Category Archives: Polo

Inaugural Gladiator Polo Arena League Opener

World’s Top Ranked Arena Polo Players Get Ready to Battle in Arena Showdown on Thursday, January 26th at 6:00 p.m. with One of the Highest Ranked Matches in Arena Polo History

Wellington, FL – January 23, 2017 – Equestrian Village (EV) of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) centrally located at the corner of Pierson and South Shore Blvd will host the Inaugural Gladiator Polo Arena League opener.

The Gladiator Polo inaugural arena polo event, sanctioned by the United States Polo Association (USPA), is set to take place on Thursday, January 26, with gates opening at 6:00 p.m. Free general admission for spectators will include a number of family-friendly activities including chariot racing, gladiator jousting, spectator skill challenges as well as Wellington’s favorite band Wonderama. An authentic Argentinian Asado (BBQ) will be available for a fee of $30 per person and can be reserved online at http://bit.ly/2jOWRVG. It will be hosted at the VIP pavilion overlooking the arena.

Arena polo is a fast-paced version of polo played outdoors in an enclosed all-weather arena.  Unlike outdoor polo, which is played on a 10-acre field, arena polo is played on 300-by-150-foot field, enclosed by walls of four or more feet in height. A polo ball is similar to a mini soccer ball and is larger than the hard plastic ball used outdoors. Arena polo is typically far more financially accessible than outdoor polo and a great entry point for new and young players. Unlike grass polo which is four players per team, arena polo utilizes three players per team.

The Spartacus team, sponsored by Carol Sollak and Engel & Völkers, will feature players Tommy Biddle (10 goals), Kris Kampsen (8) and Santi Torres (7). Contributing sponsors for the Spartacus team are Goose Island Beer, W Development Group, Palm Beach Equine Clinic, and Cavalleria Toscana. Spartacus will face the Crixus team, sponsored by Richard Schechter and the Bainbridge Companies, with players Matias Magrini (9 goals), Mike Azzaro (9) and Felipe Viana (7). Contributing sponsors for Team Spartacus are Shock Top Beer, Equisport Division of Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Pegasus Builders, and the Maya Group at Illustrated Properties. Richard Schechter, CEO of the Bainbridge Companies, one of the Winter Equestrian Festival’s (WEF) longest-running sponsors, was the first to step up to sponsor the event. Schechter commented, “Wellington’s equestrian lifestyle is unique in the World. I am always supportive of innovative ways to strengthen Wellington and enhance that experience.” Carol Sollak, a top WEF and polo sponsor, added, “We need to find ways to bring horse sport to a broader audience, I wanted to make sure we support that effort.”

The International Polo Club, in collaboration with the Palm Beach Riding Academy (PBRA) will be launching the IPC Polo School initiative on Thursday, which will identify and train the next generation of polo players for all skill levels. Each of the Gladiators, Kris Kampsen, Mike Azzaro, Matias Magrini, Tommy Biddle, Felipe Viana, and Santi Torres will donate a one-hour lesson to a lucky child/young adult in attendance at the Thursday night event in order to help launch their “polo career.” Each of the six lucky riders will receive a gift bag as well as receiving a jersey from their gladiator team.

The Gladiator Polo night will also introduce two of the world’s most advanced riding simulators. One simulator teaches general riding skills, and the other trainer teaches polo riding and “stick and ball” training. Each simulator will be based at the Equestrian Village site for the season.

The USPA Polo Network will live stream the event at www.uspolo.org. For more information on Gladiator Polo, please visit www.gladiatorpolo.com or call (561) 793-JUMP.

Polo for a Purpose Promotes Awareness, Supports Fight against Leukemia and Lymphoma

Brandon Phillips.

Wellington, FL – January 8, 2017 – The International Polo Club Palm Beach will welcome the first charity event of the year on Monday, January 16, hosting Polo with a Purpose, benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®, while showcasing a high goal polo game in conjunction with a Gipsy Sound Revolution concert following the match. The event will begin at 2:00 p.m. with a 24-goal polo match and continue throughout the afternoon with entertainment and family fun.

P.J. Rizvi and Brandon Phillips, co-organizers of the event, alongside Visse Wedell and Penny Bradley, spend their year preparing and planning for the event, which aims to raise funds and awareness for those diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma, all different forms of blood cancers.

“We started preparing for this event just a month after last year’s event, so it is something that we work on throughout the year,” said Phillips, a survivor of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a renowned polo player. “I’m excepting this year, by far, to be our biggest year yet.”

“The money we raise from this event benefits the local community and patients fighting these diseases. This is why Brandon and I do this event together and have become such good friends,” explained Rizvi. “My sister, Penny, passed away from leukemia and Brandon is a survivor. We hold this event very close to our hearts.”

