Wellington The Magazine January 2011

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beinspired Coming in Early 2011 5 New Decorated Models, 16 New Home Designs New Pricing and Unprecedented Value From The $300s to $700s at Olympia in Wellington

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contents

January 2011

Features 26 julio Arellano’s Passion For Polo

After helping to lead Crab Orchard to the U.S. Open title last year, Wellington’s Julio Arellano stands out among the top polo players in the world. By Lauren Miró

32 Top Hunter Rider Now Calls Wellington Home

After competing successfully at the Winter Equestrian Festival for several years, Texas native Peter Pletcher recently laid down roots in Wellington. By Rebecca Walton

38 Wellington Fashion: What To Wear To Polo

You’ve reserved your seats, invited your guests, but now it’s time to update your wardrobe. Sunday polo in Wellington is host to not only some of the world’s greatest professional athletes, but a plethora of stylish partygoers, too. By Bill Carley

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48 Laura Hanson, The Breakfast Lady

Laura Hanson takes her day job as a financial advisor very seriously, but what she does Sundays during equestrian season is equally important to her — and has earned her the nickname “the Breakfast Lady.” By Matthew Auerbach

55 A Tribute To The Late Gene Mische

The horse world lost of one of its true legends when Wellington equestrian pioneer Gene Mische, the founder of Stadium Jumping, passed away on Dec. 3 following a long, hard-fought battle with cancer. By Kenneth Kraus

60 Dressage Star Yvonne Losos de Muñiz

Dressage rider Yvonne Losos de Muñiz has come a long way from exploring the plains of Africa on her pony. She has turned her passion for horses into a successful dressage career, making her this month’s Wellington Star. By Lauren Miró

Departments 12 14 16 18 20

Wellington Social Scene ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ At Wellington Boys & Girls Club Gala Holiday Fun At Wellington Chamber’s WinterFest 2010 Stars Come Out To Support DRI Wellington Golf Classic Caridad Center Hosts Holiday Party At Equestrian Center Wellington Seniors Installation Ceremony/Holiday Luncheon

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66 Wellington Home

Wellington equestrian properties often include an arena designed either for dressage or jumping. But the 3.4-acre Grand Prix Farms estate featured this month is unusual in that it has both. By Deborah Welky

72 Wellington Table

For the best in Italian-American cuisine, look no further than the new Oli’s Fashion Cuisine & Bar, offering all the quality and style of Palm Beach in the heart of Wellington. By Lauren Miró

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Wellington Watch Wellington Dining Guide Wellington Calendar Around Wellington ON THE COVER Polo player Julio Arellano rides for Crab Orchard at the International Polo Club Palm Beach last season. Featured this issue, the Nicaraguan-born Arellano grew up in Wellington. Photo By David Lominska/www.polographics.com

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wellington the magazine

A Message from the Publisher

A New Look For A New Year... volume

Welcome to the new look of Wellington The Magazine. As we begin our eighth year of publication, we’ve updated our format and retooled our list of features to keep your favorite local magazine fresh and exciting as we head into the 2011 winter season. As you browse through the pages of this issue, you will see many of your favorite departments returning with updated looks and a new spin — and a handful of new sections celebrating the unique Wellington lifestyle.

8, number 1 | january 2011

publisher/executive editor

Joshua I. Manning

associate publisher

Dawn Rivera graphic designer

Suzanne Summa circulation coordinator

Betty Buglio bookkeeping

Carol Lieberman account managers

Evie Edwards Wanda Glockson Scott Hyber photography

Bill Barbosa Bill Carley Susan Lerner Abner Pedraza Gregory Ratner contributors

Matthew Auerbach Jason Budjinski Ron Bukley Denise Fleischman Kenneth Kraus Lauren Miró Carol Porter Rebecca Walton Deborah Welky Wellington The Magazine

12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 31 Wellington, FL 33414 Phone: (561) 793-7606 Fax: (561) 793-1470 www.WellingtonTheMagazine.com

Published by Wellington The Magazine, LLC Barry S. Manning chairman/chief executive officer Maureen Budjinski vice president Wellington The Magazine is published monthly in Wellington, Florida. Copyright 2011, all rights reserved by Wellington The Magazine, LLC. Contents may not be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising. The publisher accepts no responsibility for advertisement errors beyond the cost of the portion of the advertisement occupied by the error within the advertisement itself. The publisher accepts no responsibility for submitted materials. All submitted materials subject to editing.

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As always at this time of year, you’ll find an equestrian theme dominating the publication. After all, it is January, and the 2011 polo season is underway, soon to be joined by the prestigious Winter Equestrian Festival. Polo is exhilarating on and off the field, and this month’s magazine showcases both sides of that experience. Our cover feature on Wellington’s Julio Arellano shows the true passion this top player brings to the sport. But polo would not be complete without sidelines filled with spectators sporting stylish looks that make every match feel like a party. To showcase this unique trait, Wellington The Magazine teamed up with photographer Bill Carley, Elegante’ Polo and Generations: A Hair Salon to bring you a pictorial featuring some of the hottest looks for the season. Also this issue, we salute the life of Wellington equestrian pioneer Gene Mische, who died last month after a long battle with cancer. Mische dramatically changed the face of horse sports in the United States, and in doing so put Wellington on the map as the home of the Winter Equestrian Festival. It is a legacy that will be remembered for many years to come. The votes are in and Wellington The Magazine’s readers helped us choose our first Wellington Entrepreneur of the Year. You met the 12 nominees month by month last year, and we’re pleased to announce that Tackeria owner Tony Coppola — one of Wellington’s true business pioneers — has been selected for the honor. We chat with Coppola about what the award means to him this issue. Special thanks to all 12 nominees for their participation. With the Entrepreneur of the Year series at a close, we launch our new Wellington Star feature. In this issue, you’ll meet our first Wellington Star, top dressage rider Yvonne Losos De Muñiz, and learn how this talented woman found her way to Wellington from the plains of Africa. Wellington Table this month visits new local hotspot Oli’s Fashion Cuisine & Bar, bringing a bit of Palm Beach style to the heart of Wellington. Our Wellington Home feature brings readers inside one of the area’s top equestrian estates — a 3.4-acre horse lover’s dream in Grand Prix Farms featuring practice rings for both jumping and dressage. And if that’s not enough, you’ll find a host of smaller feature articles spread throughout the magazine — part of our effort to bring you more to read about the many special people and organizations that make Wellington such a special place to live, visit and work. Joshua Manning Publisher/Executive Editor

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wellington social scene

Photos by Denise Fleischman

‘Diamonds Are Forever’ At Wellington Boys & Girls Club Gala

(Left) Boys & Girls Club CEO Mary O’Connor hugs guest speaker Kisha Glover. (Center) Wellington Boys & Girls Club kids welcome guests. (Right) Palms West Hospital CEO Bland Eng and Dr. Lawrence Bergman with Marilyn Monroe (Camille Terry).

The Wellington Boys & Girls Club held its 23rd annual Wellington Dinner Dance on Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Wycliffe Golf & Country Club. Themed “Diamonds Are Forever,” the event featured a Marilyn Monroe impersonator and James Bond posters, ballroom dancing, live and silent auctions, and music by Remix.

(Left) Tony and Evelyn Nelson, Dr. Pierre and Dr. Sharon Dorsainville, and Amy and Philip Betts. (Center left) Ed Portman, Maria and Dr. Mike Mikolajczak, and Pat Evans. (Center right) Dr. Veronica Pedro-Alexander with husband Kirk Alexander. (Right) Bobby Ewing sings with Remix.

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wellington social scene

Photos by Lauren Miró

Holiday Fun At Wellington Chamber’s WinterFest 2010

(Left, L-R) Vanilla Ice, PBSO Capt. Jay Hart, Councilwoman Anne Gerwig, Mayor Darell Bowen and Wes Kain. (Right) Vanilla Ice performs for the crowd.

Residents enjoyed holiday fun at WinterFest 2010, hosted by the Wellington Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Wellington Amphitheater. There was live entertainment, vendors, a classic car show and a performance by master of ceremonies Vanilla Ice. For more info., visit www.wellingtonchamber.com.

(Left) Mayor Darell Bowen reads “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” to the children. (Center left) Santa (Ricky Frazier) arrives in a 1967 Mustang. (Center right) Marines Andrew Kalinyak, Michael Rowan, James Sterling and Chris Stroud. (Right) Meghan Ritmiller entertains the crowd.

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wellington social scene

Photos by Denise Fleischman

Stars Come Out To Support DRI Wellington Golf Classic

(Left) The Event Committee: Joe and Ashley Maguire, Bob and Karen Cavanagh, Michelle McGann, Scott Armand, and Terri and Carmine Priore III. (Right) PBSO Deputy Rusty Lamb, Michelle McGann and PBSO Chief Deputy Mike Gauger.

The DRI Wellington Golf Classic was held Monday, Dec. 13 at the Wanderers Club at Wellington, presented by Ashley and Joe Maguire. Featured celebrities included LPGA golf pros Michelle McGann and Anna Grzebien, professional polo players Brandon Phillips, Mike Azzaro and Kris Kampsen, and former MLB first basemen Andrés Galarraga and Brad Wilkerson. The event raised more than $20,000 to support “An International Affair,” which will take place March 5 at Wycliffe Golf & Country Club to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute. Call (800) 321-3437 for info.

(Left) Celebrity golfers Mike Azzaro, Andres Galarraga, Brad Wilkerson, Ann Grzebien, Michelle McGann, Brandon Phillips and Kris Kamsen. (Center) Second-place golf winners Wayne Posner, Marcy Haupt, Janet Eddelstein, Ann Grzebien and Vincent Pezzino. (Right) Wanderers Club golf pro Justin Thompson with first-place golf winners Glenn and Terri Wescott, and Scott Armand. Mike Armand not shown.

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wellington social scene

Caridad Center Hosts Holiday Party At Equestrian Center

Co-chairs Bruce Duchossois, Caroline Moran and Nancy Hooker with Juan Salinas Bentley of Outback Polo.

The Wellington Friends of Caridad hosted a Christmas party for the families of the Caridad Center on Saturday, Dec. 11 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Co-chairs Caroline Moran, Nancy Hooker and Bruce Duchossois joined 100 volunteers to treat more than 400 children and 200 parents to face painting, magicians, a DJ, Santa, lunch provided by Outback Steakhouse and gifts. The Caridad Center operates a free medical and dental clinic to provide vital health services to the uninsured, working poor families of Palm Beach County. For more info., call (561) 737-6336.

