Where in America can you enjoy the turquoise ocean of a luxury beach hotel, dine at more gourmet restaurants than your waistline should permit, shop a street that rivals Rodeo Drive, golf on some of the country’s best courses, and enjoy the highest-level dressage, grand-prix jumping, and polo?
There is only one destination we can think of: Palm Beach. The area has been a favorite of high society for years, and now it is the choice of equestrians as well.
With fine shopping, beautiful beaches, and classic charm, Palm Beach is a window into the lifestyles of the rich and famous—both old money and new—where business tycoons and celebrities cross paths with heirs to some of America’s greatest family fortunes while shopping on Worth Avenue, the Rodeo Drive of the East.
There are no boring getaways here. Deep-sea fishing cruises are nearby. Or you can spend a day at one of the area’s beautiful golf courses. Palm Beach County has more courses than anywhere else in the nation.
To Palm Beach’s west lies nearby Wellington, long the choice destina-tion for equestrians. When cold weather covers most of the country, Wellington hits its peak in show season, as pleasant temperatures provide predictably ideal conditions.
Some of the biggest and most prestigious events in show jumping, polo, and dressage are held in Wellington every year, drawing large numbers of top competitors to the area.
Just as the area has the nations’s most golf courses, it also holds the record in polo, with over 80 active polo fields. Two of the best venues are the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) and the Grand Champions Polo Club.
IPC is a private members club with many events open to the public. Every Sunday, fans flock to IPC for the highest goal tournaments played in the United States, including such prestigious competitions as the Piaget USPA Gold Cup and the Maserati U.S. Open Polo Championship. Nearby Grand Champions Polo Club offers great field-side views of tournament action at the home base of pro teams Audi and Flight Options.
Hunter and jumper riders from around the world descend on Wellington each year for the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). It is the largest and longest-running event in equestrian sport. Twelve weeks of show-jumping action are held every year at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center from January through April. More than 10,000 exhibitors and up to 3,000 horses compete in any given week, within 15 show rings throughout the 100-acre equestrian show complex.
Dressage lovers flock to Wellington as well. The new Adequan Global Dressage Festival is the world’s largest international and national dressage circuit.
There are many other venues as well, such as the Ridge Wellington Turf Tour and the Citrus Series, the newest addition to the hunter/jumper competition landscape.