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GLOBAL EQUESTRIAN GROUP Setting The Bar High Plus USPA Has Big Plans For National Polo Center Latest Technology At Premier Women’s Health Enjoy A Unique Fusion Of Flavors At Med Plate Wellington’s Oldest School Continues To Thrive
mn January 4 – April 2 2023 WELLINGTON INTERNATIONAL equestriansport.com globaldressagefestival.com 2023 January 11 – April 2

— Lynette Laufenberg, CPT Owner, Balance Fitness

personal training
teaching group classes,
greatest reward
is educating
our clients.
There is
no greater satisfaction than empowering others to make more informed choices and lead healthier lives.”
3220 Fairlane Farms Road, Suite 5, Wellington, Florida 33414 www.gobalancefitness.com PERSONAL TRAINING SERVICES At Balance Fitness we guide and support you along your fitness and wellness journey through accountability and continuous evaluation of your progress. During your free consultation we will discuss: • Health history • Exercise history • Goal setting • Nutritional overview • Lifestyle choices • Sleep habits • Stress management • Basic testing (body weight, body fat, blood pressure, movement and posture analysis) CLASSES For a current schedule of classes or to book online, please visit our website. www.gobalancefitness.com Call Today for your Free Consultation (561) 812-2647 New Fall Schedule Begins Nov. 7 At Balance Fitness we offer: Personalized fitness programming Private training/Semi-private training Mind/body group classes including: Yoga, Pilates, and Barre.

A Center Focused on You


Premier Family Health is proud to announce its newest patient care facility. In


Women’s Health facility.

At Premier Women’s Health,


Premier has added a

wellness exams,

and much more.

primary care, urgent care, and diagnostics,
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contraceptive management, infectious disease screening,
1035 S State Road 7, Suite 120 A Wellington, Florida 33414 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday 561.798.3030 ext. 5050 Join us. Call today.
WELCOME TO SHUTTERFLY WAY Ideally located in Grand Prix Village South, ‘’Wellington’s Oceanfront’’. This 8.4-acre property features a Loddon Equestrian, Ltd. 20-stall Grand Prix Stable, designed in the UK and constructed on-site. The property stands alone on Shutterfly Way at the end of a nicely appointed circular brick paver cul-de-sac, gated entry, totally private, secure, no traffic. Short hack to WEF show grounds. All architectural hardware shipped from England, steel double-hang windows with u-shape grates and matching gray powder coat stalls and teak work. A forepart brick paver catwalk to Henderson sliding door open to a magnificent bright interior which boasts 3-glass roof battlements for natural light Grand Prix Village South FOR SALE


Wellington International, the world-renowned equestrian ven ue, changed hands in 2021 and is entering its next chapter with Global Equestrian Group at the helm.Along with its private eq uity partner Waterland, the Denmark-based firm has impressive plans for its first foray into the U.S. market. BY ELAINE SHUSTER


The United States Polo Association recently purchased what was formerly known as the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Now deemed the National Polo Center-Wellington, the property will showcase national tournaments, develop Ameri can players, and sustain an environment of excellence.


The Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington is celebrating its 16th anniversary this season. One of the nation’s busiest and most innovative polo clubs, it will host an array of high-, medium- and low-goal polo tournaments. BY SHARON ROBB


The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), known for attracting many of the globe’s best dressage horse-and-rider pairs, will return to Equestrian Village from Jan. 11 through March 31, 2023. BY ELAINE SHUSTER


Savvy shoppers have learned that the winter months are a prime time to take advantage of the easy access to interna tional commodities, limited-edition curiosities and local es sentials. BY ELAINE SHUSTER


In celebrating an inspiring 20-year global campaign against poverty, JustWorld International will host its annual gala festiv ities on Friday, Jan. 27 at Belle Herbe Farm. BY MARINA CALLAHAN


If you’ve been in the hunter/jumper industry long enough, you’ve probably heard of Beacon Hill Show Stables. And if you’re serious about equitation? Then you’ve definitely heard of Stacia Klein Madden. BY GRACE ZALEWSKI


There is a new medical facility in Wellington that focuses on women’s health and wellness for patients of all ages.The new Premier Women’s Health center places the highest of priori ties on the interests of its female patients. BY MIKE MAY

on the cover

Meet the key members of the Global Equestrian Group team, new owners of the Wellington International show grounds, featured this issue.



Inaugural Western Ride Supports Domestic Violence Victims Wellington Rotary Club Opens New Monthly Family AutoFest Binks Forest PTA Hosts Its Party With A Purpose Fundraiser


Fill your plate with fresh and delicious Mediterranean cuisine re flecting a blend of three cultures — Greek, Egyptian and Lebanese — at Mediterranean Plate, also known as Med Plate.A gem that has been serving high-quality food at the Mall at Wellington Green for several years, Med Plate has now moved to a new location inside the mall’s food court area. BY MELANIE KOPACZ


Our Wellington Schools series concludes with a profile of Welling ton Elementary School Principal Dr. Maria Vaughan.Wellington Ele mentary School was the first public school built in the young com munity of Wellington back in 1981. Today, the school continues to thrive under Vaughan and is home to a thriving fine arts academy with a school culture that also puts an emphasis on health and wellness.

contents November 2022 Features wellington the magazine | november 2022 9
63 28 49 39 63 69 24
33 39 43 49 28 53 58


What a new and adrenaline-pumping time for Wellington as many of our longtime equestrian friends, as well as some of our new ones, make their way into Wellington for the start of what is sure to be an amazing equestrian season!

There have been big changes in the equestrian industry here in Welling ton. In this, our Equestrian Season Preview issue, we speak with representa tives of Global Equestrian Group, the new owners of Wellington Internation al, home of the world-renowned Winter Equestrian Festival, on their future plans for the show grounds facility.

Shifting from show jumping to polo, we hear from officials at the United States Polo Association about their plans for the newly rebranded National Polo Center-Wellington, previously known as the International Polo Club Palm Beach. The USPA plans to make this facility the permanent home of high-goal polo in the United States.Also this issue, we learn about the season already underway at the Grand Champions Polo Club, preview the 2023 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, and get a sneak peek at the amazing shop ping available at WEF this winter.

Also keeping to our equestrian theme, we preview JustWorld Internation al’s 20th annual gala to be held Jan. 27 in Wellington, which will raise crucial funds to help children and families around the world. We also chat equita tion with the amazing Stacia Klein Madden of Beacon Hill Show Stables, who runs one of the top hunter/jumper training programs in the country. Meanwhile, if you’re available the evening of Friday, Nov. 11, make plans to join us at the Wellington Community Foundation’s annual Red, White & Blue Jeans event honoring veterans at the Wellington National Golf Club. Details can be found in this month’s issue.

Wellington Health this month visits the new Premier Women’s Health Center, which offers all the latest technology at a convenient, spa-like loca tion under the leadership of Dr. Vincent Apicella, president and founder of Premier Family Health. Wellington Table visits Med Plate in the Mall at Wel lington Green, which serves up delicious cuisine representing three distinct Mediterranean cultures. Finally, our Wellington Schools series concludes with a visit to Wellington Elementary School, where we chat with Principal Dr. Maria Vaughan.

As the weather begins to cool, although so ever slightly, we pause to give thanks to all our readers, advertisers, industry partners and their families and wish everyone a happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day. After that, it’s time to bring on the joy of the upcoming holiday season!

executive editor

Joshua I. Manning publisher Dawn Rivera senior graphic designer Stephanie Rodriguez

graphic designers Nancy Pobiak

Yolanda Cernicky

account managers

Betty Buglio Evie Edwards

Joetta Palumbo

bookkeeping Jill Kaskel Carol Lieberman


Abner Pedraza contributors Meredith Burow Marina Callahan Erin Davisson Denise Fleischman

Melanie Kopacz Mike May Sharon Robb Callie Sharkey Elaine Shuster Deborah Welky

Grace Zalewski

Bringing You The Best Of Wellington Since

12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 33 Wellington, FL 33414

Phone: (561) 793-7606 Fax: (561) 793-1470 www.wellingtonthemagazine.com published by Wellington The Magazine, LLC chairman/ceo Barry S. Manning

Wellington The Magazine is published monthly in Wel lington, Florida. Copyright 2022, 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 ad vertisement itself. The publisher accepts no responsibility for submitted materials. All submitted materials subject to editing.

10 november 2022 | wellington the magazine
2004 from the publisher volume 19, number 11 NOVEMBER 2022




Meet Our Exclusive

Born and raised in South Florida. I have lived in Wellington since 1985 with over 25 years of RE & Property management. 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.

(561) 758-8321


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.

(561) 201-4717


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.

(561) 310-3974


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.

(561) 389-6038


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.


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.

(561) 236-1977 sophieghedin@kw.com

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. (561) 744-4898 robsross@aol.com

(561) 472-1236

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. (561) 214-3310 annaniehaus@comcast.net

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! (561) 707-7673 stallmatch@gmail.com

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.   (561) 800-3609 www.YourFamilyLiving.com

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.

(561) 315-1834


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 shellypower561@gmail.com

Seasoned real estate professional with 15 years of full-time experience utilizing my wide range of skills. Strong knowledge of laws and legal codes concerning real estate business, extremely punctual and a master organizer. Deeply motivated and versatile with experience in graphic design, advertising as well as residential and commercial building. Experience in advertising/graphic design, IT, along with my experience as a home builder make me the ideal realtor in today’s market! (561) 222-3610


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.  (561) 644-0438 betsy@drahankeiser.com

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.