(Left) Connie Berry and Scarlett Fave of the Caridad Center. (Center left) B.J. Meeks and Pablo Perez. (Center right) Heather Hooker, Michael Bellissimo and Isabel Echarte. (Right) Emily and Alexandra Smith deliver presents for the Caridad children.

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wellington social scene

Photos by Denise Fleischman

Wellington Seniors Installation Ceremony/Holiday Luncheon

(Left) 2011 Wellington Seniors Club board members. (Right) Event committee members Mary Alfala and Nancy Salviola with Seniors Club President Tony Alfala.

The Wellington Seniors Club held its annual holiday and installation luncheon Wednesday, Dec. 8 at the Binks Forest Golf Club. In addition to the installation ceremony, seniors danced to music by DJ Bob Flaster, and there was a cash bar and sit-down lunch.

(Left) Dolores Sirecek, Jessie Gehring and Edna Weissman. (Center left) Helen Fasnacht, Rosemary Paglia and Sister Agnes Holmes. (Center right) Catherine Jahn with her mother Marge O’Grady. (Right) Sherry and Wellington Mayor Darell Bowen, Mary and Seniors Club President Tony Alfala, and Sali Stegall.

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wellington watch

By Joshua Manning, Lauren Miró and Ron Bukley

Equestrian Anger Halts Consultant Bid Concerns surrounding Wellington’s bidding process, the legitimacy of its advisory committees and the future of the equestrian community erupted in anger at the Dec. 14 meeting of the Wellington Village Council. A contract with a consulting firm to develop an equestrian master plan was halted following an outcry from equestrians at not having been involved in the process. The village put out a request for proposals in August for a consulting firm to conduct a study on the future of Wellington’s equestrian community. Two issues dominated discussion of the bid award: how the village’s selection committee (a panel of three staff members) ranked the six applicants and why Wellington’s Equestrian Preserve Committee was not part of the process. On previous occasions, Councilman Howard Coates has chided staff on how such bids are scored. In this case, a bid from Simmons & White Engineering came out on top, even through a bid from the University of Florida was ranked first by two of the three selection committee members. Coates has called for larger selection committees to provide for a better averaging of scores. He was also upset that the equestrian committee was not consulted. “I understand that they were meant to be involved later on with the consultants,” Coates said. “But if there’s anything that cries out for committee involvement, it would be a decision like this.” Vice Mayor Matt Willhite agreed. “Whether you like our committees or not,” he said, “those people are there for a reason.” Speakers expressed concerns about the village overlooking equestrian involvement. “The Equestrian Preserve Committee has had no voice,” Committee Member Myles Tashman said. “It has had zero input. It is wrong. It goes against the tenor of what the committee was formulated to accomplish.” A motion to reject the contract carried 4-1 with Councilwoman Anne Gerwig dissenting. 22

January 2011 |wellington the magazine|

New CEO At Wellington Regional — Jerel Humphrey, the new chief executive officer at Wellington Regional Medical Center, has said that growth management will be his main challenge. This challenge includes everything from handling an increasing number of patients to the technological growth that is demanding change in the way facilities are managed. Humphrey replaced longtime CEO Kevin DiLallo, who left in April to become vice president of the Manatee Memorial Health System in Bradenton. He comes to Wellington after running large hospital systems in Virginia and Texas. Humphrey said he is impressed with the Wellington community. “My sense is that there is a real can-do spirit, a real pride of ownership in this area that I am really encouraged by,” he said. Humphrey described WRMC as a busy hospital with a very active medical staff. “Here, the challenge is to manage growth because we have such an active and thriving community,” he said, adding that he is excited about the prospects for a 200-acre medical arts district with the WRMC campus as its anchor. The idea is one of Wellington’s key economic development initiatives. Toy Drive Spreads Cheer — Needy Wellington children found a holiday surprise on their doorstep when volunteers delivered toys to less fortunate village families. Because of Wellington’s Holiday Toy Drive, more than 230 Wellington children had presents to open come Christmas morning. “The response from the community was overwhelming,” Mayor Darell Bowen said. The week before Christmas, members of the Citizen’s Volunteer Organization spent hours wrapping and labeling the gifts. Then the volunteers, Wellington employees and PBSO deputies delivered bags filled with presents. Extra toys went to impoverished children in Pahokee and patients at Palms West Hospital.


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INSPIRATION

Shelley Sandler Realtor/Associate

(561) 371-1075 Shelley@ShelleySells4You.com www.ShelleySells4You.com

Illustrated Properties

Tackeria Owner Tony Coppola

Entrepreneur Of The Year Award Winner Story by Lauren Miró ■ Photos by Susan Lerner

Twelve Wellington entrepreneurs were nominated for Wellington The Magazine’s first Entrepreneur of the Year Award — one for each month in 2010. Voting has closed, and the results have been tallied. The winner is: Tony Coppola, owner of The Tackeria. “I’m very honored to have been nominated,” he said. “After 36 years in business, I feel like I’ve grown with the community. While I may not be the longest operating business in Wellington, I’m probably in the top five. It’s great to be recognized for that.”

Road 7]. But he had a vision, and I was lucky that I was in his favor.” Still, it was Coppola’s passion for all equestrian sports and his commitment to a high level of service that helped the Tackeria grow into the community staple it is today. “I recognized early that you have to have what people want,” he said. “We have always kept our pulse on the needs and wants of our customers, and it’s the wide variety and depth of inventory that helps make us successful.”

Coppola opened the original Tackeria store in 1975. At the time, it operated out of a bus at the Gulfstream Polo Club and served the polo community. Since then, he has moved the business several times, most recently to its current location on South Shore Blvd., catering to riders of all disciplines. Through www.tackeria.com, Coppola serves clients all over the world.

Coppola is confident that Wellington will continue to be the right place for the Tackeria and all things equestrian. “I think that more people have become entrenched in the equestrian community,” he said. “It’s no longer a six-week to eight-week deal. They’re here for the long haul. If you had told me 25 years ago that there would be as many horse activities from April to November as there are now, I wouldn’t have believed you.”

Coppola credits his success to being in the right place at the right time, most notably the opportunity given to him by polo visionary Bill Ylvisaker to operate out of Palm Beach Polo. “I thought he was out of his mind,” Coppola recalled. “I didn’t think that anyone would ever go west of [State

Wellington The Magazine thanks the other Entrepreneur of the Year Award nominees for their participation: Chuck Schaefer, Dean Varvarigos, Julie Kime, Jack Van Dell, Ron Miranda, Dr. Rosa Fernandez, Frank Suess, Susan Russell, Mark Llano, Ben Boynton and Cynthia Bennett.

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Georgian Courts of Wellington. Immaculate CBS construction town home: 3 BR's/2.5 BTH's/1car gar. w/ large private yard, hurr. shutters, neutral tile, & new S/S appl., paint, & carpet. Not a short sale! Low HOA. Offered at $159,000.

Isles at Wellington immaculate 5/BR+Den, 3/BA/3CG home with gorgeous long lake view, fabulous open floor plan w/ soaring ceilings, dream kitchen, extended paver patio, & too many upgrades to list! Offered at $599,999.

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Wellington’s Julio Arellano Passion For The Game Keeps Polo Star Among The Sport’s Elite Story By Lauren Miró Photos By David Lominska/www.polographics.com

After helping to lead Crab Orchard to three tournament wins and the U.S. Open title last year, Wellington’s Julio Arellano stands out among the top polo players in the world. Born in Nicaragua, Arellano learned the love of polo from his father. At seven years old, Julio moved with his family to Wellington to escape his native country’s devastating civil war. Arellano, 38, grew up in Wellington’s schools and on its polo fields. He graduated from Cardinal Newman High School and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in international business from Florida Atlantic University. Currently, he has a home in Wellington where he lives with his wife Meghan and three children. His passion for polo has been the driving force in Arellano’s life. At age 9, he played in his first polo tournament. Soon, Arellano realized that he wanted to become a serious competitive player. “I love the horses and everything about the sport,” Arellano said. “When I turned 14, I decided that’s what I wanted to do with my life. I fell in love with it, and it occupied all my time after school.” A year later, Arellano’s father gave up playing himself so his son could pursue his dreams

Julio Arellano helped Crab Orchard sweep the 26-goal tournaments last year at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington. (Left) Arellano looks for his opening. (Right) Arellano beats Audi players to the ball. In last year’s U.S. Open final, Crab Orchard defeated Audi to claim polo’s top prize in North America.

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For this year’s 20-goal polo tournaments, Julio Arellano will be playing on the Faraway Polo team. He is shown here wearing Faraway’s colors last year.

of being a professional polo player. “He gave up playing so I could have his horses, truck and trailer,” Arellano recalled. “My dad didn’t play professionally, and we couldn’t afford to buy horses for both of us to play.” After playing with some of polo’s greats, including Hall of Fame inductee Memo Gracida and Skeeter Johnston, Arellano has risen to one of the top stars in the game. In 1989, Arellano represented the United States in the World Games in Berlin, something he considers one of the highlights of his career. One year later, he had his first U.S. Open win on the Les Diables Bleus team with Gracida. “I was a substitute player,” Arellano said. “But I got to play in the finals, and we won.” Since then, he has won the U.S. Open three more times along with a list of other titles including the 1991 Player of the Year, the 2007 North American Polo League high score, three-time winner of the Monty Waterbury Cup and 2005 MVP of the U.S. Open. Last year, Arellano helped Crab Orchard win the 2010 U.S. Open title and all three 26-goal tournaments, something that rarely happens in the sport. “You always hope and strive for it,” he said. “Obviously you want to win, but there are a lot of good teams. It’s all about the hard work. Of course it helps to have [polo superstar Adolfo] Cambiaso on your team.” Now sporting a nine-goal handicap, Arellano’s polo success is something he attributes to his hard work, passion for the sport and skill. For him, polo is more than a sport — it’s a career. “A lot of people supported me,” he said. “But like anything, you have to

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put in the work. It’s like a regular job. I try to take off one day a week, but I am at it 11 months of the year.” And living in Wellington enables him to stay on top of his game. “I’ve been blessed in many ways,” he said. “Growing up in Wellington allows me to play year-round. If I had grown up somewhere that I couldn’t play year-round, things would have been very different.” In addition to playing in Wellington in the winter, Arellano also plays during the spring and fall seasons in Aiken, S.C., where he and his family have a farm. His sons, now 13 and 10, have followed in their father’s footsteps with a love of polo. The sport is something the whole family enjoys. “My whole family rides,” he said. “My wife and my boys play, and my daughter enjoys riding with us. It’s a lot of fun to have all three kids and my wife able to enjoy it with me.” With Arellano’s oldest son nearing the age he might want to begin a professional polo career, don’t expect Arellano to retire like his father did all those years ago.

