Category Archives: Fundraisers

Team International The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch Revving It Up for COTA

Wellington, FL – February 18, 2013 – The international quadrille team sponsored by The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch plans to give their competitors a run for their money at The Challenge of the Americas (COTA) presented by SSG Gloves on Saturday, March 9.

Team International The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch has been practicing an intricate quadrille for The Challenge and its 11th anniversary return as a one-of-a-kind affair highlighting the equestrian sport of dressage. Competing riders include the “Who’s Who” of top equestrian competitors in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe riding in team quadrilles to Play for P.I.N.K. to help raise funds for breast cancer research.

Team International is comprised of dressage stars Todd Flettrich, Catherine Haddad-Staller, Susanne Hamilton, Nancy Later, Sharon McCusker and Cherri Reiber. The coaches for the team are Ruth Hogan-Poulsen and Erin Swaney.

Josh Parker, one of the principals of The Seley Parker Group, said it’s their seventh year to sponsor the event. “The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch is extremely proud to once again support the International Team and The Challenge of the Americas,” he said. “Raising awareness and helping find a cure for such a terrible disease should be one of everyone’s top priorities.”

Susanne Hamilton
Susanne Hamilton

Susanne Hamilton, a United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Gold Medalist and one of the team riders, said she went to her first Challenge of the Americas six years ago with her friend, Ingrid Lind, who lost her fight with breast cancer three years later.

“This is close to my heart,” she said. “I’d like to dedicate my ride to someone this year who’s fighting hard. She’s in Britain and she’s a Grade II para-rider who is dying from this,” she continued with a hitch in her voice. “Her name is Gwenllian Hughes. I want to dedicate this to her.”

Quadrille rider Sharon McCusker, a USEF long listed FEI Grand Prix competitor and trainer, also believes in the cause. “I’m delighted to be involved with this benefit,” she said. “Almost all of us have lost somebody who has been affected by breast cancer.”

One of the Team International coaches, Ruth Hogan-Poulsen, who creates freestyles for every level of dressage rider, said she is happy and honored to be a part of The Challenge of the Americas. “It’s impressive and shows the importance of the cause when six professionals and two choreographers take time from their schedules at least once a week to show their dedication to COTA,” she said. “As a choreographer and music editor, it’s a fun challenge to create for both riders and spectators alike.”

The other coach and choreographer, Erin Swaney, an FEI rider and trainer, said she started helping with The Challenge in response to COTA organizer Mary Ross’ request.

“I always went to The Challenge and one year Mary needed somebody to coach one of the teams and she asked me to do it,” she said. “I had watched it for years and I always thought of things that would look different and amazing for the spectators.”

She said that since she has been one of the coaches for the quadrilles, she strives to make the choreography fresh and jots down ideas for the freestyle throughout the year, paying special attention to visual excitement from every angle for the audience.

“It’s funny because every year the riders think it’s crazy and they say they can’t do it but in the end, everyone is surprised,” she laughed. “Last year the team was so cute. I gave them the pattern and they gave me THAT look, but in the end it all came together. This year it’s a whole new team and they have a really great dynamic. When we walked the pattern the first time it was hilarious but it all seems to work out in the end. I like how the whole thing unfolds and how each person comes together for the team.”

Todd Flettrich leads the way during team practice
Todd Flettrich leads the way during team practice

Aside from the serious theme of fundraising for breast cancer research, fun is a central theme to all the riders on the team.

“I did it once before and it was a really fun experience,” Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer Todd Flettrich said. “Everybody gets together to ride and it’s for a good cause. I enjoy the sense of camaraderie when we are all for the same team. It’s great because it’s for the cause and not for yourself.”

Catherine Haddad-Staller, a two-time Grand Prix winner in the U.S. and a USDF Gold Medalist, agreed. “I think it’s a worthy cause and I am quite excited to be a part of the international team,” she said.

Cherri Reiber, an FEI trainer and competitor, added she is also involved with the quadrille to support the cause. “We’re having a ball,” she said. “It’s really been fun.”

This is Nancy Later’s first year to participate as a rider in the quadrille and she said she is helping support organizer Mary Ross in her effort to fund breast cancer research. Later is a USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist.

Nancy Later
Nancy Later

“I think Mary’s done a great job for years and we love going to watch and I always wanted to be part of a team so it’s very exciting,” she said. “We’re a newbie team. So far we are having a great time. We can be partners instead of competitors so it’s really fun. It’s important that we remember to thank our sponsor, Merrill Lynch, too.”

Parker from the Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch added, “This event, with all of its equestrian pageantry, is always a blast and raises considerable funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.”

To learn more about The Challenge of The Americas, visit www.challengeoftheamericas.com.