Through the fundraising efforts of the Polo for a Purpose committee, more than $600,000 has been donated to the mission of finding a cure and supporting emerging treatments. This year, both Rizvi and Phillips are anticipating that number will greatly increase with the tremendous growth of the event.

“We want to create awareness and include everyone. This event is for the community,” continued Rizvi. “I always say that the motto for this event is that we’re chipping away at blood cancer one penny at a time.”

The event, which is not only open to the equestrian community, but also to the citizens of Wellington, will feature an elite polo match ahead of an exciting concert, all hosted on the polo grounds. Rizvi elaborated, “By supporting this event, you’re saving lives. People sometimes underestimate how important this research is. The money we raise goes to covering co-pays, transportation, second opinions, new research and so much more.”

As the event date approaches, event organizers are expecting a large turnout of supporters, spectators, and survivors on Monday, as it is a day of rest for the equestrian community and part of the holiday weekend. This is the first year that a concert has been incorporated into the event timeline and both Rizvi and Phillips believe that it will help to grow the event and add an extra element of fun to an already meaningful day.

“What we’ve been able to do in the last four years has just been incredible. I wish we could have started this fourteen years ago. You know that you want to give back and this event provides an outlet to do that,” added Phillips. “This year is going to be special. The proceeds will 100% go back to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®. It’s going to be a great game and it’s my goal to make these events fun. We want people to enjoy their time while supporting the cause.”

“When someone you love is diagnosed with blood cancer, your entire family is diagnosed,” concluded Rizvi. “We want to help the families in this community and support opportunities for research and treatment that will one day cure this disease.”

To purchase tickets for the event, please visit www.poloforapurpose.com or click here. To learn more about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®, please visit www.lls.org.

For more information about the International Polo Club, please visit www.internationalpoloclub.com.

USPA and IPC Collaborate to Keep High-Goal Polo in Wellington

Spectators watch ride-off between Orchard Hill and Valiente on Field 1 during 2016 high-goal season at International Polo Club Palm Beach. ©Rob Bowman.

Wellington, FL – December 1, 2016 – The International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) and the United States Polo Association (USPA) have entered a collaborative effort to ensure that high-goal polo will remain long-term in Wellington, Florida. Representatives of the entities convened last week to develop a plan and expect to release details in early December.

“This wonderful partnership between our club and the USPA will preserve the health, growth and longevity of polo at IPC,” said Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Wellington Equestrian Partners, which purchased the club in April. “We are fully invested in the sport and are excited about working together with the USPA. High-goal polo is here to stay.”

USPA Chairman Joseph Meyer underscored the association’s commitment to furthering its longstanding relationship with IPC, current home to the annual United States Open Polo Championship® and other prestigious high-goal tournaments. “The USPA looks to work with IPC to make a mutually beneficial series of high-goal tournaments and to grow the sport,” said Meyer.

The USPA has a contract to hold the U.S. Open at IPC through 2018. Meyer confirmed that discussions are under way regarding an extension of the agreement.

Bellissimo stated that all seven fields, including the stadium venue at field 1, will remain in use solely for polo in 2017. “We are totally committed to providing the very best conditions for high-goal, not only in 2017 but for many years to come,” he said.

For more information on the International Polo Club, please visit www.internationalpoloclub.com and to learn more about the United States Polo Association, please visit www.uspolo.org.

Media Contact:
Darlene Ricker
Media Relations/Publications
Phone: 561.204.5687
Cell: 310.210.4004
Email: dricker@internationalpoloclub.com

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong Clinches Back-to-Back Trophies

Glorious sunshine beamed over West London as Finals Day of Chestertons Polo in the Park 2016 took place in the historic Hurlingham Park for another momentous day of polo, non-stop entertainment and an Olympic-themed children’s pitch invasion.

Kids were champing at the bit to be part of West London’s biggest childrens’ party on the pitch as leading children’s entertainers, Sharky & George, hosted a morning with exhilarating games for all the family, including a gigantic tug-of-war, space hoppers, and even got out much needed water balloons to cool off in the mid-day sun.

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong, the defending champions, emerged for the Chestertons Polo in the Park final against newcomers, Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marrakech, having not lost at the iconic Hurlingham Park in two years. The two unbeaten teams had swept all rivals out the way en route to the showpiece final and they didn’t disappoint the expectant crowd with high-quality shot-making and ball striking.

Max Charlton of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong opened the scoring after dribbling the entire length of the Mahiki bar, Europe’s longest outdoor bar, and slotting the ball between the posts. Rising English star, Jack Richardson, added to his tournament tally but as the shadows lengthened over the picturesque Fulham ground, Charlie Wooldridge scored the winner to send the crowd wild and give Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong a 3-2 victory.

