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Wellington Equestrian Partners to buy International Polo Club

Seller's family has been offloading properties since his DUI manslaughter conviction in 2012

March 17, 2016 03:40PM
By Sean Stewart-Muniz

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The International Polo Club's stadium area

The International Polo Club’s stadium area

Mark Bellissimo’s Wellington Equestrian Partners has agreed to buy the sprawling International Polo Club from the family of imprisoned polo aficionado John Goodman.

The deal covers the main club facilities and land at 3667 South 120th Avenue plus some surrounding properties, altogether totaling 248 acres, according to a news release from Bellissimo’s company. It’s set to close in April.

The club has been owned since 2002 by John Goodman, a Wellington polo mogul who sought to revive the village’s ailing polo industry by opening an impressive new venue.

Goodman was convicted of manslaughter in a 2012 DUI crash that killed 23-year-old Scott Patrick Wilson, according to reports from the Palm Beach Post. He then ceded control of his expansive Wellington property portfolio to a family trust.

“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 said in the release.

Neither party in the polo club sale has disclosed a price. A GossipExtra article, citing anonymous sources, reported two weeks ago that the Goodman family had agreed to a $42.5 million contract with the United States Polo Association, but pulled out on the eve of the deal’s public announcement.

The Goodman family trust has been offloading its property holdings in Wellington ever since Goodman’s conviction. Besides the International Polo Club, Bellissimo’s company also paid nearly $7 million for the Wanderer’s Club at 1900 Aero Club Drive in Wellington.

Polo is big business in Wellington: the variety of equestrian-themed events that the village hosts every year generates upwards of $200 million and accounts for about 150,000 hotel room stays, according to the release.