Tag Archives: wellington Florida

Building a global future: iconic US venue set to benefit from new European partnership

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Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
GEG will be making significant investments to the world-renowned PBIEC venue.

Global Equestrian Group, Waterland Private Equity, and Wellington Equestrian Partners join forces to invest in the Globalization of Equestrian Sport.

Andreas Helgstrand, CEO of Global Equestrian Group (GEG) and Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP) announced an unprecedented partnership focused on developing international equestrian sport.  GEG, will acquire the Wellington, Florida based Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) and will invest in WEP equestrian lifestyle initiatives.  WEP’s largest partners, Mark Bellissimo, Roger Smith, Lisa Lourie, and Marsha Dammerman as well as Michael Stone will co-invest in GEG.  Mark Bellissimo and PBIEC have transformed Wellington into the world’s premiere destination for equestrian enthusiasts, with competitions and events across more than 40 weeks every year. PBIEC is home to the Winter Equestrian Festival, spanning 13 weeks and is the world’s largest and longest-running equestrian sports event. 4,000 families, 8,000 horses, and 250,000 spectators from 43 different countries converge on Wellington to compete for over USD 12 million in prize money.  A recent independent economic study highlighted the Winter Equestrian Festival’s annual economic impact on Palm Beach County of USD 279 million of total expenditures and 150,000 bed nights.  GEG is part of Waterland Private Equity, who manage a global investment portfolio in excess of USD 11 billion.

Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) was founded by Mark Bellissimo and Wellington Equestrian Partners in 2006 and has contributed to transforming both equestrian sport and Wellington, Florida’s position as the world’s premiere destination for equestrian enthusiasts. It attracts some of the biggest names in the sport and the team behind it are hugely respected as “game changers” within the industry.

PBIEC operates 16 competition arenas, 2,500 stalls, and provides participants and spectators with a variety of exclusive restaurants, shopping, hospitality areas, and other first-class facilities.  PBIEC management will remain intact with Mark Bellissimo continuing as CEO, Michael Stone as President, and David Burton as Chief Operating Officer.  The GEG initiative will launch major investments in all areas of the facility ensuring that PBIEC will continue to be the preeminent sport horse venue in the world with increased exposure in Europe, Asia, and South America.  The purchase includes an 11-acre expansion of the Showgrounds.  To ensure continuity, the WEP partners required a 50-year deed restriction on the venue that guarantees USEF and FEI sanctioned shows on the property.  USEF CEO, Bill Moroney, commented, “As always, we are pleased to see a continued investment in US equestrian sport. This significant commitment to world-class facilities, horse and rider welfare, and USEF and FEI competitions further validates the market’s demand, at all levels, for organized sport.” Andreas Helgstrand, co-owner and CEO of GEG added, “The Winter Equestrian Festival and PBIEC are fantastic brands within international equestrian sport.  Together, we will strengthen the offering and create a global market leader spreading our passion for equestrian sport and lifestyle to new markets.”  

Global Equestrian Group is the world’s leading equestrian sports group based on a partnership between internationally acclaimed Helgstrand and Ludger Beerbaum Stables as well as Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and private equity firm Waterland. The Group has 250 full-time employees. Outside of equestrian events the Group is active in other equestrian investments including Helgstrand Dressage, Ludger Beerbaum Stables, Helgstrand Jewellery, and the equestrian apparel and accessories company Kingsland Equestrian. At present, the total revenue of these combined is USD180 million. 

Jessica Springsteen
Jessica Springsteen, the daughter of Bruce Springsteen is a regular competitor at PBIEC and will be representing the US at the Tokyo Olympics this year.