Julio Arellano scored seven goals, helping Crab Orchard defeat Audi to win the 2010 U.S. Open Polo Championship at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington. Shown with the U.S. Open trophy are Crab Orchard’s George Rawlings, Adolfo Cambiaso, Beverly Rawlings, Julio Arellano and MVP Hilario Ulloa.

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“I’m not ready to give up playing,” he said. “I’m fortunate enough to be able to provide the horses for both of us to play. As long as I have the hunger for the game, I want to keep playing.” And at 38 years old, Arellano is considered young in a sport where many champions play competitively into their 50s. “I don’t know how long I’ll be able to play at that competitive level,” he said. “But I hope to be able to continue playing and to stay on top of my game.” And this year, he will be one to watch during one of polo’s most competitive seasons. Playing for Bendabout in the 26-goal league, and Faraway in the 20-goal league, Arellano faces some of the toughest teams in the world. “This season is going to be great,” he said. “There are already 12 teams signed up for the [U.S. Open]. There’s going to be some competition.” To watch Arellano in action, visit www.internationalpoloclub. com for tickets, schedules and more information about the sport.

For Julio Arellano, polo is a sport enjoyed by the entire family. He is shown here with his wife Meghan and their three children: Augustin, Lucas and Hope. PHOTO BY ALEXIS VON GONTARD

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Hunter Rider Peter Pletcher Plants Roots In Wellington Story and Photos by Rebecca Walton

Last year, Texas native Peter Pletcher decided to purchase a home in Wellington. After competing successfully at the Winter Equestrian Festival for several years, the talented equestrian decided to lay down roots in town with his partner, Danny Ardent. They were drawn to the unique equestrian community and the incredible competition offered at WEF and the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. As a rider, Pletcher has represented the United States internationally, won the President’s Cup Grand Prix, won the United States Hunter Jumper Association’s World Champion title three times, and won the World Champion Hunter Rider title three times. For the last few years, Pletcher has traveled to Palm Beach County with up to 40 horses and 20 clients to compete during the winter months. Before coming to WEF, Pletcher would compete at HITS Thermal in California, but he moved here because he could not ignore Wellington’s excellent competition and unique equestrian community. Pletcher and his riders have earned countless championship and reserve championship honors in the hunter ring. After three years of traveling to WEF, Pletcher and Ardent purchased a lovely home in the Equestrian Club Estates, located right next to the equestrian center. “We came to Wellington for the third year, and I decided that everyone loved it and it was amazing,” Pletcher recalled. “It’s a great time to buy a house here for an investment reason and for the future.” Pletcher is impressed not only by the equestrian competition, but by the community itself. “I think the best part of Wellington is that it is so easy to get around,” he said. “Everything you need is within quick walking distance, and once you’re in the vicinity of town, you can go to the restaurants, the grocery store, the dry cleaner, everything within minutes.” The unique equestrian community in Wellington proved to be a huge draw. “It’s nice to be able to ride your horses pretty much anywhere, even outside of the show grounds,” Pletcher said. “The horse show facility is just a golf cart ride away. You don’t really know how nice that is until you start going to other horse shows where you have to drive away all the time.” Pletcher is looking forward to another incredible horse show season. “The competition at WEF is always at the top level,” he explained. “It’s the toughest group of riders as a whole, and I think it makes you stay at the top of your game to compete against them.” Texas native Peter Pletcher, who recently moved to Wellington, has acquired a number of top honors for his hunter riding abilities.

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Wellington’s Peter Pletcher rides his horse Camira.

As a horse show founder himself, Pletcher knows what it takes to put together a successful event. Each year, Pletcher assists with the Spring Gathering Horse Show in Katy, Texas, which he helped start. This exciting event will be held at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center April 6-11, 2011, and will feature over $250,000 in total prize money thanks to the support of sponsors. “One of the most important things with making a horse show successful is your sponsors,” Pletcher said. “If you get good sponsorships, you have an amazing event. To get a good sponsorship, you need a good charity, and our charity is the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.” WEF certainly finds many great sponsors each year, and the show continues to draw the nation’s best horsemen as they compete for top prizes throughout the 12-week event. For Pletcher, the decision to buy a home in the town where the best equestrians are located seemed obvious. With Peter Pletcher as a permanent resident of Wellington, the Winter Equestrian Festival’s hunter divisions will certainly showcase the best talent the country has to offer year after year. |wellington the magazine| January 2011

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The Lusitano Collection Brazilian Horse Auction Returns To Area Feb. 23-26 Mark your calendar for one of the equestrian community’s top social events of the season, the annual Lusitano Collection International Horse Auction set for Feb. 23-26, 2011. Held at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center near Wellington, the worldrenowned auction attracts equestrian Lusitano fans from around the world for a weekend filled with excitement, ranging from an exquisite gala dinner to over-the-top Samba dancers. The majestic horses are simply magnificent, and the event is hosted with true panache. Interagro Lusitanos, the largest Lusitano breeder and exporter in the world, said the auction gives Lusitano enthusiasts a chance to share a memorable experience with some of the world’s finest horses. The auction also gives buyers the opportunity to purchase Lusitano horses well suited for driving, jumping, eventing and dressage without the hassle of import fees or quarantine periods. Interested buyers can ride their dream horses in advance by taking part in the horse tryouts on Wednesday, Feb. 23 and Thursday, Feb. 24. Veterinarian checkups will take place on Friday, Feb. 25, followed by a horse showcase at 6 p.m. that evening featuring professionals riding the exquisite auction horses and showing their training, temperament and natural gaits. The weekend will culminate with the gala dinner and auction on Saturday, Feb. 26, beginning at 5 p.m. On auction night, the air is filled with electricity as the bidding heats up and one lucky buyer after another becomes the proud owner of their dream horse. The auction will offer something for everyone, including vendors and booths. Sho Clothes Boutique, Wellington’s premier dressage boutique, will be on hand, as will the United States Dressage Federation and the Dressage Connection, offering finery for horses and riders. Dressage Training Online will be filming the event to air at a later date, but there is nothing better than being there. The Lusitano Collection International Horse Auction’s charitable partner, the Equestrian Aid Foundation, will also have beautiful items available to bid on to raise money for their important cause. New this year, the high-selling horse at the auction will receive a custom-made saddle from Custom Saddlery. The excitement is building. Now in its fourth year in the U.S., the Lusitano Collection International Horse Auction has been touted as “the most exciting sport horse auction in the United States.” Visit www. lusitanocollection.com for tickets and additional information. 34January January2011 2011|wellington |wellingtonthe themagazine| magazine| 34


Mason Phelps Founder and President Phelps Media Group, Inc. International PhelpsSports.com

It takes a rare combination of talents to successfully bridge the gap between the equestrian world and the digital communication environment. Yet that’s what Phelps Media Group International does everyday. As America’s leading equestrian public relations and marketing firm, PMG brings cutting-edge media innovation and technical savvy to the equestrian arena – and, conversely, brings the equestrian’s passion and perception to today’s fastchanging digital communications age. Of course PMG excels at the all-important fundamentals of media strategies and ongoing media relations. But PMG’s team goes beyond these critical basics to help you take full advantage of today’s continually changing digital capabilities as well. PMG’s media professionals can help you establish a social media presence on venues such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and then go on to design, update and operate social media, blogs, webcasts and other digital networking tools in real time.

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Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Presenting ‘Wellington’s Finest Ball’ Feb. 12

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he Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s “Wellington’s Finest Ball” will be held Saturday, Feb. 12 at the new Grande Pavilion at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Chaired by Jeffrey Greer with honorary chairs John and Toy Wash, the charity event will recognize outstanding citizens who exemplify leadership qualities, are active in volunteer roles and/or have excelled in the local business community. A new, important addition to Wellington’s charity calendar, “Wellington’s Finest Ball” is expected to raise more than $60,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The celebrity award-themed event, which is black-tie optional, will feature an original, Wellington-inspired reception and dinner catered by International Polo Club Catering with an open bar. Dance ’til you drop to the sounds of Tom Can’t Stop. Live and silent auctions will provide many tempting items. At the gala, “Wellington’s Finest Ball” honorees will be recognized. Honorees to date are Susanne Bennett, Aaron Menitoff, Carmine Priore III, Kelly Smallridge, Michael Sexton, Craig Stein, and John and Toy Wash. Committee members are Larry Bennett, Leigh Anne D’Avanzo, Ann Fahmy, Beth Goldstein, Anastasia Greer, Lisa and Jamie Hynes, Ashley and Joseph Maguire, Sharon and Marc Melnick, Ana and Hunter Seley, and Jamie Stein. This event format has been used successfully by Cystic Fibrosis Foundation chapters throughout the country, raising vital dollars for cystic fibrosis research and honoring community leaders.

Honorees Carmine Priore III and Aaron Menitoff with Event Chair Jeff Greer (center).

CF is a life-threatening, genetic disease that affects approximately 30,000 children and young adults in the United States. Symptoms occur when the defective CF gene produces a faulty version of a particular protein that regulates the movement of chloride in and out of cells, which line the airways and digestive system. The resulting abnormal salt levels lead to the build-up of thick, sticky mucus in certain organs. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a dynamic, voluntary health organization dedicated to helping children and young adults fight CF. Founded in 1955, the mission of the foundation is to assure the development of the means to cure and control CF and to improve the quality of life for those with the disease.

(L-R) Event Chair Jeff Greer and Executive Director Cheryl Houghtelin with IPC’s John Wash.

