
wellington | social scene PHOTOS BY DENISE FLEISCHMAN
VILLAGE HOSTS CASINO NIGHT AT WELLINGTON COMMUNITY CENTER
The Village of Wellington hosted a Casino Night with great food and authentic gaming action on Saturday, Jan. 14 at the Wellington Community Center. The evening featured live entertainment by Johnny T., “the Man of Many Voices,” paying tribute to the classics of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. For those feeling lucky, gaming options included slots, blackjack, roulette, craps and poker.
16 february 2023 | wellington the magazine
(Left to right) Debbie Liquori and Anonella Senorele run the buffet stations; Stephen and Beth Hooper; Lynn Vinacco, Ellen Granboyes and Linda Gantz; and Johnny T. provided the entertainment.
(Left to right) Rebecca Taylor, Robin and Ted Stepanoff; Scott and Megan Edge at the blackjack table; Janine LaRochelle and Pam Libby play roulette; David Lauer rakes in the chips; and Eric and Shannon Levine won two gift baskets.
Free $20 promo card when you purchase $100 in gift cards. Offer available in-location only, now through February 14, 2023.* Promotional card must be used between February 15, 2023 and August 15, 2024 or will expire with no value. Promo card may not be used for monthly payments under the membership agreement, gratuities or to purchase other gift cards. Not replaceable if lost or stolen. Card must be present to use. Each location individually owned and operated. MM35421 WHILE SUPPLIES LAST
wellington | social scene PHOTOS BY FRANK KOESTER
NPC EVENT RAISES MONEY TO SUPPORT PUPS4PATRIOTS PROGRAM
On Thursday, Jan. 12, American Humane hosted its fourth annual Pups4Patriots fundraiser at the National Polo Center in Wellington. Three veterans participating in Pups4Patriots were in attendance with their canine friends to mingle with the crowd of about 150 supporters. The evening, which included a live auction, raised $30,000 for the Pups4Patriots program. Learn more at www.americanhumane.org.
We believe the broker selling YOUR home is equally as important as the pilot flying the plane you’re traveling on. It takes a very skilled pilot to handle turbulent situations.
18 february 2023 | wellington the magazine
(Left to right) American Humane CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert and Kim Fennebresque; Brittany Heyne, Molly McDougall and Adrianna Ayoub welcome guests to the fundraiser; owner Mike Bundrick with service dog Justice; and Ann Corwell and Steve Feiertag.
(Left to right) Owner Zack Chappell with service dog Winnie; Elaine Ferm and Pam Moutis; Patty Raynes, Jean Shafiroff, Alex Hamer and Erin Stewart; Diana Schrank shares how her service dog Sam has helped her cope as American Humane CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert looks on; and Ann Sherbourne and Stephanie Branscomb spend some time getting to know Sam.
SPECIALIZING IN MEDICAL, SURGICAL & COSMETIC DERMATOLOGY Skin Cancer • Dermatologic Surgery • Mohs Surgery • Hair & Nail Diseases Pediatric Dermatology • Laser Surgery • Botox, Fillers & Chemical Peels 1447 Medical Park Blvd., Suite #107, Wellington, FL (561) 798-3494 3275 N. State Rd. 7, Margate, FL (954) 974-3664 25 OVER Brad P. Glick, DO, MPH, FAAD L. Zaulyanov Scanlan, MD, FAAD Irina Milman, DO, FAAD Paloma Reiter, DO Emily Edmunds, PA-C Tomeka Fleming, LA, MA (Licensed Aesthetician) Sheril Campbell, LA, MA (Licensed Aesthetician) Brad P. Glick, DO, MPH and Associates
Paloma Reiter DO,
L. Zaulyanov Scanlan MD, FAAD
Beautiful, Healthy You!
Irina Milman DO, FAAD
A Salute To Our Hometown Hero
Aside from his many professional accomplishments,Tom Wenham dedicated decades of service to his adopted hometown of Wellington. Until 2015, the Wellington Community Foundation was dormant, and the Wellington Village Council decided to place the foundation in a community-run board.Wenham stepped up to volunteer. He helped put together an active board of community leaders dedicated to projects that benefit Wellington’s children, veterans and seniors — three groups near and dear to Wenham’s heart.The revitalized foundation was reborn, which Wenham chaired from its inception until his recent passing on December 29, 2022.
The Board of Directors will continue to celebrate the life of a man who honored his country, and above all else, served the Village of Wellington until his last days.
Together, We Will Continue Building A Stronger Community, And The Foundation Will Carry On In Your Honor! TOM, WE SALUTE YOU!
22 february 2023 | wellington the magazine FACES OF WEF
EXCITING SEASON AHEAD AT WEF
The Winter Equestrian Festival Features 13 Weeks Of Hunter, Jumper And Equitation Competitions
The 44th annual Winter Equestrian Festival kicked off its 13 weeks of competition in early January, running through April 2 at the Wellington International showgrounds featuring world-renowned hunter, jumper and equitation competitions.
Twelve of the 13 weeks feature FEIsanctioned competition, welcoming some of the most talented and highestranking show jumpers from around the world. Spectators are welcome at Wellington International from Wednesday through Sunday each week.
“The most exciting thing this year is that the riders have started to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games,” said Michael Stone, president of Wellington International. “The qualification period has just started. That means that all the top riders have come here to get their qualifications done early.”
Highlighting the season is the return of Saturday Night Lights, featuring international Grand Prix and hunter derby competitions under the lights in the iconic International Arena.
Spectators can enjoy a variety of food and beverage options, live music,
shopping, as well as family-friendly activities, such as face-painting, carousel rides, a petting zoo, magicians and stilt walkers.
Hospitality packages are also available for interested guests who want to experience the night’s competition from the best seats in the house.
“This is the only place where you can get free family entertainment and watch top athletes in the world,” Stone said. “This year, we have Olympic champions, world champions, European and Pan-American champions competing every Saturday night.”
The four CSI5* Grand Prix classes, the highest level of international show jumping in the sport, will take place on Feb. 11 (WEF 5), Feb. 25 (WEF 7), March 11 (WEF 9) and April 1 (WEF 12). These competitions feature the top horse-and-rider combinations in the world and include four FEI World Ranking classes.
The final CSI5* competition of the circuit (WEF 12) will welcome the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*, the most prestigious international class of the 2023 season.
wellington the magazine | february 2023 23 FACES OF WEF
The $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* is one of the season’s highlight events. © SAS EQUESTRIAN
The $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* will once again take place on the final Saturday of the season on the derby field at Equestrian Village.
As part of the Saturday Night Lights series, Wellington International will proudly host the Great Charity Challenge, sponsored by Fidelity Investments, on Saturday, Feb. 4. This exciting event, in its 14th year, blends philanthropy with equestrian sport by awarding more than $1 million to more than 40 charities in Palm Beach County.
On Saturday nights, gates open at 6 p.m., and general admission is free. There is a $20 per car fee for parking.
The Wellington International team will also be expanding its special event offerings with brunch on select Sundays to offer fans and competitors another opportunity to enjoy the sport this season.
“We have started this special brunch offering, so people can come by early on a Sunday afternoon to watch the jumping,” Stone said. “Then they can go on to polo after that and have a really great Sunday of equestrian sports.”
Brunch will be offered in the Blue Ribbon Club, and attendees will start their Sundays with a prime view of the International Arena and a complimentary glass of champagne. The Blue Ribbon
Club Brunch debuted on Jan. 29 during WEF 3 and will continue on Feb. 12 (WEF 5), Feb. 26 (WEF 7), March 5 (WEF 8), March 12 (WEF 9), March 19 (WEF 10) and March 26 (WEF 11).
Now owned by the Global Equestrian Group, the former Palm Beach International Equestrian Center was rebranded Wellington International during the final weeks of the 2022 season. Over the past year, the new owners have put nearly $9 million into upgrades at the showgrounds.
“We have done a lot of investing here, such as new stables,” Stone said. “We
have built three new permanent barns. This has been really well received by the competitors. This is part of our longterm plan to continue to enhance the facility to ensure that we remain the No. 1 horse show in the world.”