(561) 318-1208


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 info@michelebaronehomes.com

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


KELLER WILLIAMS WELLINGTON 1400 Corporate Center Way Wellington, FL 33414


The threat of rain did not keep participants away from the inaugural Western Ride, an organized bicycle ride created to bring awareness and support for victims of domestic violence. Co-sponsored by the Village of Wellington as the largest cycling event in the western communities, the Western Ride offered 60-mile, 30-mile and 15-mile rides for nearly 75 cyclists. Proceeds benefited Donnah’s Fund and the nonprofit Women in Distress.The ride kicked off from the Wel lington Municipal Complex on Sunday, Oct. 9 in the early morning hours. After the inaugural event’s success, the Western Ride will re turn in 2023. For more information, and to support Donnah’s Fund, visit www.womenindistress.org/ways-to-donate/donnahs-fund.

14 november 2022 | wellington the magazine
wellington | social scene PHOTOS
(Left to right) Women in Distress Associate Director of Development Maddison Clyne with Event Chair Steven Levin; riders from the Western Athletic Group gather for a group photo; the team from 9 Round volunteered at the event; and Shane Lochoff pins the numbers on Juan Palacio before the 60-mile ride. (Left to right) Jenny Levin and Councilwoman Tanya Siskind cut the ribbon; ride marshal Eddie Cadet led the 60-mile ride group; and riders check in with volunteers before gearing up. (Left to right) Maddison Clyne from Women in Distress thanks the community for the outpouring of support; Event Chair Steven Levin thanks attendees; Councilwoman Tanya Siskind participated in the 15-mile ride; and riders in the 15-mile course get ready to start. (Left to right) Riders take off from the starting line; the ride began and ended at the Wellington Municipal Complex; Councilwoman Tanya Siskind represented the Village of Wellington, which sponsored the inaugural event, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony; and the sun rises over the Wellington Patriot Memorial. Riders prepare for the 60-mile ride well before dawn.
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The Wellington Rotary Club held its first Wellington Family AutoFest of the season on Sunday, Oct. 2 at Wellington’s Village Park. The car show included many extra activities for families and also served as a fundraiser for the veterans’ nonprofit Unified Dream. Cars were judged and received trophies. There was an animal petting area courtesy of Pet Supplies Plus. Special guest Vanilla Ice surprised attendees and posed for photos with his classic car. Future events are planned monthly on Sunday mornings. Upcoming dates are Nov. 20 and Dec. 4. Learn more at www.familyautofest.com.

16 november 2022 | wellington the magazine
wellington | social scene PHOTOS
(Left to right) Wellington Rotary Club members join with chamber and village representatives for a ribbon-cutting ceremony; winners Rick Klotz (best paint, 1931 Ford Model A); Gary Kudish (30s best classic, Model A); Don Neeley (people’s choice award, 1939 Buick); Joe Cutroni (90s classic, 96 Corvette); Frank Martinez (best flames, 1934 Ford); Joseph Vettorino (best interior, 67 Camaro); and Nick Kalfas with his son George (90s classic Mustang); Vanilla Ice received “The Godfather Award” for this 1956 Lincoln Mark II; and Amber and Lilah Waring with a teddy bear hamster. (Left to right) PBCFR’s Anthony Kuhn, Danielle Bove and John Hartman with Hudson and Grayson Miceli; Bob Salerno, Hope Barron and Aimee Stern; this 1931 Ford Model A Roadster Deluxe owned by Rick Klotz won for best paint; Don Neely’s 1939 Buick Century won a people’s choice award; and Maia and Lucas Sanchez with K9 Charlie.
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Beautiful, Healthy You!



18 november 2022 | wellington the magazine
wellington | social scene PHOTOS
Binks Forest Elementary School PTA held its annual Party with a Purpose “A Night to Shine” on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Wellington National Golf Club.The PTA fundraiser included a casino night, silent auction, DJ and dancing. Learn more about PTA programs at www.binksforestpta.org.
(Left to right) Katie Gurvitch, Cara Reddoch, Melissa Bark, Serena Richards, Stacie Poritz, Michella Levy, Amy Dominick, Kai Trento, Melissa Raineri and Dara Lustig; Dara and Daniel Lustig of Pike & Lustig; Stacie Poritz, Uzma Aijaz and Principal Michella Levy; and Juan Castro, Paula Echeverri, and Lina and Alex Bockar. (Left to right) Erika Howlett with Steven and Michelle Sarafian; Gina Sullivan and Alleigh Reitz of Everglades Equipment; PBSO Deputy Scott and Stacie Poritz try their hand at blackjack; Michelle and Councilman John McGovern, Principal Michella Levy and Councilwoman Tanya Siskind; and Binks Forest teachers gather for a group photo.
Member FDIC Equal Housing Lender First National Bank Coastal Community has the financing to make it happen. Daryl Lyon daryl.lyon@fnbccfl.com R. Moyle Fritz, Jr. moyle.fritz@fnbccfl.com Darlene Curti darlene.curti@fnbccfl.com Local decisions, local bankers, local commitment What’s your next big idea? Rely on Wellington’s Bank for the expert guidance and loans that fuel the growth of your business. 12140 S. Shore Blvd., Wellington, FL 33414 (561) 231-5444 | fnbccfl.com ©2022 FNBCC
SCAN HERE © 2022 Wellington Bay of a Senior Living Community. Retire Your Perception 2590 WELLINGTON BAY DRIVE, WELLINGTON, FL 33414 | WELLINGTONBAYFL.COM RESERVE YOUR RESIDENCE TODAY Imagine a cross between your favorite home and your all-time-favorite resort. Now…imagine living there. Call 561.677.9893 to schedule a visit and discover all that Wellington Bay has to offer. ENJOY: Our INSPIRE wellness program Luxury rental senior living offering apartments, garden flats and villa options -An active lifestyle A variety of dining venues Peace of mind with continuing care on-site Retirement Living Choices offered by Liberty Senior Living

World-class fetal and pediatric cardiology care is coming to Wellington

For more than 70 years, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital has served as a pediatric care leader for children and families locally, regionally and internationally.

Same-day* and next-day appointments with fetal and pediatric cardiologists will be offered right here at our new Wellington location.

10111 Forest Hill Boulevard, Suite 110, Wellington, FL 33414 561-877-5870

*Subject to insurance approval and authorization
nicklauschildrens.org/Wellington OPENING FALL 2022


The Wellington Community Founda tion’s annual Red, White & Blue Jeans event returns to honor veterans, se niors and children in need at the Wel lington National Golf Club on Friday, Nov. 11.

The foundation’s unwavering mis sion continues, as the need grows to help our neighbors. With more than $500,000 in support since its incep tion, the foundation continues to lean on donors, sponsors, volunteers and community partnerships to enrich the lives of fellow Wellington residents.

“This year, the outpouring of sup port was just amazing to watch, as mul tiple organizations came together. It was something our organization strives for,” Foundation Chair Tom Wenham said.“We cannot do it alone, and, frank ly, we shouldn’t do it alone. It takes a village.”

This year’s sponsors include: Thom as and Regis Wenham, Wellington Re gional Medical Center, Seacoast Bank, Palm Beach Urology, the Boynton Fi nancial Group, Diamante Farms, Medi care Maggie, Dr. & Mrs. Gordon John son, Mr. & Mrs. Jim Sackett, the Andrew Burr Group, Wellington The Magazine and the Town-Crier newspaper.

The Wellington Community Foun dation is a nonprofit charitable orga

nization committed to benefiting Wel lington residents by supporting and improving their quality of life, particu larly for children, seniors and veterans.

This event is one of the premier kickoff parties in Wellington. It is one of the most laid-back, jean-wearing, flag-toting events you will ever attend. It is cocktails, dinner and a dance with all of your Wellington friends, neigh bors and business owners.

Along with all the fun is the bonus that all the money raised will stay right here in Wellington to help neighbors with a hand up. It is a great way to re connect with many old friends you haven’t seen in a while, celebrate the

men and women who sacrificed so much, and perhaps even make a few new friends along the way.

Tickets are $100 per person, and table sponsorships are $1,250 and in clude one table and eight tickets. For additional information, or to charge your tickets by phone, call Tom Wen ham at (561) 333-9843 or visit www. wellingtoncommunityfoundation.org.

“If you are unable to attend this year and still want to make a difference, we hope you will consider making a onetime donation, so that together, we can continue ‘building a stronger commu nity,’” Board Member Barry Manning said.

wellington the magazine | november 2022 21
ROBERT ROSS PA robsross@aol.com 561.758.6185 robertrosspa.com 12542 Equine Lane, Wellington $7,495,000 Listing Price 5 Bedroom, 6.3 Baths Luxury equestrian lifestyle beckons. This private gated farm is nestled in the prime location of The Equestrian Club. Every feature of the custom built 18 stall barn reveals spectacular attention to detail. Thoughtfully constructed, both sides of this 2 aisle, hurricane impact rated barn include new stall mats, an updated tack room, lounge/office with a half bath, 2 wash stalls, 2 grooming stalls, a feed room, and a laundry room. Your horses will adore the brand new HSPG outdoor arena currently underway and 3 paddocks. The exquisite 3 bedroom, 3 bath owners residence is situated above the barn. Adjacent to the owner’s home is an impressive 2 bedroom, 2 bath staff apartment that sits above an oversized 2 car garage. With an abundance of resort style community amenities, close proximity to WEF, dining and shops, you’ll never want to leave this alluring equestrian oasis! Visit RobertRossPA.com for more info and listings.


WELLINGTON LUXURY EQUESTRIAN STYLE 12458 World Cup Lane, Wellington $1,850,000 Listing Price 5 Bedroom, 3.5 Baths 2595 Players Court, Wellington $1,499,000 Listing Price 3 Bedroom, 3.1 Baths Complete lifestyle convenience in an exclusive location. This beautiful 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 3 car garage home is located in the Equestrian Club. Step into this spacious and bright split floor plan home to be greeted by wonderful water views beyond the property. Relax in comfort from the gorgeous master suite with plantation shutters, wood flooring, outdoor access, a welcoming en-suite bathroom with a jetted soaking tub, separate double vanities and a separate shower. Designed for culinary enjoyment, the updated kitchen presents a gas stove, double oven, open cabinets, plenty of storage space and a wine fridge. Entertain family and guests from the privacy of your own backyard retreat complete with a covered patio, pool, cabana bath, and sitting area. With an abundance of community amenities and close to the horse show, this property offers convenient luxury living at its finest! Meticulous and extra spacious 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom luxury home in the coveted Eagles Landing community of Palm Beach Polo and Country Club. No expense has been spared in the uncompromised quality of this impeccably renovated residence. Enter through the dramatic, eye-catching impact front door into a bright and brilliant split floor plan, 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 of the line stainless-steel appliances. Visit RobertRossPA.com for more info and listings.


