A Twist on Polo in Wellington
Family Fun at Polo
Polo Action in Wellington, Florida
Over the years my photography has taken me to cover eight Olympic Games, every World Equestrian Games, numerous Pan Am Games and so much more. Most of the clicks of the camera were focused on show jumping, dressage, and eventing with a sprinkling of driving, reining, vaulting, para-equestrian and endurance. Yet, this winter I’ve had the chance to enjoy the excitement of high-goal polo at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) in Wellington, FL.
Although I have photographed some polo in the past and even tried my hand at playing the game, it’s only been a very small part of the equine events I write about and photograph. However, I’ve never covered it at the level that can be seen in the high-class setting that began in early January and runs through the end of April at IPC.
On Sundays, elegant brunches sponsored by Veuve Cliquot boast a feast worth savoring with the perfect fieldside entertainment on Engel & Völkers field. Tailgate picnics showcase some of the most sumptuous delicacies imaginable, adjacent to all the action. Grandstands are packed with people cheering for their team.
Gladiator Polo in the Mix
No need to create the party as it’s right there in front of you. This fast-paced game keeps spectators glued to their seats watching horses gallop from one end of the field to the other as determined polo players hasten to get their chance to hit the ball and make a goal for their team.
While adults chat with friends, kids go romping over to the free Kids’ Zone sponsored by the Wellington Regional Medical Center.
Polo games are played on weekdays in a more casual setting, but on Sundays the crowds come out to enjoy a festive day of action, with half time divot stomping with free champagne and ice cream on the field. There’s also the Ketel Kitchen where you can enjoy an afternoon cocktail and learn how to make specialty drinks with Ketel One Vodka.
IPC recently changed hands when Mark Bellissimo’s Wellington Equestrian Partners purchased the facility less than a year ago and have committed to making this place where the best of the best polo players in the world come to show their skills. Yet, future plans include a budget-minded polo academy where anyone can learn to play polo.
Other plans are in the works and one such event is just around the corner. It’s called Gladiator Polo and is played in an arena. The first in a series of three consecutive Thursday events takes place on January 26th at the Equestrian Village in Wellington, FL with gates opening at 6:00 p.m.
This will take place in a smaller area than the Sunday polo and will be a new twist for Wellington crowds. There will also be chariot racing, gladiator jousting and spectator skill challenges.
While the Sunday polo inspires people to don fashionable hats and chic attire, Gladiator Polo is a come-as-you-are affair.
In addition to those already mentioned, the class and elegance of Sunday Polo has also inspired Lugano Diamonds to support a sport that joins the Bellissimo empire of show jumping, dressage and even eventing.
If you love horses, action and posh events, you’ll love the International Polo Club and all it has to offer.
For more about the IPC, check out their website: internationalpoloclub.com and for more about Gladiator polo go to GladiatorPolo.com and be sure to share this article with your friends.