This has included a focus on horses, riders and spectators.
“We continue to improve the footing in the rings, so that the horses have the best conditions to compete in,” Stone said. “We have also created more viewing areas for the public, so that everyone who comes has a place to watch, especially during the Saturday Night Lights events.”
Wellington International is located at 3400 Equestrian Club Drive, off Pierson Road. Visit www.wellingtoninternational. com to learn more.
24 february 2023 | wellington the magazine FACES OF WEF
The Winter Equestrian Festival offers 13 weeks of exciting show jumping, hunter riding and equitation.
“The most exciting thing this year is that the riders have started to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games. The qualification period has just started.”
— Michael Stone
Start your Sunday with brunch at the Blue Ribbon Club with a prime view of the International Arena.
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WEF FACES OF
The 2023 edition of Wellington’s signature horse show series, the Winter Equestrian Festival, is underway at the newly rebranded Wellington International showgrounds. Since being acquired by Global Equestrian Group last year, there have been nearly $9 million in improvements to the facility, home to the richest and longest-running horse show series in the world. Horse and rider pairs will soar over fences, navigate complicated sequences and make hairpin turns — all to the delight of the crowds. Riders known around the world will join up-and-comers, youngsters and adult amateurs in the ring at WEF, which offers classes for every age and skill level. Over the next few pages, you’ll get a glimpse at just a handful of the riders competing this season at WEF, from current superstars to future stars, in our annual Faces of WEF feature section.
wellington the magazine | february 2023 27 FACES OF WEF
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Olympic gold medalist Ben Maher rides for Great Britain and has competed in four Olympic Games. He is currently ranked sixth in the Longines Rankings and 34th in the FEI Jumping World Cup Standings. With more than 145 wins under his belt, Maher is one talented rider to watch at the Winter Equestrian Festival this year.
Originally from Baltimore and now living in Wellington, John French is one of the top hunter riders to watch at WEF this year. French most recently won the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at Wellington International during the ESP Holiday Series aboard Wyatt. A seasoned and decorated horseman, French is fantastic to watch in the show ring, where he brings decades of experience.
Conor Swail, a native of County
Down, Ireland, is a frequent rider on the WEF circuit each winter. He is currently ranked No. 5 on the Longines Rankings and No. 2 in the FEI World Cup Standings. A crowd favorite, Swail will no doubt make many jump-offs exciting at this year’s Winter Equestrian Festival.
FACES OF WEF 2023
wellington the magazine | february 2023 29 FACES OF WEF
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Coming from a family of equestrians, Luke Jensen is one of the most talented young riders to watch this year at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Last year, Jensen was the winner of the 2022 WEF Equitation Championship on Stephex Stable’s Jamaica. Originally from Denton, Texas, he is a bright, rising star.
One of the most decorated American riders, New York native McLain Ward is a perennial fan favorite. A five-time Olympian and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Ward started WEF 2023 on a high note when he won the $75,000 Prestige Italia Grand Prix during Premiere Week at Wellington International aboard Catoki, owned by Marilla van Beuren and Bob Russell.
Natalie Dean is one of today’s most talented young riders. A California native, Dean is currently ranked No. 5 in the Longines Jumping FEI World Cup Standings and No. 7 in the FEI Jumping Under 25 rankings. She was chosen by the United States Equestrian Federation to represent the U.S. at the $150,000 Nations Cup CSIO4* last season at WEF.
FACES OF WEF 2023
wellington the magazine | february 2023 31 FACES OF WEF
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One of America’s leading hunter riders, Scott Stewart has been a staple in Wellington International’s hunter rings for decades. Stewart, who grew up in Connecticut, has won all of the nation’s top hunter awards, including the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular in Wellington. Stewart was victorious during WEF’s Premiere Week in the Equine Tack and Nutritionals 3’9” Green Hunter Division aboard Jordan.
Victoria “Tori” Colvin is one of the nation’s most successful young riders. She has been consistently in the ribbons for both hunters and jumpers since she began showing ponies as a child. Her accolades include being named the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame Rider of the Year in 2020. In 2022, she was the Winter Equestrian Festival’s Overall Hunter Rider Circuit Champion.
Wellington native Zayna Rizvi is a talented junior rider who won the coveted 2021 ASPCA Maclay National Championship. Her aptitude in equitation, hunters and jumpers knows no bounds. She competed at the 2022 FEI Jumping Nations Cup Youth Final. Last summer, Rizvi won the $37,000 North Face Farm Welcome Stake CSI 2* at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival aboard her mount Excellent, owned by Peacock Ridge.
FACES OF WEF 2023
wellington the magazine | february 2023 33 FACES OF WEF
Zoé Conter, a top Under 25 rider, is no stranger to success. From an equestrian family, she is the daughter of Stephan Conter of Stephex Stables.
Last year, during the second week of WEF, Conter won the Martha W. Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award. She also placed sixth in the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* during Week 12. She enters 2023 with an eye toward more
FACES OF WEF 2023
wellington the magazine | february 2023 35 FACES OF WEF
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38 february 2023 | wellington the magazine FACES OF WEF
LIVING THE HORSE LIFE
A Day In The Life Of Show Jumping Star Daniel Bluman In Wellington
BY MIKE MAY
Show jumping is an international sport, which can be showcased by the professional and international lifestyle of world-class show jumper Daniel Bluman.
Born in Colombia, now living in Wellington, and competing internationally for Israel, Bluman is currently 19th in the world. A year ago, he was ranked 11th in the world. “Your world ranking is highly influenced by your type of horse,” Bluman said.
Bluman, 32, was born in Medellin, Colombia, on March 15, 1990. He is the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, who spent three years in Auschwitz during World War II. After liberation, the family left Europe and moved to Colombia.
Bluman’s father, Samuel, is an entrepreneur, and his mother, Orly, is a psychologist and social worker. While growing up in Colombia, Bluman’s parents set high standards and taught him and his brother Steven the meaning of dedication, professionalism and dependability. To this day, Bluman’s life is laced with integrity and gratitude.
Bluman said that to succeed in the
equestrian industry, you have to love horses.
“I love and have a passion for horses,” he said. “You have to know how they live and act. You have to know how to get in their head and body. I was fortunate to be able to learn the horse life.”
A regular day for Bluman is totally horse centric.
Right now, he manages 10 horses a day in Wellington. These horses are the ones that he uses to compete as a show jumper. None are younger than seven and few are older than 16.
“I will ride a horse for show jumping for roughly nine to 10 years,” Bluman said.
While he takes great efforts to pamper his horses, it’s also important to give the horses time and space.
“I must let horses be horses, which means they are free to graze in the field for many hours a day,” Bluman said. “They only get a workout for 45 to 60 minutes a day.”
When it comes to feeding horses, they need a well-balanced diet, just like any world-class athlete.
wellington the magazine | february 2023 39 FACES OF WEF
Daniel Bluman rides at last year’s Rolex Grand Prix at WEF.
COURTESY OF WELLINGTON INTERNATIONAL © SPORTFOT
“We feed the horses carrots, grains, hay and supplements,” Bluman said.
In addition to his stable of horses here in Wellington, he also controls a group of younger horses that live in Europe. As they mature and get trained, they will eventually travel to the United States to join his group of horses in Wellington.
And, just like a world-class athlete, there’s a somewhat short window or season when they compete each year.
“Each of my horses is only competing for 12 to 15 weeks a year,” Bluman said.
Meanwhile, Bluman makes sure that he stays fit, as well. “It’s important that I work out, keep hydrated and have a good, balanced diet,” he said.
During the competitive show jumping season in Wellington, Bluman is very busy from Thursdays through Sundays. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, he and his horses are often resting, recovering from competition, and getting ready for the next competition series.
After the Winter Equestrian Festival concludes in Wellington, Bluman spends time competing in New York and Europe.
“After the season in Wellington, New York becomes my home base, as we have a facility in North Salem, New York,” Bluman said.
