Watercolor by Gail Dolphin, Vero Beach. After many years of owning, riding and working with horses and dogs, her intimate knowledge has become a constant inspiration for her work. http://www.gaildolphinart.com
HOW ABOUT THAT FOR A HEADLINE? THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AN EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE about BG Polo & Equestrian – Vero Beach, a 36-acre equestrian compound that is a robust and fully functional horse property.
But when we met Max Secunda, the article took a twist. On a September 15 PRNewswire from Bridgewater, Barbados, it was announced that veteran polo player and British Open Finalist Max Secunda had been named Head Coach of BG Polo & Equestrian’s recently launched polo program that is slated to open next month in Vero Beach, Florida.
At that, long time Vero Beach resident, polo enthusiast and creator of America’s Most Wanted, John Walsh said: “I have no doubt that Max will succeed in his new role with the BG polo group. Max has taught both me and my sons competitive play. This is such a natural evolution for Max, and I wholeheartedly support his endeavor as mentor and coach to a whole new generation of players.”
That was quite a score for BG Polo & Equestrian, considering that at that time Max was being actively pursued by Harvard University to be the Head Coach of their polo team.
“This more of an entrepreneurial opportunity,” he says, “and how can it be any better than to live in Vero Beach?”
Max and his son Finn
Max has polo in his blood. He is the son of Julian Hipwood, a British polo player who taught Prince Charles how to play polo, played with him for seven years and in 2010 was inducted into the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame.
It looks like Max’s son Finn also has polo in his blood. Here is a video of Max training Finn at BG Polo.
In 2014 Patta Conboy and Kelly Quam approached Bobby Genovese, BG Capital Group Board Chairman, to seek his investment in the equestrian compound formerly known as Atlantic Crossings Equestrian facility, located at 7700 8th Street, Vero Beach.
Connecting enthusiastic people with winning opportunities is one of Bobby Genovese’s greatest passions and strengths, which began when he founded his first company in his native Ontario. With a talent for spotting innovative ideas and top talent across a broad spectrum of industries, Genovese expanded his reach further with the creation of BG Capital Group Limited and BG Capital Management Corporation, both based in Barbados, with associate management offices in the Bahamas, Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, Florida, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver.
Mr. Genovese owns five unique polo and equestrian destinations located in the United States, Canada and Argentina. BG Capital owns the Vancouver International Polo Team.
In August, 2014 Patta and Kelly’s dream came true. On August 20 BG Capital announced it had purchased the Atlantic Crossings Equestrian Facility.
“BG Capital is honored to join the horse community in Vero Beach, as we expand our equestrian endeavors complementing our other locations around the world,” said Mr. Genovese.
Patta Conboy now serves as the BG Polo Equestrian Director and Kelly Quam is the barn manager.
BG Polo offers a main barn clubhouse, three barns, 48 stalls, two jumping arenas, multi-use arenas, 23 paddocks, three turnout pastures, a three acre bridle path, an outdoor entertainment area for BBQ’s and large events, multiple outdoor structures including three bedrooms and four baths, an 11 acre polo stick and ball field and individual turnout paddocks. It is adjacent to the the Vero Polo Grounds.
Patta Conboy said that “Vero Beach took a big hit in the 2007-2008 timeframe. But we are now experiencing a resurgence in town and there is more confidence in the market. More and more people are indulging in what they want to do and there is an international influx of people coming to Vero. The time is right for BG Polo – Vero.”
“Especially,” she says “because Max has such a large following, people are coming here to visit our facility. We even have people coming here from Wellington, Florida, the home of The International Polo Club Palm Beach, one of the largest polo clubs in the world. They’re checking us out and saying BG Polo fits our needs and Vero Beach is such a treasure; maybe we should move here.”
Three final points:
We asked Patta and Max what horses think about. Do they think? Absolutely. It is amazing how a horse chases after a ball just like a dog. So they think about that. They think about being loved, about wanting to be with people and about wanting to be let out. Max says they probably mostly think about when they are going to get their next meal.
Patta said that Max has such an understanding of horses that when he recently went to select one horse for BG Polo from over 300 horses, he picked out one that had been bred as a racehorse. He felt the muscle and selected this particular horse. The Guatemalan offering the horses said how could you select this one, it has only been ridden with a saddle once or twice.
Max saddled the horse and within 10 minutes he had the horse making polo moves.
Then in conclusion, Max said he “can’t overstate that I want to find a couple of strong thriving kids that I can teach to go on and achieve what I have done.”
Additionally, there is a “misconception that polo for children is only about polo. It’s not. It also about spending time with horses and learning values and responsibilities.”
Maybe these are two of the strong thriving kids he needs.
For more information on BG Polo – Vero please contact Patta Conboy
Phone: (772) 999-3709
Cell: (772) 766-0027