Sebastian Dawnay of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong said, “We are absolutely thrilled to have won Chestertons Polo in the Park for the second year in a row. It is such a great tournament and with unbelievable crowds over the three day we are already looking forward to next year.”

polo2With a record overall attendance of over 30,000 over the three days, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong showed their class and all eyes will be on them again next year as they will be looking to win an unprecedented third consecutive Chestertons Polo in the Park title.

Earlier in the day as the Champagne Lanson Garden and MINT bars filled with excited spectators, the pressure on the pitch ramped up with the runner-up final kicking off as Argentex Team Dubai and Navigant Team New York were first up on the hallowed turf.

The action on the pitch was as hot as the weather when Mohammed Al Habtoor combined beautifully with Juan Cruz Guerva, a moment which the MINT bar was left to savour. Navigant Team New York came storming back through Cameron Bacon but it was not to be their day as Argentex Team Dubai ran out 7-5 winners.

Spectators were able to take a breather from the polo and browse the luxury shopping village where La Martina was showcasing its latest trends, ELEMIS were providing a sanctuary of relaxation, and lucky passers-by were able enjoy treatments and a well needed mini pampering session.

The Subsidiary final kicked off with the home crowd roaring for MINT Team London as they played a re-match of their Ladies Day presented by Little Miracles Drinks game against Air Europa Team Buenos Aires.

With the rivalries clear for all to see the action was furious and frenetic but it was the ice cool La Martina ambassador Malcolm Borwick who engineered his side into an early lead. Not to be out done, Air Europa Team Buenos Aires’s Sam Instone scored from an acute angle to set up a grandstand finish, but as the clock ticked down, neither side was able to find a decisive goal as the match finished in a hard-earner 5-all draw.

MINT Team London’s George Spencer Churchill commented, “This year’s Chestertons Polo in the Park has been amazing. The crowds over the three days have been the biggest I have ever seen and it’s such fun to be able to play right in the heart of London.”

This year’s Chestertons Polo in the Park saw record crowds across the three days. Keep up to date with all the information ahead of next year’s event on www.polointheparklondon.com.

Results

Runner Up Final:
Argentex Team Dubai 7 : 5 Navigant Team New York

Subsidiary Final:
MINT Team London 5 : 5 Air Europa Team Buenos Aires

Chestertons Polo in the Park Final:
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong 3 : 4 Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marakech

For more information, contact Gayle Telford E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: (0)207 592 1207

CHESTERTONS POLO IN THE PARK
Chestertons Polo in the Park is an annual three-day polo tournament that takes place in June at Hurlingham Park, Fulham. The round-robin style tournament is played under the HPA-endorsed City Polo rules, developed to maximise spectator enjoyment.

Chestertons Polo in the Park is owned and managed by Sportgate International, an international event management and sports marketing agency; founded in 2014 by a team of experienced sports marketing professionals, Sportgate International now owns events and consults to companies and rights holders who require sponsorship and event management expertise.

Chestertons Polo in the Park is part of the global City Polo Series. Events owned and managed by Sportgate International include Chestertons Polo in the Park (London), Singapore Concours d’Elegance, Gulf Concours, England Polo International in Dubai and others.

Ladies Day Sees Record Ever Crowd at Chestertons Polo in the Park

Records were smashed at Chestertons Polo in the Park as crowds flocked into Hurlingham Park for Ladies Day presented by Little Miracles Drinks.

With an array of stars cheering on from Mahiki VIP, Europe’s longest outdoor bar, including Made in Chelsea’s Hugo Taylor and Spencer Matthews, model Kimberley Garner and Surrey cricket star Tom Curren, Saturday at Chestertons Polo in the Park lived up to its reputation as the start of the London summer social season.

The Great Polo Food Festival was a huge attraction as the capacity crowd flocked in to sample a host of London’s most delicious tastes including Le Bun, Carbonis, Bubbledogs, HIX and Gordon Ramsey’s Maze Grill.

The Champagne Lanson Garden was flowing with champagne as spectators kept themselves refreshed whilst in the Fentimans Botanical Cocktail Bar and Garden; the crowds enjoyed the delicious tastes of Pink Lemonade and Elderflower cocktails under a chic canopy of flowers.

For those who wanted to relax after sampling the grazing paddock and array of bars, AwakeConBal provided visual meditation and Pranassage experiences. New this year, the ELEMIS bus gave spectators a massage just metres from the playing surface. The fabulous range of retail outlets in the shopping village lured shoppers all day with happy customers enjoying top retail therapy.  The winner of the My Polo Style Ladies Best Dressed competition presented by Little Miracles in association with Jacques Vert was a delighted Amy McHenry who wowed the judges with her stunning outfit.

