Garber Family Affair
By Virginia Gil
The names are familiar throughout the polo world and etched on numerous trophies in the U.S., England and Argentina—Pieres, Heguy, Merlos, and Gracida, to name a few of the legendary polo families.
A father-and-sons team is not uncommon in Argentina, home to the best polo players in the world, but it is rare in the United States. International businessman and Yellow Cab/SLS JETS Polo Team patron Simon Garber is creating his own family legacy in South Florida. Garber is playing in three polo leagues with his sons and some of the top professional players in the world at Gulfstream Polo Club in Lake Worth, Florida. Yellow Cab and SLS Jets Polo, his family-infused teams of one father and three of his sons (Shaun, Jeffrey and Tyler) embrace the family unit and the active lifestyle associated with the sport which they wish to share with the public. His polo teams are internationally ranked and recruit the most nationally recognized players to join them each year to travel around the world and play the most challenging opponents. The Garber family has emerged as an inter-generational polo powerhouse.
Simon and his wife Lina have five children, three of whom play polo. As teenagers, they emigrated from Odessa, Russia, to New York, where they met in high school. Today, they call Palm Beach their second home. “My family and I wish to share our love of Polo. It is our passion in life.” Garber is the largest taxicab operator in the United States, with a fleet of more than 3,000 cars spanning nine cities, including New York, Chicago and New Orleans. During the week, he concentrates on numerous business ventures throughout the U.S., South America and Europe, but during the weekend, it’s polo, polo, and more polo.
“Taking time out of my busy schedule to play polo with my sons is worth it,” said the 47-year-old Garber, who splits time between New York City, Palm Beach County and summers in Colts Neck, the heart of New Jersey’s horse country, where Simon founded the International Polo Club of Colts Neck back in 2009. “This is important in many ways for us as a family. There is an amazing energy between us on and off the field. It is something we all enjoy. I believe we are creating a legacy, a tradition that I hope will continue for a long time.”
“Polo is all about families being together and I can’t think of anything else I would rather do with my sons,” said Simon Garber. “The game of polo is more than winning and losing; there is a lot of tradition, a lot of sportsmanship and a real sense of family.”
Aside from sharing their love of polo, known as the sport of kings, Simon Garber finds time to give back to the community. He believes that generosity and sharing are essential to leading a peaceful life. The philanthropic Garber family has just dedicated the Center of Jewish Life in Marlboro, New Jersey with a brand new 18,000 square foot building. The Garbers have committed themselves and their resources to furthering the development of the center.
With his business moving along smoothly, Garber and his family spend most weekends during the winter polo season in the Wellington area, the winter equestrian capital of the world.
“We talk strategy, and we talk horses,” said Simon Garber, “It’s a special feeling and it’s a lifestyle that we all enjoy.”
Simon Garber’s teams play at International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida with an outstanding lineup, featuring some of the top professional polo players in the world including, Nacho Figueras, Lucas Monteverde, Matias Magrini, Guillermo Usandizaga and the legendary Adolfo Cambiaso, considered by most the world’s best ever polo player. The team will play from late January through April. So for those of you that have never experienced the elegance, the bravura, and the passion of the sport of kings, this is your chance to do so with the very best.