Bluman got started in the equestrian world before he enrolled in kindergarten. When he was three years old, he
started riding horses and was a member of a local pony club in Colombia. He was motivated to ride due to the interest in horses shown by his older cousins.
It didn’t take long for Bluman to develop his own true passion for horses, which is the foundation of his current equestrian lifestyle. Once he grasped the art of being a show jumper, Bluman quickly joined the international circuit. He competed in Colombia, Germany and the U.S. Along the way, he trained with some of the top equestrians in the world, including Brazilian Olympian Nelson Pessoa, whom he trained with in Belgium for several years. This led to him competing at some of the top show jumping competitions in the world.
Nowadays, Bluman is also focused on his Jewish roots, as he competes on the international equestrian circuit as a representative of Israel. Bluman competed in the Olympics in 2012 in London and in 2016 in Rio as a member of the Colombian team, but he switched his national affiliation soon after returning from Rio.
Bluman would have competed as a member of the Israeli team at the Tokyo Olympics, but a mistake with his horse’s documentation prevented him from making the trip to Japan to compete at the postponed Tokyo games in 2021.
Bluman was actually a finalist in the 2012 Olympics aboard his horse Sancha LS, but he now admits that he was not
competitively ready to really contend for a spot on the medal platform in London. However, it was an unforgettable, formative experience.
In recent years, Bluman’s achievements include wins at the Rolex Grand Prix of Rome, the Rolex Grand Prix of Central Park, the Hampton Classic, the FTI Wellington Finale and the Douglas Elliman Grand Prix.
Looking back, Bluman said that he has been the beneficiary of good timing and had the opportunity to make great connections in the show jumping world from a young age.
After spending the first 10 years of his life in Colombia, his family moved to South Florida, where he spent ages 10 to 13. While in Florida, his family lived in Weston, and on weekends in the winter, Bluman’s mother would drive him up to Wellington, where he experienced the atmosphere of the world-renowned Winter Equestrian Festival. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time, meeting with the right kind of people.
He and his family returned to Colombia when he was 14, but at age 17, he left Colombia for good to pursue his career as a show jumper.
In his spare time, Bluman can be found at home with his wife Ariel and their children. His kids enjoy karate, soccer and bicycling. The family supports various charitable organizations, such as the UJA Federation, the Israel National Therapeutic Riding Association (INTRA) and Antorchas de Vida, a foundation that focuses on nutrition and education for poor children back in Medellin, Colombia. In recent years, the Blumans have created “Ride The Future,” a program that helps pair professionals with riders who are interested in continuing a career in the sport but might not have the means or tools to do so.
To learn more about Daniel Bluman, visit www.blumanequestrian.com.
40 february 2023 | wellington the magazine FACES OF WEF
Daniel Bluman rides Ladriano Z. COURTESY OF WELLINGTON INTERNATIONAL © SPORTFOT
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42 february 2023 | wellington the magazine FACES OF WEF
HORSEPOWER TRAVEL ON THE MOVE
The Dutta Corporation Provides Top-Class Equine Airfreight Service
BY CONNIE SAWYER
The Dutta Corporation, founded in 1988 by Tim Dutta, is a global equestrian air transportation firm based in Wellington that serves the many equestrians and equine residents and visitors to the Wellington area.
Since its inception, the Dutta Corp. has maintained a core vision to provide a top-class equine airfreight service worthy of its clients. This vision has allowed the company to rapidly expand to service clients around the world.
With his deep knowledge of both the equine and business worlds, Dutta has created a structure that has the well-being of the horses at its core.
“Every layer of our company is staffed by horsemen and horsewomen, and we understand horses and their needs,” Dutta said. “We also have vast experience in international travel.”
This vision has proven extremely successful, as the Dutta Corp. has grown to become the shipping company of choice for world-class horsemen and top international athletes. Whether the horse is a world champion or a personal champion, they are all equal when traveling “Dutta Style.”
From a young age, Dutta competed successfully in both the show jumping arena and the polo field, where he developed his lifelong love of horses and horse sports. He has proudly represented his home country of India in both disciplines.
Dutta’s love and passion for all things equestrian is reflected in his daily life in Wellington, where he both lives and has chosen to headquarter his business.
Very involved in the daily operations of the Dutta Corp., he can often be found accompanying a horse shipment to ensure that everything is as it should be. He travels extensively to attend competitions and events worldwide, making it a priority to keep up to date with his clients and the various disciplines his company serves.
“We fly 2,500-plus horses in and out of Miami for the Wellington International and Global Dressage Festival shows,” Dutta said, adding that while Miami is the air hub of choice for international travel, national flights operate from Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
The Dutta Corp. team also current-
wellington the magazine
february 2023 43 FACES OF WEF
The Dutta Corporation team gets ready for another successful horse transport out of Miami International Airport.
ly fly weekly, coast-to-coast in the U.S., and from JFK, Miami and Chicago to Amsterdam in the Netherlands or Liege in Belgium, and bimonthly to Mexico and Argentina.
At the heart of Dutta’s success and happiness is his family, the love of equestrian sports and passion for horses that has become a family tradition.
Dutta’s wife, Susie Dutta, is a renowned dressage rider who has represented the United States worldwide and is a Realtor in Wellington. Son Timmy Dutta is a dedicated polo player who can be found playing regularly during polo season with his father on the Dutta Corp. Polo Team.
Once a horse is booked for transportation, the Dutta Corp. team starts the process, beginning with bloodwork, a vaccination records check and preparation of health papers before scheduling flights, consolidating shipments and preparing customs clearance to set up import into the arrival country.
What is the travel process like for the horses? “Like humans, some are very
nervous, and some fall asleep before takeoff,” Dutta said. “No horse is alike, and we have to be able to read them and take care of them in flight.”
This is why Dutta insists that all layers of his staff include professional grooms with vast experience to be able to cater to each individual horse’s needs.
For horses used to trailer travel, air travel is not that much different.
“Very rarely do we see a horse fight the process,” Dutta said. “They are herd animals, and if their neighbors relax, they do.”
For more information, or to get in touch with the Dutta Corp. to schedule a flight or inquire about importing and exporting, visit www.timdutta.com, call the Wellington office at (914) 276-3880 or e-mail email@example.com.
44 february 2023 | wellington the magazine FACES OF WEF
Every layer of the company is staffed by horsemen and horsewomen, who understand horses and their needs.
Dutta Corp. founder Tim Dutta with his son Timmy Dutta on the polo field. Both play in Wellington on the Dutta Corp. Polo Team. © PHILIPPA DAVIN
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46 february 2023 | wellington the magazine FACES OF WEF
OBSTACLES, CLEARS AND FINISHES
Coming Up With Unique Course Designs Is All In A Day’s Work For Andy Christiansen
BY MIKE MAY
To work in the equestrian field as a course designer for hunters, show jumpers and equitation competitors, some of the keys to success and longevity are to have a positive mental attitude, a passion for horses and a true love of the sport. If you can find the joy of being immersed in Wellington’s equestrian environment — which will involve long days and weekend nights — you will thrive.
In many respects, that sums up the mindset you must have to live the life of Andy Christiansen, who specializes in creating course designs for those who compete at the Winter Equestrian Festival in the hunters, show jumpers and equitation events.
Christiansen is now a certified international FEI Level 3 course designer. He’s good at what he does, but he plans to improve and move up the ladder in the course design profession. One of his career goals is to design CSI5* competitions and international championships, such as the Olympic Games.
So far, some of his big career experiences in show jumping are designing national and international competitions across the Americas and working next
to world-renowned course designers at previous Pan American Games, World Equestrian Games and South American Games.
“I grew up with horses,” said Christiansen, 38, who is a native of Quito, Ecuador, and is now a full-time Wellington resident. “I have lots of passion for horses and show jumping.”
To work in Christiansen’s circles, you must have patience and be willing to invest time in the profession in order to learn and gain the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed. Christiansen’s ability to design courses for riders did not come from a textbook. It came from listening to others and asking questions.