The festival atmosphere was already in full swing by the time MINT Team London emerged to face Air Europa Team Buenos Aires. With La Martina ambassador Malcolm Borwick again showcasing his remarkable equine skills as he led the home side into an early lead.

Air Europa Team Buenos Aires’s comeback was led by Sam Instone, his trickery and stick skills enabled his side to record a narrow 7:5 victory over MINT Team London.

Mohammed Al Habtoor led Argentex Team Dubai out against Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marrakech and within seconds he had scored the goal of the tournament as he dribbled the ball all the way from the MINT Bar to the Champagne Lanson Garden.

Jack Richardson and Rhys Cole combined superbly to set up Pete Webb for a coolly taken finish and a frenetic last chukka saw Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marrakech edge Argentex Team Dubai 6:5 in one of the games of the Chestertons Polo in the Park tournament.

“It was great to get our second win of Chestertons Polo in the Park. The atmosphere today was incredible and we can’t wait for the final tomorrow,” said Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marrakech’s Rhys Cole.

polo2Defending Champions, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong, flew out of the blocks against Navigant Team New York knowing that a victory would seal their place in the Chestertons Polo in the Park final.

Navigant’s Ruki Bellieu gave a defensive masterclass that wouldn’t have gone unnoticed at the upcoming European Football Championships but in the end Max Charlton scored a goal worthy of winning any game from an acute angle to see his side home 5:4.

“I thought it was going to be 50/50 today as Ruki Bellieu has played a lot of City polo, but playing with Max Charlton was incredible; he is a phenomenal polo player,” said Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong’s Sebastian Dawney.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s final, Sebastian Dawney commented, “We are looking forward to tomorrow’s final; it’s going to be really tough against Jnan Amar Polo Club; they’ve got upcoming England player and six-goal handicap Jack Richardson and established arena-player Peter Webb.”

Results

Match 1:
Air Europa Team Buenos Aires 7 : 5 MINT Team London

Match 2:
Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marrakech 6 : 5 Argentex Team Dubai

Match 3:
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong 5 : 4 Navigant Team New York

For more information, visit www.polointheparklondon.com.

For more information, contact Gayle Telford E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: (0)207 592 1207

CHESTERTONS POLO IN THE PARK
Chestertons Polo in the Park is an annual three-day polo tournament that takes place in June at Hurlingham Park, Fulham. The round-robin style tournament is played under the HPA-endorsed City Polo rules, developed to maximise spectator enjoyment.

Chestertons Polo in the Park is owned and managed by Sportgate International, an international event management and sports marketing agency; founded in 2014 by a team of experienced sports marketing professionals, Sportgate International now owns events and consults to companies and rights holders who require sponsorship and event management expertise.

Chestertons Polo in the Park is part of the global City Polo Series. Events owned and managed by Sportgate International include Chestertons Polo in the Park (London), Singapore Concours d’Elegance, Gulf Concours, England Polo International in Dubai and others.

AwakeConBal Team South Africa Reigns Supreme in the City AM International Match

Crowds from all over London poured in to Hurlingham Park as the action kicked off for the first day of Chestertons Polo in the Park 2016.

Renowned for its world-class polo in the heart of the city, decadent food and drink offerings, including the Champagne Lanson Garden and the ever popular Mahiki bar, Chestertons Polo in the Park yet again exceeded expectations with a day bursting with entertainment and thrilling polo clashes.

In between the action, spectators were treated to the debut of The Great Polo Food Festival, serving gastronomic delights from London’s most desirable food destinations such as HIX, Maze Grill, Smokestak amongst many others. Fans were also able to enjoy the luxurious shopping village from enviable brands such as Taylor Morris and browsing the latest trends from Fairfax & Favor and ISWAI.

The highlight of the opening day of Chestertons Polo in the Park was undoubtedly the City AM International match. An eruption of noise greeted the players as they rode out to the colosseum of polo that is Hurlingham Park. Steeped in history, as the spiritual home of polo, until last year an England team had not played an international match at the South-West London venue since 1939.

Against fierce sporting rivals, AwakeConBal Team South Africa, ICM Capital Team England, featuring Jack Richardson, George Meyrick and Hugo Lewis, were up against it from the start. A scintillating opening chukka from AwakeConBal Team South Africa gave them a lead that they would never relinquish. George Meyrick tried his hardest to cut the deficit in the final quarter with a two-point goal but Derreck Bratley’s team held on for an 8:6 victory to lift the heralded Olympic trophy.

“We are ecstatic to win the City AM International match, especially against a quality opposition like ICM Capital Team England; the atmosphere was unbelievable!’” said winning captain Derreck Bratley.

International Friday at Chestertons Polo in the Park saw three high-octane matches kick off the action as six cities from around the globe began their quest for the coveted Chestertons Polo in the Park trophy.