Most residents of Wellington are famil iar with Wellington International, the world-renowned equestrian venue lo cated in the village that recently re branded and changed its name from its former moniker of the Palm Beach In ternational Equestrian Center.

Known as one of the world’s premier destinations for equestrian enthusiasts, the venue grew to its current stature under the leadership of Mark Bellissi mo and Wellington Equestrian Partners starting in the 2000s but changed hands in 2021 and is now entering its next chapter with Global Equestrian Group at the helm.

The Denmark-based new blood, along with its private equity partner Wa terland, has impressive plans for its first foray into the American market, and it has already started to prove that it has the willpower, resources and commit ment to transform the existing eques trian haven into something even more remarkable in the coming years.

“The Winter Equestrian Festival started here in Wellington, made its home here at our facility in 1989, and has continued its unprecedented

growth ever since, along with the en tire Village of Wellington and Palm Beach County, to become the pinnacle of equestrian competition throughout North America and beyond,” explained Michael Stone, president of Equestrian Sport Productions, which operates Wel lington International. “We take great pride in our designation as the Winter Equestrian Capital of the World and have enjoyed welcoming thousands of exhibitors and visitors each year to experience the joys and thrills of the sport. Now, with the support of the Global Equestrian Group, we will be able to further expand upon that foun dation to create an equestrian facility that rivals the best in the world.”

The first step in the long-term plan for the venue was to change its name and branding to represent its commit ment to entering the next era. For years, the proximity and association with Palm Beach benefited the equestrian property as it aimed to attract custom ers and spectators that frequented the island, but the decision to remove Palm Beach from the name was a conscious one by the management team.

24 november 2022 | wellington the magazine

Equestrian Season Preview

wellington the magazine | november 2022 25
(Above) Major upgrades are planned for the show grounds in Wellington. (Right inset) Key members of the Global Equestrian Group management team include, (front row, L-R) Founder & CEO Andreas Helgstrand, CFO Morten Bradsted Nielsen and Sponsor & Event Coordinator Hanne Vistesen, and (back row, L-R) Head of Event & Partnership Martin Thorbøll Pedersen, Group HR Director Kasper Vork Steffensen, Group Financial Controller Anders Haunstrup Mortensen and Commercial Director Anders Bjørnstrup Bech. © GLOBAL EQUESTRIAN GROUP

Equestrian Season Preview

“When the Palm Beach Internation al Equestrian Center was first founded, it relied on the reputation of the popu lar tourist destination of Palm Beach to bring participants and fans out to the horse shows,” said Vaneli Bojkova, exec utive vice president of Equestrian Sport Productions. “Now that the venue and community of Wellington have become their own lifestyle, sport and tourist des tination, not just nationally but interna tionally, we felt strongly that the com munity’s name should stand on its own, thus the new name of Wellington Inter national.”

With more visibility and increased capital comes raised expectations, and the management team behind Welling ton International is intent on living up to the hype.As one of the newest members of the Global Equestrian Group portfo lio, the venue is in good company, along

with some of the most well-known equestrian brands in the industry, such as Helgstrand Dressage, Beerbaum Sta bles, Riesenbeck International and a host of other names that would cause any horse lover’s ears to perk up.

With a self-proclaimed vision “to be come the world’s leading equestrian company,” Global Equestrian Group is certainly setting the bar high, but early looks at the company’s five-year plan for Wellington International are lofty enough to suggest that big things are in store for its South Florida property, and with it the broader community of Wel lington.

“We have spent the first year of our ownership of Wellington International understanding how things have been done in the past and recognizing the areas in which we can improve. These insights have helped us to formulate

a grand vision for the venue, and we are thrilled to be in the early stages of our long-term plan,” said Andreas Hel gstrand, founder and CEO of Global Equestrian Group. “Visitors to the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival will notice upgrades to the permanent stabling, the hospitality spaces and the riding arenas, but these items are just the first baby steps in a much larger and more ambi tious strategy.”

The full scope of the five-year plan won’t be fully realized until at least 2026, but early reports of the construc tion plans are a horse lover’s dream and will surely catapult the venue into the next tier of equestrian excellence, a Dis ney World-like level that arguably only a few equine sport venues across the globe have successfully reached.

Proposed facility blueprints include doubling the acreage of the facility’s

26 november 2022 | wellington the magazine
The combined efforts of the administration, accounting and facilities teams at Wellington International keep things running smoothly throughout the year on the property. © EQUESTRIAN SPORT PRODUCTIONS

(Top right) The new Wellington International name is intended to promote the community surrounding the horse show grounds.

(Right) The new name for the venue was unveiled at a special event last March.


(Far right) The flagship Saturday Night Lights events already attract a crowd, and the upgraded venue will allow for more spectators to view the competition.

land, which would allow for a second equestrian center, complete with a stadi um, grass derby field, and extensive ame nities for guests, to be built directly be side the original property. The size and capabilities of the venues, which could be used independently of each other or as one unit, would be able to comfort ably host hunter/jumper and dressage shows concurrently. Additionally, the impressive early renderings showcase modern spaces for shopping and dining, plus enhanced opportunities for hospi tality offerings and VIP luxury, offering a comfortable experience for everyone, even those with no horse sense.

For such a massive undertaking, the executive teams have hired experi enced contractors, architects and other advisors to spearhead the planning, but the day-to-day operations of the existing facility and events, which sits at close

to 100 acres and number more than 40 weeks per year, are overseen by a lo cal team and supported by the Global Equestrian Group team in Europe.

Wellington International’s Floridabased staff is composed of about 25 fulltime staff members, split between two offices in the community — one on the showgrounds for the horse show opera tions team and another just down the street for the back-office team. Though the organization does big business and is an international attraction, the midsize team behind the success still man ages to foster a small-business feel, with all the employees knowing each oth er and every department chipping in where needed to benefit the group.

Wellington International’s team is not comprised of anonymous numbers, but rather integral employees whose skills, passions and ideas all collaborate to pro

pel the company and its events forward. Now, with Global Equestrian Group be hind this small but mighty bunch, the sky seems to be the limit for Wellington International as it aims to further extend its reputation as the most noteworthy equestrian venue in the United States.

As the team at Wellington Interna tional looks to the future and makes plans to better serve its participants and community, they are committed to setting new standards for the venue, as well as equestrian sport, guest experi ences, entertainment and innovation. So, flip forward in your calendars to 2026 and set a reminder to check in on Wel lington International, because exciting changes are coming for this storied ven ue and the community that supports it.

For additional information, visit www.equestriansport.com and www. globalequestriangroup.com.

wellington the magazine | november 2022 27
“Visitors to the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival will notice upgrades to the permanent stabling, the hospitality spaces and the riding arenas, but these items are just the first baby steps in a much larger and more ambitious strategy.”
— Andreas Helgstrand of Global Equestrian Group


In June, the United States Polo Associa tion purchased the core assets of what was formerly the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington. Now deemed the National Polo Center-Wel lington (NPC), the USPA-owned proper ty will showcase national tournaments, develop American players, and sustain an environment of excellence that will retain and attract new players to the sport.

First-rate facilities including five fields, the grandstand, restaurants, the clubhouse, the social club, the swim

ming pool, gym and tennis courts add to the allure of NPC and positions the property as the hub of world-class com petition.

The purchase also creates a perma nent center for polo in America similar to that of the Argentine Polo Associationcontrolled Palermo fields and Argentine Polo Association-owned Pilar fields in Argentina. Investing a large amount of time, energy and effort into ensuring the longevity and success of the facili ty, the USPA has spent the past several months developing and improving the

property, as well as preparing the fields for use.

Welcoming players, spectators and visitors, NPC ceremoniously opened its doors to the public for the XII FIP World Polo Championship beginning with the opening ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 29 and continuing through Sunday, Nov. 6. While this global event serves as the cat alyst for action at NPC, the facility’s up coming winter schedule includes many new and returning tournaments that will cement the facility as the epicenter of polo in the United States.

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Equestrian Season Preview

Returning for the fifth consecutive year, the 2023 Gauntlet of Polo will serve as the premier spectacle of the season, showcasing the highest level of the sport in America.

The three-part Gauntlet of Polo se ries will begin Feb. 12-26 with the C.V. Whitney Cup, continue with the USPA Gold Cup from March 1-26 and con clude with the U.S. Open Polo Champi onship from March 29 to April 23. Any team that wins all three tournaments will be crowned the Gauntlet Champi on.

wellington the magazine | november 2022 29
the | november 29
(Right) Park Place’s Cody Ellis on a breakaway. © DAVID LOMINSKA The National Polo Center-Wellington (NPC) was previously known as the International Polo Club. © RUNNING IRON CREATIVE

Equestrian Season Preview

tournaments that comprise the series include the Joe Barry Memorial Cup, the Ylvisaker Cup, the Iglehart Cup and the Continental Cup. Each tournament will serve as a qualifier for the Florida Cir cuit 16-Goal Series Championship, with each winning team moving on to the fi nal event at the beginning of April.

waters before taking their team to the high-goal level.

Another marquee event, the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship, will make waves at NPC, bringing to gether the world’s most talented female players.The tournament will run March 9-19, with the final taking place Sunday, March 19 on U.S. Polo Assn. Field One. NPC will also debut high-level youth polo with the inaugural USPA Junior Open Final, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19.