For Christiansen, life as a course designer is an ongoing education. As long as you are willing to listen, and watch as the sports evolve, you will continue to learn and get educated to continue your professional growth. You also have to be a team player who is willing to help and assist others.
While Christiansen has a home in Wellington, he can usually be found at the Wellington International showgrounds off Pierson Road, especially
wellington the magazine | february 2023 47 FACES OF WEF
(Below) Andy Christiansen creates course designs at the Wellington International showgrounds.
during the 13-week Winter Equestrian Festival, which is now underway.
“The Winter Equestrian Festival is the biggest horse show in the world, and I enjoy being a part of it,” Christiansen said.
During WEF, it’s especially busy every week from Wednesday to Sunday, which are competition days. On Mondays and Tuesdays, Christiansen and his team plan and get organized for the next five-day gauntlet of competition.
There is far more to Christiansen’s professional life than designing courses at WEF. He is also busy at Wellington International with the Spring Series, Summer Series, Fall Series and the Holiday Series. In all, that’s roughly 30 to 35 weeks of competition in Wellington, where he’s in charge of getting jumping courses designed, installed, modified and removed many times a day, as the rings switch between competitions.
During WEF’s five days of weekly competition, there are three to five classes of competition each day, and three to five different tracks that must be installed throughout the day. To make it all work on a timely basis, Christiansen must plan ahead. He has a large team of professionals — a ring crew of at least 48 people, who transform the horse
show’s outdoor jumping rings many times a day. It must be done efficiently and quickly.
“We don’t want our customers waiting on us,” Christiansen said.
This is where teamwork comes into play. In some respects, it’s no different than being a special teams player on a football team, whose job it is to efficiently perform on kickoffs, punt returns and field goal situations. If you make a mistake, everybody will notice.
“We don’t have a great deal of time to make changes, usually 15 to 20 minutes,” Christiansen said.
To be a part of his crew, he expects you to be humble, hardworking, attentive and alert, especially on those Grand Prix Saturday Night Lights events that draw big, enthusiastic crowds.
Christiansen is always committed to excellence. He wants to make it all happen with perfection.
“I consider myself a very organized person,” he said. “Before I head home every night, I make sure that my crew gets the arena ready for the first competition of the next morning. I make sure to leave behind all the needed paperwork and get all details done at the end of the day, just in case something out of the ordinary happens, and I’m not able to be
there in the morning. After all, the show must go on.”
When he’s not in Wellington, his profession takes him to many places in the United States, Canada and South America. His U.S. destinations include Michigan, North Carolina, Maryland, Connecticut, California, Virginia and others.
As Christiansen reflects on his career, he said there are two individuals who have served as key mentors for him. They are American course designer Anthony d’Ambrosio and Brazilian Guilherme Jorge. Both have helped Christiansen grow and develop as a course designer, sharing their knowledge and providing sound advice to him over the last 20 years.
For Christiansen, it’s not easy creating a variety of course designs in confined settings, which are all different and diverse. After all, not all show jumpers are in the same skill class, so the degree of difficulty needs to change depending on the ability of the horse and the rider.
According to Christiansen, all competitive venues in show jumping are not created equal, which puts a premium on his ability to design a jumping venue that is always going to be competitive and fair. Some venues are indoors, and some are outdoors.
“The indoor jumping venues are not big arenas, and they are surrounded by walls, bleachers and different elements that cause many distractions, which sometimes makes it challenging to design different courses,” Christiansen explained. “Depending on the venue, the outdoor arenas are normally bigger, but not all the same size. It’s nice to have some variety and different shapes.”
When Christiansen has free time, he gets away from the equestrian world and spends it with his wife and children. They enjoy their free time together, relaxing, swimming, bike riding and fishing.
48 february 2023 | wellington the magazine FACES OF WEF It’s not easy creating a variety of unique course designs in confined settings.
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Celebrate The Winter Equestria n Fest ival
HELP FIND A CURE
Challenge Of The Americas Features Dancing Horses And Family Fun To Fight Breast Cancer
Paint the town pink on Friday, March 10 at the Challenge of the Americas (COTA) and experience a colorful, family-friendly equestrian extravaganza, as horses and riders from around the world dance to music to help fight breast cancer. COTA is a spectacular evening of horses and fun, all to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) through Play for P.I.N.K.
This one-of-a-kind event showcases the Olympic sports of dressage and show jumping, and features some of the top international competitors from the United States, Canada, Europe, Central America, Australia and Israel as they ma-
neuver their horses in precise patterns set to a musical theme.
General admission gates open at 5:30 p.m. at the Global Dressage Festival showgrounds on the corner of South Shore Blvd. and Pierson Road in Wellington. Grab some food and beverages available for purchase and enjoy pre-show entertainment by local singer Michael Boone. General admission ticket holders will have an ideal vantage point in the grandstands to see top show jumpers and their mounts performing choreographed jumping set to music starting at 6:30 p.m.
Next, horse and rider duos will im-
press with their pas de deux –– typically a dance for two people but, at COTA, it’s two horses and their riders moving in harmony.
The headline event features six teams of six horses and their skilled riders competing in the musical Grand Prix Quadrille Team Challenge. Competitors pull out all the stops with intricate choreography and colorful costumes in themed musical quadrilles to delight the crowd, and impress the world-class judges, while raising funds for breast cancer research.
COTA has evolved since its origins back in 2002.
wellington the magazine | february 2023 51
Pas de Deux, Team BioStar, and Team Winged Foot at COTA 2022. © SUSAN J. STICKLE
© SUSAN J. STICKLE
Team Wright Dressage at the 2022 Challenge of the Americas.
Created by Mary Ross to honor her mother, who died of breast cancer, the event grew from an afternoon luncheon featuring three horse-and-rider combinations to an international event with 46 riders and their mounts. Its success and continued growth are due not only to its partnership with the top-rated breast cancer organization in the U.S., but to its uniquely entertaining format.
The Challenge of the America’s mission is to #challengebreastcancer through the BCRF and its partner, Play for P.I.N.K., a grassroots organization committed to raising funds for research through sporting and lifestyle events.
The BCRF is dedicated in its mission to prevent and cure breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research. It is the largest private funder of breast cancer research in the U.S. That research is saving lives, improving outcomes and uncovering new approaches to this complex, challenging disease.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer worldwide — surpassing lung cancer for the first time in 2020 — and the most common cancer diagnosed in American women. It knows no boundaries and doesn’t discriminate. It is a leading cause of cancer death in less developed countries, and the second lead-
ing cause of cancer death in American women. There are few people who have not been directly or indirectly affected by the disease.
General admission tickets for the Challenge of the Americas are available at the door for $20, and children 12 and under are admitted free. VIP tickets, available at www.challengeoftheamericas.com, provide the same top-notch entertainment with the bonus of enjoying this year’s festive, Western-chic Challenge Gala featuring dinner and dancing under the tents at the showgrounds.
Proudly wear pink and join the Challenge of the Americas for an exciting evening of horses and family fun on March 10 to #challengebreastcancer and help find a cure in our lifetime.
Learn more about the Challenge of the Americas at www.challengeoftheamericas. com.