For tickets, contact Mary Ross at (561) 433-0988 or by email at Anglot@aol.com.

Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChallengeOfTheAmericas.

The Challenge of The Americas Fast Facts

What:

The Challenge of The Americas (COTA) presented by SSG Gloves, known throughout the equestrian world for its spectacular performances on horseback, returns for its 11th anniversary to continue its fight against breast cancer. This annual fundraiser is a one-of-a-kind affair that highlights the equestrian sport of dressage. Competing riders include the “Who’s Who” of top equestrian competitors in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe.

Sharon McCusker
Sharon McCusker

There are few, if any, places throughout the world where an audience can delight in the performances of such a large and distinguished group of riders and their magnificent equine partners. The Challenge of The Americas’ teams of international riders compete in quadrilles to world-class music and choreography in an effort to raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer. Proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through Play for P.I.N.K.

When:

Saturday, March 9, 2013
5:30 p.m.        Cocktails and hors d’Oeuvres
6:15 p.m.        Opening Ceremonies
6:25 p.m.        Reining Freestyles and Pas de Deux
6:45 p.m.        Quadrille Team Challenge
7:30 p.m.        Award Presentation
7:45 p.m.        The Challenge Gala: Dinner and Dancing

Where:

Jim Brandon Equestrian Center
West Palm Beach, Florida
www.pbcgov.com/parks/equestrian/jimbrandon/#.UP1pfqHjmFc

Sponsors:
Back on Track Products
Cunningham & Cunningham Livestock, Inc.
International Polo Club Palm Beach
MatchnRide.com
Merrill Lynch, The Seley Parker Group
Purina Mills
Red Barn Feed & Supply
Samshield
SSG Gloves
Steed Training
Tackeria
United States Dressage Federation
Wellington Classic Dressage

Ticket Information:

Mary Ross
8067 Montserrat Place
Wellington, FL 33414
(561) 433-0988
(561) 251-7945
Anglot@aol.com

Ticket prices:

VIP Tables of 8:
Gold Patron               $6,500 per table
Silver Patron              $4,500 per table
Bronze Patron            $2,000 per table

VIP Individual Seating:
Competition and Gala (includes dinner and dancing)       $250 per person
Competition (includes hors d’oeuvres and cash bar)        $100 per person

General Admission seating $20 per person at the gate
Children 12 and under admitted free (General Admission)

News and Information:
Phelps Media Group
Sue Weakley
skw@phelpsmediagroup.com
(561) 753-3389
12012 South Shore Blvd., Suite 105
Wellington, FL 33414
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Website:
www.challengeoftheamericas.com

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/ChallengeOfTheAmericas

The Challenge of The Americas Beneficiaries:

Play for P.I.N.K.

Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology, Knowledge) is a grassroots organization dedicated to raising funds to fight breast cancer, by creating and promoting awareness of breast cancer through sporting and lifestyle events including men’s and women’s golf tournaments, tennis, swimming, card games, equestrian events, and shopping benefits.  Our commitment is to contribute 100% of all funds raised to our beneficiary, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. In 2012, PFP donated $4 million to BCRF for a cumulative total of $29.75 million. For more information about PFP, visit playforpink.org.

Website: playforpink.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/playforpink

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Website: www.bcrfcure.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheBreastCancerResearchFoundation

Sue Weakley for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Ride the Park on the Road to the Horse

A Trail Ride Fundraiser to benefit the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation

Here’s your opportunity to explore the Kentucky Horse Park with your own horse! On March 13 & 14, the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation is hosting a two-day trail ride prior to the opening of The Road to the Horse (a three-day event matching some of the country’s best horse trainers and clinicians against one another, being held for the first time at the park this March).

RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY!

Single entry fee of $50 allows access to trails on either or both days.

Stabling is available for an additional fee of $20 per night.

Paddock rentals and bedding also available from Devers – www.deverinc.com to reserve.

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Challenge of the Americas and Cunningham & Cunningham Team Up to Fight Breast Cancer

2012 Challenge of the Americas

Wellington, FL – February 13, 2013 – Cunningham & Cunningham Livestock, Inc., a livestock insurance company, has partnered with The Challenge of the Americas to help raise funds for breast cancer research.

The Challenge of the Americas returns for its 11th anniversary on Saturday, March 9 to continue its fight against breast cancer. Held at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, this annual fundraiser is a one-of-a-kind affair highlighting the equestrian sport of dressage. Competing riders include the “Who’s Who” of top dressage riders in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe riding in team quadrilles.

Tom Cunningham of Cunningham & Cunningham Livestock insurance said the company has been a sponsor of the event from the beginning. “We’ve been doing this forever,” he said. “It’s a great cause and I enjoy watching the horses.”