Played under unique City Polo rules that make for a faster game of Polo, Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marrakech and Navigant Team New York kicked off the action with a Champagne Lanson perfect start, the only way to kick off proceedings at Chestertons Polo in the Park.

Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marrakech made their intentions clear from the outset as Jack Richardson and Rhys Cole’s skills helped Pete Webb score a first chukka hat-trick including a goal scored from almost inside the MINT bar to help his side to a 5:3 victory.

“It was great fun being out there and start with a win. This year at Chestertons Polo in the Park there seems to be a great atmosphere and really good support from all the sponsors and people in the crowd,” said Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marrakech’s Jack Richardson after the victory.

Defending champions, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong, in the absence of injured captain Jamie Morrison, started like true champions against Air Europa Team Buenos Aires.

A sublime volley from Sebastian Dawnay was the highlight of the first chukka as he rode with adrenaline pumping in front of the Mahiki bar, Europe’s longest outdoor bar. Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong was ultimately victorious and looks to be one of the teams to beat this year.

The home crowd roared from the outset as MINT Team London cantered on to the hallowed Hurlingham turf for their opening match against Argentex Team Dubai, led by Mohammed Al Habtoor. England International, Malcolm Borwick, scored the first two-point goal of Chestertons Polo in the Park 2016, a special city-polo rule. With fellow countrymen George Spencer-Churchill parading his much vaunted power and tenacity, MINT Team London held on to record a slender victory by six goals to five.

Results

Match 1:
Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marrakech 5 : 3 Navigant Team New York

Match 2:
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong 3 : 2 Air Europa Team Buenos Aires

Match 3:
MINT Team London 6 : 5 Argentex Team Dubai

City AM International Match:
AwakeConBal Team South Africa 8 : 6 ICM Capital Team England

Tickets for Chestertons Polo in the Park are still available for Sunday 5 June and can be purchased from www.ticketmaster.co.uk. For more information, visit www.polointheparklondon.com.

For more information, contact Gayle Telford E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk or T: (0)207 592 1207

CHESTERTONS POLO IN THE PARK
Chestertons Polo in the Park is an annual three-day polo tournament that takes place in June at Hurlingham Park, Fulham. The round-robin style tournament is played under the HPA-endorsed City Polo rules, developed to maximise spectator enjoyment.

Chestertons Polo in the Park is owned and managed by Sportgate International, an international event management and sports marketing agency; founded in 2014 by a team of experienced sports marketing professionals, Sportgate International now owns events and consults to companies and rights holders who require sponsorship and event management expertise.

Chestertons Polo in the Park is part of the global City Polo Series. Events owned and managed by Sportgate International include Chestertons Polo in the Park (London), Singapore Concours d’Elegance, Gulf Concours, England Polo International in Dubai and others.

Wellington Equestrian Partners Completes Purchase of International Polo Club

©LILA Photo.

Wellington, FL – April 30, 2016 – Mark Bellissimo has announced that the Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP) have completed their purchase of the International Polo Club (IPC) in Wellington, FL.

IPC is the storied home of High Goal Polo during the winter season in Wellington, FL, with competition beginning in January and continuing through April each year. WEP’s primary goal is to ensure that IPC remains one of the world’s premier Polo Clubs and a key economic driver of Wellington’s equestrian economy.

The WEP partnership will be expending significant resources to ensure that the facilities and the polo fields are second to none and are committed to maintaining the same High Goal Polo calendar for 2017 and beyond.

IPC’s main stadium venue and polo activity are complemented by a private club with spa, fitness center, tennis courts, pool, as well as The Mallet Grille restaurant and The 7th Chukker lounge.

Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of WEP, commented, “We are honored to become the stewards of this important venue and are inspired to take Wellington to a new height of world-class equestrian sport, equestrian lifestyle, and community engagement.”

The strategic acquisition creates a network of three world-class facilities dedicated to equestrian sport and allows, for the first time in Wellington, the integration and coordination of equestrian activities around the hunter/jumper, dressage, and polo worlds. Bellissimo added, “We believe this will become one of the world’s top platforms to grow interest in equestrian sport for riders, spectators, and sponsors.”

“We look forward to working with the Village of Wellington, the governing bodies of each equestrian discipline, and the key stakeholders within the disciplines to create an experience unique in the world. We will be announcing a series of strategic initiatives and partnerships as well as a vision for the facility in early summer,” he continued.

IPC will continue to operate as usual with major upgrades and renovations set to begin in the summer.

For more information about the International Polo Club and/or membership, please visit www.internationalpoloclub.com.

Please visit www.pbiec.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Over $120,000 Raised for Working Equines to Benefit Brooke USA

Timmy Dutta. ©Alex Pacheco.

