MIAMI, FL (March 25, 2014) – For the first time in its accomplished 41-year history, the American Invitational, presented by G&C Farm, comes to Miami to kick off Miami Sports Month on April 5, 2014 at Sun Life Stadium. This fan-friendly and family-oriented event will feature a one-of-a-kind Miami Dolphins Show Jumping Fence to be used in the competition.
Gates open at 5:00 p.m., where fans can stroll the Joe Robbie Alumni Plaza for ‘Family Fun’ & Entertainment. At 6:30 p.m., those in attendance will have an opportunity to get up close and personal with the horses and riders for autographs and photo opportunities, featuring international and Olympic riders such as Miami’s own Margie Goldstein Engle before the competition starts at 7:00 p.m.
“We are very excited to have the American Invitational relocate to Miami-Dade County and kick off Miami Sports Month in April,” said Commission Vice-Chair and Chair of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, Lynda Bell.
“The American Invitational has a prestigious history in the sport of stadium show jumping and we can’t think of a better setting than Miami-Dade County, which has hosted numerous championship events, to welcome the American Invitational as the next world class event to be showcased here in our community.”
The $200,000 American Invitational presented by G&C Farm, also known as the “Super Bowl of Show Jumping”, is the only major equestrian competition to be held in a football stadium in the United States. Originally held in Tampa, FL for the last 41 years, the American Invitational relocates to Miami for the first time in 2014. Competitors include Olympic Gold Medalists, World Champions and some of the best riders from around the globe all competing for a $200,000 purse and coveted world-ranking points.
“It is truly an honor to be able to bring world-class horses and riders and the thrill of show jumping to Miami and Sun Life Stadium. Miami has truly rolled out the red carpet for us and we can’t wait to share our sport and our competitors both two and four legged with Miami,” said Matt Morrissey with Stadium Jumping, Inc. the managers of the event. “The Invitational is a special competition in a unique venue for our sport. Sun Life Stadium is an exceptional venue and we look forward to a great partnership for years to come.”
Stadium Jumping will take over Sun Life Stadium for several days as preparations for the day-long event take place. Organizers will create stabling, highly specialized riding areas and VIP facilities for fans and competitors to enjoy throughout the competition.
“Sun Life Stadium is thrilled to welcome the American Invitational to its new home. Its prestige and rich tradition are a perfect match for our venue. We’re pleased to have played a role in bringing this majestic event to South Florida,” said George Torres, Vice President, Stadium Events for Sun Life Stadium.
In addition to the $200,000 main event, the American Invitational offers autograph signings with the athletes and a public course walk in advance of the competition so that people can get an up close and personal experience to see just how big the hurdles are that the competitors must clear to win.
Each event enjoys their own signature set of obstacles and in true equestrian tradition the Miami Dolphins are joining the line-up with their own new Miami Dolphins jump. On hand to unveil the jump were NFL Hall of Famer and two-time Super Bowl Champion Bob Griese and thirteen-year NFL veteran, Nat Moore. Griese is no stranger to the world of high level equestrian sports as Griese and his wife Shay are the proud owner of Indigo, a world-class horse that competes around the globe.
“I’m excited for the people of South Florida to have this event come to Sun Life Stadium,” said Bob Griese. “If you’ve never seen this before, it’s really amazing. I look forward to going to these shows and watching all these horses jump and compete. These horses are the finest horses in the world. Fast, quick and very graceful. They are powerful and athletic as they go over these jumps.”
About Miami-Dade Sports Commission: The Miami-Dade Sports Commission was created by the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners as a public-private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2003, and opened for business in April of 2004. Since beginning full operation in 2004, the Miami-Dade Sports Commission has secured over 355,000 room nights, over $420 million in economic impact, and more than 50 events, including WrestleMania XXVIII, NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Regional, FHSAA Football Finals, Florida Sunshine State Games, U.S. Fencing Summer Nationals, various USA Judo world events and most recently, the 2017 worldOutgames.
Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International