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Bringing You The Best Of Wellington Since 2004





IPC Season Features Gauntlet Of Polo Polo’s Zenni Family Makes Its Mark Passing The Torch At Wellington Rec Pan-Asian Cuisine At Lemongrass Bistro

Herbie Pennell Cup

C.V. Whitney Cup*

USPA Gold Cup®*

December 30, 2018

February 13 – 24, 2019

February 24 – March 24, 2019

Joe Barry Cup

Butler Handicap

Gay Polo League™ Tournament

Ylvisaker Cup

U.S. Women’s Open Final

U.S. Open Polo Championship®*

February 17, 2019

January 3 – 13, 2019 January 11 – February 10, 2019

The Lucchese 40 Goal Challenge February 16, 2019

March 23, 2019

April 4 – 7, 2019

March 27 – April 20–21, 2019 *Debuting this season, the GAUNTLET OF POLO™ Series is the ultimate test of the world’s preeminent teams, most skilled athletes and finest horses in pursuit of the three most prestigious titles in North America and up to $1 million in prize money.

INTERNATIONAL POLO CLUB PALM BEACH 3667 120th Ave. South | Wellington, FL 33414 | | 561.204.5687

Relax. Refresh. Renew At Dor Life Spa, we use a combination of effective treatments to help you lose inches and smooth cellulite. Treatments include: • Lipo Cavitation • Radio Frequency • Laser Lipo • Body Sculpting Benefits include: • Painless • Non-surgical • Fast, long-lasting results • Increase energy and feel healthier Come in for a consultation today to find out what combination of treatments is right for you!


12794 FOREST HILL BLVD • SUITE 18A • WELLINGTON, FL 33414 • 561-557-4177

Newly Remodeled! 561-791-0990

11924 W. Forest Hill Blvd. Unit 34, Wellington, FL 33414

Walk-Ins Welcome Appointments Encouraged SPA



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MONDAY - SATURDAY 9:00 AM - 7:30 PM ~ SUNDAY 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM



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COUPON CODE: BROW19. *Valid at participating European Wax Center locations. Guests must not have received a brow service at any European Wax Center location within one year of redemption to qualify. Additional restrictions may apply. European Wax Center locations are independently owned and operated. Offer expires 3/31/19. © 2019 EWC Franchise, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


MUIRFIELD 2 | $585,000


Spacious and private 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom townhome | overlooks Palm Beach Polo & Country Club golf course | professionally decorated | two lush master suites | fully upgraded kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops | two-car garage and secluded courtyard

Expansive home with 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and 2 half-bathrooms | two separate lots allowing room for a second home or guest cottage | bright, open concept | marble floors and vaulted ceilings | a loft, walk-in closets, and large bathrooms | custom kitchen with wood cabinets, granite countertops and wet bar | 2.5 car garage | open patio and pool with garden views


SHADY OAKS | $899,000

Immaculate 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom first-floor home | wide-plank hardwood floors throughout | pristine finishes and a modern design touch | frameless shower doors | new LG Styler dry cleaning system | granite countertops and state-of-the-art Thermador appliances in kitchen | marble breakfast bar and glass tile backsplash

3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms within Palm Beach Polo & Country Club | exposed beams | wide-plank hardwood flooring | gourmet kitchen with exceptional architectural detailing | guest house | back patio centered around a large soaking pool with elegant fountains




This modern European designed home will impress those looking for a custom, quality, well thought out home. This home has been customized and redesigned by the current owners and no expense has been spared.

This home boasts approx. 5393 SF under air and approx. 6515 SF total sf sitting on a beautiful parcel of just over 1/2 acre. Close to Equestrian Venues, Great Schools, Shopping, Restaurants, Hospitals, Parks and Recreation and everything in between.

6 BR | 5 BA | 5,341 SF



5 BR | 5.1 BA | 5,393 SF



The Owners of this home have recently designed and completely remodeled the kitchen where no expense has been spared. Features a heated freeform pool and spa, beautiful gourmet kitchen, full-home generator, and a private backyard.

Absolutely stunning Courtyard home located on .42 acres in the Equestrian Club. This home has been completely updated. New kitchen, light fixtures, interior paint, bathrooms, pool and more! This home is perfect for entertaining and privacy.

5 BR | 4.1 BA | 4,332 SF



6 BR | 4.5 BA | 4,273 SF




Beautiful Calder Model located on expansive corner lot. Original Owners have taken great care in maintaining this beautiful property. Complete with Marble Floors in the main living areas and Wood Floors and Carpeting adorn all of the bedrooms.

Luxuriously decorated and fully appointed, quiet, extremely private, lakefront, 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom retreat in Castellina, Wellington’s newest gated community. Enjoy an oversized saltwater pool, upgraded kitchen, and stunning living spaces.


5 BR | 3.5 BA | 3,474 SF



Kim Jenard, CLHMS, CNS, EPro Real Estate Advisor 561-644-9650

The information contained herein has either been given to us by the owner of the property or obtained from sources that we deem reliable. We have no reason to doubt its accuracy but we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided herein.

4 BR | 3 BA | 3,220 SF

We’re Open and Ready to Help You on The Road to Better Health The Weight Management Center at Wellington Regional Medical Center is open and ready to get you on the road to better health and healthier weight. We look forward to serving you with: • Physician-directed, personalized programs • Exercise physiologist/fitness instruction • Dedicated treatment team • Nutrition management


Weight Management Center

Physicians are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Wellington Regional Medical Center. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians. For language assistance, disability accommodations and the non-discrimination notice, visit our website. 190114-7166 12/18

Keller Williams Luxury International is an exclusive, elite and sophisticated group of real estate consultants raising the bar for service in the upper-tier home market. As part of Keller Williams Realty, we offer our consultants opportunities to gain the highest level of expertise, connections and marketing resources to assist them in serving affluent buyers and sellers at the highest level.



Nancy Jennings, Broker

12008 S. Shore Blvd. Suite 201 | Wellington, FL 33414 (561) 472-1236 | (561) 472-1233 (fax) Each Keller Williams office is independently owned and operated.

Custom build YOUR Dream Home in exclusive Blue Cypress of Palm Beach Polo Golf & Country Club — Blue Cypress is one of 45 neighborhoods within Palm Beach Polo. There are several lots still available offering expansive Lake and/or Golf views. Palm Beach Polo is a private community offering Golf, Tennis, Fitness facilities, Poolside Dining and a number of Social Activities. Contact us to find out more information on this opportunity to be in the heart of the Equestrian Capital of the America!

2301 Sunderland Ave Wellington, Fl $575,000 — 4 Bedrooms/3.5 Baths Large double doors open up to the magnificent soaring ceilings and large open great-room with built-in bar and solid wood wine cabinet. All wood cabinetry in the kitchen, split floor plan with conveniently located bathrooms and tons of closet space make this house a true diamond in the rough. Roof replacement in 2005 come add your personal touch and make this home your castle! Seller willing to provide seller concessions towards upgrades.

Heather Suarez, PA and Adrienne Carruthers, PA

Karen Allen, Realtor, ALC,CLHMS 561-320-3338 www.HomeSweetHomeFL.Net 561-818-8403


Stunning, completely remodeled equestrian estate on 5 acres — in exclusive equestrian community of White Fences. 21 stalls, feed room, tack room and lots of storage, dressage arena with mirrors and updated grooms’ apartment. Hacking distance to the White Fences show grounds. Offered at $1,495,000.

Anna Niehaus, Realtor “Make The Right Move”

| 561-214-3310

WELLINGTON Nancy Jennings, Broker 12008 S. Shore Blvd. Suite 201 | Wellington, FL 33414 (561) 472-1236 | (561) 472-1233 (fax) Each Keller Williams office is independently owned and operated.

“Your Key Real Estate Professionals”


652 Edgebrook Lane Royal Palm Beach, Fl — Marvel at the beautiful stone frontage before entering the double doors into the grand foyer. Upon entering the home. Volume ceilings and beautifully curved staircase, floor to ceiling windows provide views of pool and Jacuzzi helping to shower the home with natural light. Downstairs boasts one full bedroom, large office and two full baths. Spacious kitchen features an abundance of cabinets as well as double oven, French door refrigerator, granite counter tops. Visit for more information.

Hadar Goldberg, PA

“A Home Changes Everything...Let Me Guide You Home”

| 561-389-6038

Polo West! Stunning, Renovated Home! — Bright, Spacious 4 bedroom, 3 bath, Impact windows, beautiful lot. Fireplace, plantation shutters, decorative window treatments throughout. French doors lead you to a large screened patio and pool, lovely summer kitchen, perfect for entertaining! Minutes from all Equestrian Venues. Offered at 640K.

Another Home Sold In Paddock Park! — Custom Estate, 4100sf, 4 Bedroom 3.5 bath 3 CG/Office, Bonus Room. FABULOUS Pool/Patio area, summer kitchen on 1.2 lush acres. CURIOUS TO KNOW WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH? Call The Jorgensen Team today for your private consultation.

Bill and Jody, The Jorgensen Team

Your Luxury Real Estate Professionals Client Focused. Results Driven.



Member of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing “We offer superior service to affluent buyers and sellers and in so doing, maximize their own success!”

15610 Cedar Grove Lane — Stunning 5 bedroom waterfront pool home with custom built outdoor kitchen and lushly landscaped in gated Binks Preserve. Upgrades include marble and bamboo wood floors, remodeled bathrooms and kitchen plus master bedroom and guest suite downstairs. Fully fenced yard with lots of privacy. Offered at $584,950

10320 Trianon Place — Versailles Pristine 4 bedroom 4 bath plus bonus office/5th w/3 car garage, heated pool/ spa with newer saltwater system, newer stainless steel appliances,granite,upgraded cabinets, oversized corner lot w/fenced yard in manned gated community. Offered at $538,500

2130 Windsock Way —Why go to the airport...When you can bring the airport to you? Prime location with direct access to the taxiway in Wellington’s premier, private, aeronautical community (Wellington Aero Club). Exquisitely customized with Palm Beach chic and style, reminiscent of an Addison Mizner estate, the home has the finest finishes. Enter through the heavy hurricane impact wood, iron and glass doors and notice the 36 inch marble tiles that flow throughout the first floor. There is an array of natural wood and stone textures, complimented by the use of Chicago Brick, creating a warm and inviting ambiance.

Paula Castro, P.A. GRI, CRS

Robert Ross, PA

Buy or Sell with Confidence. I’ll Show You How!

Wellington Luxury - Equestrian Style 561-723-2008 561-758-6185


12381 Cypress Island Offered at $6,595,000 — Live and entertain like a Rock Star in the newest and most sought-after community in Wellington’s Palm Beach Polo Club. The exquisitely constructed, gated, 6-bedroom/8.5-bath lake-view transitional home was designed by Insite Design Group. Boasting a double master suite on both floors, outdoor shower, two double garages with pull-through design and a staff / in-law quarters with private entrance.


Offered at $562,500 Binks Forest Preserve! — This 5-bedroom 3 bath pool home is that house!! Your outdoor living space is spectacular, with a salt water pool on your Travertine deck and screen enclosure, you will enjoy hosting family and friends. This house has it all, crown molding throughout, granite countertops in the master bathroom. Corian counters, an island, and a walk-in pantry in the kitchen, and 3 car garage! A rated schools!

Sophie Ghedin, Realtor, C.I.P.S.

Maria Raspanti, Realtor

Finding The Road To Your Dream Home Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

Work with a Realtor that speaks YOUR Language

| 561-236-1977

Recently Furnished!!! — One-of-a-kind home located in the heart of Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club. The Bermuda inspired home boasts a combination of wood, limestone, onyx and marble textures that highlight its best features. Relax on the custom marble pool deck at the end of a long day and enjoy a beautiful view of the 10th hole on the signature Cypress Course and 92-acre natural preserve. Located just minutes from the WEF show grounds. Offered at $1,875,000.

| 561-800-3609

WELLINGTON Nancy Jennings, Broker

Luis J. Rodriguez, Realtor Bringing Palm Beach To Wellington

| 561-385-2383

12008 S. Shore Blvd. Suite 201 | Wellington, FL 33414 (561) 472-1236 | (561) 472-1233 (fax) Each Keller Williams office is independently owned and operated.

660 Cindy Circle Lane — Little Ranches Exceptionally well laid out 4.75 acre farm with 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath pool home boasts all Impact windows/doors, 8 stall barn, 200’x100’ arena and huge grass field! Offered at $1,225,000.

16501 Van Gogh Road Loxahatchee 5 Acres — True Horseman’s Farm with superb arena and derby field, huge grassy paddocks, mature shade trees and a 10 stall barn with a completely renovated 3 bedroom/2.5 bath home and RV site. Offered at $900,000.

Marcia Ann Lichtenwalner, LLC, Realtor

Dedicated to exceeding your expectations; Let me do the ground work for you

| 561-707-7673

Member of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing

Amazing opportunity to own just over 5 acres in sought after Fox Trail — an equestrian community with all paved roads and bridle paths throughout. This charming home is move in ready and complete with impact windows, generator hook up and beautiful screened in pool area. This is the perfect place to build your dream equestrian facility! Just minutes from White Fences, WEF, Global Dressage and IPC, the possibilities are endless $550K.

SADDLE TRAIL PARK — GREAT Opportunity to be close to the Winter Equestrian Festival Horse Show grounds. 12 min walk to WEF. This property is perfect for the year round or seasonal Equestrian. There are 9 12X12, matted Stalls. 5 Large Paddocks. Spacious riding ring (Blend of Sand & Poly Fiber). Remodeled Efficiency w/full bath. Tack room, Wash racks. BEAUTIFUL 4 Bedroom, 3 Bath Home w/ Open floor plan. Fireplace. $2,900.000.

Joan “Nappy” Tranter, Realtor

Taking Great Strides To Bring You The Very Best

| 561-758-8321

WELLINGTON Nancy Jennings, Broker

Jennifer Drahan, LLC, Realtor “Let Me Open The Door For You”

| 281-851-7248

12008 S. Shore Blvd. Suite 201 | Wellington, FL 33414 (561) 472-1236 | (561) 472-1233 (fax) Each Keller Williams office is independently owned and operated.

