The Wellington Historical Society will present “A History of Equestrian Life in Wellington” with featured speaker Tim Gannon at its next Lunch & Learn event on Wednesday, Jan. 18.
The lunch event takes place from 11:45 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Mallet Grille at the National Polo Center (3667 120th Avenue South, Wellington).
Gannon is well-known as co-founder of Outback Steakhouse, but in polo circles, Gannon and Outback have been synonymous with polo since the 1990s. A polo player since 1992, Gannon is considered one of the greatest sponsors of the game. And during the 1990s and early 2000s, the Outback Polo Team won five U.S. Open Championships, winning three back-to-back in 1999, 2000 and 2001. In 1999, the United States Polo Association named him Sponsor of the Year.
By the time Gannon picked up a mallet, he had made an indelible mark in the restaurant industry, having founded Outback Steakhouse in 1987 with partners Bob Basham and Chris Sullivan. The “food guy” of the trio, Gannon developed Outback’s iconic “Bloomin’ Onion” recipe and several other dishes on the Outback menu. In 2006, Gannon co-founded OSI Restaurant Partners, an operator of Outback, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Roy’s Restaurant and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar restaurants. In 2016, Gannon and his son, Christopher, created and opened Bolay, a fast casual restaurant with a chef-inspired, gluten-free menu.
Last year, Gannon returned to polo in a new role as chair of the Wellington Polo Tour. He also serves as chairman of the board of a United States Polo Association subsidiary in charge of hospitality services at the National Polo Center. The USPA acquired the former International Polo Club Palm Beach last year.
At the luncheon sponsored by Seacoast Bank, Gannon will talk about the history of polo in Wellington, how equestrian sports shaped the community and he’ll provide some insight into the future of Wellington’s equestrian life.
The event continues the Wellington Historical Society’s popular Lunch & Learn series. Tickets are $35 for members and $45 for non-members. Additional sponsorship opportunities also are available. For more information and tickets, visit www.whsevents.org.