GEG will now have event venues in the US, Germany, and Denmark. The partnership will benefit from knowledge sharing and a strengthened positioning of PBIEC within show jumping where Ludger Beerbaum Stables has a unique market position. Furthermore, the partnership enables the Group to leverage PBIEC’s experience and create a European equestrian sports event company.  ”Our goal is to enhance equestrian sport by providing superior venues and top sport so riders across the world can live out their passions and dreams. With the acquisition of PBIEC, we now have the perfect setting to do this in the US and with our current expansion of Riesenbeck International in Germany we will have two top professional and attractive showgrounds,” says Ludger Beerbaum, four-time Olympic gold medalist in jumping and co-owner of Global Equestrian Group.  Bellissimo added, “We are pleased to be collaborating with both Andreas and Ludger, whose passion and commitment to equestrian sport is extraordinary.  Opportunities abound to take the sport to a new level.”   GEG and WEP are evaluating further investment opportunities in Wellington including a new state of the art Global Dressage Festival showgrounds.”

The investment behind this comes from Waterland, an independent private equity investment group that supports entrepreneurs in realizing their growth ambitions. With substantial financial resources from the firm’s eighth fund of EUR 2.6 billion and committed industry expertise, Waterland enables its portfolio companies to achieve accelerated growth both organically and through acquisitions. To date, Waterland has made investments in over 700 companies.

Bellissimo will be announcing a comprehensive strategy and a series of investments to elevate Wellington as the World’s premiere equestrian lifestyle destination, thus strengthening its international appeal. “The acquisition of PBIEC establishes Global Equestrian Group as a true global market leader in equestrian sports with a strong financial foundation and exciting growth opportunities,” says Kaspar Kristiansen, Managing Director, Waterland Nordic.

Horse Scout supports ‘Polo for Life Charity’.

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After Horse Scout CEO Lucienne Elms took to Field One at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in support of the charity ‘Polo for Life’, Ellie Kelly caught up with Lucienne to find out how Horse Scout’s involvement with the charity came about.

 

What made you choose Polo for Life Organisation to support for 2020?


I recently spent time with friends and families who had or had been impacted by cancer.  Sadly it seems we all know someone, scarily frequent. That feeling of helplessness is unbearable. But it spurred me on to help in anyway I could via the Horse Scout network. Polo for Life is a non profit organisation, dedicated to raising funds to support cancer research and treatment for paediatric cancers. Which for me feels one of the cruellest things, to see young children suffering.

 

I myself had a challenging time in 2018 off the back of a car crash that arguably should have killed me, I broke twenty eight bones and punctured my lungs but was fortunate enough to have great surgeons and the Injured Jockeys rehabilitation centre UK to get back to health. I can remember always thinking however painful at least with those injuries I had a level of control. I remained grateful it wasn’t worse and optimistic that with time, patience and hard work with the rehab I would get better, and close to normal. Unlike the vast majority of those touched by cancer. Trauma is one thing, disease is quite another.

 

Furthermore, inflict disease on a child’s life and it really is something quite harrowing for all concerned. To give perspective on Monday afternoon at the event we had a young girl, she was under five years and had undergone numerous chemotherapy treatments already in her life. Her mum was a single mother with two other children to look after. I recognised how much the Polo for Life organisation had helped them.

 

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Who is the brainchild behind this all?

 

The professional polo player and charity co founder Brandon Phillips is a childhood non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor. He is an inspiration both in person and on the field, backed by co Founder Terrie Mooney they really deserve all the help we can offer.

 

You are better known as an event rider, how did you feel playing switching sports to Polo?


At the end of the day I have ridden for a long time, in fact before I could walk! So I feel at home on a horse, although I probably look as stiff as the polo mallet because I have so much titanium holding me together since the accident! I thought “what’s a little public humiliation of missing a polo ball a few times, if it’s helping these children and their families?”.

 

Needless to say, I only contributed one goal, but I intend to play again next year. Not only do I hope to play more of a competitive part in the match 2021 but the real objective is that Horse Scout can help raise awareness and make a significant contribution to the Polo for Life charity.

 

What has also been really exciting is the rise of women in polo. I for one have been bitten by the bug. It has been a welcome contrast to the office and the intensity of my three day eventing ambitions.