About Keller Williams Luxury International Team We understand that buying or selling a home is more than just a transaction: it’s a life-changing experience. That’s why our team of highlyseasoned real estate professionals is dedicated to providing exceptional, personalized service for all of our clients. We take great pride in the relationships we build and always work relentlessly on the client’s behalf to help them achieve their real estate goals. Our team of experts represents the best and brightest in the industry, and we’re always striving to lead the field in research, innovation, and consumer education. Today’s buyers and sellers need a trusted resource that can guide them through the complex world of real estate. With our extensive knowledge and commitment to providing only the best and most timely information to our clients, we are your go-to source for real estate industry insight and advice. Our Mission Statement: Our philosophy is simple: clients come first. We pledge to be in constant communication with our clients, keeping them fully informed throughout the entire buying or selling process. We believe that if you’re not left with an amazing experience, we haven’t done our job. We don’t measure success through achievements or awards, but through the satisfaction of our clients.

contents 30

january 2019


BEST IS YET TO COME AT THE INTERNATIONAL POLO CLUB The International Polo Club Palm Beach welcomes back another elite season of worldclass polo for 17 weeks this winter. The 2019 season will host teams and spectators from around the world and will be highlighted by the new Gauntlet of Polo series.






Mariano Aguerre is one of the best polo players of his generation. The Argentine superstar’s résumé is loaded with impressive championships, highlighted by U.S. Open titles in 2005 with White Birch and in 2014 with Alegria. He remains a force on the field 30 years after winning his first major titles. By Y.A. Teitelbaum Jared Zenni and his family’s polo organization have come a long way in a short time. In his first attempt, Zenni helped his Daily Racing Form foursome capture the coveted U.S. Open Polo Championship last April, upsetting tournament favorite Valiente in last season’s finale at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. By Y.A. Teitelbaum

FACES OF POLO: TOP PLAYERS RETURN TO IPC THIS SEASON The world’s top polo players have galloped into Wellington for the 2019 winter season. Once again, the sport’s best athletes from around the world will compete in “the sport of kings” at the International Polo Club. As is our annual tradition, we highlight just a few of these elite players in this month’s issue.




BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR LISA FITTER PAYS IT FORWARD When Wellington resident Lisa Fitter faced a devastating breast cancer diagnosis in 2013, Susan G. Komen Florida was there to help. Now nearly five years cancer free, she is paying it forward through her work with the Race for the Cure. By Melanie Otero


WELLINGTON SOCIAL SCENE Thousands On Hand To Enjoy 35th Annual Wellington Holiday Parade Wellington Chamber’s Winterfest Brings Holiday Spirit To PBIEC Wellington Seniors Club Members Enjoy Festive Holiday Party Wellington Amphitheater Celebration Marks Holiday Of Chanukah Beacon Of Hope 5K Returns To Wellington’s Tiger Shark Cove





101 109 111 116 119


Ripples of change are percolating through the world of American polo, and Wellington’s Carlucho Arellano, the executive director of services for the United States Polo Association, is focused on making a big and positive impact on polo in the U.S. By Mike May

Departments 18 20 22 24 26


The Village of Wellington said goodbye to Parks & Recreation Director Bruce DeLaney recently and welcomed longtime village employee Eric Juckett into the top role at Wellington’s award-winning Parks & Recreation Department. DeLaney spent 24 years with Wellington and is one of the pillars of its longtime recreation success. By Callie Sharkey Taste-tempting Pan-Asian cuisine is adding new flavor to the Mall at Wellington Green. Lemongrass Asian Bistro is one of the newest restaurants to offer shoppers, moviegoers and casual diners an experience full of imaginative dishes with a fresh, unique approach. By Melanie Kopacz

104 113

WELLINGTON PROFESSIONAL WELLINGTON REAL ESTATE WELLINGTON HEALTH WELLINGTON DINING GUIDE WELLINGTON CALENDAR ON THE COVER Polo great Mariano Aguerre, profiled this month, has been a force to be reckoned with on the field for three decades. PHOTO BY ALEX PACHECO

wellington the magazine | january 2019


WELLINGTON Bringing You The Best Of Wellington Since 2004


volume 16, number 1 january 2019

executive editor

Joshua I. Manning


Dawn Rivera

senior graphic designer Stephanie Rodriguez

graphic designers

Nancy Pobiak Yolanda Cernicky

account managers

Betty Buglio Evie Edwards Wanda Glockson Joetta Palumbo


Jill Kaskel Carol Lieberman

photography Abner Pedraza


Matthew Auerbach Ray Burow Erin Davisson Denise Fleischman Melanie Kopacz Mike May Melanie Otero Caroline Roche Callie Sharkey M. Dennis Taylor Y.A. Teitelbaum Deborah Welky Catherine Zachariadis

Wellington The Magazine

12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 33 Wellington, FL 33414 Phone: (561) 793-7606 Fax: (561) 793-1470

published by

Wellington The Magazine LLC


Barry S. Manning Wellington The Magazine is published monthly in Wellington, Florida. Copyright 2019, 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.


january 2019 | wellington the magazine


publisher’s | message

Exciting Polo Season Gets Underway In Wellington

The equestrian season is underway, with high-goal action at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Throughout Wellington, you can spot horse trailers, riders and grooms getting ready for the best season yet. This polo-themed January issue focuses on the “sport of kings.” The 2019 season at IPC will feature 17 weeks of high-goal polo action this winter, highlighted by the new Gauntlet of Polo series. Learn more on our pages this month. Our cover feature profiles Mariano Aguerre, one of the best polo players of his generation, who remains a force on the field 30 years after winning his first major titles. We also speak to the Zenni family about where they go from here after capturing the coveted U.S. Open Polo Championship last April, upsetting tournament favorite Valiente. Next, as is our annual tradition, we highlight just a few of the elite polo players in this month’s Faces of Polo section. Also this month, we sit down with Wellington’s Carlucho Arellano, executive director of services for the USPA. He’s a man on a mission to grow the sport in the United States. Meanwhile, every polo operation needs grooms such as Elly Brien, profiled this issue. Polo grooms work hard to keep dozens of horses in top form. Moving off of polo, we visit with breast cancer survivor Lisa Fitter, who is paying it forward through her work with the Race for the Cure. We also meet Lauren Starr, a Wellington High School alum and avid runner, who has found a home on the trails in the new Arden community. This year’s Team Wellington series will highlight some of the amazing professionals who make up the team at the Village of Wellington. We launch this month with changes at Wellington’s award-winning Parks & Recreation Department, where Wellington recently said goodbye to Parks & Recreation Director Bruce DeLaney and welcomed longtime village employee Eric Juckett into the role. Wellington Professional this month visits with Scott Strochak, director of alternative investments at Castleberry Financial Services, who has been in the wealth management business for 35 years. Wellington Real Estate profiles Abby Jones, a fourth-generation Floridian whose professional background and love of horses make her a perfect fit at Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty. Wellington Health stops by the office of orthodontist Dr. Randall Shults, who enjoys making smiles beautiful. Finally, Wellington Table samples the fare at the new Lemongrass Asian Bistro, located in the Mall at Wellington Green, featuring imaginative dishes with a fresh, unique approach. As Wellington’s equestrian season continues to grow, making our community one of the world’s finest destinations in equestrian sport, we give thanks to all of the many people who helped build our community into the Wellington that we have before us today. On behalf of the entire team at Wellington The Magazine, we wish our loyal advertisers, business partners and readers a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Dawn Rivera Dawn Rivera, Publisher

Versailles - Absolutely stunning European style estate located in one of the best lots in  Versailles, almost half an acre in a cul-de-sac. 6BR + an office 4.5 BA and 4715 SF of  living space. Never Loose power on a hurricane, the entire house runs on a generator.  Impact windows protect front of the house and accordion shutters throughout the rest of  the property. Lots of upgrades, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances. Amazing  Pool area, screened patio, plus tiki bar with summer kitchen, perfect to entertain family  and friends on any occasion. First time in the market, do not miss the opportunity to own  your next dream home. Offered at $895,000

Paddock Park - Enjoy this stunning private estate or build equity and create your own  dream farm. Modern 4 bed/4 bath home with 750sf 1 bed/1 bath guest house situated  on 2.57 acres and comes with plans for a 110x220 ft arena and 10 stall barn. The extra  large lot, mature trees and landscaping provide a private country living atmosphere in a  central location within walking distance to shops and restaurants. Located on the bridle  path makes getting to the showgrounds easy. Offered at $1,495,000

Lake Field South - Perfect Location with best Wellington Schools, this 4 Bedroom +  Office  Home  won’t  last.  Golf  Cart  distance  to  Wanderers  Club,  WEF,  Global,  only  minutes away from great dining and shopping malls. Make this your next dream home,  or perfect for both seasonal or investment property. One Bedroom downstairs and three  upstairs, granite counter tops, beautiful covered patio, with enough room for a beautiful  pool. Offered at $450,000

Palm Beach Point - One of the best locations in Palm Beach Point. This 10 acre property  is adjacent to Grand Prix Village and only steps away from the bridle path land bridge to  WEF show grounds. Complete with recently renovated 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home with  an office, and a new screened-in pool. Plenty of space to add all the equestrian features to  fit your needs. Offered at $8,495,000

Palm Beach Little Ranches -  Well-manicured  five  acres  of  land  lies  just  beyond  this  private dressage farm’s gates, hosting bountiful amounts of desirable features including a  total of 15 fanned dry stalls, an irrigated exercise track surrounding an irrigated mirrored  arena with great footing, two air-conditioned tack rooms complete with saddle racks, as  well as 9 irrigated and sodded paddocks. The main center-aisle barn, built by renowned  Five  Star  Builder,  features  10,  12x12  stalls  that  are  currently  undergoing  new  staining  and contain a full fly and fire system throughout. A fully air conditioned and spacious  owner’s lounge includes a full-sized kitchen area with pantry, laundry room and half bath.  Offered at 1,350,000

Saddle Trail South - Ideal location! Custom-built equestrian estate on a 4-acre double-lot  only a few minutes hack to the show, property includes two barns totaling 16-stalls, a 150’  x 200’ all weather arena with GGT footing and full drainage, an all weather riding track,  round pen, and 7 grass paddocks. Exceptional main residence has 4-beds and 4-baths.  There are also two 1-bed/1-bath grooms’ apartments. Offered at $6,850,000

Castellina - BEST OPPORTUNITY CASTELLINA HAS TO OFFER!!! Located in one of  the  newest  &  most  desirable  communities  in  Wellington,  this  beautiful  Cranford  model  by  Divosta offers a spacious open floor plan great for entertaining, full impact windows & a 3 car  garage. Conversation & company flow freely from the kitchen & living areas to the covered  patio overlooking the large backyard. Open to the living room, the beautiful kitchen features  stainless steel appliances, gas range and a large breakfast bar. The house consists of 3 BRs and 2  1/2 BAs, den/office & a bonus room which can be either a 4th BR, playroom, or even a workout  room. Offered at $629,900

Grand Prix Village South - Just add a barn! Major improvements completed on this 4.4acre lot in GPVS! Enhancements include installation of an elite 140’x220’ fiber/sand mix  arena, seven paddocks, wash racks, and a large tent pad (30+ stalls) equipped with water,  electric, and fly spray. The fully fenced property also has a new driveway, parking lot,  storm drainage, landscaping, and irrigation. Offered at 3,995,000

Oskar Payot

Real Estate Advisor 10620 West Forest Hill Blvd. Suite 40, Wellington FL 33414 (561) 310-3974

Travis Laas

Real Estate Advisor 10620 West Forest Hill Blvd. Suite 40, Wellington FL 33414 (561) 906-7007

wellington | social scene

Photos by Denise Fleischman

Thousands On Hand To Enjoy 35th Annual Wellington Holiday Parade

(Left to right) Grand Marshal Dennis Witkowski with grandchildren Wyatt and Amber; Kem Kids Dance Studio was chosen as best in show; and Wellington Mayor Anne and Alan Gerwig ride in the parade.

The Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Wellington hosted the 35th annual Wellington Holiday Parade themed “Holiday in Paradise” on Sunday, Dec. 9. More than 100 marching groups took part in the parade from all over the western communities and beyond. Longtime parade organizer Dennis Witkowski was honored as grand marshal.

(Left to right) The Palm Beach Central High School Bronco Band and the Wellington High School Wolverine Marching Band tied for the parade’s best high school band; Wellington Regional Medical Center CEO Robbin Lee and Central Palm Beach County Chamber CEO Mary Lou Beford; Wellington Vice Mayor Michael Drahos with Julia and Sophia; and Santa Claus ended the parade courtesy of the Wellington Rotary.




january 2019 | wellington the magazine


Our family owned and operated flooring store located in the heart of Wellington is known for outstanding customer service, winning Best of Houzz for Client Satisfaction in both 2017 and 2018. We’ve tailored our showroom to be the ideal selection center for homeowners, builders, and interior design professionals with an extensive selection of hardwood, tile, carpet, and vinyl plank flooring to suit every budget. Visit our new showroom in Wellington today and our trained Design Consultants will help bring your vision to reality. Whether you’re remodeling or building the custom home of your dreams, it always begins with the perfect floor.


561-514-1912 floor specialists of wellington Our new showroom is located at 11101 South Crown Way, Suite 5 • Wellington, FL 33414

wellington | social scene

Wellington Chamber’s Winterfest Brings Holiday Spirit To PBIEC

Ashlee Varney, Paul Caulfield and Carol Caulfield greet guests at the Little Smiles booth; Ashlee Albert with Vanilla Ice; and Angela and Vivian Kutzin on the carousel.

The Wellington Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Winterfest celebration at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on Friday, Dec. 7. With activities for children at the Blizzard Beach Kids Winter Wonderland, and an extensive lineup of performers, including iconic musician Vanilla Ice, there was something for everyone to enjoy. This free event also brought together a variety of local vendors and nonprofit organizations. Guests were asked to bring new, unwrapped toys for the Little Smiles toy drive.

(Left to right) Felipe and Cristina Oliveira enjoy one of the bounce houses at Blizzard Beach; Precision Dance performers Abby Judah, Izabella Valencia, Emily Rufino, Lily Sandor, Josie Weaver, Katie Winslow and Sophie Izenwasser; Santa makes an appearance at Wellington Winterfest; Victoria and Jess Santamaria, Vinnie and June Perrin, and Jean and Dr. Jim Jones; and Catherine Boynton sings on stage.


january 2019 | wellington the magazine


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wellington | social scene

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Wellington Seniors Club Members Enjoy Festive Holiday Party

(Left to right) President Howard Trager, Vice President Cecilia Torisi, Treasurer Eileen Kuhnel, Special Events Chair Mary Alfalla, Membership Chair Frank Anderson, Trip Coordinator Bob Nappi and Sgt. at Arms Ramon Silvacol; Santa visits with Barbara and Dr. Wes Boughner; and Patrick and Marien Stone dance the night away.

The Wellington Seniors Club held its Holiday Dinner Dance on Friday, Dec. 14 at the Mayacoo Lakes Country Club. After dinner, the Whitestone Band kept the guests dancing the night away.