A new addition to the season, the USPA, NPC and participating clubs are thrilled to be hosting the inaugural Flor ida Circuit 16-Goal Series.The series will be played across multiple clubs, with the championship hosted by NPC. The participating clubs include the Port Mayaca Polo Club in Okeechobee and the Sarasota Polo Club in Sarasota, as well as the Wellington Polo Tour (WPT), led by the Patagones Polo Club in Wel lington, and a series of private fields fall ing under the WPT umbrella. The USPA

A true testament to collaboration between South Florida clubs, there is a shared benefit in this new endeavor, al lowing for participants to experience all the comforts of their home club, while also having the opportunity to play in front of a large crowd at NPC. The Joe Barry Memorial Cup and the Ylvisak er Cup will both be guaranteed three Sunday matches on NPC’s U.S. Polo Assn. Field One, while all championship games will be played at NPC. The inno vative, medium-goal event is expected to draw more teams into competition than in previous years.

The series opens doors for a wide va riety of players, including those looking to transition from low-goal to mediumgoal, some who want to play at a com petitive level outside of high-goal, as well as many who are eager to test the

“The 16-goal level is the crossroads of medium-goal and high-goal.You’re go ing to have a lot of surprising winners and competitive games, and players who don’t normally compete at that lev el,” USPA Tournament Committee Chair Stevie Orthwein explained. “I think we are going to see some really interesting teams. The championship being at mul tiple clubs allows more people to be in volved.”

Intended to raise the bar for medi um-goal polo, the increased number of participants in these tournaments will force clubs to increase their competi tive edge.

“It’s a way for clubs to measure them selves and to challenge other clubs,” USPA Executive Director of Services Carlucho Arellano said. “We’re hop ing that it’s going to improve the level across the state and across the circuit.”

The National Polo Center-Welling ton is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington. For more infor mation, visit www.nationalpolocenter. com.

30 november 2022 | wellington the magazine
A packed crowd at U.S. Polo Assn. Field One in Wellington. © GLOBAL POLO ENTERTAINMENT Team USPA member Mackenzie Weisz competing for Pilot in the 2022 Gauntlet of Polo. © DAVID LOMINSKA
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Equestrian Season Preview


The Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington is celebrating its 16th anni versary with highly anticipated fall and winter seasons.

One of the nation’s busiest and most innovative polo clubs will host high-, medium- and low-goal polo highlighted by the Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial, the International Cup and two USPA 20-goal tournaments during the fall season that got underway in Oc tober.The fifth season of the World Polo League, the only 26-goal polo played outside of Argentina, begins in February with a star-studded lineup.

The fall medium-goal schedule fea tures five tournaments, including the season-opening Pedro Morrison Memo rial, now in its 13th year. Morrison was an avid polo player, patron of the Sym patico Polo team and helped develop Wellington into a thriving community.

The season opened with the Oct. 1826 USPA North American Cup and con tinued with the Oct. 24 to Nov. 9 USPA National 20-Goal Championship. The season continues with a Nov. 12 dou bleheader featuring the Legends of Polo Carlos Gracida Memorial and the Inter national Cup. This year, the GCPC-USA team will put its 10-year winning streak on the line against Switzerland.

Last year, GCPC-USA (Grant Ganzi, Jason Crowder, Nic Roldan and Tom my Biddle) defeated Argentina, 10-5, for its 10th win in a row since the tourna

ment’s inception in 2012. Ganzi, mak ing his sixth appearance, and at 23 the youngest member of the GCPC-USA line up, was named Most Valuable Player.

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Equestrian Season Preview

ments and again is hosting two 20-goal tournaments this season.

“I think this has been the best polo season at Grand Champions I have ever been involved with,” said veteran play er Tommy Biddle after the final tourna ment of the 2021 season.“I have played here a couple of times before, but I think that the polo has been the best polo. Ev erybody showed up with better horses.”

nament games; world-class polo fields; club-sponsored social events every weekend for all players; and top-of-theline trophies for all teams every week end.

Since 2012, in front of sellout crowds and a worldwide ChukkerTV audi ence, the U.S. has defeated England, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, Uruguay, Brazil, Azerbaijan, France and Argentina (twice) in the annual battle for the cov eted cup.

In addition to the Pedro Morrison Memorial, the fall medium-goal tourna ment schedule began with the Oct. 1723 Fall Classic and continued with the Oct. 24-30 Fall Plates.

Next up is the Oct. 31 to Nov. 6 Tacke ria Invitational and the Nov. 14-20 Ban yan Final.The Tackeria Invitational has a special place in club history as the in augural tournament when the club first opened in 2007.

The well-organized fall tournaments attract players from all over the United States and the world, including Argen tina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Eng land, France, India, Mexico, New Zea land, Nigeria and South Africa. Grand Champions also attracts most of the na tion’s top American players for the fall season.

Grand Champions had its finest fall season in club history last year. It was the only club in the nation to stage two USPA-sanctioned 20-goal fall tourna

The successful World Polo League, now in its fifth year, again will feature some of the world’s best players, includ ing Argentine 10-goalers Polito Pieres, Pablo MacDonough, brothers Barto and Jeta Castagnola, among others. The 26-goal league, created by club own ers Marc and Melissa Ganzi, features ex tremely competitive polo.

The WPL season features the Feb. 7-25 All-Star Challenge; the Feb. 23 to March 12 Founders Cup; the March 8-26 Palm Beach Open; the Tommy Hitch cock Legacy Memorial on April 2; the March 22 to April 15 Triple Crown of Polo; and the Miami Beach Polo World Cup set for April 21-23.

The winter season also offers 6-, 8-, 12- and 16-goal leagues, in addition to a weekly Polo School Women’s League, WCT Finals, and Sunset Chukkers and Cocktails Polo Series.

Husband-and-wife team Marc and Melissa Ganzi and their children Grant and Riley, all accomplished players, take pride in teaching and sharing the excit ing sport of polo with anyone interested in learning. The Ganzis are coming off a successful summer season at their As pen Valley Polo Club, which ended in September.

The fall league features stick-and-ball sessions during the week; two medium tournament games every weekend; am bulance and USPA umpires for all tour

The Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm is the largest private 100-acre polo facility in Welling ton with more than 150 stalls in several self-contained barns, an exercise track, five climate-controlled tack rooms, a vet room, staff quarters, a guest house, and polo fields with state-of-the-art un derground irrigation and stick-and-ball fields.

Wellington-based ChukkerTV will live stream the entire fall and winter seasons. ChukkerTV’s state-of-the art technology, including 4K TV, also fea tures team challenges and instant re play, which made their debut at Grand Champions in January 2014.

The Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Polo Farm cater to men, women and youth polo players at all levels. Its expert staff can customize a complete playing experience, including horses, pros and certified umpires, in ad dition to lessons and practice sessions as part of its Polo On Demand program at the turnkey facility.

The Polo School, a nonprofit organi zation and stand-alone USPA club, is ded icated to teaching polo to all ages, par ticularly grassroots youth. Its mission is to provide individuals opportunities in polo at every economic and ability level. The Polo School operates in Wellington January through June and September through November.

The Grand Champions Polo Club is located at 13444 Southfields Road in Wellington. For more information about the upcoming polo season, visit www.gcpolo.com.

34 november 2022 | wellington the magazine
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Equestrian Season Preview


Just as Wellington residents are pre paring for their holiday shopping and thinking about New Year’s resolutions, equestrians are putting together their 2023 goals ahead of the start of the up coming Adequan Global Dressage Fes tival (AGDF), the annual home to the world’s largest and longest-running in ternational dressage circuit.

Located in Wellington, the event is known for attracting many of the globe’s best dressage horse-and-rider pairs. It will return to Equestrian Vil lage on South Shore Blvd. from Jan. 11 through March 31, 2023.

The 2023 edition of the AGDF will feature eight weeks of international dressage competition and two weeks of international para dressage competition, offering locals plenty of chances to get up close and personal with many of the sport’s world and Olympic medalists.

“The next exciting season of the Ade quan Global Dressage Festival is ahead of us. Seven international dressage shows and two para dressage shows will take place in Wellington,” said Thomas Baur, show director of the AGDF.“With the up coming World Cup Final in Omaha, Ne

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Equestrian Season Preview

rience Friday Night Lights in an all-new venue, making for a novel opportunity.

braska, in the beginning of April 2023, as well as the Pan American Games next year and the start of the Olympic quali fication for Paris 2024, we will welcome riders from all over the world, who will use our competitions as a way to pre pare for the global stage.”

Dressage fans know that Friday Night Stars is the highlight of the weekly dres sage competition at AGDF, offering the ideal chance to experience the impres sive skills of the world’s top dressage partnerships. Featuring the Grand Prix Freestyle, the event showcases the high est degree of difficulty in the sport, with talented riders and their horses per forming technical movements in sync with songs of their choice under the lights. The crowd will hear a wide va riety of music, from classical melodies to remixes of today’s top hits. In 2023, there will be eight Friday Night Stars events held during AGDF.

For the second year in a row, CDI5* dressage competition will be held for one week down the street at the main show grounds, Wellington Internation al. Dressage was welcomed into the fa mous International Arena during the 2022 AGDF and will return to the facili ty due to popular demand.The dressage exhibition will take place during Week Ten, which will be held March 15-19. Spectators will have a chance to expe

“We look forward to welcoming in ternational dressage back to the Wel lington International show grounds for another year,” Equestrian Sport Produc tions President Michael Stone said.“Last year, the CDI5* classes were a big hit, and we are pleased to once again be able to provide a unique opportunity for our dressage fans and jumping fans to come together and celebrate eques trian sport.”

Additional weekly highlights include the CDIO3* Nations Cup competition during Week Seven of the AGDF, held Feb. 22-26. The Nations Cup event pits teams of riders, each representing their respective countries, against each other for a shot at the top prize. During Week Eight, which will take place March 1-5, the Palm Beach Derby will showcase a unique format in which riders perform a Prix St. Georges test on an unfamiliar horse with just five minutes to warm up.