Wellington, FL – April 3, 2016 – The most highly anticipated event of the season did not disappoint on Thursday, March 31, as over 500 guests gathered at The Wanderers Club in Wellington, Florida. It was the perfect setting for sunset polo, dancing under the stars and supporting Brooke USA. The inaugural Nic Roldan’s Sunset Polo & White Party, hosted by Mark and Katherine Bellissimo, to benefit Brooke USA, set a new precedent in Wellington, earmarking the end of the 2016 equestrian season and ushering in a new era with more than $120,000 raised for working equines globally.

“We are so excited and overwhelmed by the generosity and support that was shown during this inaugural event,” Executive Director of Brooke USA, Emily Dulin, said. “We want to personally thank Mark and Katherine Bellissimo for hosting such an outstanding and successful event, and we also thank our Brooke USA ambassador, Nic Roldan, for conceptualizing this event and putting together an amazing team of hardworking volunteers.”

A thrilling polo game kicked off the inaugural event after a cocktail-hour performance by Ki-Juan Minors. Roldan, rated at 8 goals, led the Brooke USA Grey team to a 6-5 victory over Brooke USA Orange, captained by 6-goaler Kris Kampsen. Brandon Phillips (5), Timmy Dutta (0) and Ricky Mershad (0) rounded out the orange team. Justin Daniels (1), Grant Ganzi (1) and Henry Porter (1) completed the grey team.

Roldan is an official ambassador for Brooke USA, the American fundraising arm of the world’s largest international equine welfare charity, the Brooke. Brooke USA is dedicated to improving the lives of equines around the world, providing veterinary care, education, and resources to care for working horses, donkeys, and mules. Brooke USA supports the efforts of the Brooke and has worked in some of the most impoverished areas around the world for the last 80 years, helping more than 1.8 million equines and more than 10 million people who rely on these animals last year alone.

Before the game began a moment of silence was observed in memory of recently deceased polo player Bob Daniels, whose son played on the winning team. Roldan has longtime family ties to Bob Daniels. His father, Raul Roldan, played and worked for Daniels for 30 years. Nic Roldan also played many years with Daniels, reaching the 1999 U.S. Open final together as Pony Express.

The Brooke USA match was anyone’s game from start to finish, with the score frequently tied or fluctuating back and forth with a tight spread. Toby Wayman of Chukker TV announced the game, giving a play by play for the spectators.

Both teams showed amazing teamwork throughout. Daniels made the first goal of the day on an open back shot and followed up in the next chukker with a three-quarter neck shot that sailed straight through the goal posts. In the second chukker, Mershad brought the orange team to a three-point lead, with all three of his teammates assisting on the goal. Sixteen-year-old Porter made two back-to-back goals in the third chukker, tying the game at 4. In the fourth he scored again with a full-field run. Mershad made the final goal.

“I always enjoy playing in charity games, but this one was amazing,” said Kampsen. “Nic did an awesome job organizing this event for Brooke USA by incorporating some of these really talented young players we have. It was so much fun!”

For Roldan, it was clearly a labor of love. “Our goal was to create as much awareness as possible in the community about Brooke USA’s efforts. It’s a good cause, and it’s close to our hearts because we love equines,” he said. Roldan extended his thanks to the event hosts, Katherine and Mark Bellissimo, whom he said “went above and beyond” by providing the magnificent venue at The Wanderers Club and donating food and other amenities.

PoloGear USA donated the team jerseys, as well as custom saddlebags worn by miniature horses and donkeys that walked along the sidelines collecting cash donations for Brooke USA. Roldan, who came up with the idea to include the furry ambassadors, borrowed the mini-equines from his friends.

Marquez-Dulin and board member Jim Wolf presented the trophy to the winning team. The Best Playing Pony award, presented by Gil Johnston, went to Dallas, played by Phillips in the fourth chukker. Porter, the high-scorer in the game, was named Most Valuable Player.

Teeming with spectators, the sidelines were abuzz about the next Nic Roldan’s Sunset Polo & White Party, which is slated to return to Wellington in 2017. After the polo exhibition, guests moved pool-side where they enjoyed a night of dancing and drinks in their white attire. Rocco Mangel of Rocco’s Tacos emceed the event, and DJ Adam Lipson made sure everyone stayed on their feet and had a good time.

The inaugural event exceeded expectations, and during the live auction Brooke USA was able to raise enough money to build two permanent water troughs during the “Bid for a Cause.” Because of the generosity of the Bellissimos, Roldan, sponsors, guests and the hardworking committee, working equines will have improved lives and continue to become healthier, stronger and happier as they continue their crucial jobs.