(Left to right) Hilde Wanklyn visits with Santa; Santa gives Rafael Cruz a door prize; sax player Bart Bartolotti plays for Mary Rowe and Marie Coleman; Patrick and Marien Stone, Peg Caliendo, Jerry Springer, and Janice and Tom Pratt; and Janice and Bob Downs.


january 2019 | wellington the magazine

wellington | social scene

Photos by Denise Fleischman

Wellington Amphitheater Celebration Marks Holiday Of Chanukah

(Left to right) Wellington Councilman John McGovern, Mayor Anne Gerwig and Councilwoman Tanya Siskind join Rabbi Mendy Muskal to light the menorah; juggler Tim Irwin plays with fire; and Nathaniel “Owl” Trzasko decorates a cookie.

Chabad of Wellington invited the community to a Grand Menorah Lighting on Sunday, Dec. 2 at the Wellington Amphitheater. The celebration on the first night of the Jewish holiday of Chanukah offered “Chanukah Gelt” (chocolate coins) thrown from a fire truck, as well as traditional holiday foods latkes and doughnuts. There was live music, a juggler and more, along with plenty of craft tables to keep the kids busy. Wellington officials joined Rabbi Mendy Muskal to light the menorah.

(Left to right) Roi Yosef and Rabbi Mendy Muskal sing on stage; Kira and Karen Herman with their holiday crafts; Trent, dad Brendan, Carson and grandpa Todd Rubenstein; Liron, Linoi and Lital Yosef enjoy the holiday with some face painting; and Eli, Levi, Rabbi Mendy, Ari, Mottel, Tzipi, Mushkie and Miriam Muskal.

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wellington | social scene

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Beacon Of Hope 5K Returns To Wellington’s Tiger Shark Cove

(Left) Event organizers Kevin, Andrea and Melissa Enterlein. (Right) Runners line up at the start.

On Sunday, Nov. 18, the Beacon of Hope 5K, held in memory of Kevin P. Enterlein, returned for the second year to Tiger Shark Cove Park in Wellington. Hundreds of people came out to help raise money for the Cancer Alliance of Help & Hope (CAHH). Andrea Enterlein, who lost her husband Kevin to colon cancer in 2016, organized the event with their two adult children, Melissa and Kevin. To find out more about how to donate, visit www.

(Left to right) Runners Eddie and Kathi Moye; Andrew Burr, Amy Burr and Don Gross; Andrea Enterlein with Kevin’s brother Jim Enterlein; Tamra Keels at the event; Maria Powers and Kimberly Briard; and Diane Mockel holds medals at the finish line.

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Is Yet To Come In 2019 At The


The International Polo Club Palm Beach welcomes back another elite season of world-class polo beginning Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, and continuing for 17 weeks until Sunday, April 21, 2019. The 2019 season will host teams and spectators from around the world. 30

january 2019 | wellington the magazine

Sprawling nearly 250 acres of pristine turf and South Florida landscape, the iconic venue has captivated the attention of polo enthusiasts for decades. Nestled in the heart of Wellington, IPC offers something for everyone, whether it is viewing and enjoying the




atmosphere of a prestigious high-goal match on Sunday, or experiencing and relaxing within the renovated amenities and restaurants, the club becomes the heartbeat of the winter equestrian season. IPC, acquired by Wellington Equestrian Partners in 2016, has seen a number of additions and improvements throughout the facility in the past three years, attracting more players, patrons and enthusiasts to contest polo’s most competitive North American season. Significant investment into the turf and

field maintenance has revolutionized the playing surface, with the club now supporting more games than ever from December through April. “It’s a very exciting time for our partnership group as we continue to explore new opportunities and possibilities at the International Polo Club,” said Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners. “We’re anticipating an incredibly competitive season this winter, as many of the adjustments that have been made in the off season will positively benefit current

and emerging players and teams.” The season is set to begin with the Herbie Pennell Cup, the annual first tournament of the calendar year, and parlay into a slew of high-goal matches for the ensuing four months. The introduction of the Gauntlet of Polo has made waves in the polo community, uniting polo’s major forces, the United States Polo Association (USPA), United States Polo Association Global Licensing (USPAGL) and the International Polo Club. The series will highlight the three major tournaments of the wellington the magazine | january 2019




POLO season, the coveted C.V. Whitney Cup, the USPA Gold Cup and the U.S. Open Polo Championship, totaling more than $1,000,000 of prize money if a competing team captures victory in all three tournaments, making it the most valuable tournament series in polo history. Along with the game of polo comes the glitz and glamour of the impressive winter social scene at IPC. The Veuve Clicquot Pavilion and Celebrity Cruises Coco Polo Lounge will return again

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for another season of social entertainment, featuring an immense and delicious Sunday brunch prior to the start of the iconic 3 p.m. game each week at the venue. The enjoyable atmosphere, coupled with a perfect field-side view, makes the Veuve Clicquot Pavilion and Celebrity Cruises Coco Polo Lounge two of the most enviable tickets during the winter season. Premier stadium boxes and grandstand seating are also available

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for purchase throughout the season, as well as field-side tailgating spaces. Members of the club can experience two spectacular restaurants, the Mallet Grille and 7th Chukker Lounge, as well as utilize a full fitness center, spa and thriving tennis program. The spacious pool and deck are perfect for a lounge day or events, offering an additional amenity for members and their guests. Weddings, corporate events and sporting tournaments can also be booked and reserved at IPC, making it an ideal location for any special outing or occasion. The picturesque venue offers an extensive list of event spaces and offerings and is open year-round. In addition to the extensive amenities at the venue, IPC’s management introduced the Polo School in 2018, offering lessons and amateur-friendly

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POLO games for individuals interested in learning more about playing the sport of polo. Last year, the school welcomed more than 30 students throughout the season, and this year will increase the number of polo ponies and instructors. Lessons are available seven days a week and can be purchased in hourly sessions or in a package plan. In addition to commencement of the Polo School, IPC also launched its first-ever low-goal league, allowing Polo School students

and other amateur players in the area the opportunity to compete in a traditional tournament setting. Gladiator Polo is scheduled to return to the venue in 2019, debuting a new state-of-the-art arena and creating a new buzz in Wellington on Friday evenings. A spectator-friendly and intense version of arena polo, Gladiator Polo will pit eight of the top arena teams against each other over the course of eight weeks, culminating in an excit-

ing final match in April. A traditional Argentine-asado-style buffet will be offered for premium ticket holders, as well as free general admission seating during the matches. “Our organization is deeply committed to ensuring the future and longevity of polo. We are building a pipeline for future players and providing engaging platforms that will help continue to generate interest in the sport,” Bellissimo said. “We are actively pursuing and presenting field polo and the derivatives of polo that we are introducing to new groups of sponsors and investors, which will help redirect and improve the overall trajectory of the sport.” The International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington. Visit www.internationalpoloclub. com to learn more.


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GAUNTLET OF POLO SERIES Brings Extra Excitement To IPC This Winter

Polo is a sport where you can’t help but be awed by the unrivalled athleticism and the raw speed, strength and beauty of the participants — and that’s just the horses. Few sports offer the sheer drama and spectacle of polo. Man and animal, competing as one, working in harmony to best their foe on a thundering battlefield. Now, the rapidly growing “sport of

kings” is getting a tournament series worthy of its incredible scope and pageantry. The United States Polo Association (USPA), USPA Global Licensing (USPAGL) and the International Polo

Club Palm Beach (IPC) recently announced a thrilling new high-stakes polo event — one with a title almost as epic as the sport itself: the Gauntlet of Polo. Launching in February and culminating in April, this trailblazing competition offers a total purse of $1 million — a payday previously unheard of in the world of polo. And all a team has to do to claim the prize is win all three of wellington the magazine | january 2019



“The Gauntlet will challenge the world’s top players and horses like never before,” USPAGL Chairman David Cummings said.

the sport’s biggest tournaments at the IPC stadium field, home of U.S. Polo Assn., in a row. Sounds easy, right? Think again. The Gauntlet of Polo is a true “survival of the fittest” competition, and teams are focused on making this one of sport’s most unique and memorable winnertake-all tournaments. That means that the world’s most skilled polo players and finest horses have to be at the top of their game for nearly three straight months if they expect to be crowned champions and hoist the Gauntlet trophy. The series begins with the coveted C.V. Whitney Cup, held Feb. 13-24, where the winning team will take home the trophy and $125,000. It is immediately followed by the USPA Gold Cup, held Feb. 24 through



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january 2019 | wellington the magazine

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POLO March 24. At stake is another title, along with $125,000 in winnings. The Gauntlet’s final stage is the prestigious U.S. Open Polo Championship, held March 27 through April 21. The Gauntlet highlight show will be aired to millions of viewers on CBS Sports on April 28, and the world will see the winning team take home one of the most beautiful trophies in all of sports, along with $250,000. Should one team survive the unrelenting competition and win all three tournaments, that team will win an additional $500,000 bonus — bringing total winnings to $1 million. More importantly, that team will be crowned the inaugural Gauntlet of Polo Champion and have its name etched into polo’s history books forever. USPAGL Chairman David Cummings sees this new series as a turning point for the sport in America. “The Gauntlet will challenge the world’s top players and horses like never before,” he said. “It will provide an entirely new platform for athletes, teams and sponsors. That means we’ll see an expanded interest in the sport that will literally change the trajectory of polo in this country while offering an incredible game day experience for all fans.” If you’re a polo player or fan already, the Gauntlet of Polo brings an all-new level of intensity to a sport that already offers it in abundance. If you’re new to the sport, there’s no better opportunity to discover what the excitement of polo is all about. Whether you’re cheering the nonstop action from the stands in your finest fashions, rubbing elbows with celebrities in the social tents, or stomping divots with a glass of champagne in hand, there is simply no experience quite like it. Teamwork, strategy, mental strength and physical toughness — teams will

need all of these and more from both players and horses alike if they want to call themselves Gauntlet champions. It promises to be one of the most incredible displays of raw power and refined athleticism ever seen in any sport. And if initial buzz for this historic new series is any indication, the world will be watching. The inaugural Gauntlet of Polo will bring tens of thousands of polo players and fans from around the world to Wellington this winter. Make plans now to be part of this historic event. For more information and tickets to see these incredible matches live at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, visit www.


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wellington the magazine | january 2019




january 2019 | wellington the magazine







The Polo World By Storm By Y.A. Teitelbaum

Mariano Aguerre is one of the best polo players of his generation. The Argentine superstar’s résumé is loaded with impressive major championships, highlighted by U.S. Open titles in 2005 with White Birch and in 2014 with Alegria. Aguerre has also won nine USPA Gold Cup titles and nine Argentine Open championships. His first major titles were in 1987, winning the USPA Gold Cup and the International Open when he was 18 years old playing for White Birch at Palm Beach Polo. His acrobatic style helped White Birch win the 1988 World Cup, and Aguerre was named Most Valuable Player as a 4-goaler. “I said it before, and I’ll say it again: polo is not what I do, it’s what I am,” said Aguerre, who is still going strong as he

approaches his 50th birthday on May 25. Aguerre returns for another highgoal season in Wellington, anchoring Annabelle Gundlach’s Postage Stamp Farm team during the 22-goal tournaments at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. He is excited about their prospects. “We have a great organization, and horse-wise, I think we will be up there,” said Aguerre, who achieved a 10-goal handicap in the United States in 1994 and in Argentina in 1998 and kept the

sport’s top ranking for nearly two decades. “It’s such a competitive season. Chemistry is going to be the key to succeed.” Aguerre has been playing at a high level in Wellington for more than 30 years, starting with Peter Brant’s legendary White Birch team as a teenager. A natural left-hander who has to play right-handed because of the sport’s safety rules, Aguerre learned how to play from his father, Martin, and older brother, Martin Jr. Aguerre blossomed under tutoring from icons Hector Barrantes and Gonzalo Pieres Sr. when he joined White Birch, beginning his meteoric rise to 10 goals. “Mariano is a complete horseman,” Brant said. “His passion for horses extends beyond just excelling at playing polo. He is also a student of breeding and raising and training a horse, and at the same time has acquired an impec-

wellington the magazine | january 2019




POLO cable eye for confirmation and movement of the horse. This gives him an incredible advantage. He has spent a great deal of time studying every aspect of a horse that plays polo at the very top level.” In addition to his prowess on the field, Aguerre has become a well-respected horse breeder through Los Machitos, which he founded with Australian Nick Manifold and Naco Taverna. Manifold first met Aguerre in Argentina in 1988 and they became friends when he went to work at White Birch two years later. They started Los Machitos in 1995. Based in Argentina, Los Machitos ponies have played around the world in the sport’s top tournaments. “I’m very fortunate to have come across him, a great friend and business partner, who helped those around him grow,” said Manifold, who is a 5-goaler. “Being one of the best horsemen, along with his knowledge of the game, led him to be one of the greatest players. Mariano is famous for being continuously well-mounted and always with great organizations behind him.” While horses are the key to success for any polo player, Aguerre’s immense talent and his aggressive, mercurial style make him a fan favorite. “Mariano is a very competitive player who at the same time keeps cool while he strategizes his next play,” Brant said. “After the game, Mariano is a sweetheart who doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. He is one of my very closest friends.” Aguerre hesitated before describing his style of play, but he acknowledged that he enjoys the competition. “I try to accommodate what the team needs,” said Aguerre, who is currently rated at 8 goals in the U.S. “I’m willing to change things to what the team 42

january 2019 | wellington the magazine

Mariano Aguerre playing for Postage Stamp Farm during 2018 season at IPC.


needs. I enjoy setting up plays more than making goals, probably, so you could say I’m a setup guy.” While Aguerre has had numerous memorable moments in the U.S. while competing in Wellington during the winter and in Greenwich, Conn., during the summer, he was quick to pick his favorite.