Both the Lövsta Future Challenge Young Horse Grand Prix Series and the Summit Farm Future Challenge Young Horse Prix St. Georges Series will con clude at the end of Week Eleven. These classes aim to identify and nurture tal ented, up-and-coming young FEI horses, giving them exposure to benefit their development with the biggest of world stages in mind.Week Three, held Jan. 2529, and Week Nine, held March 9-12, will host CPEDI3* competition for para dres sage riders.

Though plenty of excitement is in store for the 2023 edition of the AGDF, the bar was set high by the events of 2022, which showcased dressage tal ent both in Wellington and around the world. At home in South Florida, worldclass names such as Adrienne Lyle of

the U.S., Christoph Koschel of Germany, Juan Matute Guimon of Spain,Tinne Vil helmson Silfvén of Sweden and Freder ic Wandres of Germany were frequent ly found at the top of the leaderboards during the winter season. Lyle, in partic ular, had reason to celebrate by the end of the circuit.

In the final Friday Night Stars of the 2022 AGDF season in Wellington, Lyle and her longtime partner Salvino exhib ited a sensational performance under the lights to post an 85.58 percent win in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4*, pre sented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate. It was a new career high for the pair, who were on the silver-medal-winning U.S. team at the recent Tokyo Olympics, and the highest score ever recorded in the history of the AGDF. The previous high of 84.975 percent was set by Laura Graves and Verdades in March 2018.

Outside the country, the Adequan U.S. Para Dressage Team had a success ful showing at the ECCO FEI World Championships Herning 2022 in Au gust, taking two individual medals and team bronze in the Orifarm Health FEI Para Dressage World Championship. The team finished with a final score of 225.335, less than five points shy of first place, which was earned by the Dutch team. The four American riders includ ed Beatrice de Lavalette, Rebecca Hart, Kate Shoemaker and Roxanne Trunnell, each of whom competed at AGDF dur ing the 2022 season.

With so much momentum coming into 2023 due to the events of the past year, the upcoming winter AGDF season promises to be another thrilling edition of the popular dressage show series.

For more information regarding AGDF access, schedules and more, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

40 november 2022 | wellington the magazine
Germany won the Nations Cup in 2022. They are shown here marching in victory, followed by the U.S. team. © EQUESTRIAN SPORT PRODUCTIONS
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Equestrian Season Preview


The winter season in Wellington is known for the thousands of horses and riders that compete annu ally here, but local savvy shoppers have also learned that the winter months are a prime time to take ad vantage of the easy access to international commod ities, limited-edition curiosities and local essentials.

Though the location of this merchandise may not be where one would expect, the many unique storefronts have proven to be an enticing extra to some of the most popular events around: the horse shows.

From January through early April each year, Wel lington International, the home of the Winter Eques trian Festival, welcomes equestrians and their fourlegged partners to compete, but the venue also has plenty in store for non-competing family members, friend and fans. At Wellington International, areas dubbed Hunter Hill, Tiki Terrace, International Club Shoppes, Vendor Village and other quaint names serve as temporary “main streets” tucked into this equestrian crown jewel.

Shoppers are able to sift through racks, tables and shelves for 13 weeks in search of the perfect item, many of which are traditionally only available on line, internationally or for a limited amount of time, offering customers a unique opportunity to patron ize shops that would otherwise be unavailable to

them and handle items that could nor mally only be seen through a screen.

“We are very proud of the collec tion of shops that choose to spend their winter with us each year,” said Annette Goyette, director of advertising and ven dor operations at Equestrian Sport Produc tions, which manages the Winter Equestrian Festival.“The diversity of all the various stores offers a high-quality experience to our guests, and it also allows each boutique to showcase its unique products or services. Nearly all the shops are small businesses, meaning that visi tors are supporting entrepreneurship when they choose to shop with us.”

The long list of storefronts, which cater to both equestrian and mainstream customers, encom passes a wide array of diverse products and ser vices, including clothes, jewelry, home curiosities, equine supplies, footwear, food, accessories and more. Shoppers can find everything from knickknacks to luxury splurges, and dogs can even be adopted from Danny & Ron’s Rescue.

In 2022, there were more than 100 vendors and plentiful places to eat and relax. Of that group, the majority do not have permanent brick-and-mortar stores outside of the horse

(Right, top to bottom) Home goods, unique artwork, furniture and décor are popular with locals and visitors; DerDau is a longstanding and well-recognized shop at the Winter Equestrian Festival; the popular footwear company Sam Edelman made its debut at the Winter Equestrian Festival in 2022; Tess & Co, a popular stop in the Farm Stand area of the showgrounds, places an emphasis on healthy living; and equestrians can find everything they need without leaving the showgrounds.

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Equestrian Season Preview

show. Some vendors only stay for a few weeks of the circuit, offering an everchanging shopping experience.

While most of the on-site vendors can be cleanly classified as equestrian or non-equestrian, a couple notably offer products that can serve either catego ry. DerDau, a family-run business, crafts custom leather boots that are suitable for riding as well as everyday wear, and Charles Ancona, the official jacket sup plier of the United States and Irish show jumping teams and a popular choice for riders, also sells motorsport jackets and is coming out with a new fashion line. Lauracea’s waterproof leather bags serve as fashionable helmet bags or trav el totes. There are rotating artist spot lights, each with a unique medium and finished pieces.

While shoppers are able to take ad vantage of the array of items, the sellers also benefit from their semi-permanent winter home, making for an ideal situa tion for both parties. During the winter equestrian season in Wellington, shop managers have a home base for three months, giving them a chance to reach a consistent stream of foot traffic on the heavily visited property and promote items in person.

“As an artist who specializes in mak ing bronze sculptures of horses in mo tion, the shows at Wellington Interna tional during the Winter Equestrian Festival have been an important place for me to connect with horse enthusi asts from all over the world,” Clare Chris tie of Clare Christie Fine Art explained.

The Winter Equestrian Festival has attracted loyal shops such as Hunt Ltd., CM Hadfield’s, McGuinn Tack Trunks, Running Fox and Kocher for many years, some for several decades, but there have also been fresh arrivals each

season that allow for visitors to stumble upon something novel while still rely ing on old favorites. In 2022, the famous footwear brand Sam Edelman tried its hand — or foot, rather — at the horse show, and Denmark-based Helgstrand Jewellery also made its debut appear ance in Wellington.

“Last year, Helgstrand Jewellery at tended the Winter Equestrian Festival for the first time, and it was such an in credible experience! One of the great things about being a vendor at Welling ton International is that we get to show case our brand to people from across the world,” said Marianne Helgstrand, founder of Helgstrand Jewellery. “Our jewelry collections are inspired by our beloved world of horses, and it is amaz ing to be able to present our pieces to a community equally passionate about horses as we are.”

Though nearly the entire roster of boutiques at Wellington International during the winter season are nomadic throughout the year with few having

physical bases, two local, Wellingtonbased shops opted to enhance their ex isting presence in the community with a location at the showgrounds. Both Eyes of Wellington and TackNRider create a second home for customers during the winter months, offering products and services to equestrian enthusiasts at the horse show.

“This is a premier show and a pre mier town, and that is what makes us come every year to Wellington Interna tional. There are a lot of shows around the country, but there is only one which is above all,” said Prashant Ramani, presi dent of TackNRider.

The Winter Equestrian Festival will return to Wellington International in a few short months, kicking off Jan. 4, 2023, and concluding April 2, 2023. Whether you are looking for a brace let, saddle or priceless work of art, it is worth a visit to the property to see for yourself what strikes your fancy, wheth er in or out of the riding ring.

Visit www.equestriansport.com to learn more.

44 november 2022 | wellington the magazine
Wellington International features multiple shopping areas and a variety of goods. © WHITE FENCE EQUINE PHOTOGRAPHY Marianne Helgstrand of Helgstrand Jewellery brought her pieces to Wellington for the first time in 2022. PHOTO COURTESY MARIANNE HELGSTRAND
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46 november 2022 | wellington the magazine

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The 20th Annual JustWorld International Gala Will Be Held Jan. 27 In Wellington

“JustWorld International is a family,” said Jessica Newman, founder and vice chair of the Wellington-based nonprof it, which provides education, nutrition and healthcare programs for children in impoverished communities around the world.

As the Federation Equestre Inter nationale (FEI) official charity partner, equestrians and philanthropy are the core of JustWorld. Finding common ground in the arena comes easily. The organization challenges equestrians to take it a stride further, to work together to change the lives of children in need.

Like any close-knit family, JustWorld knows that gatherings are essential

in developing the strength and unity needed to bring positive change.At the beginning of the winter equestrian sea son, the annual JustWorld Gala offers a beautiful evening where the global equestrian community can unite and rally around the nonprofit’s mission.

The JustWorld Gala is the organiza tion’s annual keystone fundraising ef fort, securing a large part of the dona tions needed to support nearly 10,000. children in Cambodia, Guatemala, Hon duras and the United States. It is also one of the first social events of the equestrian season, eagerly reuniting those who flock to the Winter Eques trian Festival (WEF).

Each year, the JustWorld Gala attendance grows, allowing the organization to help even more children around the world.

Guests look forward to this evening each time they flip the calendars to Jan uary, and this year will be remarkable because it honors the organization’s 20th anniversary.

In celebrating an inspiring 20-year global campaign against poverty, Just World cordially invites the communi ty to join the festivities on Friday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m., held at Belle Herbe Farm (3206 Old Hampton Drive, Welling ton).

This event will feature a catered din ner to which guests can purchase open seating or reserve a group table. It is a limited-capacity event, so tables will sell fast.

A signature welcome cocktail will greet guests as they enter. The expan sive silent auction table, brimming with a selection of unique items, will catch the eye. Presenters will lead into one of the evening’s highlights, the live auc tion, where one-of-a-kind items and ex periences will be up for grabs. Guests will bid on several custom-curated, un forgettable experiences, and the pro ceeds from both auctions will go direct ly to the JustWorld projects.After dinner, guests will dance the night away to live music to cap a memorable evening.