The foundation pursues its mission by supporting innovative research to discover and develop new therapies and by funding and accrediting a nationwide network of specialized care centers, including the CF Clinic at St. Mary’s Medical Center. “Wellington’s Finest Ball” and other CFF events such as the Great Strides Walk to be held in Wellington on April 30, 2011 help move CF science forward, giving hope to young people who face the ravages of this disease each day. To purchase tickets, get sponsorship information or to nominate an outstanding citizen to be honored, visit palmbeach.cff.org/finest or call (561) 683-9965. |wellington the the magazine| magazine| January January 2011 2011 |wellington

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Need Spare Hands? Help Is On The Way! Have you ever needed an extra set of hands? Spare Hands Inc. is here to help. Susan Giddings and Mike O’Dell of Wellington’s respected land development firm O’Dell Inc. have created a new division called Spare Hands — a home improvement company focused on handyman, renovation and remodeling services. With more than 30 years in the development industry, O’Dell Inc. specializes in equestrian facilities and has provided solutions to a vast array of clients in full-service land development and project management. O’Dell’s professionals work as the owner’s representative with engineers, architects and other job site professionals, adding value by ensuring an efficient work plan, creative solutions to alleviate delays and a successful project delivered on time and within budget. “We were looking for a way to expand our services and position ourselves to fill a need in the community,” Giddings explained. “Spare Hands has enabled us to take on new projects and offer an entirely new list of services. This has opened up a whole new world of opportunities.” Through personal experience in South Florida, Giddings and O’Dell understand the unique needs and requirements of designing, constructing and maintaining facilities. The Spare Hands team has been designed to make your life easier. No job is considered too big or too small, and they always offer free estimates. Spare Hands is a certified general contractor and is bonded and insured. Handyman services include, but are not limited to, the installation and removal of hurricane shutters, ceiling fan installation, tile and grout cleaning and sealing, general home repairs, faucet installation, caulking and grout, gutter cleaning and repair, pressure cleaning, shelving installation, sprinkler repairs, and installation and removal of holiday lights. Spare Hands offers extensive equestrian services for clients who live in Wellington full time or seasonally. Services include fence and gate installation and repair; renovations and repairs to barns and stalls; building or hanging saddle and bridle racks and shelving; cleaning of horse vans and trucks; and overall general facility maintenance. 36

January 2011 |wellington the magazine|

Mike O’Dell and Susan Giddings of O’Dell Inc. and Spare Hands.

If your project is a little more in depth, the Spare Hands professionals are equipped to handle full renovation projects, such as kitchen and bathroom tile installation and repair as well as interior and exterior painting. “We are so excited to unveil our new division to the community and have received such positive feedback from all of our clients,” Giddings said. “Spare Hands is a company that is long overdue, and we are pleased to be able to bring it to fruition.” Giddings and O’Dell each have more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry. They are an integral part of the central western communities, taking leadership roles in many civic and charitable organizations. They are contributing members of the Palms West Chamber of Commerce, the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, the Wellington Rotary Club and are supporters of Project Graduation, Back to Basics and the Lord’s Place. “We want to be your extra set of hands, so remember, one call does it all!” Giddings said. Spare Hands is located at 3500 Fairlane Farms Road, Suite 4, in Wellington. For more information, visit www.sparehandsinc.com or call (561) 623-7077.


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We accept most insurances |wellington the magazine| January 2011

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wellington fashion 38

January 2011 |wellington the magazine|


What To Wear To

POLO Photos by Bill Carley

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re you ready for opening day? With the excitement of polo’s seasonal return comes the age-old question — what to wear? Whether in a grandstand box or as a VIP guest, you’ll want to look fabulous out on the sidelines. You’ve reserved your seats, invited your guests, but now it’s time to update your wardrobe. Sunday polo in Wellington is host to not only some of the world’s greatest professional athletes, but a plethora of stylish partygoers socializing with champagne in one hand and a straightfrom-the-runway designer clutch purse in the other. Polo fashion for women means wide-brimmed hats and dresses that set you apart. For this pictorial, Wellington The Magazine teamed up with Elegante` Polo to bring you some of this year’s most spectacular looks designed to put you ahead of the trends. Shot on location at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, our models felt the rush of polo as they stood on the world-renowned fields showcasing some of the latest in Wellington fashion. A special thank-you to the International Polo Club and the staff at Generations: A Hair Salon, along with Claudia Diesti and our amazing models Brianne, Christina, Jenna and Monica.

(Left) Jenna models a Tassel Halter Top Silk Dress by Ranna Gill with a hat by San Diego Hat Company. (Right) Models Christina, Monica and Brianne sport hats from the San Diego Hat Company, all perfect for an afternoon on the sidelines and available at Elegante` Polo. |wellington the magazine| January 2011

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Monica wears a Vintage Pleated Lipstick Dress by Akiko, paired with a Ribbon Braid Hat by San Diego Hat Company and a Black Rhinestone Horseshoe Bracelet by Lejea, all available at Elegante` Polo.

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wellington fashion

Christina looks fabulous in a Cowl Sleeve Wrap Dress by Akiko and a hat by San Diego Hat Company. Accessories include a Black Suede and Rhinestone Belt by Suzi Roher, an Abriel Silver Ring by Lejae and Evening Rhinestone Bracelet by Lejae, all available at Elegante` Polo.

|wellington the magazine| January 2011

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January 2011 |wellington the magazine|


wellington fashion

Brianne shows off a Zipper Front Lamb Leather Tunic Dress by Teri Jon with a hat by San Diego Hat Company, Leather and Canvas Handbag by Etiqueta Negra, Black Lamb Snaffle Buckle Belt by Suzi Roher and Gold Rhinestone Horseshoe Bracelet by Lejea, all available at Elegante` Polo.

|wellington the magazine| January 2011

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LAW OFFICE

Porath & Barbuto, P.A. Attorneys and Counselors at Law

Family Law • Wills & Trusts • Equine Law Personal Injury • Securities Fraud Weekend and Evening Appointments Available

ANN PORATH, ESQ. Serving the Western Community since 1984

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(561) 798-2907 12773 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 101 Wellington, FL 33414 The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.

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January 2011 |wellington the magazine|


CREDITS

(Right) Monica is ready for Sunday polo in a Rivit Garnet Top with Suede Trim by Ranna Gill and a hat by San Diego Hat Company, Damiani’s Sandle by Italian Shoemakers, Paris Slim Fit Jean by Dish and a Stripe Weave Bag by San Diego Hat Company, all available at Elegante` Polo.

wellington fashion

Clothing ELEGANTE` POLO OF PALM BEACH 10620 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington www.elegantepolo.com (561) 798-7816

Photography Bill Carley, BILL CARLEY PHOTOGRAPHY www.billcarleyphoto.com (561) 644-6539

Location THE INTERNATIONAL POLO CLUB PALM BEACH 3667 120th Avenue South, Wellington www.internationalpoloclub.com (561) 204-5687

Hair & Makeup GENERATIONS: A HAIR SALON 10240 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 170, Wellington www.generationsahairsalon.com (561) 753-2232

Models Brianne Purnell, Jenna Vassalotti, Christina Arco and Monica Diesti Special thanks to Ron Allen and Robert Kiger of Elegante` Polo of Palm Beach, as well as Monica Hoffman and Anthony Gutilla of Generations: A Hair Salon. (Below) Jenna, Brianne, Monica and Christina at their photo shoot on location at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington.

|wellington the magazine| January 2011

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January 2011 |wellington the magazine|


Dr. Alan B. Pillersdorf of Plastic Surgery of Palm Beach.

Dr. Alan Pillersdorf Marks 20 Years Of Plastic Surgery Practice In Wellington Story by Deborah Welky

Twenty years ago, having completed his training in Washington, D.C. and after a brief stop in New York, Dr. Alan B. Pillersdorf came to Florida to open his practice, Plastic Surgery of Palm Beach. There were two doctors and one location — Wellington. How times have changed! Today, Pillersdorf is joined by four doctors and runs surgery centers in Palm Springs and Abacoa as well as a medispa, Aesthetics at SpaZen, at the main location, still in Wellington. “Just as Wellington has expanded, my practice has expanded. My staff has grown, costs have become more difficult in Florida, but it’s still fun to practice,” Pillersdorf said. “Last year, we helped 4,900 patients.” The art of plastic surgery itself has grown, too. Where a facelift, rhinoplasty or a tummy tuck used to dominate plastic surgery practices, today there are a number of body-enhancing options — anything from chin implants to brow lifts, liposuction to breast reconstruction. “Breast surgery has changed,” Pillersdorf said. “Cancer is more readily diagnosed, and patients want reconstruction afterward, where they were often not even offered that option 20 years ago.”

anesthesia. It’s safer and less expensive… We put them on a pain pump for the first 72 hours, and they are generally back to work in a week.” Botox is another tool that plastic surgeons can use. Pillersdorf often uses it after mending a child’s cleft lip, to keep him from moving it. That’s part of Pillersdorf’s volunteer work for Project Access. Patients are referred through the Palm Beach Medical Society to doctors who donate their time and hospitals that donate their resources. But Pillersdorf’s donations go beyond that. In 1991, he donated one of his own kidneys to his brother Gary. With four children — all of whom grew up in Wellington and one of whom may be following in his father’s footsteps as a doctor — and a wife, Rhona, who “certainly supported me through the lean years,” Pillersdorf is looking toward the future, not only for his own family, but for his patients as well. Throughout the U.S., the population is aging, but people are healthier, too. “Patients are getting older, but they’re still in good shape, so we are still doing surgery on them,” Pillersdorf said.

Liposuction, which barely existed 20 years ago, has now been fine-tuned to the point where incisions are smaller and down-time is less.

Plastic Surgery of Palm Beach offers procedures for the face (chin, brows, eyelids, ears, lips and nose); body (tummy tucks, thigh lifts, arm lifts, liposuction, the sculpting of breasts and more) and skin (laser resurfacing of the face as well as the removal of hair, vascular lesions and tattoos).

“We use a lot more lasers,” Pillersdorf explained. “Medicine has changed. Patients want an earlier return to work. Everything we can, we do on an outpatient basis under local

For further information, or to schedule an appointment, call (800) 469-1511 or visit www.plasticsurgerypb.com or (especially for guys) www.plasticsurgeryisformentoo.com. |wellington the magazine| January 2011

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Laura Hanson, The Breakfast Lady Area Businesswoman Enjoys Her Sunday Morning Horse Show Role

Story by Matthew Auerbach

Breakfast is perhaps the most important meal of the day for kids. But actually getting youngsters to sit down and take the time to consume a healthy, balanced morning meal is next to impossible. One local businesswoman has found a way to do the impossible by mixing her love of kids and all things equestrian. Laura Hanson takes her job as vice president/wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch very seriously. For 27 years, she has been helping clients plan for their future. What she’s been doing on Sundays during equestrian season for the past two years is equally important to her — and has earned her the nickname “the Breakfast Lady.” “Two years ago, I began sponsoring the Medal Maclay Equitation Division of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington,” Hanson recalled. “One hundredplus kids between the ages of 13 and 17 come to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center from all over the country. They try to accumulate enough points with their riding and jumping talents to go to the national finals.” One of the first things Hanson assumed (quite rightly, it must be added) was that these kids were showing up Sunday mornings with empty or next-to-empty stomachs. She figured she’d help them out. “I decided to bring a table and put some bagels and muffins down in case anyone wanted something to eat,” Hanson said. Well, they did. That little bagel and muffin offering has turned into a full brunch, complete with croissants, sandwiches, wraps, and fruit and vegetable platters. Here’s another change: breakfast isn’t just for kids anymore. “Parents love it,” Hanson said. “Their children get a good breakfast, and so do they. The trainers and the grooms also benefit from brunch.” And so do the horses! “The kids pick out handfuls of apples and carrots and feed them to the horses,” she said. “It has worked out better than I could’ve ever hoped.”