“Winning the U.S. Open with White Birch for the first time [is my favorite],” said Aguerre, who began riding when he was three and started playing in tournaments at age 6 on small ponies in his native Buenos Aires. “It was so hard for us to win it. We lost four finals before we won it. As a team, that’s the most memorable. Being inducted into



POLO the Polo Hall of Fame [in 2017] was so great, because of what it means. It’s a personal achievement; I’ve been recognized individually. I’m honored, proud to be a part of it. I’ve been blessed.” Off the field, Aguerre is quick to smile and to laugh. But he can also be very serious. “Mariano is a very kind and intelligent person who is a fan of all sports and one of the most competitive people I know,” Manifold said. “He’s an avid hard-lined [Argentine soccer superpower] Boca Junior fan, an aficionado of the arts and has a real passion being a self-taught fly fisherman.” Aguerre also enjoys golf, and he usually spent Mondays at various local courses earlier in his career. Now married with four children, he doesn’t

“Having kids is something. It changes everything,” Mariano Aguerre said. “It goes beyond polo. The way of life, the way you put things in perspective. It doesn’t change the way I play. But off the field, it’s completely different.” golf as much. He is married to Tatiana Pieres, daughter of Gonzalo Pieres Sr., and they have three daughters, Sofia, Lola and Carmen, and one son, Antonio. “Having kids is something. It changes everything, of course,” Aguerre said. “It goes beyond polo. The way of life, the way you put things in perspective. It doesn’t change the way I play, how I focus before games. But off the field, it’s completely different when you have kids.” Aguerre, like many players, spends

most of his day around the horses, whether it’s at the barn, stick-and-balling, playing in a practice or a tournament game, or riding singles. Getting everything ready is what the general public doesn’t see. They see the game, the excitement, the majesty. Aguerre puts in the necessary time to continue to excel at a high level. “Mariano is first of all a family man,” Brant said. “Along with his lovely partner and wife Tatiana, they have built a great family — a family that the whole polo world should be very proud of.”

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POLO Looks To The Future

After Surprise U.S. Open Victory

By Y.A. Teitelbaum

Jared Zenni and his family’s polo organization have come a long way in a short time. In his first attempt, Zenni helped his Daily Racing Form foursome capture the coveted U.S. Open Polo Championship last April, upsetting tournament favorite Valiente in last season’s finale at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. To put that feat into perspective, White Birch, the pre-eminent team of its era during the 1980s and 1990s, won its only U.S. Open title after four previous visits to the final. And Valiente, currently the top polo team in North America, lost in the U.S. Open final twice before raising the trophy in 2015 and 2017. “There’s not really a better way to

following up a U.S. Open win,” said the 23-year-old Zenni, who had his handicap raised from 5 to 6 goals for the 2019 season. “We are going to try our best in all three of the tournaments in the 22goal series [at IPC], but we will see what happens.” Zenni will be joined by 6-goalers Agustin Obregon and Santi Cernada, and 4-goaler Geronimo Obregon, in defense of the U.S. Open crown. A record 16 teams have entered the U.S. Open, being held at IPC for the 16th consecutive year. No team has won

back-to-back U.S. Open titles since Zacara accomplished the feat in 2012 and 2013. Zenni is confident about his team’s chances, especially because of his horse power, which is one of the major keys to any team’s success. “We should be in a very good position,” said Zenni, who will be playing the No. 4 position, just like last season. “I have the same string I had last year, and I’m going to bring a few up from Argentina.” Veteran player Luis Escobar, who is based in Wellington year-round, has played in the U.S. Open numerous times and was Zenni’s teammate when he was first starting out. Daily Racing Form was a team put together at the last-minute, Escobar noted. “It was a great outcome for polo. Nobody expected them to win. They beat

Jared Zenni in action at the International Polo Club. Jared Zenni with his mare Tormenta.



wellington the magazine | january 2019




POLO two of the biggest organizations in polo in Wellington — in Grand Champions and Valiente,” he said. “To go out there and beat those two organizations, it’s more than winning the U.S. Open. It’s a huge accomplishment.” Last year, Daily Racing Form began to organize its U.S. Open team just a few months before the winter season began. Most teams begin about a year prior to the tournament. Of course, Daily Racing Form also had 10-goaler Hilario Ulloa as its linchpin. This year, they are going with a more balanced foursome.



january 2019 | wellington the magazine

Zenni and his father Jim are not strangers to polo in Wellington. They have played together and separately over the years. Last year, they were teammates and reached the Joe Barry Memorial Cup final while playing for Villa del Lago, the family equestrian facility in Wellington. However, they have played under different team names, usually companies owned by the elder Zenni, such as Daily Racing Form, Modere or Equine Liquid BioCell. They have been competitive, winning the Herbie Pennell Cup and Iglehart Cup in 2017 and reaching the Joe

Barry Memorial Cup final in 2018 at IPC. And the younger Zenni also won the $100,000 World Cup at the Grand Champions Polo Club. Polo roots run deep in the Zenni family. Jim learned the sport from his father, and Jared learned from his father, often going with him to the fields. His two older sisters participated in the hunter-jumper arena when they were younger but have since stopped. Zenni played other sports growing up, but he became more and more interested in polo until it was his primary interest.

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POLO It is certainly an interest that he has made the most of. Zenni, who was a 1-goaler at 14 years old, has put together plans to continue to improve. He is a member of Team USPA, a United States Polo Association program designed to improve and grow the sport of polo in the U.S. by identifying young, talented American players and providing training and playing opportunities. Another improvement strategy that Zenni has employed is playing in Argentina, the worldwide mecca of the sport. He recently traveled there for his third consecutive season, but it was the first time that he qualified to compete in the Argentine Open and the Hurlingham Open, two of the three most important tournaments in South America. Zenni played the No. 4 position for the 28-goal La Canada-Daily Racing Form in the tournaments that featured

Daily Racing Form’s Jared Zenni celebrates his 2018 U.S. Open polo Championship win with his father Jim Zenni. PHOTO BY DAVID LOMINSKA © UNITED STATES POLO ASSOCIATION

two 40-goal teams. Although they lost all eight games in the two tournaments, it did not dim Zenni’s enthusiasm for the experience. “This year has been special because we classified for Hurlingham and Palermo, which put us up against the best teams in the world,” Zenni explained. “Playing in Argentina makes you a better player in all aspects. Playing against better competition and playing at their pace and skill really makes you a better player.” Zenni is continuing his polo career

while also pursuing his degree in marketing and finance at the University of Miami. His goals include trying to win another U.S. Open and becoming more of a staple in the Argentine Triple Crown. The elder Zenni is not expected to play at IPC during the upcoming season. “Jared is a good guy, and he works hard at it,” said Escobar, who will be competing for Santa Clara in the 22goal season at IPC. “I think he will keep going up in handicap. He’ll get far.”

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january 2019 | wellington the magazine

Behind The End Lines With Polo Groom

Elly Brien

By Caroline Roche

Behind every good polo player is a great horse. Behind every great horse, you will most often find an incredibly hardworking, dedicated and passionate groom, who loves the sport as much as he or she loves the horse. Each featured Sunday match held at the International Polo Club Palm Beach requires at least 78 horses to be prepped and ready for play, and it is no small feat to organize that many horses at once. Each horse requires care, training and love, both on and off the field. The grooms of polo are instrumental to a team’s success, perhaps even more so than for other disciplines. To get an insider’s look into the daily life of a groom, we sat down with Elly Brien, the top groom at Mariano Aguerre’s highgoal polo operation. A native of Ireland, Brien first started her involvement with polo 20 years ago at Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm in Greenwich, Conn. Seven years later, Brien began working for Aguerre and has been on his team ever since. It is common in the polo industry — as well as the equestrian world in general — to see frequent movement of grooms and players alike. Why has she stayed in one place for so many years? “It just clicks for us,” Brien said. “It just works, so we stayed!” It wasn’t always about polo for Brien. She began her barn days back in County Waterford, Ireland, with show jumpers,

Keeping Mariano Aguerre’s polo horses in top form is Elly Brien’s mission.

first competing herself and then working for professionals. She made the trip over to the United States first with jumper barns before finding her way to White Birch. “I was always more interested in polo anyway,” she said. Even after all these years, however, she’s not quite interested in playing on the field. “I love riding them around, but I was never any good at sports, so I’d probably never hit the ball,” Brien joked. “I wouldn’t have the hand-eye coordination and be able to ride at the same time.” Her daily routine is similar to most other grooms in the horse world: wake up, feed the ponies, muck out some

stalls, do some grooming before the horses are exercised, and maybe ride a few of them herself. However, in Brien’s case, she has 12 to 15 horses to look after, not just three or four, which is typical in most other disciplines. It’s a long day at the farm with her boyfriend sharing the general duties. The pair also does most of the fitness training, such as taking daily sets and riding singles. Then, there is the preparation, organization and trailering to weekly practices or games. They are with Aguerre and his horses 24/7 for whatever they may need. Having that background in two disciplines offered unique insight on the big-

“I have a soft spot for all of my horses that we take care of,” Elly Brien said. “It’s hard to have one favorite in the polo sport.” wellington the magazine | january 2019


“I’ve always believed in being organized and treating all horses as individuals,” Elly Brien said. gest difference between grooming for high-goal polo and hunter, jumper or dressage barns. “I’d imagine that the biggest difference between them is the number of horses we take care of and present to one competition,” Brien said. “A polo team would have about 40 horses for a top tournament, versus a top jumper or dressage barn would probably be concentrating on getting three to five horses ready for a top competition.” It’s not just the sheer number of horses being prepared for competition. It’s also the quality and level of prep that a polo groom has to focus on, because each of the 10 horses a player uses must be at the same physical and mental level. Brien’s favorite part of the job is seeing all of these horses at the peak of their fitness and looking their best on game day. What’s Brien’s “top tip” is for grooming? “I’m not sure I have just one trick,” she laughed. “I’ve just always believed in being organized and treating all your horses as individuals. I think that’s important.” But this approach doesn’t mean that it’s easy for her to pick out just one favorite horse. “I have a soft spot for all of my horses


january 2019 | wellington the magazine

A polo team needs to have about 40 horses in top form for a major tournament.

that we take care of, so it’s hard to have one favorite in the polo sport,” Brien said. “If I have to think of one in particular, I’d say Califa is definitely one of my all-time favorites.” Now quietly living out a happy retirement at Aguerre’s farm, Califa had a pretty impactful life both on the sport and the science behind polo. He received multiple awards throughout his career, including the USPA Horse of the Year in 2006, and the APHA Horse of the Year in 2009. In 2016, Califa was even inducted into the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame for his achievements. Perhaps Califa’s most notable claim to fame, however, is his title as the first ever polo pony to be genetically cloned in 2010. Brien said that the cloning of some of polo’s greatest ponies is something that people outside of the sport might not typically know but may find intriguing. “I think it’s interesting that not only are they being cloned, but currently those clones are playing at the high level of polo and doing so with great success,” she said. As a groom to both Califa and his clones, Brien has a first-hand account of how cloning works and the outcomes seen so far. “Yes, [the clone] totally be-

haves and performs the same,” Brien explained. “He’s got the same likes and dislikes as our original Califa — things that we thought were learned habits from over the years, but the new clone arrived with the exact same behaviors.” Not only has she had a front-row seat to the amazing technology, but Brien has also had the chance to watch generations grow up. “It’s interesting being with one operation so long that we can see the generations of the horses,” she said. “We have granddaughters here now of certain mares that were just playing when I first joined the operation.” After so many years caring for these mares and stallions, Brien and the grooms kind of know what they’re getting before the foal even comes out. As soon as the embryos are chosen, she knows what to expect from the new batch coming to the farm. Brien remains dedicated and passionate about the game, and even more so about her horses. She works hard to keep each individual comfortable and in top form, so they are ready to play their best on the field. This season, when Aguerre rides out, she’ll be found behind the end lines, setting up her team for success from the first to final whistle.



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POLO The world’s top polo players have galloped into Wellington for the 2019 winter season. Once again, the sport’s best athletes from around the world will compete in “the sport of kings” at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, home to North America’s most prestigious tournaments. With exciting new competitions to watch, such as the Gauntlet of Polo and Gladiator Polo, IPC is the place to see the action while being seen on the sidelines. Whether it’s grandstand seating, tailgate parties or the luxurious Sunday brunch, make plans to attend all that is planned from now until the end of April. We look forward to seeing you at the divot stomp! As is our annual tradition, Wellington The Magazine this month highlights just a few of the elite players who will power their horses down the fields, mallet in hand, in pursuit of glory. We invite you to turn the page to start enjoying Faces of Polo 2019.

wellington the magazine | january 2019


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Part of a large, polo-playing family, Facundo Obregon has been riding since age five and playing polo since he was eight years old. Son of Mariano Obregon Sr., he learned the sport alongside his three brothers, Mariano Jr., Juan Martin and Geronimo. The 32-year-old Argentine is rated as a 6-goaler in the U.S. He was featured on Team Priscus in the Gladiator Polo arena league in 2017 in Wellington and Team Charlotte in Tryon, N.C. Highlights from his 2018 season included the Pacific Coast Open Final and USPA America Cup Final. He was in action with La Indiana last year at the International Polo Club Palm Beach with some success. Look for Obregon this season at IPC back on La Indiana with Michael Bickford, Jeff Hall and Tomas Garcia del Rio. wellingtonthe themagazine magazine||january january2019 2019 59 59 wellington

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From a well-known polo family, 10-goaler Facundo Pieres is currently the top-ranked player in the world, according to Polo World Tour. The 32-year-old Argentine is known to dazzle the crowd with his expert stickwork. In 2017, Pieres won the British Open, the Sotogrande Gold Cup and the Hurlingham Open. He was on the Valiente team last season at the International Polo Club, claiming the Ylvisaker Cup, the C.V. Whitney Cup and the USPA Gold Cup before falling in the U.S. Open final by one goal. Other 2018 highlights include the Hurlingham Open, Tortugas Open Final, Sotogrande Gold Cup High Goal, Sotogrande Silver Cup High Goal Final and the Queens Cup. Look for him on the Pilot team this season at IPC with Gonzalito Pieres, Matias Gonzalez and Curtis Pilot. wellingtonthe themagazine magazine||january january2019 2019 61 61 wellington



Polo patron Gillian Johnston, sporting a 2-goal handicap, will once again be leading her Coca-Cola team in action at IPC this season. Heir to a Coca-Cola bottling fortune, Johnston is carrying on a long family polo tradition. Her grandfather played polo, and her father is a former high-goal player. When not in Wellington, she can often be found at Bendabout Farm, outside of Chattanooga, Tenn., where she grew up and the family has long hosted polo tournaments and exhibition matches for charity. Through the years, her team has won just about every U.S. title available, including the U.S. Open in 2002. Johnston is one of a growing handful of women playing on high-goal teams, and she is also active in promoting the sport to the rising generation as vice president of the Polo Training Foundation. wellingtonthe themagazine magazine||january january2019 2019 63 63 wellington

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Hilario Ulloa grew up in Argentina, watching his father and expert horse breeder Carlos “Polito� Ulloa train and breed polo horses. He was always surrounded by horses and polo players and dreamed of one day playing in the prestigious Argentine Open. He got that wish in 2013, and in 2014, he won the U.S. Open with Alegria at IPC. Ulloa, who earned his 10-goal ranking from the USPA in 2017, has been visiting Wellington to play at IPC since 2010. His top highlight from last year is certainly leading his team Daily Racing Form to a 10-9 upset victory in the U.S. Open final against favored powerhouse Valiente. Look for Ulloa this season on Las Monjitas with Camilo Bautista, Francisco Elizalde and Matthew Coppola. wellingtonthe themagazine magazine||january january2019 2019 65 65 wellington