52 february 2023 | wellington the magazine
Team Purina and Team Gardy Bloemers at the 2022 Challenge of the Americas. © SUSAN J. STICKLE
wellington the magazine | february 2023 53 12180 South Shore Blvd., Suite 101, Wellington, FL 33414 CALL NOW 561-793-9888 www.ShultsOrthodontics.com Established in 1993 - Designed specifically To Provide Exceptional Orthodontic Patient Care Our goal at Shults Orthodontics is to help our patients achieve more attractive and healthier smiles with minimal discomfort and inconvenience. We are committed to serving you and your children efficiently in our comfortable family-centered practice in Wellington, Florida. • Certified Orthodontic Specialist • Specialized/Individual Treatment Plans • Most Insurance Accepted • Flexible Finance Options • Free Initial Records & Consultation Dr. Randy Shults DDS, MA, PhD A second opinion can help quiet the second-guessing Brion Lawler Senior Financial Advisor, First Vice President — Investments 255 S. County Road, Palm Beach, FL 33480 Office: 561-820-1065 • firstname.lastname@example.org https://home.wellsfargoadvisors.com/brion.lawler Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. © 2022 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. CAR-0822-03304 IHA-B25278 Investment and Insurance Products: • NOT FDIC Insured • NO Bank Guarantee • MAY Lose Value Help leave investment doubt behind. Talk with a financial advisor to demystify the complexities of investing and start feeling more confident with your investment plan. A Palm Beach feel to investment management with a hometown financial advisor living in Wellington. The Kutcher, DeFrances, Lawler Private Wealth Group of Wells Fargo Advisors
TENACITY IN TOP FORM
How Hunter Rider John French Paved His Way To The Top
BY JESSICA BRIGHENTI
A professional rider with a reputation that precedes him, John French is known for his natural talent, horsemanship and, of course, many appearances in the winner’s circle. As one of the sport’s most accomplished hunter riders, French has been a prominent figure in the equestrian community for decades. He is now excited to permanently call the equestrian destination of Wellington his home.
Raised in “hunt country” outside of Baltimore, French learned the importance of horsemanship from an early age as the son of a riding instructor.
“I wasn’t in the ring all the time or competing. We did more riding cross country or over to my friend’s house,” he recalled. “We’d go on trail rides together in the woods, jump over logs and go fox hunting. I think growing up that way really helped me get a feel for the horse and a natural way of riding the show hunters.”
French enjoyed early success in the Green Pony Hunter division with a pony his mom bought for just $500, but once he moved to horses and set his sights on larger shows with stiffer competition, the cards were stacked against him. “I got discouraged and said I couldn’t do
it,” French said. “We didn’t have the funds to show at that level.”
Determined to improve as much as he could, he sent a photo in to George Morris’ popular column at the time in Practical Horseman Magazine. In each month’s column, Morris would critique riders’ photos over fences and provide pointers to both them and the readers. French’s photo was chosen for inclusion, and although Morris was initially critical of French’s “long hair” and the untalented jump of his 15.2-hand-high Palomino, he made a remark that would
forever change the trajectory of French’s riding career. “He said, word for word, ‘All in all, this is the best example of classic hunter seat equitation I’ve ever seen.’ That’s when I thought, maybe I could do this if I just had a different horse,” French said.
At the age of 16, French hooked up the horse trailer, picked up his friend’s horse and headed to the Maryland Equitation Finals. He not only won the championship, but he did so all on his own without assistance from a trainer — propelling him on the ride of his life.
wellington the magazine | february 2023 55
John French aboard Babylon, owned by Marnell Sport Horses. PHOTO BY TORI BILAS
From then forward, people asked him to catch-ride horses and ponies for them, allowing French to work for some of the most knowledgeable horsemen on the east and west coasts for decades. Before officially hanging up his square jumper saddle pads for the fitted show
pads of the hunter arena, French went on to represent the United States around the world in multiple Nations Cups and FEI World Cup Finals.
After residing on the west coast for a little over 30 years, French packed his bags and headed to Wellington to join forces with a fellow powerhouse in the equestrian business, two-time Olympian Kent Farrington. “Kent called me up only six months after I moved to Seattle and said, ‘I heard you left California. How about working together with me?’” French recalled with a laugh.
He politely declined the offer at first. “I had just bought a house and said, ‘No it’s not going to happen.’ Kent and I talked at Washington [International Horse Show], and he invited me down to Florida over Thanksgiving that year to check out his barn,” French said. “Just like my initial move to California, it wasn’t my plan, but it looked so enticing to work with him and to be able to have
such a strong operation and people to work with, so I thought, ‘Maybe this is the time I move back to the east coast.’”
Since pairing up with Team KPF in 2020, French has continued his success in the show ring with a few special hunter mounts and has been able to focus the rest of his time and energy on his clients.
“I take pride in [my students’] successes. We keep the program small and select, but I am really enjoying teaching and working with them,” he said.
When asked what advice he instills in his students and to those who may be in similar financial situations to him growing up, French expresses the importance of horsemanship and gaining knowledge first and foremost. “Don’t be in a rush to start a business. Before you hang up your own sign and have your own clients, learn from as many people as you can. It’s important to find horsemen and get as much experience and knowledge as you can from them,” he said.
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John French with Milagro at his home base in Wellington.
PHOTO BY CASSIDY KLEIN
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Look beyond the top trainers to learn from, he noted.
“They may not necessarily be trainers, but maybe barn managers, vets or blacksmiths. You can learn something from all of them,” French said. “A lot of people also just want to ride, but you have to pay your dues first and do more than that. Work hard and learn from your mentors. It’s going to make you a better horseman for when you do get to be a rider.”
This conversation took place just six months after French suffered a serious riding accident.
“I was riding a young horse. He jumped the fence nicely, but dropped his head on the other side, and lightly hit the rail with his hind feet. His head never came back up, and there was nothing in front of me,” recalled French, who fell off and broke his femur in two places, which resulted in a full hip replacement.
The doctors at Wellington Regional Medical Center worked diligently to get French out of the excruciating pain he was in and back into the saddle as quickly as possible. So quickly, in fact, that French was not only riding six weeks post-operation, but he went on to win the 3”/3’3” Platinum Performance/ USHJA Green Incentive Championship
aboard Suzan Moriconi’s Wyatt three months later in August.
“If I didn’t like my job and working with Kent, the clients and the horses we have as much as I do, I don’t think I would’ve been able to come back so quickly,” French said. “It’s what keeps me going, and what will keep me going in this business for a long time to come. Otherwise, I would’ve maybe thought that it’s time to stop riding.”
Luckily for all lovers of hunter competition, French doesn’t plan on going anywhere soon. “I feel fitter and healthier now, instead of three years ago. I feel like instead of coming to my end [after the accident], I have a new beginning here in Wellington and working together with Kent,” he said. “I can see myself going for many more years.”
When asked about his longevity in the sport, French declared, “I’m never going to be done. I will keep training and judging, and have more time to work with committees and things that give back to the sport to make it better. Even if I’m not riding, I can go to the show to train and help out. When it comes to horses, there will always be something to do around here.”
Learn more about John French at www. johnfrenchkpf.com.
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Rider John French with Milagro at his barn in Wellington.
PHOTO BY CASSIDY KLEIN
WHS BAND GOES TO LONDON
Trip Of A Lifetime As Mighty Wolverine Sound Marches In The New Year’s Day Parade
BY DEBORAH WELKY
Wolverines disappeared from the British Isles ages ago, but a band of them invaded London in late December and early January, traversing in orderly fashion to Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, and completing their two-mile march at Parliament Square.
It was the award-winning Mighty Wolverine Sound, of course, Wellington High School’s marching band.
First invited to participate in the London New Year’s Day Parade (LNYDP) in early 2020, the band had to wait nearly three years before they were actually able to participate due to pandemic cancellations. Then, with a live audience of more than 600,000, and approximately
500 million more watching on TV, the group quickly became the pride of Wellington.
Musically and logistically, it was a lot of work.
“We began practicing in early November, twice a week, working on our performance music — a Beatles medley and “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen — as well as our parade marching formations,” WHS Band Director Mary Oser said. “Once in London, we spent the five days prior to the parade seeing many of the most famous historical sites in London and the surrounding areas, including Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Windsor Castle, Oxford
University, Abbey Road, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. After having had to postpone the trip twice, the high point was performing in front of such a huge, warm, receptive and welcoming audience.”
Michelle De Armas, mother of 15-year-old Wolverine trumpeter Christopher De Armas, served as the London trip coordinator. “The band director, band students and band parents at Wellington High School worked very hard to get this special recognition and gave a spectacular performance at the parade,” she said.
While Oser handled communication between the band and LNYDP repre-
60 february 2023 | wellington the magazine
sentatives, as well as anything involving the student/parent communication, students’ instruments and uniforms, De Armas handled rooming logistics, passport and plane information, and handbook information. She also created numerous rosters to keep track of the 75 students and 33 chaperones at the hotel, on planes, on buses, during daily tours, at meals and during afternoon sightseeing times.
