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Windsor expands equestrian center with polo practice field

Photo: Maeve Reicher rides Icey while practicing on new Windsor polo practice field.

Riding a resurgence of local interest in polo, Windsor has expanded its Equestrian Center facilities with the installation of a new 170-yard-long stick-and-ball field that can be used for practice, three-on-three matches or other horseback activities.

"This is an exciting time for us," said Max Secunda, Windsor's director of equestrian operations. "Windsor is very supportive of polo, and the addition of this multi-use field enhances and expands our capabilities while injecting new energy into the place.

"Not only do members have a place to practice their polo on a regular basis, but we also expect it to attract beginners – and especially children – to the sport," he added. "And while the popularity of polo is growing again, this field can be used for other equestrian disciplines, too.

"There are a number of people who love to just ride horses. That's a big part of life at Windsor."

Windsor's Equestrian Center, equipped with 22 stables and 14 paddocks, is a unique amenity on the barrier island, offering boarding, maintenance, riding lessons, recreational riding and a full-sized polo field for exhibition matches.

The new practice field, which was completed earlier this month, is located in front of the stables and was sodded with a Bermuda grass hybrid proven to withstand the rigors of some of the world's premier international polo tournaments.

"It's the same grass they have at the International Polo Club in Palm Beach, and the field has been engineered to drain quickly, so it can be used for practice even during the rainy season," Secunda said.

"This field is so green, so finely manicured and so beautiful that it really enhances the aesthetics and feel of the place.

"Our members are going to love it."

The new field also provides a large space for other activities, such as soccer, equestrian exhibitions and outdoor parties.

Secunda said Windsor currently has "seven or eight" members who play polo regularly, but exhibition matches held at the club draw enthusiastic crowds. And with many members being accomplished riders, he expects the new field to entice some of them to give the sport a try.

"The new field and our horses are ready for play, and I look forward to introducing this new amenity to Windsor members and their guests this season."

Secunda, who moved to Vero Beach from Wellington 12 years ago and managed John Walsh's polo team from 2004 through 2014, became Windsor's full-time director of equestrian operations last year.

He previously managed the Vero Beach Polo Club, and he still plays professionally in Wellington.

"It's a privilege to be here," Secunda said. "The support the Windsor management has given me has been fantastic, and this expansion shows a strong commitment to the Equestrian Center. It's also a really nice addition to the polo community."