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One of the top American-born polo stars, 7-goaler Jeff Hall hails from Houston. He has played professionally since he was just 12 years old and has won just about every high-goal trophy available in the sport here in the United States. Also a pilot and an avid golfer, he splits his time between Wellington during the polo season and his ranch in Texas. After winning the Joe Barry Memorial Cup with La Indiana at IPC in 2017, Hall was back in action with the same team last season. He also made waves in Santa Barbara with Lucchese in the Pacific Coast Open and the USPA America Cup before heading to England to represent the U.S. at the Westchester Cup. Hall will be back in action with La Indiana at IPC this season with Michael Bickford, Facundo Obregon and Tomas Garcia del Rio. wellingtonthe themagazine magazine||january january2019 2019 67 67 wellington

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Originally from Argentina, 7-goaler Mariano Gonzalez Sr. is now a U.S. citizen. He started riding at age four and has been active on the polo field since age nine. He is the father of 19-year-old Mariano “Peke” Gonzalez Jr., who can also hold his own in the sport, rated as a 5-goaler. In recent years, they can often be found playing together on the same team. Highlights from 2018 include the East Coast Open Final at the Greenwich Polo Club and the Ylvisaker Cup Final at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, where Gonzalez’s team GSA narrowly fell to powerhouse Valiente 8-6. Look for him back in action on the Equuleus team this season at IPC with Joe DiMenna, Iñaki Laprida and Magoo Laprida. wellingtonthe themagazine magazine||january january2019 2019 69 69 wellington



Mariano “Peke” Gonzalez Jr., now 19, is a rising polo star and the latest generation in a polo-playing dynasty. The son of 7-goaler Mariano Gonzalez Sr., the younger Gonzalez currently sports a 5-goal handicap. He has been quickly rising through the ranks of the sport. Following a season that included action here in Wellington and at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in California, Gonzalez was given the high honor of representing the United States in the Westchester Cup last summer at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club in England with Julio Arellano, Jeff Hall and Nic Roldan. Look for him this season at the International Polo Club Palm Beach playing on Maureen Brennan’s Iconica team alongside Sebastian Merlos and Matias Magrini. wellingtonthe themagazine magazine||january january2019 2019 71 71 wellington

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Polo runs in the family for Argentine 10-goaler Guillermo “Sapo” Caset Jr., who was in the saddle by age five, hitting a ball around the field. As a teen, he quickly soared from a 1-goal handicap to a 6-goal handicap. By 2011, Caset had established himself as one of the best players in the world, reaching the coveted 10-goal rating, which he maintains to this day. Last season at IPC, Caset was named MVP of the Joe Barry Memorial Cup tournament final, which his team Tonkawa won with a 12-9 victory over Villa del Lago/Modere. When not in Wellington, Caset can be found competing with Las Monjitas Polo in Argentina and RH Polo in the United Kingdom. Caset will be back in action with Tonkawa in 2019, alongside Jeff Hildebrand, Agustin “Tincho” Merlos and Sterling Giannico. wellingtonthe themagazine magazine||january january2019 2019 73 73 wellington



Nigerian oil and gas billionaire Sayyu Dantata will be playing on the field at the International Polo Club Palm Beach this season with his SD Farms team alongside Peco Polledo, Juan “Tito” Ruiz Guiñazu and Jesse Bray. An American-educated mechanical engineer, Dantata returned home to his native Nigeria to begin the energy conglomerate that became MRS Holdings, growing it into one of the nation’s largest companies. Polo has long been a passion for Dantata, who is known to be low-key despite his wealth. However, he is revered in the growing Nigerian polo community as a patron and also ranks as a strong player. Rated as a 2-goaler in the U.S., he saw some action on the field at IPC last season. Expect to see much more of him this year. wellingtonthe themagazine magazine||january january2019 2019 75 75 wellington

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Sebastian Merlos has a fierce passion for horses, making him one of the strongest horsemen playing polo today. The 46-year-old Argentine native is one of the few elite polo players in the world to achieve the coveted 10-goal ranking. Now playing as a 9-goaler, he has captured the titles of every major tournament in more than 18 countries. Merlos played for Travieso in 2017, making it all the way to the U.S. Open semifinals. He was back in action with Travieso last season at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. He returns to Wellington after playing on La CaĂąada during the fall season in Argentina with Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario, AgustĂ­n Obregon and Jared Zenni. Look for him this season at IPC on the Iconica team with Maureen Brennan, Peke Gonzalez and Matias Magrini. wellingtonthe themagazine magazine||january january2019 2019 77 77 wellington

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Every day, we are busy planting seeds of growth, Carlucho Arellano said.


january 2019 | wellington the magazine

Ripples of change are percolating through the world of American polo, and the epicenter of that change can be found here in Wellington. Carlucho Arellano, the executive director of services for the United States Polo Association (USPA), is focused on making a big and positive impact on polo in the U.S. Arellano is not interested in being a polo dignitary, who appears in photos and is seen at ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Instead, he wants to aggressively expand the polo universe in the U.S., which currently has roughly 5,800 polo players. Arellano has been on the job for almost a year, and he hasn’t stopped promoting, publicizing and playing the sport since he took the position. Of course, it’s also important to realize that Arellano is not an outsider with wild dreams and unrealistic expectations. His life is firmly entrenched in the

sport and has been for years. “I started in the sport by grooming horses and cleaning out stalls,” Arellano said. He was then given a chance to ride and play — and he hasn’t stopped. Arellano was the Intercollegiate Player of the Year in 2000 while a student at the University of Virginia, and he has played several times in the U.S. Open Polo Championships. He remains active in the sport. “I can still play, be competitive, and mix it up,” said the 40-year-old Arellano, who is currently a five-goaler. It’s accurate to say that Arellano can

“walk the walk and talk the talk.” During a recent interview, Arellano said that he has three main goals that he wants to achieve while serving in his current role with the USPA. Firstly, he wants to get more young people playing polo. Secondly, he intends to put more emphasis on tournament play. Thirdly, he’s focused on raising the level of safety in the sport. Along the way, he would like the U.S. to become the number one polo country in the world. Currently, Argentina rules the roost in world polo, while the U.S. and England are neck-and-neck for number two in the world. In Argentina, polo is a way of life, where families have a legacy in the sport, he explained. Arellano is committed to bringing that same passion to the U.S. To achieve that objective, he is working to boost interest in the sport from two different angles: from the grassroots up and from the top tier down. At the grassroots level, Arellano is working to create more polo schools where the sport can be properly taught and developed. “We are also in touch with more private polo families and private farms to get them involved in promoting the growth of our sport,” Arellano said. While polo is known to be an expensive sport to play, Arellano counters by saying that it doesn’t take a big bank account to show an interest in the sport and learn to play, as he and his poloplaying brother Julio did. Both were born in Nicaragua, but raised in Wellington, where they took care of horses, groomed them and fed them. “We did not have the same means we had in Nicaragua, so my brothers and I had to work hard if we wanted to play polo,” Arellano said. Arellano explained how he and his associates at the USPA are working with American polo greats such as Adam Snow, Tommy Wayman and Mike Az-

zaro on having them sharing their expertise with young, talented, up-andcoming polo players. According to Arellano, all three are great role models who are willing to share their knowledge, skills and experience with the next generation of American polo enthusiasts. At polo events in Wellington, an-

nouncers are being trained to inform and educate those in attendance about what is happening on the field. Arellano explained that you can’t assume that everybody in attendance at a polo match truly understands what is taking place on the field and why. “Every day, we are busy planting seeds of growth,” he stressed.

Carlucho Arellano playing for Prestige Worldwide last season. PHOTO BY DAVID LOMINSKA

wellington the magazine | january 2019


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Carlucho Arellano

“I want to bring more prestige to our tournaments by having more prize money and getting more publicity and exposure,” Carlucho Arellano said. “I really want to lift the quality of the sport.” Another area of the sport that shows strong promise is with women’s polo. “Women’s polo is exploding,” Arellano said. “We have several great female polo players in the U.S.” Arellano also noted that the USPA is updating and modernizing many of its instructional and educational videos, which people watch to learn about the sport. At the top of the sport, Arellano

wants to make the great events even better. “I want to bring more prestige to our tournaments by having more prize money and getting more publicity and exposure,” Arellano said. “I really want to lift the quality of the sport.” The three big events which he intends to make bigger are the C.V. Whitney Cup, the Gold Cup and the

U.S. Open. All three events are contested in Wellington. The C.V. Whitney runs from Feb. 16 until early March, the Gold Cup takes place throughout most of March and the U.S. Open is held in April and concludes on April 21 to culminate the season. The USPA is a sponsor of the new Gauntlet of Polo program that highlights these three tournaments by providing additional prize money.

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Carlucho Arellano


“We’re in touch with more private polo families and private farms to get them involved in promoting the growth of our sport,” he said. Arellano is proud of the fact that every team entered into the U.S. Open this year has at least one American player on the squad. Another feather in polo’s cap is getting CBS Sports to televise highlights from the finals of the U.S. Open, as it did last year. “It will probably be a 90-minute special,” Arellano said. As for the issue of safety, by June 2020, all polo players will be required to wear a helmet that meets a certain

minimum safety level, as determined by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), which creates performance standards for safety gear in other sports, such as football, baseball, lacrosse, soccer, field hockey and ice hockey. “We must raise the level of safety in the sport,” Arellano said. As he approaches his one-year anniversary at the USPA, Arellano’s main

goal is to, “gain the confidence of all polo clubs that I am committed to improving the sport.” As time moves on, there’s one thing that Arellano would like to see happen, which will confirm that his grand plan is working. “I want to still be the executive director when we have our next American 10-goaler,” Arellano said. That sounds like the dream of a man on a mission.

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WORLD’S BEST POLO PLAYERS Come Together To Benefit Injured And Ill Players And Grooms

By Catherine Zachariadis

The annual Lucchese 40-Goal Polo Challenge will return to the International Polo Club Palm Beach on Saturday, Feb. 16 to benefit the Polo Players Support Group, which has provided more than $2.5 million to 80 seriously injured or ill players and grooms. While Wellington plays host to thrilling polo each winter season, it’s rare for spectators to have the opportunity to cheer on the top-ranked polo players in the world all in a single game. However, every year on the Saturday of President’s Day weekend, eight of the best players come together to play the highest-rated polo match in North America — the

Lucchese 40-Goal Polo Challenge. Hosted at the International Polo Club, the star-studded event is the marquee fundraiser for the Polo Players Support Group, a nonprofit charitable organization that provides financial assistance to seriously injured and ill players and grooms in the polo community. Since its inception in 2002, the PPSG

Co-founder and Executive Director Dave Offen presents an award to Del Walton on behalf of Rob Walton, whose injury inspired the Polo Players Support Group. PHOTO BY DAVID LOMINSKA

Miguel Novillo Astrada plays in front of a packed house at International Polo Club Palm Beach. PHOTO BY RED EYE IMAGES wellington the magazine | january 2019


WORLD’S BEST POLO PLAYERS has awarded assistance grants of more than $2.5 million to 80 players and grooms in need. The inspiration for the organization was the 1995 injury to 8-goal polo player Rob Walton, who suffered a spinal cord injury from a polo-related accident in Malaysia. Arena polo benefits were held for Walton from 1997 through 1999, which led to the 2000 Outback 40-Goal benefit at Royal Palm Polo in Boca Raton. The match was an outstanding success as a fundraiser and as a polo social event. It was then that Dave Offen, Tony Coppola and Tim Gannon founded the Polo Players Support Group to provide financial assistance to seriously injured or ill polo players and grooms. “The PPSG is here to help those members of our polo family who could have easily been forgotten,” Gannon said. The Outback 40-Goal Challenge moved to International Polo Club Palm Beach in 2005. The event earned a


World No. 1 Adolfo Cambiaso turns the ball in front of the International Polo Club stadium. PHOTO BY DAVID LOMINSKA

reputation as a fun, casual charity event with great food and outstanding auction items, including the player’s jerseys, with Adolfo Cambiaso’s holding the record of $50,000. In 2018, the Lucchese 40-Goal Polo Challenge raised more than $380,000. This year, the 2019 Lucchese 40-Goal Polo Challenge returns to the International Polo Club Palm Beach with the goal of raising $500,000. “As awareness has grown, so has the demand for assistance grants,” Offen

said. “Currently, the PPSG assists half a dozen players and grooms who will likely need help for the rest of their lives, which amounts to well over $100,000 per year.” Offen is proud of his work with the organization. “Being a co-founder and executive director of the PPSG has been the most rewarding experience in my life,” Offen said. “I have gotten to know players and, more specifically, grooms and their families, who I likely would never have met. I am very fortunate to get to know these people and be the recipient of their gratitude.” This year’s event is dedicated to the grooms, who are integral to the sport of polo. In 2002, groom Ruben Repollo was stabbed eight times and survived, although that was just the beginning. Repollo’s story includes fellow grooms who looked after him and doctors who provided several pro bono surgeries. Others, such as Justin Pimsner and

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january 2019 | wellington the magazine

RS WORLD’S BEST POLO PLAYERS Joi Rodriguez, survived horrible truck and trailer accidents, both requiring multiple surgeries and extensive rehab. Hector Machado was a groom who lost his battle with cancer. Hopefully, by January 2019, Luis Martinez will have had his kidney transplant and will be on his way to recovery after being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. These and dozens of other examples were made possible by the charitable funds raised at the annual 40-Goal Polo Challenge. Hot off the 2018 Argentine polo season, World No. 1 Adolfo Cambiaso, as well as the Pieres brothers, Gonzalito, Facundo and Nico, are expected to make their returns to the Lucchese 40Goal Polo Challenge. Cambiaso, a veteran of the sport and the charitable event, has participated in the 40-Goal Polo Challenge 16 times and is a steady crowd favorite. In 2018, the youngest of the Pieres polo dynasty, Nico Pieres, made his debut at the event. Proving to be a great rival on the field,

Following the 40-goal polo match, polo players and fans alike gather for dinner with silent and live auctions to raise money for the Polo Players Support Group. PHOTO BY ALLIY MOYER/PHELPS MEDIA GROUP