“We are proud to be a part of such a special event with Nic to benefit Brooke USA and pleased that the first year was such a success,” said Katherine Bellissimo. “We look forward to making this an event that our community supports and looks forward to every year.”

For more information or to donate please visit www.BrookeUSA.org. For more information on Nic Roldan, please visit www.nicroldan.com.

Please visit www.pbiec.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Presents Polo for a Purpose

Wellington residents PJ Rizvi, Visse Wedell and Penny Bradley to chair event to support LLS’ efforts to find a cure.

WELLINGTON, FL – The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is proud to announce that PJ Rizvi, Penny Bradley, and Visse Wedell, all Wellington residents, will co-chair the Third Annual Polo for a Purpose, and survivor Brandon Phillips, also a resident of Wellington, will serve as Honorary Chairman. The event will take place on Monday, January 18, 2016, at the International Polo Club, 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington, FL 33414.

“Polo for a Purpose promises to be a signature event with talented and dedicated people at the helm,” said Pamela Payne, LLS Executive Director. “We are privileged that they have chosen to accept this leadership position and support the lifesaving mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.”

In addition to being the mother of four children with her husband Suhail, Co-Chair Rizvi is an accomplished, award-winning Grand Prix Dressage rider, both domestically and internationally. She began riding in 1992 as a form of emotional therapy, after losing her beloved sister, Penny, to a blood cancer. She began competing in her thirties and has since taken over the reins to fulfill her lifelong dream of riding her first Grand Prix. In Saugerties, NY, she won the East Coast Riders Cup FEI Grand Prix, and then continued her winning streak in Florida.

Co-Chair Bradley, an entrepreneur and real estate developer, spent her early life in Yorkshire, North England. A former corporate banker in London, Bradley earned her undergraduate degree in Banking and Finance from the Institute of Bankers. She moved to New York in 1997 as a member of the credit team with Coutts and Co., a British private bank. She obtained her Master’s degree in Business from Columbia University and opened her real estate development business in 2000, purchasing townhouses and developing them into luxury single-family homes. She is often called upon to consult for banks and real estate professionals.

Co-Chair Wedell, a realtor associate, has immersed herself in knowing every detail of the real estate transaction, bolstered by her passion for building and creating beautiful spaces of her own. This combination of experience and professionalism gives her a one of a kind approach to her business that easily fits with any client’s needs. Her passion for construction and development, especially in the areas of estate and farm homes and properties, has led Wedell to become a well-rounded agent with unparalleled knowledge.

During his almost 20 years as a professional polo player and 5-goal handicap, Honorary Chairman Phillips has captured some of the sport’s most coveted trophies. Even though he has realized his dream to play at the top of his sport, he credits surviving Stage Four lymphoma as his greatest accomplishment. Diagnosed at 14 years old, Phillips was initially given six weeks to live. He endured five grueling months of intensive chemotherapy sessions, beat the odds and went into remission. Once recovered, he vowed to dedicate his life to doing what he loved – playing polo. Since then, Phillips has established himself as one of the world’s most talented polo players.

All proceeds from the Third Annual Polo with a Purpose will benefit LLS’s mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. While this event will raise funds for lifesaving blood cancer research, it will also help support our local patients and their families by providing critically-needed financial aid.

For more information, please contact Pamela Payne, Executive Director, at 561.616.8682 or pam.payne@lls.org.

International Polo Club 2015 Season Gallops to a Close

Adolfo Cambiaso (center) flies through a window en route to winning the 111th U.S. Open Polo Championship Final, flanked on the left by Orchard Hill’s Steve Van Andel and Facundo Pieres, and on right by Eziquiel Ferraro and Valiente teammate Alejo Taranco. Photos: Liz Lamont Images/Phelps Media Group.

Record Numbers of Teams and Spectators

Wellington, FL – May 2, 2015 – The three-week U.S. Open Polo Championship brought an exciting end to a magnificent season of polo at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) on April 19. For 16 weeks the world’s finest polo players and their ponies stormed the fields at IPC, where more than a dozen 20-goal teams and eight 26-goal teams went head-to-head in the greatest athletic and equine polo matchups in the world.

“We couldn’t be more proud to be the home of the most prestigious tournaments in North America: the USPA C. V. Whitney Cup, the Piaget USPA Gold Cup and the U.S. Open Polo Championship,” said John Wash, President of Club Operations at IPC.

The three 26-goal tournaments, which drew record spectator attendance at IPC, are called the Triple Crown of polo. The games attracted numerous international megastars who rank among the elite handful of players to have attained the highest handicap of 10, including Facundo Pieres, Adolfo Cambiaso, Pelon Stirling, Juan Martin Nero and Sapo Caset. Many 8- and 9-goal players also competed throughout the high-goal season, which featured more than 30 games.