Supporters can also join as a valued volunteer and play a fundamental role in ensuring the event goes off without a hitch and makes the maximum impact.

JustWorld projects have flourished for 20 years thanks to equestrians and the Wellington community. Newman reflected on the first JustWorld Gala at Belle Herbe Farm in Grand Prix Vil lage in 2003. Held in a humble, little tent around the fountain beside the jump field, the intentions that evening were big. The equestrian communi ty showed its generous spirit and em barked on a journey to change the lives of thousands of children. Today, every one can see the full scale of its impact.

“The JustWorld Gala is truly a fam ily and generational event. So, you see kids, parents, grandparents, everyone getting involved. The JustWorld Gala is also an opportunity to introduce new people to the organization and our pro grams, so they can learn about our mis sion and get involved,” Newman said.

JustWorld Executive Director Esz

ter Kiss agreed.“What makes JustWorld unique is that everyone who chooses to be involved, either comes to the or ganization with or very quickly devel ops a deep passion for creating a better world,” Kiss said.“The close-knit, family feel is what strengthens us. It is a large part of why JustWorld has grown to be a successful organization, and it is how we will continue to change lives for children who need our support.”

Just as the gala is generational, the projects reflect the same sentiment. The Cambodia project has seen chil dren who have graduated from the pro grams return as teachers or enter into different roles and professions once they complete university. Olympic show jumper Juan Andrés Rodriguez has supported the JustWorld Guate mala program since 2008. He now em ploys a graduate to run his equestrian equipment store.

The heart of JustWorld’s model is adopting a “whole child approach,” which ensures each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and chal

lenged in a way that fosters all chil dren’s long-term development and suc cess. While education is the primary focus, children need access to essential health and nutrition to support a sus tainable learning experience. Studies show that poor health is the primary reason children cannot attend school, and lack of education directly corre lates with poverty.

JustWorld is eager to celebrate 20 years of action and the subsequent suc cesses of the program’s nearly 10,000 children on Friday, Jan. 27. Yet, while a special anniversary brings about reflec tion, it evokes new goals.The JustWorld team, partners, ambassadors and do nors are motivated to help make even more children’s dreams come true.

For information about the 20th an nual JustWorld Gala, sponsorship op portunities or auction donations, email jwinfo@justworldinternational. org. Learn more about JustWorld by visiting www.justworldinternational. org or following them on social media @justworldinternational.

JustWorld Ambassador Taylor Land rides in Wellington. © SPORTFOT JustWorld Ambassador Angela Covert works with children. © JUSTWORLD Olympian Reed Kessler is an ambassador for JustWorld International. © SPORTFOT Children attending the JustWorld Mobile Library activities in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. © JUSTWORLD

Thank you for believing in Baptist Health Foundation

We wish to express our tremendous gratitude to the donors who have provided a gift of $1 million or more this year in support of Baptist Health. Your philanthropic commitment has made a significant impact on the well-being of our patients, healthcare professionals and communities. We honor your vision for a stronger and healthier South Florida.

Anonymous Anonymous Anonymous Abbhi Family Foundation

Sally E. Bauer, M.D. Trish & Dan Bell


Miguel B. Fernandez Family Foundation IVFMD / Juergen G. Eisermann, M.D.

The Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. Foundation

The Donald C. McGraw Foundation

Robert T. & Eva Neuwelt

Mayer & Samira Saad Stewart & Susan Satter Harold & Miriam Seybert

The Nateman Family Buddy Wilton & Shay Doll

Donations made from October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022
52 november 2022 | wellington the magazine


Stacia Klein Madden Talks Equitation And The Value Of Wellington’s Show Circuit

If you’ve been in the hunter/jumper in dustry long enough, you’ve probably heard of Beacon Hill. And if you’re seri ous about equitation? Then you’ve defi nitely heard of Stacia Madden.

The Indiana native turned east-coasttransplant runs the nation’s top hunt er/jumper riding program out of Bea con Hill Show Stables, with locations in Colts Neck, New Jersey, and here in Wellington.

Madden — who, despite holding a number of accolades from her riding

career, beginning with the ASPCA Ma clay Finals Championship in 1987 — believes that success is not defined by a show record. The equitation expert doesn’t care much about a collection of ribbons or trophies in the tack room. Rather, her ethos revolves around edu cating her students on the importance of setting goals and striving toward them.

Nevertheless, as one of the top hunt er/jumper training programs in the country, Beacon Hill boasts one of the

best equitation show records in the business.

Well known for bringing up ju nior riders in the sport, the team has coached 20 students to wins at each of the major equitation finals over the last 20 years, including the Platinum Per formance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals, the Dover Saddlery USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final, the Washing ton International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Final and the ASPCA Maclay Championship.

wellington the magazine | november 2022 53
Abby Jorgensen and Stacia Klein Madden with Dominic Gibbs aboard Cent 15. PHOTO BY ALLYSON LAGIOVANE

Several Beacon Hill students have gone on to represent the United States at the highest levels of international competition, including Brianne Gout al-Marteau, Jessica Springsteen and Sloane Coles.

How does Beacon Hill continue to produce such high-quality equestrians? The answer may surprise you.

For one, it’s a surprisingly low-pres sure environment. Despite training the country’s top junior riders and routine ly competing in the sport’s most pres tigious shows, Beacon Hill maintains a degree of humility. Madden and her team of trainers manage to strike the balance between teaching their stu dents the technical riding skills need ed to compete at the highest levels of the sport, while still providing support to the young adolescents enrolled in their program. Instead of administering overly critical assessments, they elect to coach their young students using positive reinforcement and words of

encouragement. Above all else, Beacon Hill’s program emphasizes the impor tance of treating riding as a team sport.

“Beacon Hill prides itself on trying to make riding more of a team sport than an individual sport,” Madden said. “By trying to be very united, our staff is united. And we try to make our rid ers united. If you can make it a team sport, feeling like you’re part of a team, and you can share in somebody else’s good day… It’s easier to bounce back if you’re having a down day.”

Madden also recognizes the impor tance of cultivating a community with in Beacon Hill.

“I think you can learn from other people in your barn if you get along and feel like you’re part of a group,” she said. “We try very hard to have small group lessons and barn parties. You’ll see the kids getting together and doing things together, helping each other at the ring. The morale and the spirit are good at the barn, which I’m proud of.”

As an equestrian, Madden knows that equitation provides the proper foundation needed for longevity in the industry. That’s why Beacon Hill’s pro gram focuses on learning the funda mentals of good horsemanship, provid ing students with the building blocks to enjoy riding for years to come.

“Equitation really just means good riding — it helps give a platform or a base to a rider, so it’s such a well-round ed division in our sport for the young athletes,” Madden said.“All the riders at Beacon Hill typically ride in the hunt ers, the equitation and the jumpers. They get to dip their toe in the water of the hunter division, learning the hunt er phase, the true equitation division in hunt seat equitation, doing the Medal and the Maclay, and then a little of the jump seat equitation in the USEF Talent Search and Washington. All of the eq uitation teaches you about track, line, pace and basic fundamentals — and how important position is to influence

54 november 2022 | wellington the magazine
Lydia Ulrich, Abby Jorgensen, Stacia Klein Madden, Heather Senia-Williams, Krista Freundlich and Katie Kanner. PHOTO BY ALLYSON LAGIOVANE

your horse to have proper balance and make a good jump.”

As a businesswoman, Madden also knows that come winter, her and her team’s efforts must focus on moving the program to their second home in Wellington. Many of the students and staff head south to Wellington in De cember for the Winter Equestrian Fes tival.

“What Wellington has to offer is so unique because it’s 14 weeks of the highest caliber riders, trainers, hors es, coaches, grooms, vendors, farriers, vets,” she said.“It’s everything in the in dustry of the highest quality from De cember to April, all on one campus.”

Making the move to Florida dur ing the coldest months of the year has more benefits than just trading snow shovels for sandy shores and sunny skies. Apart from providing easy ac cess to the showgrounds, having a sec ond training facility in Wellington is im mensely beneficial for Beacon Hill’s students.

“You get to surround yourself with the best of the best, and immerse your self in that from sunup to sundown,” Madden said. “You can give yourself a riding lesson every second of every day, step foot on the show grounds if you choose.You’ve got the best internation al riders there, the best national riders there, the best junior riders there… no matter what division you’re in, you’re always having your level brought to a better level because you’re surround ing yourself with the best.”

Shifting the business to Florida dur ing the Wellington circuit also allows Beacon Hill’s clients to grow and show together, all under the same roof.

“The rest of the year, we’re always on the road, and kind of like traveling gypsies,” Madden laughed. “So, I really look forward to being able to spend time with the clients, the riders, the horses and the staff by being in one

place. But what I look forward to most about WEF is the growing curve that I see from the clients. You arrive with horses that have been on a big break, with customers on new horses; by midcircuit to end-circuit, you have a very different set of horse-and-rider com binations. They’re in the groove, they know each other better, and they’re a much more competitive group.”

There are endless benefits to show ing at Wellington International. “You get a good chunk of your qualifying and your year jump started in Welling ton,” Madden explained. “Then you have your special events in the evening to look forward to, that they do such a nice job hosting. Every division has some sort of specialty class during the circuit — they make it really special for everyone.”

Madden’s advice to junior equita tion riders? Take your time.

“The No. 1 mistake I see is letting a small mistake turn into a bigger mis take and getting flustered. I think that goes hand-in-hand with rushing,” she said. “Once a rider can take their time and think a course through properly, the course starts to look fluid and con trolled — everything comes together, and the partnership between horse and rider is complete.”

For more info., contact madden@ beaconhillstable.com or visit www. beaconhillshowstables.com.