“Planning was key,” De Armas said. “Early on, I created a hierarchy structure in order to chart out everyone for board members and chaperones, so we could organize the groups. This allowed chaperones to verify attendance and get
everyone safely on the planes and buses to each destination. I designated various board members as passport, bus and plane coordinators to handle the overall tasks of checking in at the airports and daily tours, so it wasn’t just me.”
This included room accommodations and assigning a handful of students to each chaperone, whom they would monitor and be responsible for during the entire trip. De Armas created a “pod” system labeled by color and letter.
“This made it easier to group our six pods on the planes and buses, and allowed everyone to easily determine where they would go each day,” she said.
“I also identified two captains per pod
to verify the attendance at any event and maintain curfew.”
De Armas was also in charge of what she called “endless forms.”
“I input and verified all the passport information for the airlines, checked and double-checked to make sure the names, numbers and dates matched exactly. I worked with Ms. Oser and other board members to create a roommate list based on student preferences, then collated the lists and updated them if someone needed to switch rooms,” she said. “I then provided all rooming info to the tour company.”
The logistics were so complex that a handbook was created to streamline the
wellington the magazine | february 2023 61
(Above) The WHS band marches through the streets of London. (Right) Band Director Mary Oser is joined by seniors Sydney Nembhard, Anden Toale, Adriana Takvorian and Michael Levy to receive an award for performing in the parade from LNYDP officials Robert Davis, Duncan Sandys and Steve Summers.
process. De Armas worked with Wolverine Band Booster Association Public Relations Chair Pepper Adair to write the “Wolverine Band London 2023 Trip Handbook,” meeting with students and chaperones and using What’s App to disseminate information, answer questions and plan itineraries.
“This worked out well, especially for giving out info and updates to students, as well as tracking students and chaperones,” De Armas said. “I had been to London twice, but this was the first time I coordinated an overseas trip for 108 people, so there was a lot of stress. All
of us chaperones were counting all the time!”
It certainly was stressful headed to another country, in a big city, dealing with large crowds visiting for the holidays, but, in the end, it was a picture-perfect success.
“Once we arrived at the airport and got everyone checked in, I knew things would be fine, and all of our chaperones could handle whatever would come our way in London,” De Armas said.
Once the entourage arrived in London, LNYDP representative Olivia Konieczka helped with logistics related to daily tours and buses, hotel rooms, banquet rooms, equipment rooms, hotel meals and the parade. She also helped De Armas find places to sightsee, eat and figure out how to get around town.
It was quite an experience, particularly for the students.
Adriana Takvorian is the band’s head drum major and a tenor saxophone player.
“The most exciting part for me was being able to travel outside of the U.S. and see all of the historic sites in London,” she said. “I also enjoyed the environment of the parade. It was one of the best experiences someone could have.”
Trombone player Sydney Nembhard loved the sightseeing as well.
“The most exciting part of the trip for me was being inside Windsor Castle and sharing that experience with my favorite people,” she said. “This trip is something I will never forget.”
It was a trip flute player Anden Toale will also never forget.
“I never thought I would be marching in an internationally renowned parade, one that is broadcast live to millions across the world,” he said. “The excitement and joy that filled me while
marching down the streets of London was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I also enjoyed exploring new places and seeing so many new yet famous places I’ve heard so much about, such as Windsor and Oxford. Being able to take in all these new sights with all my best friends is an experience I will forever treasure.”
Aside from the logistics, the trip took years of fundraising to accomplish. Over the last several years, the Mighty Wolverine Sound received donations from its boosters’ GoFundMe page, as well as from Wellington International, the Royal Foundation, the Wellington Rotary Club, former WBBA President Janell Leatherman, and, of course, band parents themselves. In addition, Good Greek Moving & Storage donated wardrobe boxes to ship all 75 uniforms.
“We could never have accomplished this performance without the support of our administration, especially Principal Cara Hayden, and the community of Wellington,” Oser said.
The high point of the trip for De Armas was still the parade itself.
“After all these years trying to attend, I’m so glad the students were finally able to participate in this amazing experience,” she said. “My older son, Alexander, who plays snare drum, was supposed to go two years ago. However, like many previous band students, he graduated during the pandemic shutdown. My younger son, Christopher, was there. For me, walking in the parade with the band, taking photos of them to preserve this special moment, seeing the excitement in their eyes and hearing them play so well was the highlight of the trip.”
Learn more about the Wellington High School Mighty Wolverine Sound marching band at www.whsband.com.
62 february 2023 | wellington the magazine
WBBA Ways and Means Co-Chair Michelle De Armas, Public Relations Chair Pepper Adair and President Greg Wunsch.
Band members got a chance to see the sights in London.
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INVESTING IN OUR VILLAGE’S FUTURE
A Look At Wellington’s 2023-2027 Five-Year Capital Improvements Program
BY JIM BARNES, WELLINGTON VILLAGE MANAGER
As we continue in this new year, you will notice the Village of Wellington undertaking some of the projects that our Wellington Village Council approved last fall in the Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Budget and the 2023-2027 Five-Year Capital Improvements Program (CIP). The CIP is a five-year outlook for anticipated capital projects and is reviewed and updated annually by the council.
The 2023-2027 Five-Year CIP reflects the council’s continued investment in capital projects throughout the village in a fiscally responsible manner. The $24 million program, largely funded through the general and utilities funds and sales surtax, includes $5 million in ongoing funding for new and existing assets, equipment and vehicle replacements, as well as infrastructure to enhance our neighborhoods and home values; $9.4 million for one-time projects; and $10 million for utilities capital projects. In addition to the $24 million CIP, another $5.8 million is budgeted for major maintenance to maintain village buildings and facilities, and our extensive network of parks.
The remaining amount will be spent on enhancements and new infrastructure that will benefit residents and set conditions for the future. Examples include the refurbishment of Margate and Staimford neighborhood parks and the Olympia Park tennis and basketball courts, as well as the exotic vegetation removal and clearing from the 45-acre expansion of the Wellington Environmental Preserve at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Everglades Habitat.
Work this year is also focused on the expansion of the multi-use pathway network. Transportation improvements and the continued investment in information technology are also central to
our efforts to improve traffic safety and leverage technology.
In developing the Five-Year CIP, the following elements are taken into consideration: council goals, community surveys, grant funding opportunities, commitments made by the village, maintenance/rehabilitation of existing village facilities and infrastructure, technology improvements, and enhancements within the community. The proposed CIP was developed in support of the council’s strategic focus areas with emphasis placed on public safety, fiscal health and community livability. You can stay informed of the CIP process as the village undertakes its update for the 2024-2028 Five-Year
wellington the magazine | february 2023 67 wellington | today
CIP, as well as the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, by signing up for e-mail updates and by following the Village of Wellington on social media.
Every year, the council meets to discuss the strategic framework and vision for the coming year. The framework outlines goals related to economic, fiscal and environmental stewardship; bestin-class services and amenities; and the physical, mental, social and emotional well-being of our residents and employ-
ees. It also includes goals related to our infrastructure. I look forward to engaging with all of you and working together toward that vision.
We are committed to transparency and community participation in government. Public involvement and input are the cornerstones of everything we do, and we know that we make better decisions and build a better future when we have conversations and gather feedback from invested stakeholders like you.
There are many ways you can become engaged and stay informed.
Wellington is known for being a wellplanned community that puts residents first. With that at our core, we invite you to engage with your “great hometown” and stay involved in your community. I hope to see you at our public meetings, at our award-winning community events, and out and about enjoying the beautiful community we all love to call home.
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For those times when your pet is suddenly injured or sick, our emergency trained doctors are on 24x7 stand-by to assist.
68 february 2023 | wellington the magazine wellington | today
You can stay informed of the CIP process as the village undertakes its update for the 2024-2028 Five-Year CIP, as well as the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, by signing up for e-mail updates and by following the Village of Wellington on social media.