(Right) During the workday, Laura Hanson works in financial service at the Palm Beach office of Merrill Lynch, but on Sundays during the Winter Equestrian Festival, she serves a different clientele. Photo by Abner Pedraza

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Laura Hanson started as a rider while growing up in New Jersey. Riding allows her to get away from her stressful job and relax. Photo by jack mancini/manciniphotos

Riding has long been a part of Hanson’s life. Both her grandparents were riders, as were she and her older sister, now a horse trainer in California. Hanson gave up riding at age 12, only to resume 23 years later.

“I pay for everything personally and have since the first breakfast,” she said. “I used to leave Jupiter at 6:30 a.m. every Sunday to pick out food and make sure it got to the center on time.”

“I lived in Rumson, N.J.,” she recalled. “On weekends, I’d go down to Colts Neck and ride.”

While the financial end falls squarely on Hanson’s shoulders, she now has help making it all happen.

In 1998, Hanson moved from New Jersey to Jupiter. Her love of horses has passed down to her nine-year-old daughter Emily.

“Costco has been kind enough to deliver the food for us recently,” Hanson said. “That has taken a big load off me.”

“She has been riding a little less than two years at Desert Rose Ranch in Jupiter,” Hanson said. “She’s too young to compete down in Wellington, but she loves it. I have no doubt she’ll be in the thick of things when she’s old enough.”

Hanson is happy to be connected to Wellington’s equestrian community. Her appreciation comes from seeing things from the inside.

Although her bosses at Merrill Lynch and the folks at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center throw their full support behind her efforts, it’s up to Hanson to literally put food on the table. 50

January 2011 |wellington the magazine|

“People come to Wellington from all over the world to watch and ride,” she said. “We have a worldclass facility here. Celebrities and their families know they’re protected, so they can relax, participate and enjoy the venue.” After all these years, riding is still


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an integral part of her life. “It allows me to de-stress and get totally energized,” Hanson said. “It’s really the opposite of what I do during the week. I’m not being dramatic when I say riding is a lifeline; I couldn’t handle life’s stresses without it.”

“It’s my pleasure to do it,” Hanson said. “This might sound strange, but providing breakfast ties in with my work at Merrill Lynch. When I’m there, I take care of clients. When I’m at the equestrian center on Sundays, I take care of kids.”

Hanson doesn’t seek out the spotlight for her good deeds, but she knows that what she’s doing at the horse show is appreciated.

Things will be a little different at the Winter Equestrian Festival this year. “I’ll be sponsoring the Adult and Amateur Ring this season,” Hanson said.

“When I see people from all over the world, no matter what their age, partaking of the buffet, that is a very gratifying sight,” she said. “But it always comes down to the kids. Knowing they’ll have the energy to participate at their highest level is what’s most important.” In the end, being known as the Breakfast Lady is nothing short of a labor of love.

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Will that mean the kids will be on their own for breakfast? “No,” she promised. “They’ll still eat. They’ll just have to walk a little to get to the food table.” Laura Hanson works out of the Merrill Lynch office at 249 Royal Palm Way, Palm Beach. For more information, call (561) 650-7363.

Laura Hanson is not just a horse show sponsor, she’s also a rider. Photo by jack mancini/manciniphotos


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The Death Of A Legend

Wellington Equestrian Pioneer Eugene Mische Dies At Age 79 Story by Kenneth Kraus

T

he horse world lost of one of its true pioneers when legendary horseman Eugene “Gene” Mische, the founder of Stadium Jumping, passed away on Dec. 3, 2010 at age 79 following a long, hard-fought battle with cancer. Born in Cleveland, Ohio on June 26, 1931, Mische, more than anyone else in history, changed the face of horse sports in the United States, all while turning Wellington into an international equestrian destination. The area that is now Wellington was no more than a crossroads when Mische first arrived to expand what was then called the Sunshine Circuit, a series of horse shows with stops in Winter Haven, Ocala and other spots on Florida’s west coast. Mische felt that it was important to draw the equestrian competition to South Florida, and his crowning achievement, the Winter Equestrian Festival, is now the largest and longest consecutively running equestrian event in the world, each season drawing thousands of competitors and their accompanying support teams to Wellington. Since the inception of the Winter Equestrian Festival in the 1980s, the competition that Mische envisioned has grown from three show rings and several hundred horses, to a massive undertaking that begins in January and runs through April each year. It now encompasses nearly a dozen competition areas and is the winter home to over 10,000 of the world’s finest horses and riders. All of South Florida, and especially Wellington, benefits from Mische’s vision of nearly three decades ago.

Gene Mische when he was given the Jimmy Williams Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Equestrian Federation in 2008.

Mische was the founding president of the Wellington Equestrian Alliance and was deeply involved in a host of equestrian-related issues that ranged from the creation of the Wellington Equestrian Preserve Area in the village’s comprehensive plan, to ensuring that the village’s codes and regulations help protect and enhance the equestrian community so vital to Wellington’s economy. “I don’t know if there’s any one thing that I’ll be |wellington the magazine| January 2011

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1. 1. Gene Mische at a special Winter Equestrian Festival ceremony in his honor in February 2009. 2. Mische leads the parade of riders at the American Invitational last year in Tampa. 3. George Morris, United States Equestrian Team show jumping chef d’equipe, honors Mische for all he has done for the sport. 4. Mische answers questions at a 2007 press conference. 5. Mische with Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson. 6. Mische rides with local TV personality Roxanne Stein.

2.

3. 4. 6.

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remembered for, but I hope when they judge me, they look at the overall contributions I’ve made and Stadium Jumping has made to the sport and to the industry,” Mische said shortly before his death. “We were the innovators of so many things the horse world takes for granted these days. We were the first company to ever have multiple shows, for more than one week, on a single show grounds. Now look at what you see across the nation – huge circuits of four, five, six, seven and twelve weeks, all in one place. I am so proud that we were able to create in Wellington, the greatest horse show circuit in the world.” Mische recently celebrated over 60 years in the equestrian industry, and over the course of his stellar career managed the most prestigious shows in America, including the Budweiser American Invitational, the American Grand Prix Association National Jumper Championship, the New Albany Classic, the Lake Placid and I Love New York horse shows, the Charlotte Jumper Classic, the American Gold Cup, the USEF National Jumper Championships and the National Horse Show. Other Stadium Jumping productions included the Olympic Games Show Jumping Team Selection Trials in 2000 and 2004, and the World Equestrian Games Show Jumping Team Selection Trials in 2002 and 2006. In 1980, Mische was part of the fivemember organizing committee that brought the first World Cup to the U.S. In 1989, Mische and Stadium Jumping produced the second Volvo World Cup ever held in the U.S. In 2002, Mische produced the first-ever outdoor Nations’ Cup, hosting it in Wellington. Mische was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 2000 and also received the Jimmy Williams Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Equestrian Federation. |wellington the magazine| January 2011

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Passion And Compassion Guide Ruth Menor, Founder Of Vinceremos Story by Rebecca Walton

When most people graduate from college, they dream of finding a great job that can make them lots of money and increase their status, but when Ruth Menor graduated, her goal was to help people. Menor is the founder of the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center. She graduated from Florida State University with a degree in therapeutic recreation and a love of horses. Menor, originally from Michigan, returned home to receive her instructor certification before moving to South Florida to start the area’s first therapeutic riding center in the 1980s. She knew she wanted to dedicate her life to helping those with disabilities through the gifts that horseback riding offers. “At first it was hard getting people to take it seriously,” Menor recalled. “They thought I was a kid in a backyard giving people pony rides; they didn’t see it as a therapy. It was certainly a building process.” Today, Vinceremos serves more than 350 riders through four different programs: Therapeutic Riding, Hippotherapy, Horses for Heroes and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy. “Our philosophy is based on our name, Vinceremos, which means to conquer or overcome. Our philosophy is for people to overcome the limits of their disabilities,” Menor said. Vinceremos encourages riders to be independent. “We have many riders who have learned to ride independently without a leader or a sidewalker,” Menor said. “On the one end we have really good horses, and secondly we have really skilled staff members able to teach people to their ability level… I think a lot of other therapeutic riding centers don’t encourage that independence nearly as much as we do.” Menor continues to stay involved with the day-to-day care of the facility and the horses. Every morning she heads out to feed the horses and make sure they are OK. “That is my time out at the barn, and they are still my horses even though they belong to Vinceremos,” she commented. Menor then returns to the office, because her job has become mostly administrative in recent years, although she still has one student that she works with directly. “I have one student who has been with me for over 20 years, and her mom drives 50 miles round trip. She is the only one I continue to teach,” Menor said. “I will fill in for instructors, 58 January 2011 |wellington the magazine|

Vinceremos Executive Director Ruth Menor with her husband Mike.

but pretty much I am always in the office making sure the finances are in order, contacting people who will assist the center and supervising everyone who works here.” Vinceremos is an organization that is constantly growing, recently hiring a development director to assist with making contacts to help support the center. The organization is also focused on the growth of the veterans program and wants to add an equine facilitated mental health program. “We’re always addressing mental health issues for people,” Menor said. “We want to have a focused program for people who have not had access to horses so they can understand the therapeutic benefits physically as well as physiologically.” And Menor is frequently reminded of the impact her programs have on clients. “Sometimes you don’t realize the impact that we have on people’s everyday lives,” she said. “It’s so wonderful to be reminded when a parent comes and says their child is walking so much better, or he or she is walking period when they hadn’t been walking previously.” The work at Vinceremos is special, and Menor has dedicated her whole life to the organization. It is truly a family business for Menor, because her husband helps around the farm, her mother acts as the secretary and her daughter spent many years volunteering. She also considers her handful of employees and 100 volunteers who run Vinceremos her family as well. “It takes so many people to do this; it’s a job that everybody joins in on,” Menor smiled. “There are so many people who have believed in us. What Vinceremos has accomplished is not just because of me; it’s because of everyone involved.” The Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center is located in Loxahatchee Groves. Call (561) 792-9900 or visit www.vinceremos.com for more info.