Nico was awarded the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Longshot of the Day award. “It is good fun and always a pleasure to play polo with these amazing players. It’s good to be a part of it,” Nico Pieres said. Among other notable 10-goalers expected to return to the field in 2019 are Sapo Caset and Hilario Ulloa. Having been involved every year since 2012, Caset is committed to the greater purpose of his event. “Dave Offen is the one behind all

of this, and I think it’s a great idea to get all of the 10-goalers together to play an exciting exhibition match and help raise funds to support those in need,” Caset said. “This is all for charity, and it’s great that we do this to help players, grooms and other people around polo if they had an injury or are ill. I feel good to be a part of the event, and we should continue being involved in this way.” For tickets, information or to make a donation, visit

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january 2019 | wellington the magazine

breast cancer



By Melanie Otero

Imagine you’re the mother of young children hearing the news that your mammogram shows an abnormality. Because of pre-existing health conditions, you have no insurance to pay for the follow-up tests that could give you a sigh of relief or confirm your worst fears. The cost of biopsies, MRIs and ultrasounds is so far beyond your reach that you don’t know how you will ever pay for the tests that could save your life. This was the distressing scenario that Wellington resident Lisa Fitter faced in 2013 when she was 47 years old. “When you don’t have insurance, you don’t realize how far out of reach healthcare is,” Fitter said. Fitter’s situation is a common one for Susan G. Komen Florida. Every week, calls come into the organization from women — and sometimes men — desperately needing financial assistance to pay for the screenings, testing and treatment that could save their lives. Answering their urgent pleas for help is why Komen Florida calls itself the “first responders to breast cancer.” In Fitter’s case, it was the Bethesda Women’s Health Center that let her know Komen offered financial support for the tests she needed. Fitter’s follow-up was paid for by Komen, and on Christmas Eve 2013, she received her official breast cancer diagnosis. While it was a shock, Fitter no longer had to live with the unknown. She could now move forward and focus on

Lisa Fitter with her dau ghter Talia.

treatment. “If there were no Komen, I honestly don’t know what we would have done,” she said. “You hate to think that you would ever be in that situation.” Fitter’s next challenge was figuring out how to tell her twins, 10-year-olds Talia and Joshua. They had just completed a project at school about diseases people can die from. One of them was cancer. Fitter opted to be very open with her children. She wanted to be direct and help them understand as much as they could. “You can’t hide it,” she said. “Suddenly, you have a house full of people bringing you meals, you’re lying in bed all day, you’re going to the hospital. Children will sense something is going on. You can’t overload them with information, but they have to know that mommy is sick right now. You can figure out how much they can cope with.” Fitter was fortunate. Her breast cancer was early stage and contained. She had a bi-lateral mastectomy with no

need for chemotherapy. The timing of her surgery coincided with the Affordable Care Act, guaranteeing that she could receive insurance coverage even though she had a pre-existing condition. Even so, Fitter knew that if she had no insurance, “Komen would have been there for me.” The friends Fitter has made in the Wellington community were also there for her. When she moved to Wellington in 2005, she found it to be a welcoming, family-centered community, perfect for her own young family — a strong benefit she shares with those looking to move into the area as a Realtor with the K Company. The circle of friends she made when her children were in preschool came together to rally around her during her breast cancer journey. They were also there for her last year when she celebrated her fourth cancer-free anniversary on Feb. 10, 2018, gathering together in her kitchen, where her daughter Talia recited a poem she had written. wellington the magazine | january 2019



(Above) Supporters gather for the annual Race for the Cure. (Below) Breast cancer survivor Lisa Fitter with her daughter Talia.

“If there were no Komen, I honestly don’t know what we would have done,” Lisa Fitter said. Her words brought tears to everyone in the room. “That one phrase, ‘find the cure’ that didn’t mean anything to me before, suddenly became my whole world,” Talia wrote. “No, that one phrase, ‘find the cure,’ was all I thought about for the next few years… Now, it’s four years later… She is a fighter, she is my hero, she is who I aspire to be, and this whole time, she never gave up. See, now this ‘phrase’ means every little bit to me. It means bravery, and I never knew what bravery was until I saw it in my mom.” Writing was Talia’s way to cope with her mother’s illness. Now she has taken the phrase “find the cure” one step further by joining the Komen South Florida Race for the Cure Junior Committee. In her mother’s honor, she has formed a race team at her school, Palm Beach Central High School, called “Lisa’s Warriors.” Joining the Race for the Cure is something mother and daughter will do together on Jan. 26 in downtown West Palm Beach, with son Joshua and husband Rich at their side. Fitter is on the Survivor Committee, helping to recognize the hundreds of men and women who have fought her same battle. All will gather on the Meyer Amphitheatre stage at the conclusion of the race for the inspiring and emo92

january 2019 | wellington the magazine


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tional Survivor Recognition Ceremony. This will be Fitter’s first race experience, the first time she has felt comfortable as a survivor coming forward in the larger community. She is grateful to help volunteer for the organization that saved her life. “I want to be able pay it forward,” Fitter said. She and more than 10,000 supporters who come out for the Race for the Cure will help raise funds to take care of others like Fitter in the local community. Komen dedicates 75 percent of money raised to provide breast health education and breast cancer screenings and treatment in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties. Twenty-five percent is invested in breakthrough research benefiting breast cancer patients around the world. “We’re able to be the first responders to breast cancer for thousands of women and men like Lisa because of the funds we raise through the Race for the Cure,” said Kate Watt, executive di-

Lisa Fitter with her husband Rich and their twins Talia and Joshua.

rector of Susan G. Komen Florida. “The race is symbolic of our promise to never let anyone walk alone on her breast cancer journey.”

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january 2019 | wellington the magazine

Fitter’s presence at the race will be a symbol, too, that with early detection and treatment, breast cancer is a battle that can be won. Just two weeks after the race, on Feb. 10, Fitter will mark her five-year cancer-free anniversary. In her daughter’s words, “she is a fighter… she never gave up.” Now she’s ready to be an inspiration to others. Join or donate to Fitter’s team for the Race for the Cure, Lisa’s Warriors, at, or create your own team by registering at Also, be sure to take Lisa Fitter’s advice: get a mammogram every year to ensure early detection; if your mammogram is abnormal, have follow-up tests immediately; and if you have children and are diagnosed with breast cancer, be as open and honest as possible. For more information, contact Susan G. Komen Florida at (561) 514-3020 or info@, or find them on the web at

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An avid trail runner, Lauren Starr can be found most days on the expertly mapped trail system in her community of Arden.

Wellington High School Alum Finds

A Home On The Trails When she’s not running her second-grade classroom at Frontier Elementary School, Wellington High School graduate Lauren Starr is running the trails around her community. Today, Starr’s passion for trail running is right at home at Arden, where her family now calls home. Growing up on Flying Cow Road and the surrounding area, Starr felt her best when spending time in the great outdoors. She was always outside playing with friends and family who shared her love of nature and an active way of life. “I dreamed of providing that same healthy lifestyle for my own children one day,” she said. Today, she is living her dream with her husband and two children at Arden, a scenic community west of Wellington on Southern Blvd. designed to foster an active, outdoor lifestyle. Her

family chose to settle down in Arden for its focus on healthy living and its many unique amenities that encourage a connection to nature. “The first time we saw the community, we were immediately impressed by the amount of outdoor recreation and the five-acre farm on the property,” Starr recalled. Arden is the first of its kind in South Florida — and among the few places in the country — to feature a farm as a central part of community life. “We could picture ourselves kayaking on the

lakes, the kids playing in the parks and, of course, running the miles of trails,” she said. Three to four days a week, you can find Starr running along the trails that meander around Arden. The property features an expertly mapped trail system with 20 miles of trails that wind around sparkling lakes and weave over grassy hills throughout the community. These trails provided a perfect place for Starr to train for the recent Key West Half Marathon. “The trail loop I run is around nine miles,” she said. “One of the great things about Arden is all of the different areas to run and the different terrains along the trails.” This range of terrain, from soft paths to steep hills, has allowed Starr to build up the stamina that she has needed for wellington the magazine | january 2019


all of her races. She appreciates that the community’s trail system was designed by a member of Arden’s development team that runs ultra-marathons, which are races that extend beyond the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles. Since she hit the ground running several years ago, Starr has completed six half marathons, along with a number of 5K and 10K races. She is now skipping the marathon circuit and racing ahead to ultra-marathons. Starr enjoys running with the local group Down to Run (DTR). This company supports a variety of trail-running events, organizations and athletes with a passion for trails and nature. Founded in 2012 by a group of avid runners, DTR promotes a healthier lifestyle and empowers athletes to discover the positive changes that trail running brings to life. A natural-born trail runner, Starr’s favorite race is the Full Moon Night

Lauren Starr was all smiles as she crossed the finish line at the Southernmost Key West Half Marathon.

Trail Run at Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound, which is sponsored by DTR. As its name suggests, the race is run at night, and all of the runners rely on headlamps and the light of the full moon to guide their paths. She loves this race because it’s a natural adventure where she’s surrounded by wildlife while tackling the challenging terrain of the park, from pine woods to

mangroves and river swamps. Starr’s current goal is to run in the DTR Endurance Challenge in April, which is also at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. With this 50K daytime race, she will be able to enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife of the park, while running its miles of demanding trails. But running these races will require plenty of training, which she is tackling by hitting the miles of trails around her Arden home. She is also in the process of starting a trail running group within the community, bringing together other like-minded running enthusiasts with a love of the great outdoors. While she’s focused on her training, Starr is always happy to smile and wave at friendly neighbors strolling along the trails or enjoying their evening bike rides. She also enjoys stopping to meet new faces that keep arriving as the development continues to grow and new families move in.

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“One of the great things about Arden is all of the different areas to run and the different terrains along the trails,” Lauren Starr explained. “One of the best things about living at Arden is the strong sense of community,” she said. “Many of our new neighbors have kids, so we all sit outside together in the evenings, the kids playing and the parents chatting.” Her family also enjoys the lively gatherings and seasonal events hosted by the community’s lifestyle director that bring all of the neighbors together. While Starr sees herself running for many years to come, her favorite part will always be running home to her family in the Arden community she loves.

Lauren Starr and her husband Matthew, along with their children Ryan and Kate, moved into their dream home at Arden in December 2017.

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Castleberry Financial Services Offers Innovative Wealth Management Solutions Story by M. Dennis Taylor • Photos by Abner Pedraza

Scott Strochak, senior executive vice president and director of alternative investments at Castleberry Financial Services, has been in the wealth management business for 35 years. Born and raised in Forest Hills, N.Y., he moved to the area 23 years ago. “The business has changed dramatically in recent years. It has gotten highly fee-compressed, commoditized and undifferentiated,” Strochak explained. Looking for a more innovative way to help clients, Strochak was impressed when he met Castleberry’s T. Jonathon Turner and Norman M. Strell. “When I met the team at Castleberry Financial Services, Jon and Norman were, quite frankly, innovators and creators in a business that is not noted for being innovative and creative anymore,” Strochak said. Castleberry Financial Services is a Wellington-based alternative investment management firm that offers principal-protected and insured fixedincome alternatives. These include investments in assets other than stocks, bonds and cash. This would include commodities or investments using strategies that go beyond traditional ways of investing. Adding them to a portfolio might provide enhanced diversification, reduced risk and greater returns, since the factors that drive these markets are different from those that drive the public equity markets. Nimble in its purchases and operating its businesses in an integrated manner, Castleberry Financial Services finds that these characteristics distinguish it from many other alternative investment managers. Over its five-year history, the firm has deployed more than $800 million in capital, while

seeking to create principal-protected “equity-like” fixed income returns for its investors throughout economic cycles — raising, investing and managing on behalf of more than 860 individual investors all over the U.S. Strochak is a graduate of Emory University who earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He began in the wealth management business right out of college, getting his start at E.F. Hutton, where he went through their training program. Before joining Castleberry Financial Services, he worked for several years as a vice president with the firms of Neuberger Berman, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and BNY Mellon. “If you’re selling stocks and bonds, you’re doing the same thing as everyone else, so there’s no differentiation,” Strochak said. “Jon and Norman were doing something very creative and innovative, and I was interested in pursuing that.” Strochak said that today, everyone’s alternative investment portfolio is perhaps four times what it once was, and people have satellite strategies to provide Alpha (or active) return on investments that can be gleaned from things like private equity, venture capital, real estate, long/short and market neutral investments. “We are a fixed-income alternative strategy that provides Alpha return with the principal protected,” Strochak said. “This was a natural evolution for

Scott Strochak, senior executive vice president and director of alternative investments at Castleberry Financial Services, has more than 35 years of experience in wealth management.

my career from something that was more mainstream at the beginning, to something that is now cutting edge. Something, as I described, that is innovative and creative.” When he is not at work, Strochak’s hobbies include being a music aficionado, travel, gourmet dining and fine wines. Yet he keeps healthy because he is also deeply involved in personal fitness. “I do Pilates, cardio, weights and spinning,” he said. “I try to keep as fit as I can because you can’t control the stress, you can only vent the stress.” Strochak spends a lot of his time wellington the magazine | january 2019


wellington | professional

(Left) Scott Strochak of Castleberry Financial Services at his office in Wellington.

involved in his charitable endeavors. Among other things, he mentors at Florida Atlantic University and is on the board of the Connections Education Center, a charter school for students with autism. Additionally, he was

named “VP of the Year” by South Florida Business & Wealth magazine. “That certainly was an honor that I relish,” he said. Strochak said that clients choose to partner with him because bond and CD return levels are very low, and typically people are looking for yield with a safe, conservative approach that is protected and insured. “We fill a void that up to this point, I think, hasn’t been filled, providing a higher-income approach with principal protection and insurance, with one,




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three and five-year liquidity, so clients don’t have to invest long-term,” Strochak said. “They get twin layers of insurance protection, so we fill that void, and we do it in a very safe and conservative manner.” Strochak said that actuaries love the firm because the fixed income for personal protection provides an interesting alternative. “There are some sophisticated strategies that we employ for estate planning,” he said, adding that clients will find the strategies not only innovative, but historically quite successful. Castleberry Financial Services Group is located at 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 10, in the original Wellington Mall. To learn more about Castleberry’s alternative investment strategies, call (877) 640-9393, e-mail or visit www.castleberryfinancialservices. com.