Staimford Park is one of Wellington’s neighborhood parks set to be refurbished.
ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital – Palm Beach County
www.AccessVetsFlorida.com (561) 774-8855 10465 Southern Blvd. Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
Cosmetic Plastic Surgery
70 february 2023 | wellington the magazine Call 561-632-5425 For more information on our gift cards, promotions, and appointments 1043 S. State Rd 7 • Suite #118 (BLDG E) Wellington, FL 33414 Claudia Diesti Monica Diesti World Educated Stylists Board Certified Hair Colorist wellingtonbeautyroom.com (561) 798-1400 13005 Southern Blvd., Suite 133 (Located on the Palms West Medical Campus) Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery Surgical Training: Stanford University Medical Center Stanford, CA Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Limited Scar Facelift, Necklift Eyelid Rejuvenation • Nasal Reshaping Botox® • Dysport™ • Sculptra™ Juvéderm® • Restylane®, Perlane® Ultrasonic Liposuction & Body Contouring Breast Enlargement, Lift & Reduction Abdominal Tuck Laser Wrinkle Removal In Office Local Anesthesia Liposuction Voted “Best Plastic Sur geon” by r eaders of Palm Beach Post & Palm Beach Illustrated Call for a complimentary cosmetic consultation 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 ser vice, examination or treatment which is per formed as a result of and within 72 hours of responding to the adver tisement for the free, discounted or reduced fee ser vice, examination or treatment. Photo on ad not an ac tual patient Dr. Wisnicki has practiced in Palm Beach County Since 1986 Jeffrey L. Wisnicki, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Come visit us at www.drwisnicki.com to see testimonials, detailed list of services and our before and after photo gallery!
IMPROVE YOUR WELL-BEING WITH MASSAGE
Find Ways To Enhance Your Health And Wellness At Massage Envy Of Wellington
BY CALLIE SHARKEY
Each new year, the resolutions come rolling in, with many focused on better self-care. One of the best ways to both treat yourself and improve your wellbeing can be found at Massage Envy of Wellington.
“Massage therapy has many health benefits, including reducing stress, pain, muscle soreness and tension, while increasing relaxation,” Massage Envy Wellington owner Danielle Freeland said. “It also improves circulation, energy, alertness and immune function. At the
same time, it helps lower both heart rate and blood pressure.”
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has delved into the science behind massage therapy and supports what practitioners have said for centuries — that massage therapy has been shown to be helpful, particularly for acute pain in the neck, shoulders and lower back. A randomized trial in 2016 even found that massage could
aid in the reduction of migraine headaches. Many people find themselves on a search for pain relief without medication, and massage therapy is a great option.
But Massage Envy is much more than just a place to get a massage. The facility also offers stretching, facials — including microderm and chemical peels, and LED light therapy — cupping and a variety of service add-ons. These add-ons are referred to as “enhancements” and can vary greatly.
wellington the magazine | february 2023 71 wellington | health
Depending on your needs, such services can mean rapid tension relief, sugar foot scrubs, aromatherapy, anti-aging eye treatments, or neck and décolleté treatments.
“We use exclusively Jan Marini, Obagi and PCA products in our services and
on our retail shelf,” said Freeland, who believes that trust and professionalism are what creates a positive, healing environment. “Our therapists are very experienced and are trained to make you feel comfortable. We will take great care of you. Everything is tailored to your com-
fort level, and we are very professional in every aspect.”
For anyone curious about trying massage therapy, Massage Envy offers an introductory one-hour session for only $70. Love the experience? Signing up for the Wellness Program allows clients to receive unlimited one-hour sessions for a discounted rate.
“Our Wellness Program is not mandatory to receive treatment. We are not pushy about memberships,” Freeland explained. “Our focus is making sure you have the best experience. Every guest who books an appointment, we make sure to match your needs with the perfect therapist to fit those needs. We ask questions like what brings you in and what kind of pressure are you comfortable with in a massage.”
The therapists at Massage Envy Wellington are carefully trained to make guests feel comfortable. They take great care and tailor everything to your com-
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“People come in, and they are in pain. We are so blessed to be able to relieve that pain and help them mentally with their stress as well. It’s very rewarding.”
— Danielle Freeland
fort level. For instance, clients only undress to their own comfort level and are also always draped in a modest way.
While masks are not required, staff members are accommodating to clients’ needs. There are also strict protocols on employees not coming to work if they have any signs of a cold. They enforce the highest level of sanitizing the rooms before each session.
Having spent most of her life in Palm Beach County, Freeland was a massage therapist herself for 14 years before becoming a spa manager at the Polo Club in Boca Raton for 10 years. She has been with the Massage Envy corporation since 2011 — first as clinic manager for a location in Royal Palm Beach for three years, and then as the owner and operator of a Lake Worth clinic. The Wellington location opened in 2013, and Freeland took over the site in 2019.
“We believe that customer service, hiring quality service providers and treating our employees like family is our greatest priority,” Freeland said. “I’m very intentional about who I hire, and the culture of our clinic is extremely important to me.”
That culture includes being involved in the community. Massage Envy Wellington belongs to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, and the owners regularly support nonprofits like Place of Hope. Locals will also see them at community events like Winterfest.
“People come in, and they are in pain. We are so blessed to be able to relieve that pain and help them mentally with their stress as well,” Freeland said. “It’s very rewarding.”
Massage Envy of Wellington is located at 2615 State Road 7 in the plaza with Whole Foods Market in front of the Mall at Wellington Green. The facility is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., only closing on major holidays. The best way to schedule an appointment is to call (561) 692-7777. For more information, visit www.massageenvy.com.
Subscribe To ONLY $24/year Get 12 issues of Wellington The Magazine mailed directly to your home or office for just $24 and keep up with all that our unique community has to offer. (Please Print Neatly) Name: Address: City: State/Zip: Phone: Enclose a check for $24 made payable to Wellington The Magazine, fill out your credit card information below, or visit our subscription section online at wellingtonthemagazine.com Card Type: Visa Master Card Disc American Express Card Number: Expiration Date: CVV Code: Mail this form to: Wellington The Magazine 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 33 Wellington, FL 33414 or visit us online at: www.wellingtonthemagazine.com wellington the magazine | february 2023 73
74 february 2023 | wellington the magazine
GREAT FOOD AT INCREDIBLE VALUE
The New Ocean One Bar And Grille Specializes In Reasonably Priced Food And Drinks, Served Quickly
STORY AND PHOTOS BY MELANIE KOPACZ
Ocean One Bar and Grille has been reeling in the customers since its debut in Royal Palm Beach last fall, hooking people with its savory menu of seafood, steaks and more, at an incredible value.
The restaurant sits lakeside along Southern Blvd. in the Southern Palm Crossing plaza. It features a huge open dining area with an aesthetic industrial feel, along with a 30-seat bar. Come for lunch, watch a game or have dinner.
Above all, it’s the hard-to-beat prices that create a fantastic value and great vibes. “The food is really good, and it’s not going to break the bank. The drinks are good — they’re strong. The food comes quickly,” Regional Manager Erik Conway said. “That’s what we’re known for — great food, amazing prices and good drinks.”
The menu offers a diverse selection of full-portion lunch items at a set price
of $5.99, every day from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., which makes for either a great lunch or an early dinner. The generous portions come as a surprise to many when the food arrives.
Also, to the delight of many guests, is the all-day, every day premium drink price, set at $11 for three cocktails. It’s part of the never-ending happy hour, where people can mix-and-match or stick with the same drink.
“You don’t have to have the same three,” Conway explained “You can have a Cosmo, then wine with dinner and a chocolate martini at the end. We also have build-your-own. Three Titos for $13. Kettle is three for $11, and Grey Goose is three for $15.”
All beers, meanwhile, are $3.50 for both domestic and imported.
Grab a seat inside or out. There’s ample seating outdoors, whether it’s along
the lake or inside the covered patio, with TV monitors and an indoor-outdoor fireplace. Or grab one of the large booths or tables in the dining room, which seats nearly 250 guests.