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wellington star

Yvonne Losos De Muñiz A Childhood In Africa Leads To International Acclaim In Dressage Story by Lauren Miró

Dressage rider Yvonne Losos de Muñiz has come a long way from exploring the plains of Africa on her pony. With Olympic dreams and a list of medals behind her, she has turned her passion into a successful dressage career, making her this month’s Wellington Star. Losos de Muñiz, 43, was born in Nigeria to a father who was a veterinarian to large animals. Though he did not ride competitively, her father owned horses. Riding was common, and it was no surprise that Losos de Muñiz learned early. “There’s a huge equestrian influence [in Africa] because we have the racehorses,” Losos de Muñiz said. “Everybody rides there.” Though racing was a more popular sport, a strong British influence meant there were also competitive jumping, gymkhana (timed games) and other events. But perhaps the most popular activity for equestrians was trail rides. “Over there, there’s a lot of ride outs because it’s so beautiful,” she said. But these trails were not the sort found in Wellington. Instead, Losos de Muñiz and her friends would ride through the plains of Africa, among wild animals. “We ran into a pride of lions once,” she recalled. “Thank God they had just eaten, so they weren’t looking at us as a meal. My fence line was the game park. I’d come home, get changed, and instead of doing my homework, I’d jump up on my pony bareback. My friend lived down the road, and we’d meet up and go tearing through the plains. It was a very carefree, adventurous way of learning to ride.” It was that way of riding that made Losos de Muñiz the class of rider she is today.

Dressage rider Yvonne Losos de Muñiz at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Cealy Tetley

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“You just didn’t fall off,” Losos de Muñiz said. “It’s a major part of my balance and my being able to stay on, as well as my love for the animals. Riding bareback helps a lot, it translates into having natural balance.”


‘I was going to do something with horses. But I would never have thought this is where I would be: sitting in Florida, riding internationally, coming from Africa.’ Yvonne Losos de Muniz

Wellington’s Yvonne Losos de Muñiz with one of her Grand Prix geldings, San Piko. Photo by susan lerner

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But Losos de Muñiz never dreamed that her passion for riding would turn her into an international competitor, and especially not in dressage. “I was going to do something with horses,” she recalled. “But I would never have thought this is where I would be: sitting in Florida, riding internationally, coming from the plains of Africa.” Losos de Muñiz initially had other plans for her riding career. “I wanted to be a jockey,” she said. “I’ve always been the more adventurous type. That’s why it’s sort of strange that, if you look at my upbringing, I’m now doing dressage. It’s very prim and proper.” But her racing dreams were dashed when she became too tall to be a jockey, prompting her to find the jumping ring. Initially, she competed in both jumping and dressage. “I got my start in Wellington,” Losos de Muñiz said.

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“I came to compete in both dressage and jumping about 10 years ago.” It was only eight years ago that she switched her focus to dressage solely and began training with top names like Jean Bemelmans in Germany and current trainer Diederik Wigmans from Holland. “I love jumping, but I found I was a better dressage rider,” Losos de Muñiz said. In 1990, Losos de Muñiz moved to the Dominican Republic, the country that she now represents in the international arenas. Her husband, Eduardo, owns a private training facility for competitive jumper and dressage riders. “We had the Pan American Games there in 2003,” she said. “I was going to go for both disciplines, dressage and jumping, but my main jumper got injured, and I had to get a new horse. I just couldn’t click with it fast enough to be able to compete at that level. So I

ended up competing in only dressage.” Losos de Muñiz took home a bronze medal that year for the Dominican Republic, and since then she has rocketed to the top ranks of riders. She earned another bronze medal at the 2007 Pan American Games and has won several medals at the Central American and Caribbean Games as well. “I love the technicalities of dressage,” she said. “You have to be a lot more connected with your horse in dressage than in jumping.” Last year, she qualified for the World Equestrian Games. But the tragic death of her horse Optimus Prime in August prevented her from competing. He died from laminitis, a disease that affects the hooves. “The highlight this year was qualifying for the World Equestrian Games,”


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she said. “It was very competitive, and I qualified on a horse I had only had for six months. But he died six weeks before the games.”

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Despite the loss, Losos de Muñiz is focusing on an even bigger goal: the 2012 Olympic Games. Currently, she has two other grand prix horses and is training a third, and the qualifiers begin in March. Part of her success in riding, Losos de Muñiz said, is that she has always trained her own horses. “I didn’t buy made, expensive horses,” she said. “I always found the ones people don’t want or can’t ride. I never thought anything difficult about it because I had always been in situations where I had to stay on.” And riding difficult horses has helped make her a better rider, especially for dressage, which depends on effective communication between horse and rider. “I’m careful,” she said, “but I’ve been able to stay on the difficult ones. I don’t mind the difficult horses. I like the challenge.”

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Losos de Muñiz moved full time to Wellington two years ago, and as she begins another competitive equestrian season, she hopes to continue to compete and move up in the international rankings. “I want to compete until the day I drop,” she said. “I’m competitive. I like to win. Obviously, being successful has been a big motivator, but I just love it.”

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wellington home

(Above) Perfect for entertaining, or for laying out the owner’s next grand plan, the central rotunda’s office/lounge features recessed lighting, a split circle bar and a full kitchen with cherry cabinetry, green granite tops and stainless steel appliances. (Right) Viewed from the back, the central rotunda stands out. A spiral staircase extends from its balcony and an enclosed detached manure bin is at the far left. A four-horse automatic horsewalker (not shown) is also located on the property.

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A Horse Lover’s Dream In Grand Prix Farms

3.4-Acre Estate Features Incredible Equestrian Amenities Story by Deborah Welky

Wellington equestrian properties often include an arena designed either for dressage or jumping practice. This Grand Prix Farms property, built in 2005, is unusual in that it has both. In addition, all accompanying arenas and paddocks can be viewed from a number of strategically placed balconies, or indoors from its central rotunda. Located on 3.4 acres, the custom-designed, 15,366-square-foot structure boasts four bedrooms and five and a half baths. The owner’s living suite is located at one end of the expansive building; an office/lounge is in the rotunda; and a second living area, home to the barn manager, is on the other end. The 20-stall barn was built to the highest standards for hurricane protection and features reinforced concrete walls and gas-powered generators. Video surveillance outside and in allows the owner to travel out of state or even out of the country and still keep an eye on things via the web.

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wellington home

(Above) An unprecedented view is just part of the deliciousness of this kitchen, located in the owner’s suite. Cherry cabinets have been fitted with frosted glass and countertops were made from Spanish Gold granite. Not wanting a bright, shiny surface, the owner had the granite etched to a patina reminiscent of a Ming Dynasty vase. The custom-curved bar invites friends to chat over cocktails as dinner is being prepared. (Right) Intricate mosaic tilework leads the eye directly from the bathroom floor to yet another stunning view. Sky-high mirrors and a coved ceiling provide a feeling of spaciousness, as does the glass-walled shower. Continuity throughout the home is achieved with cherry wood cabinetry and matching trim work, as in this window frame, the ceiling moldings and the corbels under the bar in the kitchen (above).

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(Above) Bathed in the glow of a sunset, this brick-sided home in Wellington’s equestrian preserve area puts the accent where it belongs — on the horses. This view of the front elevation shows its three turrets to best advantage. Balconies in both front and back are hugely accommodating, perfect for taking advantage of Florida’s cool winter weather during after-show get-togethers.

(Right inset) Majestic wrought-iron gates open into the 20-stall barn where good lighting and every safety precaution have been installed, providing protection for each one of the owner’s equine investments.

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wellington home

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wellington table

Palm Beach Style In Wellington At Oli’s Fashion Cuisine & Bar Story by Lauren Miró Photos by Abner Pedraza and Gregory Ratner

For the best in Italian-American fashion cuisine look no further than Oli’s Fashion Cuisine & Bar, now open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks on Forest Hill Blvd. near the Mall at Wellington Green, offering all the quality and style of Palm Beach in the heart of Wellington. Partners Juan Gando and Dustin Parfitt bring their combined experience working in high-end restaurants as maitre d’ and executive chef respectively. The two met working at Cucina Dell’ Arte in Palm Beach. The duo chose Italian-American food because of their background and the wide appeal to customers. “It’s a mix of everything that everybody likes,” Gando said. “Everyone likes Italian, everybody likes American. People don’t have to go anywhere else for the best of both.” Wellington was a natural choice for Parfitt, who is a Wellington High School graduate. “We call it the new Palm Beach,” he said. “We wanted to bring Palm Beach food and service out here to Wellington because we saw that need for it. It was all chain restaurants. We thought there was a need for a real chef that comes in and cooks every day.” Oli’s takes its name from Wellington’s own history: landowner C. Oliver Wellington, the community’s namesake. “In the beginning we were going to name it Oliver’s,” Gando said. “But then we thought, ‘Well no, we’ll call it Oli’s.’ People will say, ‘I’ll meet you at Oli’s.’ It sounds better.” The restaurant is both classy and modern, with white-brick walls decorated with colorful artwork. Two large, ball-shaped chandeliers hang from the black, industrial roof. Large doors at the front of the restaurant can be opened to provide light and access to the patio.

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(Far left) Paulina’s ceviche is served Ecuadorian style in a tomato-lime sauce. (Right) The avocado wedges feature grilled avocados topped with a mango salsa. (Below) Oli’s Fashion Cuisine & Bar offers diners the choice of inside dining or a patio dining experience — perfect for a mild Wellington winter evening.

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Oli’s signature shank rib is a delicious combination of meat and homemade pasta.

The furniture is sleek and modern, and customers can choose from a table and chairs, a high-top table, a luxurious booth or to eat at the large, marble-top bar. Behind the bar are a large television and a monumental wine rack, filled to the brim with a variety of wines. Parfitt noted that Oli’s serves the freshest food, including fresh-caught fish, handmade pasta and desserts, all in fashionable presentations. “It’s not some corporation that serves frozen food,” Parfitt said. “People want someone who shops around, someone who has a fisherman who brings the catch in right off the beach. And it’s fashion cuisine. We put out a really cool presentation. We try to make it pretty.” The restaurant brings to Wellington something that Parfitt and Gando felt was missing: Palm Beach class combined with CityPlace nightlife. Open until 2 a.m., Oli’s transforms from a high-end restaurant to a nightclub at night, offering drinks and dancing. “There’s lights and a disco ball,” Parfitt said. “And we put in a great sound system.” 74 January 2011 |wellington the magazine|

But the real star of the restaurant is the food. The dinner menu offers the best of both Italian and American foods with a unique twist. For an appetizer, try Paulina’s ceviche ($10), served Ecuadorian style in a tomato-lime sauce. The fresh shrimp is dripping in zesty flavor and paired with fried banana chips for an added crunch. It’s served in a martini glass for a fun twist. If vegetables are more your style, the Avocado Wedges ($10) offer a healthy, fresh treat rich with flavor. The avocados are grilled and topped with a mango salsa made of mangos, cucumbers and onions. A volcano aioli tops off the dish. The texture of the smooth, creamy avocados is offset by the crunch of the mango salsa, and the combination of robust and sweet flavors makes this dish a delicious choice. For dinner, choose Oli’s signature shank rib, a delicious combination of meat and fresh, homemade pasta in a meat sauce that provides a substantial, delicious meal. The meat melts in your mouth, and the pasta tastes as fresh as it looks.