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Wellington Preservation Coalition Is Silver Sponsor of “Who Reins Supreme?”

Regis Wenham, Kim Jacobs and Tom Wenham

Wellington, FL – February 12, 2013 – The Wellington Preservation Coalition was a silver sponsor of the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s “Who Reins Supreme?” event that took place Feb. 1, 2013, at the Jim Brandon Center just east of Wellington. Coalition Executive Director Tom Wenham, along with his wife, Regis, attended the event and shared the work of the Coalition in preserving Wellington.

“It was a great opportunity to watch several different equestrian activities and to talk with the crowds at the Jim Brandon Center,” Wenham said.

“Who Reins Supreme?” is the Foundation’s leading fundraiser. The Foundation provides assistance to equestrians, horsemen and equine-related professionals who are suffering from catastrophic illnesses or injuries. Guests attending “Who Reins Supreme?” were treated to a spectacular night that included world-class dressage, show jumping, hunter and polo teams. In addition, Brandon Perdue and Gena Day thrilled the crowd with their trick riding exhibit.

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Who Reins Supreme?: World-Class Equestrians Compete for a Cause

Third Annual Equestrian Aid Foundation Fundraiser a Success with Reining Competition, Trick Riders, Live Music, and More

Left to right: Chris Hickey, Susie Dutta (dressage), Candice King, Georgina Bloomberg (show jumping), Louise Serio, Peter Pletcher (hunter), Brandon Phillips, Nic Roldan (polo). Photo - Sarah Dodge

WELLINGTON, Fla. (February 8, 2013) – Two world-class riders from each discipline — show jumping, hunter, dressage, and polo — competed in the reining ring at the Equestrian Aid Foundation (EAF) fundraiser, Who Reins Supreme?, presented by Wellington Classic Dressage. Held on Friday, February 1, 2013, at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. The evening raised funds for EAF programs that financially assist equestrians, horsemen and equine-related professionals who are suffering from catastrophic illnesses and injuries, throughout their time of need.

Nic Roldan, Brandon Phillips, Louise Serio, Peter Pletcher, Chris Hickey, Susie Dutta, Candice King, and Georgina Bloomberg showed off their newfound reining skills in a custom-designed reining pattern created by Tom and Mandy McCutcheon and Sarah Willeman Richter. The hunter team was victorious, tackling the speedy spins and sliding stops of reining with poise and precision.

“I am proud to be a winner of this year’s EAF reining competition,” said Louise Serio. “Though Peter and I won in the ring, the real victors are the equestrians and horse-related professionals who will be able to receive financial support from EAF thanks to this year’s unprecedented participation in Who Reins Supreme?.”

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Come Join Horse Tales Literacy Project at the Bridles & Backswings Golf Tournament

Wellington, FL – February 4, 2013 – What child doesn’t grow up dreaming of owning and loving a horse? The Horse Tales Literacy Project, a non-profit organization committed to improving our literacy rate, uses that natural connection between children and horses to motivate children to read. This organization was founded by Tim Farley, son of the late Walter Farley, author of the classic Black Stallion book series, and Mark Miller, owner of the Arabian Nights Dinner Theatre. This program provides a simple but unique approach to motivating children to read by connecting them with a classic book about horses by Walter Farley and then exposing them to the magic of being able to interact with live horses. Since the organizations inception in 1999, the Horse Tales Literacy Project has reached over half a million children and educators in more than 18 states. The Horse Tales Literacy Project invites you to join them on Saturday, March 9th, 2013, at the Bridles & Backswings Golf Tournament, and to help them raise money to support these literacy programs here in Palm Beach County.

The first annual Bridles & Backswings Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday, March 9th, 2013 at the beautiful Binks Forest Golf Club in Wellington, FL. with registration opening at 12:30p.m. There will be equine characters on hand from Walter Farley’s classic book, “Little Black, A Pony”, to meet and greet the golfers as they arrive. Then, the afternoon’s play will begin with a 1:00p.m. shotgun start. The afternoon of golf will include course competitions, games, raffles and prizes. After an afternoon of golf, the participants and their guests will enjoy an awards reception with a silent auction. Then, the guest will enjoy a sumptuous BBQ buffet dinner and a live equine reenactment of a scene from Walter Farley’s classic book, “The Black Stallion”, provided by the world-famous Arabian Nights Dinner Theatre from Kissimmee, FL.