Shelley Sandler

OLYMPIA: Exquisite lake front 5 BR + den, 5 ½ bath, 3 car garage home featuring salt chlorinated heated pool w/ umbrella table, waterfall, spa & sun shelf, travertine deck, lanai, pergola covered summer kitchen + screened pergola lounge area. First floor master, marble floor bath w/ dual vanities, 2 shower heads & spa tub. 3 ensuite BR’s w/ renovated baths, den & cabana bath are also on first floor. Renovated kitchen. 14-16 ft inlay coffered ceilings in foyer, living & dining. Resort Style Community Close to Shopping, Fine Dining, WEF, Polo, PBIA, & Area Beaches. Offered at $1,299,000.00.

River Bridge: Lovely 3 BR + loft, 2 ½ bath home w/ detached 2 car gar. & expansive dock style deck w/ lagoon & tranquil preserve view. CBS construction, storm shutters & new roof 2022. Open floor plan w/ dramatic 2 story entry viewing great room, dining area & open loft. Large front patio. First floor primary bedroom. Large kitchen w/ Corian counters. HOA pays yard, cable, internet, roof, exterior building insurance, & amenities! Resort style community w/ 24-hour manned gate, security, clubhouse w/performance center, 2 Pools, 6 tennis courts, fitness center, basketball, shuffleboard, library, walking/bike trails. Close to supermarket, shops, & dining. Offered at $375,000.00.


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Realtor/Associate (561) 371-1075 Shelley@SandlerRe.com www.shelleysandlerproperties.com Illustrated Properties
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Stacia Klein Madden watches the action. PHOTO BY ALLYSON LAGIOVANE
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The New Premier Women’s Health Center Offers The Latest Technology In A Spa-Like Setting

There is a new medical facility in Wel lington that focuses on women’s health and wellness for patients of all ages.The new Premier Women’s Health center at Premier Family Health in Wellington places the highest of priorities on the in terests of its female patients.

In late September, Premier Family Health opened the new Premier Wom en’s Health center catering to female cli entele from all sections of Palm Beach County.

Premier Women’s Health is designed to improve the health and well-being of all women in Palm Beach County by of fering new, state-of-the-art technology

and services, while collaborating with other hospitals, physicians and special ists focused on the healthcare of wom en.

There are now four centers at Pre mier Family Health, which is a patientcentered medical home that includes primary care, urgent care, ancillary ser vices, and now, a center focused specifi cally on women’s health issues.

According to Dr.Vincent Apicella, the president and founder of Premier Fam ily Health, the new Premier Women’s Health facility is a medical resource for all women.

“We are a one-stop shop for all wom

en with any medical needs,” said Api cella, who earned his undergraduate degree from Florida Atlantic University and graduated from medical school at Nova Southeastern University. “We are also a safe space for women where they can come to share their medical issues and concerns with a trusted medical professional.”

Apicella stressed that it’s imperative that women here in the western com munities have access to medical facili ties that are female centric.

“We are specifically taking care of women who are some of the hardestworking people in our society as they

58 november 2022 | wellington the magazine

work full-time and provide leadership in our community, while managing their families,” Apicella added. “We have built a personable environment that is a safe haven for females.”

Some of the many healthcare servic es provided for women at the Premier Women’s Health office include compre hensive mammograms, wellness exams, pap smears, bone density tests, contra ceptive management and tests for infec tious diseases.

One of the most popular services provided by Premier Women’s Health is the new high-tech mammogram proce dure.

wellington the magazine | november 2022 59
“When we planned the Premier Women’s Health center, we wanted to create a unique, calming and spa-like experience.”
— Dr. Vincent Apicella
wellington | health
(Right) Dr. Vincent Apicella with the stateof-the-art Siemens 3D Healthineers mammogram machine.

“With our 3D digital device from Sie mens, it’s remarkable that we can see what we can see.We are seeing younger women with breast cancer,”Apicella ex plained. “We have a pain-free mammo gram procedure. It’s life changing.”

It took about two years of planning by Apicella and his team for the Premier Women’s Health center to go from a concept to a reality.

“Obtaining preventive care servic es for women can often be extremely uncomfortable and hard,” Apicella said. “When we planned the Premier Wom en’s Health center, we wanted to create a unique, calming and spa-like experi ence.”

One of the delighted clients at Pre mier Women’s Health is longtime Wel lington resident Angela Baker. She just recently had a mammogram at Premier

Women’s Health and found it to be a great experience.

“From the moment I walked in the door, I was so impressed by everything, such as the atmosphere, the helpful staff, the new furniture and the new wallpa per,” Baker said. “And then, the actual mammogram experience was outstand ing. The way it was done was extraordi nary. It was above and beyond what I had expected. In fact, it was like going to a spa. I would recommend Premier Fam ily Health and Premier Women’s Health to anybody.”

Baker’s next visit to Premier Wom en’s Health will be for her bone density test. She is actually looking forward to the experience.

“The staff there is very caring, and they do care a great deal about you,” Baker added.

It has not taken Premier Women’s Health very long to justify its need in the community.

“We are conducting anywhere from 12 to 16 mammograms a day,” Apicella said.“And, in two weeks, we have detect ed two cases of breast cancer.”

According to Candice Gorodess, a mammographer at Premier Women’s Health, one in eight women in the U.S. are affected by breast cancer, which un derscores the importance of having ac cess to this state-of-the-art technology.

One of the most impressive features at Premier Women’s Health is the new Siemens 3D Healthineers mammogram machine that is only featured in a few places in the U.S.

The X-ray arm of this new Siemens 3D machine sweeps in an arc over the woman’s breast area, where it captures images of the breast from multiple an gles. Then, a computer produces a 3D image of the breast tissue on one-milli

meter slices, which provide greater visi bility for the radiologist to see the breast detail in a way never before possible.

The radiologist can then scroll through images of an entire breast like pages of a book. The additional 3D im ages make it possible for a radiologist to better evaluate the patient’s breast tis sue, allowing radiologists to find breast cancers earlier and reduce the need for follow-up imaging.

With access to technology like the Siemens 3D Healthineers, Apicella said his team can better serve local patients.

“Our goal is to discover a problem before it becomes a bigger issue,”Apicel la explained.

As an added benefit, the mammogra phy device from Siemens reduces radia tion exposure to the client by 30 per cent.

While Premier Women’s Health prides itself on being a medical outlet where the services range from preven tion to treatment, there are times when the staff needs outside assistance from specialists.

“We have established partnerships with a number of medical professionals in the area, such as medical doctors, lo cal hospitals, diagnostic imaging centers and gynecologists,”Apicella said.“We are here to provide collaborative care.”

If you’re a woman who wants a medi cal facility that’s focused on making ev ery patient’s care a top priority over, consider the new Premier Women’s Health office in Wellington, where the staff await your arrival.

Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon day through Friday, Premier Women’s Health is located 1035 S. State Road 7, Suite 120A, in Wellington. For more information, call (561) 798-3030, ext. 5050.

60 november 2022 | wellington the magazine
wellington | health
Dr. Vincent Apicella at the new Premier Women’s Health facility on State Road 7.
wellington the magazine | november 2022 61 A True Gem in Loxahatchee Groves Sitting on 1.67 acres, this gated property contains a 4 Bd single family home, pool, 2 Bd guest house, and storage building. A true gem in Loxahatchee Groves, only a short golf cart ride to the shopping plaza, and minutes away from Wellington's Polo grounds. Located right off of Southern Blvd, 20 mins to PBI airport, bridle paths and stable rentals within walking distance. The 2,282 sqft main home has been tastefully remodeled to feature granite kitchen countertops, hickory hardwood cabinets, and stainless steel appliances. Polished Mexican tile completes this classic Florida ranch home. New AC and two master bedrooms. 4 Bedrooms and 3 bathrooms total. One of the master baths contains a skylight with a cabana bath that leads directly to the patio overlooking the pool. Enjoy direct sunset views from your poolside oasis as Florida cotton candy skies fade to reveal the home's landscape lighting. Plenty of privacy if you are looking to create income from the guest home, located along the separate driveway. Perfect for renting to equestrians for seasonal use! The 1,161 sqft CBS guest house has 2 bedrooms and 1 bath with a full kitchen, living room, and covered porch. The storage building is perfect for a workshop, gym or man cave. 220 W of electricity, W/D hookup, wash rack and existing plumbing makes this a great barn project! The possibilities are endless. Elsa 561-346-1075 “Its the Season to be Jolly” ~ Christmas Tree decorating and table set ups ~ We help you pick your Christmas tree theme and bring it to life. By Appointment Only Christmas Tree Decorating Unlimited Creations “Let Us Fill Your Home With Joy & Bright Lights”


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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.




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 Minto homes for civil servants such as healthcare workers, first responders, teachers and more!*

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(561) 475-2659 | WestlakeFL.com | 16610 Town Center Parkway North | City of Westlake, FL 33470

(561) 475-2659 | WestlakeFL.com | 16610 Town Center Parkway North | City of Westlake, FL 33470

(561) 475-2659 | WestlakeFL.com | 16610 Town Center Parkway North | City of Westlake, FL 33470

For location, hours of operation and further details about our award-winning communities, visit MintoUSA.com.

For location, hours of operation and further details about our award-winning communities, visit MintoUSA.com.

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*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 2022. 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 Communities, LLC and/or its affiliates. 2022.

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are approximate and subject to change without notice. Minto,


Mediterranean Plate In The Mall At Wellington Green Brings Together The Cuisine Of Three Distinct Cultures

Fill your plate with fresh and delicious Mediterranean cuisine reflecting a blend of three cultures — Greek, Egyptian and Lebanese — at Mediterranean Plate, also known as Med Plate.A gem that has been serving high-quality food at the Mall at Wellington Green for several years, Med Plate has now moved to a new location inside the mall’s food court area.

This casual eatery features delights from specially grilled lamb gyros to tabbouleh salad, homemade hummus, lentil soup and much more. All are the creations of the husband-and-wife duo Raymonde Ibrahim and Joseph Esna suos. The couple pride themselves on bringing a mix of their eastern Mediter ranean backgrounds to others through the love of food, which is all made from scratch each day, finessing each recipe to the liking of their customers.