But Oli’s also offers a complete breakfast and lunch menu, teeming with delicious options from appetizers, salads and seafood to sandwiches, steaks and burgers. The unique combination of fine cuisine and a place to dance the night away is sure to make Oli’s a staple in the Wellington community for years to come. “When I used to come out here, there was nothing like this,” Gando said. “You have everything. You have excellent food and amazing entertainment.” Oli’s Fashion Cuisine & Bar is located in Wellington Green Square near Fresh Market at 10610 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 20. For more information, call (561) 7922220 or visit www.olisrestaurant.com.

Juan Gando and Dustin Parfitt of Oli’s Fashion Cuisine & Bar.


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wellington dining guide Agliolio Fresh Pasta & Wine Bar offers a fine dining experience at casual dining prices. Create your own “Pasta-Bility” with Agliolio’s 100-percent fresh pastas and homemade sauces full of bold and fresh flavors. Ask about the “Perfect Pair” entrees. Agliolio offers an extensive wine list by the glass and the bottle. For more info., call (561) 798-7770 or visit Agliolio in the Wellington Plaza at 12793 W. Forest Hill Blvd. at the corner of Wellington Trace. Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant is located on Forest Hill Blvd. near the Mall at Wellington Green. Specializing in family-style Italian cuisine, Buca di Beppo is known for its large portions designed to serve several people. If you’ve got a large party, reserve the Pope’s Room; for a unique experience, reserve the table in the kitchen. For more info., call (561) 790-3287 or visit www.bucadibeppo.com. Christy’s NY Cheesecake offers delicious baked goods that leave you wanting more. Christy’s is now open in its new, larger location at the Pointe at Wellington Green at 10160 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 110. Call (561) 795-3244 for more info. For a quick pick-me-up on the go, or a place to sit and relax over a cup of coffee, visit Cofftea Café in the Courtyard Shops at the corner of Greenview Shores Blvd. and Wellington Trace. For more info., call (561) 798-4050. Enjoy a delicious drink, a beautiful water view, fantastic music and authentic Mexican food all without packing your suitcase at El Toro Mexican Family Restaurant adjacent to the Royal Inn at the corner of Southern and Royal Palm Beach boulevards. Dine in or enjoy the patio bar. For more info., call (561) 296-7102. Gabriel’s Cafe & Grille is Wellington’s oldest restaurant. Serving breakfast and lunch, Gabriel’s is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily in the Wellington

Plaza at the intersection of Forest Hill Blvd. and Wellington Trace. For more info., call (561) 793-0675.

Foods Market in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 333-1263 or visit www.jasonsdeli.com.

Grand Buffet is located in the Royal Plaza at the corner of Southern and Royal Palm Beach boulevards featuring an all-you-can-eat Chinese and Japanese buffet. Enjoy a 40-foot-long sushi bar, barbecue bar, teriyaki bar, salad bar, dessert bar and hibachi station. Meeting and party rooms are available. For more info., call (561) 784-9902.

Joe’s American Bar & Grill, a neighborhood staple for traditional American cuisine, is now open in the Mall at Wellington Green near the food court. Lunch, dinner and weekend brunch are served featuring a menu full of items prepared using the freshest quality ingredients. Joe’s is a favorite for a casual lunch, a family dinner or a gathering of friends. Visit Joe’s at 10300 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington. For info., visit www.joesamerican.com or call (561) 798-7433.

Drop by the Gypsy’s Horse Irish Pub & Restaurant and relax in a warm, traditional Irish setting complete with oak-barrel tables and a full bar with many types of beer flowing from the taps. Regular live entertainment is offered. The Gypsy’s Horse is located in the original Wellington Mall at 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd. Call (561) 333-3700 for more info. Hilary’s Restaurant, an authentic kosher-style diner in Royal Palm Beach, serves breakfast and lunch any day of the week and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Good food, generous portions and great service make Hilary’s a hometown favorite. It is located in the Royal Plaza at the corner of Southern and Royal Palm Beach boulevards. For more info., call (561) 790-7301. I’m Greek Today features a menu with a strong emphasis on one of the world’s healthiest diets — food that is simple and elegant, fresh, timeless and Mediterranean. Enjoy authentic Greek cuisine as well as wines from around the world. I’m Greek Today is located in Southern Palm Crossing at 11051 Southern Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach. For more information, call (561) 333-4233 or visit www.imgreektoday.com. Jason’s Deli is where all the food is free of artificial trans fats, MSG and high-fructose corn syrup. Enjoy wonderful sandwiches, wraps, soups, salads and fruit. You can even build your own sandwich! Jason’s Deli is located at 2605 State Road 7 near Whole

Lock Stock and Barrel Restaurant, located at 3208 Forest Hill Blvd. in West Palm Beach, is your neighborhood grill for steaks, chops and seafood. Enjoy a full bar with wines and cocktails that complement wonderful appetizers, salads and sandwiches for lunch, as well as a selection of the finest steaks, chops and featured seafood entrees. A children’s menu is available. For info., call (561) 649-4545 or visit www.lockstockandbarrelrestaurant.com. Mamma Mia’s Trattoria has served South Florida since 1983. Huge portions; open for lunch and dinner; featuring New York-style brick oven pizza; specializing in fresh seafood, oakwood-grilled lambchops, slow-roasted ossobuco and frutti di mare. Mamma Mia’s is located at 8855 Hypoluxo Road at Lyons Road. Call (561) 963-9565 for more info. Mitch’s Westside Bagels Too is a little slice of Brooklyn right here in Wellington, located at 2465 State Road 7. Enjoy the delicious fresh breakfast or lunch. The bagels are baked fresh daily right in the store. All deli meats are prepared fresh on site. Enjoy legendary salads like tuna, whitefish and chicken. Catering is available. For more info., call (561) 422-6114 or visit www.mitchswestsidebagels.com. Oli’s Fashion Cuisine & Bar is now open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks on Forest Hill Blvd. near the Mall at Wellington Green, offering all the quality and style of Palm Beach in the heart of Wellington. For more info., call (561) 792-2220 or visit www.olis restaurant.com. The Players Club Restaurant & Bar (13410 South Shore Blvd., Wellington) features gourmet cuisine along with a popular piano bar, outside dining, two outside smoking bars, live entertainment and catered events. Call (561) 795-0080 for info. Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine at Ristorante Vino, located at 12041 Southern Blvd. at the corner of Crestwood Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach. The restaurant opens for dinner at 5 p.m. seven nights a week. For reservations, call (561) 790-3232. Stonewood Grill & Tavern in the Pointe at Wellington Green serves up exciting flavors in a casually sophisticated setting. The gourmet American fare features delicious entrees with the perfect wines to accompany. Call (561) 784-9796 or visit www.stone woodgrill.com for more info. Sushi Yama Siam is located at 12785 W. Forest Hill Blvd. in the Wellington Plaza at the corner of Wellington Trace and Forest Hill Blvd. Specializing in sushi, Sushi Yama Siam also offers exciting appetizers, sushi rolls, temaki, tempura, katsu, stir-fry, curry and signature rolls. For more info., call (561) 747-6875. Drop by the award-winning TooJay’s Original Gourmet Deli in the Mall at Wellington Green for breakfast, lunch or dinner. TooJay’s is reminiscent of your favorite New York delicatessen. Specialties include signature overstuffed sandwiches, chicken noodle soup and traditional deli classics. For more info., call (561) 784-9055 or visit www.toojays.com. Tree’s Wings & Ribs is located at 603 Royal Palm Beach Blvd. in the Royal Plaza. Eat in or pick up your order of signature wings, ribs, chicken and more. Tree’s also delivers mouthwatering menu items, and caters events and parties. Visit www.treeswingsand ribs.com or call (561) 791-1535 for more info.

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wellington calendar

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Tuesday, Jan. 4 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host “Meet the Author: Warren Richey” on Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 6:30 p.m. for adults. Without a Paddle is the story of the author’s unique experience in a 1,200-mile race around Florida in a kayak. A book signing will follow. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. • NETworks will present Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Tuesday through Sunday, Jan. 4-9 at the Kravis Center (701 Okeechobee Blvd., WPB). Call (561) 832-7469 or visit www.kravis.org for info. Thursday, Jan. 6 • Whole Foods Market (2635 State Road 7, Wellington) will host a “Savvy Shopper Tour” on Thursday, Jan. 6 at 6 p.m. Take a budget-friendly tour sure to please your family and your wallet. There is no charge. Call (561) 904-4000 to pre-register. Saturday, Jan. 8 • The Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Miracle League is joining forces with current and former Major League Baseball players and umpires in the inaugural Miracle League Golf Tournament to benefit retired MLB umpires. The event will be held Saturday, Jan. 8 at the Links at Madison Green (2001 Crestwood Blvd., Royal Palm Beach). RSVP to Jennifer Hernandez at (561) 784-5225, ext. 103. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host “Grandma, I Met My ‘Bashert’: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Dating Online” on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 2:30 p.m. for adults. Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe returns for another hilarious look at pop culture. Call (561) 790-6070 to RSVP. Sunday, Jan. 9 • The 2011 High-Goal Polo Season continues at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (3667 120th Avenue South, Wellington) on Sunday, Jan. 9. For more information, call (561) 204-5687 or visit www.internationalpoloclub.com. Monday, Jan. 10 • The Palms West Chamber of Commerce will host a luncheon Monday, Jan. 10 at 11:30 a.m. at the Wellington Community Center (12165 W. Forest Hill Blvd.). Chamber officials will update members on the work of the Economic Development Task Force. Call (561) 790-6200 to RSVP. Tuesday, Jan. 11 • Palm Beach Photographic Centre will host the 16th Annual FOTOfusion Jan. 11-15 featuring more than 100 events. The Photographic Centre is located at the City Center municipal complex at 415 Clematis St. in downtown West Palm Beach. For more information, visit www.fotofusion.org or call (561) 253-2600. • Whole Foods Market (2635 State Road 7, Wellington) will host “Block Party: JustWorld International” on Tuesday, Jan. 11 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Enjoy free samples around the store and your chance to vote for your favorite team. Each department will create a dish that represents one of the projects supported by JustWorld International. Call (561) 9044000 for more info. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host “Meet the Author: Trish MacGregor” on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 6:30 p.m. for adults. Chat, ask questions and get the scoop on this local author’s latest thriller, Esperanza. A book signing will follow. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. • Maltz Jupiter Theatre (1001 E. Indiantown Road, Jupiter) will present The Sound of Music Jan. 11-30. Call (561) 743-2666 or visit www.jupiter theatre.org. Wednesday, Jan. 12 • The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival begins Wednesday, Jan. 12 and continues through April 3 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. More than $6 million in prize money will be awarded. Visit www.equestriansport.com or call (561) 793-5867 for more information. • Whole Foods Market (2635 State Road 7, Wellington) will host a “Stuff the Truck” food drive and