 

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THE BEST FEMALE POLO PLAYERS IN THE WORLD COME HEAD TO HEAD FOR ‘AMAZON POLO’

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Wellington, FL – March 22, 2019 – Following on from the success of the launch of the 2019 Gladiator Polo season last week, now it’s time to bring on the women. This Sunday night, for the first time in history, the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) in Wellington, FL, will showcase six of the top ten female players in the world in the launch of Amazon Polo™. This stellar gathering of female talent will include Dawn Jones, wife of Tommy Lee Jones, and Captain of the San Antonio franchise. Having seen last week’s Gladiator Polo™ spectacle she is delighted to be promoting the all-female version this weekend.
“There was so much energy and amazing entertainment, featuring polo at the highest level last week and we can’t wait to have our turn. This is the modernization of the sport that fits perfectly with the explosion of female professional athletes,” said Jones, who is also playing in the Susan G. Komen U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship. 
Gladiator Polo™and Amazon Polo™ are ushering in a new era for the sport, which focuses on the promotion of the athletes, as well as the development of high quality sport and entertainment that targets a broad audience including millennials. The events will significantly leverage social media and live streaming to promote both the events and its commercial sponsors. 
 
This Sunday’s teams line ups include:
Team San Antonio 
Nina Clarkin 
Dawn Jones 
Sarah Wiseman 
Team London 
Hazel Jackson 
Lia Salvo 
Hope Arellano 
When asked about her participation, World Number 2 Player Hazel Jackson-Gaona commented, “This is the most exciting thing to happen to women’s polo to date.” 
Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions, renowned and respected for being a game changer in horse sport, introduced his Gladiator Polo concept to Wellington in 2017 and it proved an instant hit, attracting huge crowds and diverse new sponsorship relationships. In 2019, with the hosting of the Susan G. Komen U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship to IPC, he thought it was a perfect time to introduce Amazon Polo™.  
A full profile of the players, sponsors, and vision for the league will be introduced over the weekend.
“A very exciting addition to women’s polo and one that I am extremely looking forward to participating in, it will be so much fun to play against the best women in the world!” commented Nina Clarkin. 
The inaugural Amazon Polo™ game will take place on Sunday, March 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the U.S. Polo Assn Coliseum at IPC. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with a Kid’s Game, featuring two chukkers, beginning at 6:00 p.m. prior to the start of the match. General admission and parking are FREE!
Female teams in association with Horse Scout PR
To learn more about Amazon Polo™, follow us on Instagram at @amazonpolo.
To learn more about the International Polo Club Palm Beach, please visit www.internationalpoloclub.com

Jessica Springsteen wins Leading Lady Award at the Winter Equestrian Festival

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In the seventh week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida, Jessica Springsteen was named the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award. The prize was awarded on Saturday, February 23, during CSI5* week of WEF, where she was presented with champagne, flowers and a shopping spree at Hunt Ltd. What more could a girl need huh?

 

It was a successful week for 27-year-old Jessica who rode the 10-year-old Selle Français mare, Volage du Val Henry, to sixth place in the 7thround of the $134,000 CSI5* Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup. This qualified her for Saturday evening’s main CSI5*. She again earned a top-10 placing in the $391,000 CSI5* Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix, this time riding RMF Zecilie, a 12-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Rushy Marsh Farm.

 

“It’s really exciting to be named Leading Lady!” said Jessica. “My horses jumped great all week, and winning this award is a great finish to a lovely weekend.”

 

The Martha Jolicoeur Overall Leading Lady Rider Award will be presented to the female rider who accumulates the most points throughout the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival,. So far this year, Erynn Ballard, Laura Chapot, Margie Engle, Tiffany Foster, Lauren Hough, and Beezie Madden have claimed weekly awards and in contention of the overall title.

 

A leading South Florida real estate broker and part of the elite Douglas Elliman Real Estate Sports and Entertainment division, Jolicoeur has supported WEF as an integral sponsor for the past nine consecutive years. Throughout WEF, the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award, given in memory of fellow realtor and horsewoman Dale Lawler, is presented weekly to the high-score female rider based on performances in the weekly WEF Challenge Cup Series and Grand Prix events.