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Step by Step Foundation to Benefit from Poker Gives’ Cupids for Charity NL Tag Team Tourney

Liliane Stransky & Olympic Veteran Margie Engle Planning to Host Charity Game during This Year’s Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida

Liliane Stransky and Margie Engle to co-host ‘All In for Charity’ Poker Tournament during WEF 2013

Wellington, FL – February 4, 2013 – Top poker professionals, veteran players, and amateur supporters have all reserved seats for Poker Gives’ 2nd annual Cupids for Charity NL Tag Team Tourney at the Binion’s on February 17, 2013.  The international children’s charity Step by Step Foundation will be one of the 5 beneficiaries for this year’s tournament at the popular casino at 128 Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada.

“We are very excited to be one of the non-profits chosen by Poker Gives this year,” said Step by Step founder Liliane Stransky of Miami and Wellington, Florida, who is planning on sitting down to take on all challengers at this fun filled game.  “The funds that come with each winning hand will help of our programs, like our Backpacks for Kids campaign.  We have been able to bring backpacks and much needed supplies to children both nationally and abroad, but this support will allow us to expand and help others.”

Getting involved with Poker Gives is a natural for Stransky, who along with the help of Olympic show jumping veteran Margie Engle is planning her third “All In for Charity Poker Tournament.”  They are looking to host the benefit tournament during this year’s Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida.

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R. Bruce Duchossois to Receive Equestrian Aid Foundation Luminary Award at “Who Reins Supreme?”

R. Bruce Duchossois

Wellington, FL – January 30, 2013 – Legendary horseman R. Bruce Duchossois will be honored with the Equestrian Aid Foundation (EAF) Luminary Award on Friday, February 1, at “Who Reins Supreme?,” a fundraising event for the EAF at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center.

Duchossois, an Executive Board member of the Equestrian Aid Foundation, is a Trustee of the USET Foundation, Co-Chair of the Development Committee and Chairman of the Nominating Committee. In November, he was named to the Board of Directors of the National Horse Show Association. He is also a member of the USHJA and serves as Co-Chair of the Owners Task Force, and is a member of the Amateurs Committee and the Zone 4 Committee. He’s a Board member of The Aiken Training Track and a lifetime member of the USEF, the AQHA and the U.S. Eventing Association.

Duchossois, from Aiken, SC, is one of the country’s leading exhibitors in the Adult Amateur Hunter division and has been deeply involved in numerous aspects of equestrian sports, as has his family. Duchossois’ mother competed on Saddlebreds, and his father owned Arlington Park near Chicago, IL.

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Wellington Classic Dressage Wants to Know “Who Reins Supreme?”

Wellington, FL – January 29, 2013 – Wellington Classic Dressage is proud to be the presenting sponsor of “Who Reins Supreme?,” a February 1 charity event at Palm Beach County Jim Brandon Equestrian Center benefiting the Equestrian Aid Foundation.

“Who Reins Supreme?” fields teams of world-class equestrians from dressage, show jumping, hunter and polo, who will tackle a custom reining test of speedy spins and sliding stops. The teams win bragging rights as to “Who Reins Supreme?” across multiple equestrian disciplines. The 6 p.m. event also features special guest Tom McCutcheon, World Equestrian Games’ reining double gold medalist, as well as a Taste of Charity showcase, auction items and live music. There will also be a presentation of the Equestrian Aid Foundation Luminary Award honoring R. Bruce Duchossois. The evening begins with cocktails at 6 p.m., followed by the competition and Taste of Charity at 7:30 p.m., with music starting at 9 p.m.

Wellington Classic Dressage (WCD) is contributing the expensive infrastructure already in place at Jim Brandon for the World Dressage Masters CDI5* Palm Beach for the event. WCD Managing Partner, John Flanagan, is a staunch supporter of the Equestrian Aid Foundation and said he is glad to help.

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SAVE THE DATE! “Salute to Driving” Benefit to Support the USET Foundation

The "Salute to Driving" will take place March 1-3, 2013. Photo By: Vicki Long

Windsor, SC – January 25, 2013 – The Third Annual Salute to Driving fundraising event is pleased to announce that it will once again be held in Windsor, SC, March 1-3, 2013. Each year, this event benefits the country’s High Performance Driving programs for the United States Equestrian Team Foundation. The exciting weekend will feature a beautiful dinner and auction on Saturday evening, multiple driving clinics with some of the world’s top trainers, and a Combined Test Competition for any drivers Preliminary-Advanced on Sunday. The Salute to Driving event is being held to help raise awareness and educate different audiences about the discipline of driving.

Salute to Driving will kick off its festivities on Friday, March 1, 2013, with dressage clinics by Michael Freund and Sterling Graburn at Chateau Log and Courage to Lead Farms. Auditing these clinics is free, and Freund will lead the USEF long listed drivers while Graburn teaches the developing drivers. Other special events include a hazard demonstration and clinic, harnessing demonstrations farrier demonstration, and a carriage exhibit.

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