“We try many times to make it better and add our own thoughts to the food,” Ibrahim explained.“All our recipes come from our experience.”

They also put a unique spin on their two main sauces. “Tzatziki sauce is Greek, but we make it Lebanese style. The Greek people make tzatziki with dill. We don’t make it with dill, we make it with fresh peppermint,” she said.

Their top sauce — the Mediterranean garlic with dill — is so beloved, it’s of ten suggested by customers that it be bottled. It’s always in high demand, with diners liking it on virtually everything.

The food variety at Med Plate is wide with portions just as big. Including many specials, like the Churrasco Platter.

wellington the magazine | november 2022 63 wellington | table
(Clockwise from top left) The food at Med Plate is made from scratch every day; the Chicken Kabob Plate features two skewers of tender grilled chicken cubes between red peppers atop rice pilaf, eggplant salad and sautéed potatoes; a variety of hot sides are available; the Gyro Plate features lamb and beef grilled on both sides, made to order atop Alfredo pasta, tabbouleh and spicy rice with tzatziki sauce; finish your meal with baklava made with layers of flaky phyllo dough and nuts drenched in a honey syrup; the Greek Salad with seasoned grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese and Kalamata olives with a Greek vinaigrette; Alfredo pasta with peppers; and sautéed lemon potatoes is a popular side.

“It’s a Spanish item. We grill it with our Mediterranean seasoning. We have a combination of our own seasonings. We use on the meat, beef, chicken and shrimp,” Ibrahim said. “My husband makes the combination of seasoning himself to marinate the meat. We make it fresh every day.”

A combination of seven seasonings,

with a twist, gives the food a flavor all its own.

“We use nutmeg, a little cinnamon and ground clove,” she said. “The cinna mon has a very light taste, along with some paprika, garlic powder, dill and on ion.”

All the meat is grilled, including the lamb. “People like the lamb,” Ibrahim

said. “Most places put out the spinning machine. We don’t. We shave it while it’s still raw and grill it on both sides. It’s thick. We grill both sides to give it a bet ter taste.”

Gyros are always top sellers.The Gyro Plate comes with sliced lamb and beef, Greek salad, rice, a soft pita and tzatzi ki sauce. The Chicken Kabob Plate is a hearty serving with two skewers of ten der and juicy cubes of grilled chicken between red peppers atop two sides.

The tasty sides include Egyptian sau teed eggplant with red peppers and to matoes. Lemon potatoes, rice pilaf or spicy rice are also options.Tabbouleh sal ad is a big favorite. It’s made with parsley, tomatoes, bulgur wheat, peppermint, on ion, olive oil and lemon juice.

“It’s a Lebanese item, so it’s made with a lot of parsley,” Ibrahim said. “We also have kibbeh. This is a Lebanese and Syr ian item. It’s cracked wheat stuffed with ground beef, but it can also be vegan.”

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64 november 2022 | wellington the magazine
Med Plate owners Raymonde Ibrahim and Joseph Esnasuos come from the Egyptian city of Port Said.
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There are a number of vegan choic es. From a plate of six grape leaves stuffed with herbs and rice to the popu lar homemade hummus with pita bread and choice of sauce. All are on a oneprice menu. Another vegan entrée op tion is the Koshary Plate.

“It’s Egyptian. It’s a combination be tween rice, black lentil, fried crispy on ions, marinara sauce and chickpeas all layered like a cake, and then you put the marinara on top and serve it with a choice of sauce,” Ibrahim explained.

To sweeten things up, the baklava is a must try. It’s perfectly flaky phyllo dough layered with walnuts and drenched in honey. Other variations include pista chio with a chocolate drizzle, making an incredibly rich and deliciously indulgent dessert.

The fusion of all these flavors comes largely from the couple’s time living in Port Said, Egypt, along the Mediterra nean Sea.

“Ships coming west to east have to go through the Suez Canal and to my city,” Ibrahim said.“So, we have a lot of culture, and it’s what gives us inspiration in shar ing the Greek, Egyptian and Lebanese cultures.”

The restaurant is a labor of love.They hope many more will explore their food and love it as much as they do.“Me and

my husband are here every day,” Ibrahim said. “This is our life here. We try to sat isfy our customers. We value and appre ciate them.”

Mediterranean Plate is in the food court at the Mall at Wellington Green at 10300 W. Forest Hill Blvd. For more info., call (561) 762-3132 or visit https:// mediterranean-plate.business.site.

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Med Plate, located in the food court area of the Mall at Wellington Green, features a diverse menu.
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Wellington Elementary School was the first public school built in the young community of Wellington back in 1981, opening its doors with 13 educators teaching grades three to six under the direction of the legendary Principal Buz Spooner and Assistant Principal Marge Mosser.

Spooner went on to lead Welling ton Elementary for 20 years before he retired, setting up a school culture that continues to thrive today. Since 2014, the school has been led by Principal Dr. Maria Vaughan.

Vaughan grew up in London, Eng land, and received her bachelor’s de gree from Kingston University there. In 1996, she moved to the United States to live closer to her parents, continu ing her education at Nova Southeastern University, where she received both her master’s and doctoral degrees.

“I moved to Florida because of the beautiful weather and family connec tions here,” Vaughan said, adding that she moved to the western communi ties in 2019.

In London, Vaughan attended what

is called “primary” school there, here known as elementary.

“I loved my primary school!” she re called. “However, after I left and went on to secondary school, I realized that there were many gaps in my education and, because of this, I struggled — spe cifically in the area of math.”

As often happens, it only took one dedicated and inspirational educator to turn things around.

“A teacher named Ms. Okikiolu took me under her wing and tutored me one-on-one after school,” Vaughan said.

wellington | schools wellington the magazine | november 2022 69
Wellington Elementary School Assistant Principal Donna Dekersky and Principal Dr. Maria Vaughan
Wellington’s Oldest School Continues To Thrive Under Principal Dr. Maria Vaughan

“She was the most patient and kind teacher I had ever had. If it was not for her, I would have been unable to pass the exams needed to go to college to become a teacher.”

And a teacher is what Vaughan want ed to be, even as a child.

“Once I became a teacher, I started to think about how I could have a great er impact on student learning, and how I could help other teachers to develop their potential,” Vaughan said. “So, I be came a team leader, and that was the be ginning of my road to becoming a prin cipal.”

That is what first brought her to the western communities.

“After being an elementary and mid dle school teacher for 20 years, I was fortunate to be promoted to assistant principal at H.L. Johnson Elementary School in Royal Palm Beach,” Vaughan said. “I was then promoted as an in structional support team leader (ISTL) for the south and west area offices. I served in that position for three years and was then promoted to be the prin cipal at Wellington Elementary School.”

She didn’t know it yet, but when she started down that road as a team leader, she was about to meet a key mentor.

“Dr. Matthew Shoemaker has had the biggest influence on my career,” Vaughan said.“He was the west area su perintendent, and I worked under him. As a leader, he would take the time to mentor me and share his reasoning be hind decisions. He demonstrated what it means to be a servant leader and led with the ethos that we should always make decisions that are in the best in terest of students. I have adopted that philosophy as a leader, and that is what guides my decision making.”

And for an elementary school prin cipal, what could be in the best inter est of students more than choosing top-notch teachers? However, it’s not always easy.

“The biggest challenge I face as a principal is the severe teacher shortage that we are now facing nationwide,”

Vaughan said. “I have tried to combat this by, firstly, making sure that we re tain the teachers we have and, secondly, by being proactive in finding and hiring new teachers.”

Attracting and retaining students is another challenge that one does not usually consider when talking about el ementary education in public schools. Yet Vaughan ranks this as one of the highlights of her tenure.

“One area that we here at Welling ton Elementary have been successful in is attracting students back to a pub lic school who had otherwise chosen charter or private schools,” she said. “The opening of our fine arts academy has helped with this, as it offers a vari ety of programs that encourage and fos ter artistic creativity and spark students’ interest.”

70 november 2022 | wellington the magazine wellington | schools
Wellington Elementary School, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, puts a focus on the fine arts and also health and wellness programs.
“Once I became a teacher, I started to think about how I could have a greater impact on student learning, and how I could help other teachers to develop their potential.”
— Principal Dr. Maria Vaughan
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The fine arts academy began in 2016 and includes, musical theater (produc tions and chorus), handbells, strings (orchestra ensemble), art (club, com petitions and showcases), physical edu cation (running club and team sports), and communications (TV production, journalism club and yearbook).

While the fine arts academy first began with baby steps, it has now evolved into a respected, recognized program.

“In the future, I would like to see our fine arts program expand so that more students can participate in some of the programs offered, and also to add com ponents like dance, keyboarding and band,”Vaughan said.

Wellington Elementary’s gifted cen ter also regularly receives accolades, Vaughan noted.

Set on more than 20 acres, this green school also has a lavish nature trail. The school is also involved in health and wellness, participating in various causes and walks, such as National Walk to School Day,Autism Speaks, the Ameri

can Cancer Society, Heroes for Educa tion and more.

Meanwhile, Vaughan feels driven to pass on her knowledge to those just starting along educational roads of their own. “Personally, I would like to continue helping teachers, especially new teachers, to grow professionally,” she said.“I want to work to attract more people to the education profession.”

Wellington Elementary School is the 11th recipient of the “Our Schools” Arts Program Grant 2022, a new Wellington Community Foundation initiative. Shown below is Wellington Elementary School Principal Dr. Maria Vaughan with the big check for her school.


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This year, the Wellington Community Foundation has been delivering a $1,000 grant to each of the 11 schools in Wellington to specifically support the arts program. For more information on this project, visit www.wellingtoncommunityfoundation.org.

wellington the magazine | november 2022 73
Dr. Maria Vaughan took over as principal at Wellington Elementary School in 2014.
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