In 26-goal play, Valiente won the 111th U.S. Open; Audi clinched the Piaget USPA Gold Cup, and Orchard Hill took the USPA C. V. Whitney Cup. Winning teams for the four 20-goal tournaments were: Casablanca (Herb Pennell Cup); Orchard Hill (Joe Barry Cup); Coca-Cola (Ylvisaker Cup); and Tonkawa (Iglehart Cup).

In addition, IPC hosted three medium-goal tournaments (14- to 18-goal) and several Junior tournaments.

Special events this season included the Nespresso 40-Goal Challenge, a benefit match that brought in nearly $350,000 for the Polo Players Support Group, which provides financial assistance to players and grooms with serious illnesses or injuries. IPC also hosted the 6th Annual International Gay Polo Tournament, with some of the world’s top pros playing on teams with non-pros.

“At the beginning of the season we predicted this would be the finest season of polo ever,” said Wash. “We hosted new teams, had record-breaking spectator numbers and expanded, exciting coverage from the media. It has been an incredible season. We want to thank all the sponsors, patrons, teams and members for a great, if not the best, season of polo ever.”

Tommy Beresford, backed by Valiente teammate Santi Torres, reaches for the ball from Mark Tomlinson (Casablanca) in the Ylvisaker Cup quarterfinals.
Tommy Beresford, backed by Valiente teammate Santi Torres, reaches for the ball from Mark Tomlinson (Casablanca) in the Ylvisaker Cup quarterfinals.

Sponsors included: Piaget, Lexus, Engel & Völkers, Veuve Cliquot, Belvedere Vodka, Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, Southern Waste Systems, Fipa Group, Wellington Regional Medical Center, Pegasus Builders, Equine Hyperbaric Center of South Florida, Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute, Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty, Wellington Preserve Coalition, Lilly Pulitzer, Sentient Jet, The Surf Club Four Seasons Hotel and Residences, Southampton Limousene, Whole Foods, Bonpoint, Stathis Enterprises and World Chariot Racing Federation.

IPC is in the process of finalizing its 2016 season schedule, which opens in January and will culminate in the 112th U.S. Open Polo Championship in April.

International Polo Club Palm Beach Fast Facts

What: Created by players for players, the International Polo Club Palm Beach was born out of the dream to build a facility to showcase the incredible skills of the ponies and players that dominate the sport.

Members and guests enjoy panoramic views of the action from field side box seats or lawn and terrace seating. Sponsors and fans convene at The Winners Circle to congratulate the players during the awards presentation following the games.

Gourmet brunches, après polo celebrations and the prerequisite charitable events will take place in The Pavilion, designed to accommodate large parties, corporate clients, as well as family and friends.

Featured Highlights:

Herbie Pennell Cup – 20 Goal
Jan. 1-4, 2015

Joe Barry Memorial Cup – 20 Goal
Jan. 4-25, 2015

Ylvisaker Cup – 20 Goal
Jan. 28 – February 22, 2015

Iglehart Cup – 20 Goal
Feb. 28 – March 8, 2015

USPA C. V. Whitney Cup – 26 Goal
Feb. 15 – March 1, 2015

Piaget USPA Gold Cup® – 26 Goal
March 4-22, 2015

111th Maserati U.S. Open Polo Championship® – 26 Goal
March 25 – April 19, 2015

Directions:

From the Turnpike:
Take the Lake Worth Exit
Head west on FL-802 W/Lake Worth Rd toward Hooks Rd
Continue to follow Lake Worth Rd (3.9 miles)
Turn right onto 120th Ave S
Destination will be ahead on the left (0.4 miles)

From I-95:
Exit Forest Hill Blvd, head West
Make Left turn onto 441/St Rd 7
Make Right turn onto Lake Worth Rd
Make Right turn onto 120th Ave S
Destination on Left

Information:
3667 120th Ave S, Wellington, FL 33414
International Polo Club Palm Beach: 561-204-5687
Mallet Grille: 561-282-5340
Spa & Fitness Center: 561-282-5288
Tennis Pro Shop: 561-795-7228
Polo Operations Office: 561-282-5283
Polo Hotline: 561-282-5290

Website:
www.internationalpoloclub.com

For Tickets:
http://internationalpoloclub.ticketleap.com/

Hotels:
Hampton Inn & Suites – (561) 472-9696 – Approximately 2 miles
Hampton Inn – (561) 472-5980 – Approximately 4 miles
Four Seasons Resort – (561) 582-2800 – Approximately 9 miles
The Breakers – (561) 655-6611 – Approximately 9 miles
Kimpton Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa – (561) 540-6440 – Approximately 9 miles

Management:
John Wash – President of Club Operations
jwash@internationalpoloclub.com
561-282-5353

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com