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Smooth Leadership Change Passes The Torch At Wellington’s Award-Winning Rec Program By Callie Sharkey

The Village of Wellington said goodbye to Parks & Recreation Director Bruce DeLaney recently and welcomed longtime village employee Eric Juckett into the top role at Wellington’s award-winning Parks & Recreation Department. addition, the department DeLaney spent 24 achieved accreditation years with Wellington and from the Commission is one of the pillars of its for Accreditation of Park longtime success in the and Recreation Agencies recreation sector. He has (CAPRA), a national stanheld the department’s top dard of best practices givpost for the past 10 years. en for excellence in both Arriving in 1994, DeLoperations and services. aney witnessed first-hand After dedicating years the growth and developof service in working hard ment of Wellington from so that others can play, the days before the comDeLaney is ready to spend munity’s incorporation. some of his own time rec“When I started with reating with family. the village, it was still the “We’re looking forward Acme Improvement DisThe Village of Wellington’s Bruce DeLaney and Eric Juckett. to the various holidays like trict, and we had virtually no facilities. It was first getting started,” grow, DeLaney decided to take a chance the Fourth of July. When working those DeLaney recalled. “As the years went by changing careers. He began as an events, you’re not with family,” said by, it developed, we built more facilities athletics coordinator, moved up to ath- DeLaney, who recently moved to live and became a village — and everything letics manager, and in 2009 became the closer to his son, daughter and granddaughter. “I have a boat and plan on doseemed to explode from there.” director of the department. Working in parks and recreation “I’m most proud of the staff that we ing some fishing. I’ve let my golf game wasn’t always a part of DeLaney’s career built together. What we’ve ended with go down the tubes, and now maybe I’ll path. He traces the beginning of that re- over there and this adventure that we pick that up again.” The most effective leaders are those lationship back to family. are on is awesome. There are dedicated “It just kind of happened. I moved people. They come and are totally in- who have a long-term plan for growth, here from Cleveland with my wife and vested in what we are doing,” DeLaney even after leaving a post. Juckett, family, working with John Hancock Fi- said. “Once we got to that point, then DeLaney’s successor, is ready to tackle nancial Services for 18 years,” he said. everyday was a good time. We are all on the challenge of filling the longtime di“The children were young, and I volun- the same page, and when everybody is rector’s shoes. “Eric is going to do a great job,” teered in a couple of programs to help on the same page, you get to be able to DeLaney said. “He’s a smart guy and coach and things like that. The recre- accomplish things.” ation program was in the initial stages.” The programs offered during his going to do great things, especially with As it became obvious to him how rec- years as director yielded many acco- the people there.” Juckett is a Florida native who was reational programs would continue to lades for the Village of Wellington. In 104

january 2019 | wellington the magazine

team | wellington

Wellington’s Bruce DeLaney recently retired as parks and recreation director after 24 years with the village.

born in West Palm Beach and grew up in Royal Palm Beach. He has since made Wellington his permanent home. With an entire professional career being tied to parks and recreation, he is proud to be a part of the Village of Wellington team. “I started out as a part-time life guard while in college, then I became a fulltime lead life guard. Then I was an

aquatics supervisor, became aquatics manager and now the director,” Juckett explained. “I love sports, being outside and engaging with the youth. If you had asked me, though, I did not envision being in parks and recreation.” Yet since his second year working for Wellington, Juckett knew he wanted to stay and raise his family here. “This is a rare field where you can see

people happy,” Juckett said. “You can’t put a price on it. You can’t measure the smiles or a parent’s happiness when seeing their child succeed.” That feeling is something Juckett understands on a personal level, too. On the occasions when he has free time, it revolves around his family. “Now that my son is four, my hobbies are what he’s into. He played t-ball, and wellington the magazine | january 2019


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Eric Juckett is Wellington’s new parks and recreation director.

I was an assistant coach. It was very rewarding,” Juckett said. The ties back to family and people is a recurring theme with both the former and new director. “The value of parks and recreation truly is that it is for anyone and everyone, and it gives them the opportunity to enjoy life,” DeLaney said. “Put some of the struggles and stress behind you. Watch your kids participate, and you get to participate, too.” Juckett is ready to continue DeLaney’s work and keep the department constantly evolving based on what the people want. “I’m a big proponent of keeping residents in Wellington. Programs will always be a staple, but people also want family events,” Juckett said. “I enjoy seeing people thrive in Wellington.” While the department goes through this well-planned transition, the focus will remain the same: providing residents with the best park facilities and finest recreation programs available. Learn more about Wellington’s Parks & Recreation Department at www.wellingtonfl. gov.

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wellington | real estate

Abby Jones Focuses On Equestrian Market Both Here And In Kentucky Story by Matthew Auerbach • Photo by Abner Pedraza

Abby Jones is a fourth-generation Floridian whose professional background and love of horses make her a perfect fit at Wellington’s Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty. “I was born and raised in South Florida,” Jones said. “I am originally from Hollywood Beach. My family moved to Southwest Ranches when I was 12. I started riding horses when I was nine and started showing ponies in Wellington in 1989. Naturally, the horse shows kept bringing me back to the Wellington area.” After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida, Jones started working for a private commercial appraisal company in Fort Lauderdale. She obtained her general appraiser’s license and real estate sales license in 2001 and continued to work as an appraiser. “I worked for the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s office from 2003 until 2008,” Jones said. “After getting married, I wanted a job that allowed me the freedom to travel with my husband. I started selling real estate full time in 2013.” A friend introduced her to the owners of Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty, and she found the firm to be a good fit. “Because I had such a strong understanding of real estate through appraisal, especially in Palm Beach County, Sotheby’s hired me as a full-time sales agent,” she said. Jones splits her time between Wellington and Lexington, Ky., where she is also a licensed Realtor. She continues to focus on equestrian clients in both

horse-centric destinations. The situation is a very successful family affair. “My husband is also a real estate agent,” Jones said. “Between the two of us, we try to help our clients with all of their real estate needs, anything from rental housing for clients and staff to closing multi-million-dollar properties. This past year, we closed more than $20 million in sales between Florida and Kentucky.” Jones said that she enjoys working at Sotheby’s because of the tight-knit group of agents and its significant global presence, which greatly benefits her work in Wellington.

“In our little town of Wellington, we have a huge international market,” she said. “Equestrians come from all over the globe, and they know and trust the quality of the Sotheby’s name. Everything we do is first class. Clients return to me year after year because they know and trust that I can get the job done.” That customer-client relationship is crucial to the success of every deal. “Communication is key in this and any business,” Jones said. “Always keeping clients upto-date is very important.” Through her experience as both an appraiser and a Realtor, Jones has full confidence in her abilities and knowledge to help each and every client secure the situation of their dreams. One thing that she doesn’t have to work too hard at is selling Wellington as a destination. That takes care of itself. “The weather is great, especially in the winter,” she said. “There is a wide range of real estate for buyers to choose from. Clients can buy a cute $200,000 condo or a deluxe multi-million-dollar equestrian property. There’s great shopping and plenty of restaurants. You can drive 20 minutes to the beach or hop on the new Brightline and be in Miami in less than an hour.” Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty is located at 12180 South Shore Blvd., Suite 102, in Wellington. To contact Abby Jones, call (561) 436-4097 or (561) 771-2626, or e-mail wellington the magazine | january 2019


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Orthodontist Dr. Randall Shults Enjoys Making Smiles Beautiful

wellington | health

Story by M. Dennis Taylor • Photo by Abner Pedraza

Orthodontist Dr. Randall Shults recalls that seeing a teacher’s wonderful smile in elementary school was when he first became interested in dentistry. “My second-grade teacher had the warmest, most beautiful smile I had ever seen. I appreciated at a very young age that your smile, and how you choose to use it, is your introduction to others the first time you meet and every social interaction thereafter,” explained Shults, who has practiced in Wellington for 25 years. After growing up in Littleton, Colo., a small suburb of Denver, Shults picked Wellington to establish his practice and raise his family. “I moved my family to Wellington in the spring of 1993 for the small-town atmosphere, great local schools and to start my orthodontic practice,” he said. Shults became focused on orthodontic procedures relatively early in his dental school career. “While attending dental school, the chair of the orthodontic department selected two dental students to treat orthodontic patients,” Shults remembered. “I saw the response to well-done orthodontic correction dramatically enhance my patients’ appearance, confidence, self-esteem, and improve their oral health and general physical wellbeing. The deal was sealed for me. I knew as a third-year dental student what I wanted to do with my professional career.” Shults is married to Rose Carbone and they have three children. He enjoys biking, paddle boarding, yoga and TRX training at Ultima Fitness. He is a past president of the Palm Beach County Dental Association, a past peer review chair of the same organization and has been the orthodontic section chair of

the Atlantic Coast Dental Research Center since 2010. A passion to provide excellent treatment is what Shults feels sets his practice apart from other offices and is a reason that clients choose him. “Evidence-based treatment is choosing the most appropriate orthodontic treatment based on the best science available today,” he explained. “In other words, doing the right things for the right reasons. We help make the difficult decisions and then take care of clients with compassion and kindness. I live in Wellington and my commitment and lifetime passion is to provide clients and their families with excellent orthodontic care.” He treats patients of all age groups. “We are here to serve the entire family from seven to 70,” Shults said. “We welcome patients with ‘routine’ orthodontic needs or with more complex concerns, which may require orthopedic jaw growth modification or team treatment involving jaw surgery and restoration of missing or broken teeth.” It all adds up to more confident and attractive smiles. Shults added that easier access for better dental hygiene is a goal for him, as it is associated with improved oral health and overall health and well-being. “I use Damon Braces because the self-ligation feature eliminates the older elastic or steel ties, making them much easier to keep clean, more comfortable to wear and faster to adjust, which means less time spent in my office and more time to do whatever it is a patient really wants to do,” he said.

He uses other orthodontic methods as well. “I often recommend Invisalign as an esthetic alternative to braces. Both systems, Invisalign or Damon Braces, have their unique advantages and disadvantages,” Shults said. “We will be happy to help select the treatment which is best for an individual patient.” Shults is also proud that his office is one of a select few to participate in the evaluation of a new type of braces. “We currently are one of five orthodontic offices in the United States that has been asked to participate in clinical testing and evaluation of 3M’s new clear, self-ligating orthodontic braces,” he said. Shults is proud to have grown his practice in Wellington. “We love Wellington as a family-friendly community and the safe academic, sports and social programs available to help our children grow, develop and excel as productive young adults,” he said. The offices of Shults Orthodontics are located in Wellington at 12180 South Shore Blvd., Suite 101. For more info., call (561) 7939888 or visit wellington the magazine | january 2019




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Brings Tasty New Offerings To Wellington Green By Melanie Kopacz

Taste-tempting Pan-Asian cuisine is adding new flavor to the Mall at Wellington Green. Lemongrass Asian Bistro is one of the newest restaurants to offer shoppers, moviegoers and casual diners an experience full of imaginative dishes with a fresh, unique approach. “It’s a good fit. It’s close to the movie theater. People can go for dining and entertainment all in one,” owner Art Piyavichayanont explained. “Our cuisine is Southeast Asian. We mesh Thai, Vietnamese, a touch of Chinese dishes and Japanese infused all together, as well as a full sushi bar.” Piyavichayanont came to the United

States from Thailand 22 years ago, following in his sister’s footsteps by getting into the restaurant business. They brought with them their family recipes. “My mother is still behind the kitchen,” he said. A huge seller on the menu is Grandma’s Ribs, straight out of his grandma’s cookbook.

“It includes the herb lemongrass. The key is it takes three hours to make in order for it to fall off the bone,” Piyavichayanont said. “The pork ribs are marinated overnight with fried shallots and have a tangy, sour flavor with a tamarind reduction.” Also wildly popular at Lemongrass are the handcrafted dumplings. “All are homemade, every day,” he said. “We offer all different kinds: vegan, vegetable, chicken, pork and lobster.” All are served with a homemade sauce. The Gyoza (chicken or pork dumplings) are either steamed or panwellington the magazine | january 2019


A green wall of earth-friendly materials can be found at the entrance to Lemongrass Asian Bistro.

fried. The same for the vegetable dumplings, which are made with soybeans, potatoes, corn, carrots and chives in a vinaigrette sweet soy reduction. The Thai steamed dumpling is an open-faced pork dumpling with a vin-

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january 2019 | wellington the magazine

Movie Theater, with something to offer palates of all ages, according to Piyavichayanont, making it family friendly by offering a kids’ menu. On that is a kids’ bento box, with options including chicken fried rice, a sushi roll or stir fry noodles, along with tempura cheese sticks and fruit. For the heartier appetites is the signature dish at Lemongrass, Lobster Pad Thai, which Piyavichayanont said has been a big hit with customers. “We serve that dish a lot. It’s an eightounce lobster tail lightly battered and sautéed right with the Pad Thai.” There’s also a Ramen Noodle Bar, which again, is all homemade. There’s also a wide offering from the full sushi bar, swirling with flavor. Try the popular Hurricane Roll, which includes spicy yellowtail, kani, cucumber, spicy tuna tartare and togarashi. For crustacean lovers, there’s the Lobster Monster Roll made with tem-

wellington | table pura lobster tail, along with cucumber asparagus, masago and sesame seeds with the chef’s spicy sauce and wasabi mayo. There are many vegan and glutenfree options, as well as organic tofu. For something sweet, there are several options on the dessert menu. The top seller is the homemade Japanese cheesecake. Egg whites are mixed in, giving it a meringue-like texture, topped with a strawberry puree. Aside from the food is the full bar, with a happy hour daily, serving up many fresh drink options, like the popular Lemongrass Cooler. “We infuse our vodka with the herb lemongrass,” Piyavichayanont said. “It’s made with lemongrass-infused Tito Vodka, Nigori Sake, honey syrup, fresh lime juice and grapefruit bitter.” The restaurant seats 170, which includes an outdoor patio, presenting a modern, urban and rustic flair rolled

Lemongrass Asian Bistro features a modern, urban and rustic flair rolled into one.

into one. Inside, the walls are covered with an equestrian-themed mural by artist Ruben Ubiera of Ubiera Studio of Delray Beach. Vertical landscaping adorns the outside walls, filled with welcoming hanging baskets as part of an approach to offering a green experience, as well as an effort to use earth-friendly materials. “We use no Styrofoam to-go boxes, only brown paper boxes that can be re-

cycled, along with high-quality filtered water for the tables,” he said. “We also only serve organic tofu, non-GMO.” Piyavichayanont and his co-owners Wanida Catchon and Tammy Grayson have a total of four Lemongrass locations in all, including Boca Raton, Delray Beach and West Palm Beach. With their cuisine earning many accolades over the years, they hope to also win over the hearts and stomachs at the new Wellington location. The team is also behind other popular restaurants across Palm Beach County, including Ramen Lab, Poké Lab and The Sea Southeast Asian Kitchen. “There really is something for everyone,” Piyavichayanont said. Lemongrass Asian Bistro is located at 10312 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 204, in the Mall at Wellington Green near the Paragon Movie Theater. For more info., visit www. or call (561) 459-1598.