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five-percent day on Wednesday, Jan. 12. Five percent of the day’s net sales and all donated non-perishable goods will go to Palm Beach Harvest. The food drive will take place from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the parking lot. Call (561) 904-4000 for more info. • The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach) will present the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. Call (561) 832-7469 or visit www. kravis.org for more info. Thursday, Jan. 13 • Whole Foods Market (2635 State Road 7, Wellington) will feature a “Gluten-Free Cooking” class Thursday, Jan. 13 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Chef Joe demonstrates how to prepare gluten-free recipes that taste great and are easy to prepare. There is no charge. Call (561) 904-4000 for more info. Friday, Jan. 14 • The 2011 South Florida Fair will take place Jan. 14-30 at the South Florida Fairgrounds (9067 Southern Blvd.). For more info., call (561) 793-0333 or visit www.southfloridafair.com. • Whole Foods Market (2635 State Road 7, Wellington) will offer “Mom’s Morning Escape” on Friday, Jan. 14 from 9 to 11 a.m. There is no charge. Moms will receive a free mini-massage, coffee or tea and a muffin from the coffee bar. Moms will also receive free recipes, samples and tips from the new health specialist. Call (561) 904-4000 to pre-register. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will feature “April Armstrong: Celebrating the Dream” on Friday, Jan. 14 at 3:30 p.m. for all ages. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., storyteller April Armstrong will tell stories of hope, strength and courage. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. • The Duncan Theatre at Palm Beach State College (4200 S. Congress Ave., Lake Worth) will present Noche Flamenca on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 14 and 15. Noche Flamenca is recognized as the most authentic flamenco touring company in the field today. Call (561) 868-3309 or visit www.duncantheatre. org for more info. Saturday, Jan. 15 • The Honda Classic 5K Run/Walk benefiting Seagull Industries for the Disabled will be held Saturday, Jan. 15 at 7:30 a.m. at PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens. For more info., visit www. thehondaclassic.com/5k. • Whole Foods Market (2635 State Road 7, Wellington) will host a “Whole Body Fair” on Saturday, Jan. 15 from noon to 4 p.m. Find the best products in the Whole Body Department to get free samples, talk with vendors and learn about body care, supplements, cosmetics and more. Call (561) 904-4000 for more info. Sunday, Jan. 16 • The 2011 High-Goal Polo Season continues at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (3667 120th Avenue South, Wellington) on Sunday, Jan. 16. For more information, call (561) 204-5687 or visit www.internationalpoloclub.com. • The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival will feature the $30,000 Speed Derby on Sunday Jan. 16. Visit www.equestriansport.com or call (561) 7935867 for more information. Monday, Jan. 17 • Whole Foods Market (2635 State Road 7, Wellington) will offer a “Fight Diabetes Naturally” class on Monday, Jan. 17 at 6:30 p.m. Join Dr. Tim DeCanio, a board-certified chiropractic neurologist and renowned speaker, to learn about foods to eat and avoid. Registration is required at customer service or by calling (561) 904-4000. Tuesday, Jan. 18 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host “Doodlemania!” on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 4:30 p.m. for age 9 and up. Like to doodle? Test your skills with an artist’s challenge. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will offer “Introduction to Irish Dancing” on |wellington the magazine| January 2011

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wellington calendar Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 6:30 p.m. for adults. Marie Marzi from Drake School of Irish Dance will guide you through beginner steps based on traditional dance forms. Wear comfortable clothing and sneakers. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. Wednesday, Jan. 19 • Howard Gordon, the executive producer of such shows as 24, The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, will do a signing of his first novel Gideon’s War on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble (10500 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington). Call (561) 792-1292 for info. Thursday, Jan. 20 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will hold a “Master the Art of Reading” book discussion series on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m. for adults. Sara Harris will lead a discussion of Absolute Power by David Baldacci. Sign up and check out the book. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. • Whole Foods Market (2635 State Road 7, Wellington) will offer a “Health Starts Here” tour and demonstration on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m. There is no charge. Pre-registration is required at customer service or by calling (561) 904-4000. Saturday, Jan. 22 • Whole Foods Market (2635 State Road 7, Wellington) will host “Tender Loving Care for Families” on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 11 a.m. Bring your favorite people to the Lifestyle Center for an hour of therapeutic family energizing with Dr. Laura Valhuerdi. Pre-registration is required at customer service or by calling (561) 904-4000. • The $50,000 Equine Couture/Tuff Rider Grand Prix will be the first night event of the Winter Equestrian Festival on Saturday, Jan. 22 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (14440 Pierson Road, Wellington). Visit www. equestriansport.com or call (561) 793-5867 for info.

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Sunday, Jan. 23 • The 2011 High-Goal Polo Season continues at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (3667 120th Avenue South, Wellington) on Sunday, Jan. 23. For more information, call (561) 204-5687 or visit www.internationalpoloclub.com. • Whole Foods Market (2635 State Road 7, Wellington) will host “Health Starts Here: Kids Bundle up for Nutrition” on Sunday, Jan. 23 at 3 p.m. with Healthy Eating and Green Mission Specialist Mary Ann Waldbart. Pre-registration is required at customer service or by calling (561) 904-4000.

will feature “Brain Games” on Thursday, Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. for age 8 and up. Exercise your brain with puzzles, riddles and twisters that will really make you think. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. • Whole Foods Market (2635 State Road 7, Wellington) will feature “Dinner with a Gourmet Chef” on Thursday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. Master Chef Chris Paul of Wild Orchids Fusion restaurant will create a multi-course meal using Whole Foods Market’s all-natural ingredients and expertly paired wines. The cost is $35 per person. Pre-registration is required at customer service or by calling (561) 904-4000.

Monday, Jan. 24 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host the Workforce Alliance Mobile Resource Unit on Monday, Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. Workforce Alliance helps match qualified candidates with the right jobs. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register.

Saturday, Jan. 29 • The 20th annual Komen South Florida Race for the Cure to fight breast cancer is set for Saturday, Jan. 29. The race is now accepting sponsorship applications and race registration for participants at www.komensouthflorida.org. For more information about the race, call (561) 514-3020. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will hold “Presidents & Their First Ladies, Dramatically Speaking: Harry & Bess Truman” on Saturday, Jan. 29 at 1:30 p.m. for adults. William and Sue Wills present the compelling story of this first couple’s life in the White House. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register and ticket info. • The $40,000 Equifit Grand Prix FEI CSI 2* will be the featured night event of the 2011 Winter Equestrian Festival on Saturday, Jan. 29 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (14440 Pierson Road, Wellington). Visit www. equestriansport.com or call (561) 793-5867 for more information.

Tuesday, Jan. 25 • Whole Foods Market (2635 State Road 7, Wellington) will feature “Deliciously Raw with Renate” on Tuesday, Jan. 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The cost is $20 per person. Pre-registration is required at customer service or by calling (561) 904-4000. Wednesday, Jan. 26 • The Palms West Chamber of Commerce will host a networking mixer on Wednesday, Jan. 26 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Ncognito Fitness (420 N. State Road 7, Royal Palm Beach). RSVP to (561) 790-6200. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host “Writers Live Presents: Michael Koryta” on Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m. for adults. This bestselling author will talk about his latest book The Cypress House. A book signing will follow. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info. Thursday, Jan. 27 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive)

Sunday, Jan. 30 • The 2011 High-Goal Polo Season continues at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (3667 120th Avenue South, Wellington) on Sunday, Jan. 30. For more information, call (561) 204-5687 or visit www.internationalpoloclub.com.


Photos by Denise Fleischman and Lauren Miró

around wellington

Dickens Caroliers — Donning Victorian costumes, the local a capella ensemble Third Row Center visited the Little Place in Wellington the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 21, performing Christmas carols for the students. Shown here are the singers with some of the young students.

Patriot Steel Arrives — The piece of steel that will highlight Wellington’s Patriot Memorial arrived in the western communities Saturday, Dec. 4 after its trip from New York. Shown here is Wellington Vice Mayor Matt Willhite with Councilwoman Anne Gerwig in front of the World Trade Center relic.

Poster Contest Winners — New Horizons Elementary School students participated in the Smokey Bear/Woodsy Owl poster contest Friday, Dec. 10. Shown here are Wellington Garden Club President Barbara Hadsell, forest ranger Mike Post, Smokey Bear, forest ranger Eric Evans, and cofirst-place winners Mark Kay and Kalie Cardenas.

Car Raffle Winner — This year’s Palms West Community Foundation Car Raffle winner Kristin Spillane picked up her new car on Monday, Dec. 20. The car was donated by Royal Palm Auto Mall, and Spillane chose a Toyota Highlander.

Lord’s Place Holiday Party — County Commissioner Jess Santamaria and the board members of My Brother’s/Sister’s Keeper Charitable Trust were joined by the Wellington Rotary Club in hosting a holiday party for the Lord’s Place clients and staff on Sunday, Dec. 12 at the original Wellington Mall.

Armand Foundation Award — The Olivia Grace Armand Foundation awarded its first scholarship on Saturday, Dec. 11 to Palms West Hospital nurse Susan Kustad. The $2,500 scholarship comes exactly one year after the death of Olivia Armand, who suffered from a very rare metabolic disorder. Shown here are Michael, Mikey and Trish Caprise Armand with Kustad.

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