Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP), announced today that he has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Wellington’s world renowned International Polo Club (IPC). The purchase includes the core IPC club facilities and surrounding properties, totalling 248 acres. The transaction will close in Late April. Wellington Equestrian Partners owns the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, one of the world’s preeminent hunter/jumper and dressage competition venues.
“We are honored to have been selected by the Goodman family trust to steward this venue into what will now be a very bright the future. We thank them for their faith in our organization,” Bellissimo said. “With the shroud of uncertainty that has plagued the venue and the event, our partnership wanted to ensure that IPC was going to be protected as a long term venue for polo and other equestrian sports which is key to Wellington’s economy.”
Bellissimo has already initiated discussions with the United States Polo Association and key stakeholders in the polo community to forge a strategy of cooperation and collaboration to ensure that Wellington and IPC remain as the premiere destination for spring, fall, and winter polo in the nation. Chairman Joe Meyer of the USPA commented, “The US Polo Association has held our most prestigious high goal polo tournaments at IPC for many years. We have a relationship with IPC through 2018 and look forward to expanding and continuing that relationship far into the future.”
The sport of polo is a core foundation for the character, charm and tradition of Wellington as a world renowned equestrian destination, getting its start in the community in the 1970s. According to the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, Wellington’s combined equestrian events generate over $200 million in annual economic impact, and over 150,000 room nights.
This key acquisition will allow WEP to consolidate Wellington’s primary equestrian venues and develop a unique market offering centered around equestrian lifestyle and the love of horses. “We have demonstrated at PBIEC that by creating and promoting high level equestrian sport in venues that are both entertaining and family-friendly, you can create a level of success for both spectators and sponsors,” Bellissimo added. “WEP, whose Winter Equestrian Festival, has over 100 sponsors, intends to bring the same energy and vision to IPC, and will create an international marketing effort that will cross-promote the events for the mutual benefit of Polo, Wellington, Palm Beach County and all of equestrian sport. The IPC venue, together with Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s (PBIEC) Jumper and Dressage venues, will provide a third venue to enhance Wellington’s equestrian sport offerings.”
“We are now positioned to achieve a new level of prominence and excellence for the competitor and visitor experience at all of our venues. This allows us to establish and showcase Wellington as the world destination for polo, show jumping and dressage. We will present a vision for the venue and the facility soon,” he added.