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wellington the magazine | january 2019


wellington | dining guide Arrabiatas Italian Restaurant serves up traditional Italian cuisine. The restaurant is in Aberdeen Plaza at 8260 Jog Road. For more info., call (561) 336-3862 or visit Aroma Indian Cuisine, located at 730 Village Blvd. in West Palm Beach, serves delicious Indian food seven days a week, including a buffet lunch and dinner. For more info., call (561) 619-6437 or visit www. Backstreets Neighborhood Bar & Grill is located in the Wellington Plaza at 12771 W. Forest Hill Blvd. For more info., call (561) 795-0100. Casa Tequila, a restaurant featuring delicious Mexican cuisine, is located in the Wellington Plaza at 12795 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 11A. For more info., call (561) 557-1378 or visit Catania Italian Restaurant is in the Marketplace at Wycliffe at 4115 S. State Road 7. Hours are 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, staying open until 11 p.m. on weekends. On Sundays, doors open at 2 p.m. For more info., call (561) 355-5900. Centanni Italian Restaurant is located in Wellington’s Village Walk community at 2540 Village Walk Circle. Catering is available. Call (561) 642-8700 for more info. 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. Glazed & Confused Eatery is not just a donut shop. Aside from delicious donuts, it also serves a full menu for breakfast and lunch. It is located at 2803 State Road 7, Suite 300. For info., call (561) 847-4346 or visit

India Grill & Bar is now open in Royal Plaza at 650 Royal Palm Beach Blvd. serving authentic north and south Indian cuisine. For info., call (561) 249-7168. JoJo’s Raw Bar & Grill (13889 Wellington Trace in the Wellington Marketplace) features steaks, burgers, fresh fish and more, along with a bar stocked with 100 different beers. For info., call (561) 427-1997. Kabuki has brought its affordable and delicious Japanese and Thai cuisine to Wellington. The restaurant is located at 2465 S. State Road 7, Suite 100, in Wellington. For more information, visit www.kabukiwpb. com or call (561) 323-4888. Kaluz Restaurant, an upscale dining experience serving New American cuisine, recently opened in Wellington. Kaluz is located at 2025 Wellington Green Drive just off Forest Hill Blvd. For more info., call (561) 784-5500 or visit Experience the tastes of the world atop a burger at Lindburgers Restaurant in the Wellington Courtyard Shops at 13860 Wellington Trace. For info., call (561) 753-0555 or visit Enjoy great Mexican food in a friendly atmosphere at Los Agaves Mexican Restaurant, located 1179 Royal Palm Beach Blvd. in the Village Royale shopping plaza, open for lunch and dinner daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more info., call (561) 798-1229. Oli’s Fashion Cuisine & Bar is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks on Forest Hill Blvd. near the Mall at Wellington Green. For info., call (561) 7922220 or visit Paradise Indian Cuisine serves authentic Indian food for lunch and dinner, including an all-you-caneat lunch buffet. It is located at 7667 Lake Worth Road. For more information, call (561) 812-3958 or visit

Stonewood Grill & Tavern in the Pointe at Wellington Green serves up exciting flavors in a casually sophisticated setting. Call (561) 784-9796 or visit for more info. Strathmore Bagels & Deli is a New York-style deli serving everything from smoked fish to corned beef. It is located in the Marketplace at Wycliffe at State Road 7 and Lake Worth Road. For info., call (561) 357-0044 or visit Taste of India is located at 7750 Okeechobee Blvd. Aside from a full menu, it offers a bountiful buffet for lunch and dinner on weekdays and brunch on weekends. For more info., call (561) 721-8600. Tokyo Bay Buffet, located at 165 S. State Road 7 in Royal Palm Beach, raises the Asian buffet dining concept to a whole new level with a large sushi bar and a tasty hibachi grill. For info., call (561) 753-5566. Drop by the award-winning TooJay’s Original Gourmet Deli at its new location in Wellington Green Square near Whole Foods Market for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For more info., call (561) 7849055 or visit Tree’s Wings & Ribs is located at 603 Royal Palm Beach Blvd. in the Royal Plaza. Eat in or take out wings, ribs, chicken and more. Visit www.treeswings or call (561) 791-1535 for more info. Twisted Tsunami features house-made favorites. The deli meats are always fresh, and bread and cookies are baked fresh daily. Twisted Tsunami is located at 109 S. State Road 7. For more info., call (561) 3332333 or visit Located in the original Wellington Mall, Wellington Trace Tavern serves up American-style cuisine with a wonderful ambiance. For more info., call (561) 4691109 or visit

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january 2019 | wellington the magazine

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wellington | calendar Tuesday, Jan. 1 • The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts will present a Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert with the Strauss Symphony of America on Tuesday, Jan. 1 at 8 p.m. Visit for more info. Wednesday, Jan. 2 • The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts will present Comedian Jay Leno on Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. Visit for more info. Thursday, Jan. 3 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host a Writers’ Critique Workshop for adults on Thursday, Jan. 3 at 6:30 p.m. Share, offer and accept constructive criticism to improve fiction, nonfiction and poetry in a supportive atmosphere. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. Friday, Jan. 4 • The West Palm Beach Antiques Festival will be at the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center from Friday, Jan. 4 through Sunday, Jan. 6. Visit for more info. • The Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club will hold its 31st annual Wellington Dinner Dance on Friday, Jan. 4 from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at the Wycliffe Golf & Country Club. For more info., contact Christine Martin at or (561) 683-3287, or visit Saturday, Jan. 5 • Audubon of the Everglades will walk and drive in Stormwater Treatment Area-1E in Wellington on Saturday, Jan. 5 from 7:30 a.m. to noon. Visit for more information. • The Green Market at Wellington will be held Saturday, Jan. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the Wellington Amphitheater. For more info., visit www. Sunday, Jan. 6 • The 2019 season at the International Polo Club

Palm Beach will continue Sunday, Jan. 6 with the Joe Barry Memorial Cup. For more information, call (561) 204-5687 or visit www.internationalpoloclub. com. Tuesday, Jan. 8 • The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts will present On Your Feet: The Emilio and Gloria Estefan Broadway Musical from Tuesday, Jan. 8 through Sunday, Jan. 13. Visit for more info. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host Winter Crowns for ages 5 to 12 on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 3 p.m. Design and decorate a winter crown to celebrate the season. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host “Rise of Vaping with Teens” co-sponsored by the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 6:30 p.m. What are vapes, e-cigs and Juul, and why are more teens using them? See the devices for vaping nicotine and marijuana, and solutions to keeping teens drug free. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. Wednesday, Jan. 9 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host Lucky Stars Jars for ages 12 and up on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. Ring in the New Year with luck and positivity by writing messages on paper and turning them into lucky stars. Then decorate a jar for them to have a home. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host Book Discussion: The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman for adults on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 6:30 p.m. Copies are available at the research services desk. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info. Thursday, Jan. 10 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host its Tween Advisory Club for ages 10 to 12 on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 2:30 p.m. Brainstorm and

develop the kinds of activities you want. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info. • The Wellington Amphitheater will host a free concert by Five Boroughs, along with a food truck invasion, on Thursday, Jan. 10 from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Visit for more info. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host “It’s a New Year! Let It Go” for adults on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m. Using the principles of Peter Walsh’s book Let It Go, Kathy Andio, a professional organizer, will discuss downsizing. Learn how to sort through your possessions. Call (561) 7906070 to pre-register. Friday, Jan. 11 • The Wellington Amphitheater will host a free screening of the movie Christopher Robin on Friday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m. For more info., visit www. Saturday, Jan. 12 • The Green Market at Wellington will be held Saturday, Jan. 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the Wellington Amphitheater. For more info., visit www. • The Wellington Amphitheater will host a free Abba tribute concert by Almost Abba on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Visit events for more info. Sunday, Jan. 13 • The 2019 season at the International Polo Club Palm Beach will continue Sunday, Jan. 13 with the Joe Barry Memorial Cup. For more information, call (561) 204-5687 or visit Monday, Jan. 14 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host Homework Club for ages 5 to 12 on Mondays, Jan. 14 and Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. Enjoy a quiet space to study, read and complete homework. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info.

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wellington the magazine | january 2019


wellington | calendar • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host its Chess Club for all ages on Monday, Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. Basic game knowledge is required. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host English Exchange for adults on Mondays, Jan. 14 and Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. Practice speaking English in a fun and informal atmosphere. Intermediate knowledge of the language is recommended. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info. Tuesday, Jan. 15 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host Geometry Art for ages 5 to 12 on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 3 p.m. Transform simple shapes into amazing works of art. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host “Best Strategies for Creating a Writing Life” on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 6:30 p.m. Do you have a story to share with the world? Are you a writer deep in the process and seeking professional guidance? Explore the benefits of participating in a community of writers with the Cream Literary Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the power of the written and spoken word. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host a Wonders of the Night Sky telescope viewing session for adults on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. Stargaze and learn about constellations with the Astronomical Society of the Palm Beaches from sunset to 8:30 p.m., if skies are clear. Call (561) 7906070 to pre-register. Wednesday, Jan. 16 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host Presidents and Their First Ladies, Dramatically Speaking: William Howard & Nellie Taft for adults on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 2 and 6:30 p.m. William and Sue Wills bring the story of the president and his first lady to life. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register or visit presidents-2019. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive)

will host Anime Nation for ages 12 to 17 on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. View new anime titles in Japanese with English subtitles. Snacks will be provided. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info. • Shulamit Hadassah will host a Tu B’Shevat Seder on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. at Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Station 30 (9910 Stribling Way, Wellington). For more info., contact Helene at (561) 512-3172 or Thursday, Jan. 17 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host Finger Painting for ages 5 to 12 on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 3 p.m. Dress for a mess. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info. • The Wellington Amphitheater will host a free concert by the Flyers, along with a food truck invasion, on Thursday, Jan. 17 from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Visit for more info. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host Career Transitions for adults on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 6:30 p.m. Enhance your job search, write an effective résumé and cover letter or explore a new career path. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. Friday, Jan. 18 • The 2019 South Florida Fair will be held from Friday, Jan. 18 through Sunday, Feb. 3 at the South Florida Fairgrounds featuring a “Superheroes” theme. For tickets and more information, visit www. • The Wellington Amphitheater will host a free screening of the movie Grease on Friday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Visit for info. Saturday, Jan. 19 • The Loxahatchee Chapter of the Florida Trail Association will walk in Okeeheelee Park (7715 Forest Hill Blvd.) on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 a.m. Meet at Okeeheelee Park South in the central parking lot. Call Bruce at (772) 333-1837 for more info. • The Green Market at Wellington will be held Saturday, Jan. 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the

12799 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington, FL 33414

(561) 795-2823 120

january 2019 | wellington the magazine

Wellington Amphitheater. For more info., visit www. • Temple Beth Torah will honor its Preschool Director Sandy Wilensky at the congregation’s annual gala held at the Wellington National Golf Club on Saturday, Jan. 19 starting at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling (561) 793-2700. • The Wellington Amphitheater will host a free Tina Turner tribute concert by Hot Legs on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Visit www.wellingtonfl. gov/events for more info. Sunday, Jan. 20 • Audubon of the Everglades will walk and drive in Stormwater Treatment Area-1E in Wellington on Sunday, Jan. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to noon. Visit for more information. • The 2019 season at the International Polo Club Palm Beach will continue Sunday, Jan. 20 with the Ylvisaker Cup. For tickets, or more information, visit or call (561) 204-5687. Tuesday, Jan. 22 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host Marble Run for ages 5 to 12 on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 3 p.m. Design the tallest marble run you can with found materials. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info. Wednesday, Jan. 23 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host “The Joys of Jewish Humor, Part I” for adults on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 2:30 p.m. The special gift of the Jewish people to find humor in daily life has been enjoyed around the world. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host Paint a Penguin for ages 5 to 12 on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 3 p.m. Use your creativity to paint a cool and colorful friend. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info.

wellington | calendar

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Thursday, Jan. 24 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host Wet Felting for ages 5 to 12 on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 3 p.m. Find out what you can make with wool and water. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info. • The Wellington Amphitheater will host a free concert by the Gypsy Lane Band, along with a food truck invasion, on Thursday, Jan. 24 from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Visit for info. Friday, Jan. 25 • The 16th annual JustWorld Gala will be held Friday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at Belle Herbe Farm in Grand Prix Village (3206 Old Hampton Drive, Wellington) to benefit JustWorld International. For tickets, sponsorship and auction donation information, e-mail or call (561) 333-9391. For more info., visit Saturday, Jan. 26 • The Wellington Art Society will present its 13th annual Art Fest on the Green at the Wellington Amphitheater (12100 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington) on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more info., visit • Wellington invites fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers and more to take part in the annual Father Daughter Dance on Saturday, Jan. 26 in the Village Park Gymnasium (11700 Pierson Road) from 6 to 9 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now through Jan. 24 or until tickets are sold out. Tickets can be purchased at the Village Park Gymnasium and the Wellington Community Center. For more info., call (561) 753-2484 or visit Sunday, Jan. 27 • The 2019 season at the International Polo Club Palm Beach will continue Sunday, Jan. 27 with the Ylvisaker Cup. For more information, call (561) 204-5687 or visit Tuesday, Jan. 29 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host Line Dancing for beginners and experienced dancers on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 6:30 p.m. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host Wooden Figures for ages 5 to 12 on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 3 p.m. Make simple wooden figures and use an array of materials to decorate and personalize your peg doll. Call (561) 790-6070 for info. Wednesday, Jan. 30 • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host STEAM Club for ages 5 to 12 on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 3 p.m. Use science and engineering skills to design the tallest tower possible using only household items. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host a Teen Takeover for ages 12 to 17 on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. Enjoy Wii games, board games and more. Snacks will be provided. Call (561) 790-6070 for more info. • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host “Start the Year Off with Meditation” for adults on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m. John Bednarik demonstrates how meditation can bring inner peace. Call (561) 790-6070 to pre-register. Thursday, Jan. 31 • The Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce will host an economic luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 11:30 a.m. at the Breakers West Country Club on the topic of “Leadership with Purpose” featuring Breakers Palm Beach President & CEO Paul Leone. For more info., call (561) 790-6200 or visit • The Wellington library (1951 Royal Fern Drive) will host Backward Day for ages 5 to 12 on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 3 p.m. Celebrate Backward Day by creating eraser art. Call (561) 790-6070 for info. • The Wellington Amphitheater will host a free Neil Diamond tribute by Neil Zirconia, along with a food truck invasion, on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Visit for more info.

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Wellington The Magazine January 2019  

January 2019 | ON THE COVER Polo great Mariano Aguerre, profiled this month, has been a force to be reckoned with on the field for three dec...

Wellington The Magazine January 2019  

January 2019 | ON THE COVER Polo great Mariano Aguerre, profiled this month, has been a force to be reckoned with on the field for three dec...