Lunchtime is a great opportunity to try many of the main menu items. Start off with the Crispy Calamari enrobed in a light breading and cooked to perfection, served with Wakame salad and Szechuan garlic sauce.
Ocean One Wings are the signature appetizer. They’re mahogany glazed and tender with sprinklings of scallions and sesame seeds. The Quesadilla appetizer can be enough on its own. It’s filled with grilled chicken, jack cheese, roasted peppers and caramelized onion, served with salsa and sour cream. The Ocean One Mussels also top the menu, smoked in a tomato chardonnay stew with a toasted baguette for dipping.
wellington the magazine | february 2023 75
wellington | table
(Left) The signature Chef DS Snapper is pan seared and served over a sweet potato mash with garlic spinach, hearts of palm slaw and a vanilla rum butter sauce. (Top, left to right) The Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass is served atop stir-fried vegetables and black rice vinaigrette; the Spicy Steamed Clams features chorizo in a parsley-chardonnay broth; the popular Ocean One Fish & Chips are served golden and crunchy with seasoned fries; Ocean One Wings are mahogany glazed with sprinklings of scallions and sesame seeds; the Ocean One Mussels are smoked in a tomato chardonnay stew; the Crispy Calamari is lightly breaded and cooked to perfection; the Grilled Salmon is served over mashed potatoes; and the Full Lamb Rack is Dijon-herb marinated on top of a wild mushroom and asparagus risotto.
The hands-down favorite with lunchgoers is the Ocean One Fish & Chips.
“Big portions, prepared to order. It’s a whole filet,” Conway said. “We sell thousands a day between all of our locations.”
The fish is lightly crunchy outside while tender inside, paired with sea-
soned fries and creamy coleslaw.
The Grilled Salmon is also in demand, presented over a bed of mashed potatoes, house vegetables with lemon garlic herb sauce drizzled atop. For burger lovers, there’s the Half-Pound Sirloin Burger, prepared to your liking.
There are a number of flavorful sal-
ads, including the Breaded Warm Goat
Cheese salad with toasted pine nuts, cherry tomatoes and sundried tomato vinaigrette. For chicken and pasta dishes, try the Chicken Parmesan or the Penne Pasta with chicken, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, caramelized onions and parmesan cheese pomodoro sauce.
There is an expanded menu at dinnertime. For a sweet and hearty dinner, try Executive Chef David Stein’s top creation, the Chef DS Snapper with a sweet southern twist. The pan-seared snapper is served over sweet potato mash with sauteed garlic spinach, hearts of palm slaw and a vanilla rum butter sauce. The Lamb Rack is also a must-try. It is Dijon herb marinated on top of a creamy bed of wild mushroom and asparagus risotto.
The Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass is a delicious blend of flavors, served with
76 february 2023 | wellington the magazine wellington | table
Ocean One Bar and Grille sits lakeside along Southern Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach’s Southern Palm Crossing.
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stir-fried baby bok choy, jasmine rice, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots and celery over a black rice vinaigrette.
A kids’ menu is also available with burger options, grilled cheese, pasta and more. Sweeten up the experience with dessert, like the popular Creme Brulee or the Ocean One Mexican Sundae.
The restaurant sees a high number of guests each day with a goal of serving each one in under 13 minutes. “People come here to hang out and have a great time,” Conway said.
This is the restaurant group’s sixth South Florida location, in addition to Delray Beach, Kendall, Davie, Dania Beach and Coral Springs. The original was started in Las Vegas by owner Tony Visone, who then brought the concept to the Sunshine State. He not only created the restaurant’s concept but also coded the software used to track its day-
to-day business. Each meal served can be seen in a real-time ticker on the company’s web site.
It’s that sheer volume and hard work that keeps the restaurant growing.
“We’re getting shipments to us three to five times a week. We couldn’t freeze food or buy frozen food if we wanted to.
We’re so busy. The same with shipments of liquor and beer. We have to keep up with it,” Conway said.
Ocean One Bar and Grille is located at 11111 Southern Blvd. in the Southern Palm Crossing plaza. For more information, call (561) 270-7373 or visit www. oceanonefl.com.
wellington the magazine | february 2023 77
The bar is front and center as guests enter, with seating for 30, as well as plenty of booths.
78 february 2023 | wellington the magazine
Front Elevation: No expense was spared in this private, impeccably renovated residence located in the Eagles Landing community at the Palm Beach Polo & Country Club.
(Above, left to right) Patio: Relax outdoors on the covered patio with new tile flooring, an electric screen enclosure, and a privately landscaped, fenced-in backyard. Kitchen: The gourmet kitchen is beautifully designed with a large island and top-of-the-line, stainless-steel appliances. Master Bath: The gorgeous en suite features a separate tub and shower. Bedroom: This spacious bedroom offers lots of storage space, hand-scraped hickory hardwood floors and motorized window blinds.
UNCOMPROMISED LUXURY LIVING
No Expense Was Spared In This Spacious Luxury Home In The Eagles Landing Community Of Palm Beach Polo & Country Club
No expense has been spared in the uncompromising quality of this impeccably renovated 3-bedroom, 3.5bath luxury home in the coveted Eagles Landing community of Palm Beach Polo & Country Club. Enter through the dramatic, eye-catching impact front door into a bright and brilliant split floor plan with a flowing open concept living space. Sophisticated and inviting, the master suite offers an expansive, custom-built, walk-in closet, private outdoor access, and a gorgeous en suite with a separate tub and shower. The gourmet kitchen has been designed to appeal to both the chef and the entertainer with a large island and top-ofthe-line, stainless-steel appliances. Some of the incredible features of this home include transom windows with plantation shutters, crown molding, hand-scraped hickory hardwood floors, customized and motorized window blinds, and upscale RH lighting fixtures and fans. This home also includes an updated laundry room, a two-car garage with golf cart storage and a new AC unit. Restore and relax outdoors on the covered patio with new tile flooring, an electric screen enclosure, new exterior lights, and a privately landscaped, fenced-in backyard. Set your sights on this exclusive property in close proximity to dining, entertainment, shopping and the world-class Winter Equestrian Festival.
wellington the magazine | february 2023 79 wellington | real estate
(Clockwise from top left) Dining/Kitchen: Spacious and inviting, the dining/kitchen area is designed to appeal to both the chef and the entertainer. Entertainment Area: The comfortable entertainment area has eye-catching impact with its inviting views of the beautifully landscaped outdoors. Master Bedroom: The sophisticated master suite offers an expansive, custom-built, walk-in closet, as well as private outdoor access and a gorgeous en suite with a separate tub and shower. Sitting Area: Adjacent to the gourmet kitchen, this spacious sitting area leads directly into the laundry room.
PHOTOS COURTESY ROBERT ROSS/KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
Eagles Landing Property Presented By Robert Ross
Meet Robert Ross
Robert Ross’s success as an equestrian drew him to the East Coast, where he became a Grand Prix rider, co-founder of the Equestrian Aid Foundation and launched his real estate career specializing in equestrian and luxury properties in Wellington. He has been excelling each year, and worked his way up to be the No. 1 agent for South Florida in 2014.
Ross knows that every client’s situation is unique. That’s what drives his team to treat every situation with the highest level of customer service and care.
“What sets Robert Ross P.A. apart is that we want every client to feel like they have been treated as if their rental or sale was a multi-million-dollar transaction,” he explained. “It is for these reasons that 90 percent of our clients are repeat clients or friends who have been referred to us.”
His focus on teamwork carries over into everything Ross does. “My team is proud to live and work in Wellington, and I have the best and hardest-working team in the business,” he said. “I could not strive for excellence without this dedicated team supporting me. Wellington is one of the nicest and friendliest South Florida communities to live in, with an abundance of world-class equestrian interests, quality schools, great restaurants and, of course, the best location to buy a home or farm.”
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Learn more about Robert Ross at www.robertrosspa.com
Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
Corporate Center Way,
Wellington, FL 33414
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