Exclusive: Bellissimo buys Polo Club from John Goodman family trust

Action-shot-og-IPC-high-goal-polo-LILA-PHOTOEquestrian mogul Mark Bellissimo is adding to his treasure chest of Wellington properties with what is likely his most expensive purchase since he first bought the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, The Palm Beach Post has learned.

Bellissimo’s company — Wellington Equestrian Partners — has reached an agreement to buy the International Polo Club from a trust affiliated with imprisoned polo mogul John Goodman.

Bellissimo would not disclose the price but said he expects to close on the venue in late April.

“We made a decision that we wanted to make sure that IPC and the equestrian venue would continue long into the future,” Bellissimo said.

The private trust that was made for the imprisoned polo mogul’s children is being run by his ex-wife Isla Carroll Reckling, has been unloading properties recently like the Wanderers Club and the Executive Course. The owners had been taking bids for the property electronically.

This is almost certainly the largest sale to date.

The club includes nine polo fields, an Olympic sized pool, tennis courts, a restaurant and a main stadium that holds more than 1,500 people.

Goodman bought the International Polo Club in 2002 to give his team, Isla Carroll Polo, a world-class facility. There is no indication that Goodman, who was twice sentenced to 16 years in prison for the DUI manslaughter death of Scott Patrick Wilson, is involved with the potential sale.

Goodman is currently at the Wakulla Annex of the Wakulla Correctional Institution, a faith- and character-based facility within Florida’s prison system. He had transferred to Wakulla just before the new year from the Madison Correctional Institution.

Wilson drowned in a Wellington canal after Goodman ran a stop sign and hit Wilson’s Hyundai.

The 17-week polo season this year began on Jan. 3, and will conclude on April 24 with the USPA 112th U.S. Open Polo Championship.

William T. “Bill” Ylvisaker initially brought polo to Wellington, founding the Palm Beach Polo & Country Club in 1977.

Bellissimo also bought the Wanderers Club on Aero Club Drive this year for $6,865,000, according to property records. The sale represented a sizable loss for the trust, which paid $9 million for the property in 2005 then put millions into upkeep and improvements.

That purchase gave Bellissimo more property near the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The Wanderers Club is an 18-hole golf course that also has tennis, fitness and restaurants.

The trust also sold the Wanderer’s Executive Course for $1 million to a company affiliated with Ward Real Estate last year.


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