Tag Archives: Breast Cancer Research Foundation

The Challenge of the Americas Going Global March 9

Photo courtesy of Susan J. Stickle.

The Challenge of the Americas (COTA) is busting down borders! Not only is COTA returning after a year’s hiatus to help find a cure for breast cancer; it’s so big, it’s going global.

COTA’s signature six-rider Grand Prix Quadrille Team Challenge will be held live on March 9 at the world-renowned Global Dressage Festival (GDF) show grounds in Wellington, Florida, and for the first time, it’s also being live-streamed via Chronicle TV.

To add more excitement, the competition will break down borders as one of the teams joins the four teams riding live to compete via video from Holland.

Six Dutch Grand Prix riders, Maria Anna Digman, Miranda Hoezen, Sylvia van den Broek, Michelle Westerdijk, Renee Zoomers, and Walda Zwart, are thrilled to join in the first international Challenge of the Americas to help end to breast cancer. Their freestyle will be pre-recorded and they’ll join Wellington-based Team Back on Track, Team MatchNRide, Team Purina, and Team Winged Foot via the big screen in the GDF International Arena.

Team Back on Track riders include Allison Kavey, Jim Koford, Nicole Levy, Sallie Spenard, Betsy Van Dyke, and Noel Williams. Cynthia “Tigger” Montague serves as choreographer and coach for the all-American team.

Team MatchNRide, whose riders hail from Canada, includes Patrick Battison, Jaimey Irwin, Tina Irwin, Harper Mackenzie, Evi Strasser, and Tanya Strasser. They are under the direction of choreographer Eva Pracht and musical creator Karen Robinson.

Team Purina, under the watchful eyes of choreographer Terry Ciotti Gallo and coach Bill Warren, is comprised of Americans Charlotte Bredahl, Pam Goodrich, Kim Herslow, Kasey Perry Glass, Betsy Steiner, and George Williams.

Team Winged Foot, an international team made up of Marco Bernal, Raul Corchuelo,

Susanne Hamilton, Bridget Hay, Yvonne Losos de Muñiz, and Ilse Schwarz, is under the direction of choreographer and coach Ruth Hogan Poulsen.

Other global touches include a Grand Prix freestyle performance by top Swedish rider Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén aboard Paridon Magi, a pas de deux by U.S. riders Heather Blitz and Catherine Haddad Staller, and a quadrille showcasing the beauty and elegance of the PRE horse.

“It’s time we went global,” said COTA founder Mary Ross. “Breast cancer knows no boundaries and to help end breast cancer, we need to raise more donations ear-marked for breast cancer research. The best way for us to do this is to reach out to equestrians in other locations for their support.”

Funds from ticket sales, sponsorships and donations will go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation through their partner Play for P.I.N.K. The mission of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is to prevent and cure breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research.

“We are extremely proud of our partnership with the Challenge of the Americas and indebted to everyone involved in wanting to see the end of breast cancer,” said Stephanie Hamburger, Executive Director of Play for P.I.N.K., a volunteer organization dedicated to raising funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). “The Challenge of the Americas’ support is critical to the research-funding capability of BCRF. The money raised will impact the lives of countless individuals and families affected by the disease.”

Join us Friday, March 9 at the Global Dressage Festival show grounds, or via live-stream on Chronicle TV. VIP tickets for the Challenge Gala are available at challengeoftheamericas.com. General admission tickets available at the door for $20.

COTA Team Choreographers Create Fun While Prepping for Pink

Ruth Hogan-Poulsen explains the next movement to Team International sponsored by Seley Parker Group Merrill Lynch. Melissa MacLaren looks on. Photos by Meg McGuire.

Wellington, FL – March 4, 2014 – All of the volunteers for the Challenge of the Americas (COTA) donate untold time and energy to the event that raises funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, but the dedication of each quadrille team’s choreographers is beyond admirable.

The effort the three team leaders have put into the intricate dressage freestyles will make the event, set for Friday, March 7, at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, FL, all the more spectacular. Teams are passionately putting the final touches on their freestyles and are excited to reveal their efforts before a supportive audience.

The music, choreography and other details of each team’s performance are kept under lock and key. All will be revealed Friday night as these teams playfully compete for the crowd’s heart. As professional as these quadrilles will be the night of the event, the compositions were as fun to craft as they will be to watch.

“We sat at the table with colored M&Ms and said, ‘OK. These four go here, then these four go here,'” said Ruth Hogan-Poulsen of her and co-coach Melissa MacLaren’s initial vision for Team International, sponsored by the Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch.

Team Purina USA’s choreographer Terry Ciotti Gallo said she likes to start the fun with her riders right from the beginning.

“One night we usually make it a party,” Gallo explained. “We have dinner, we listen to music, they (the riders) let me know if they like it, they make suggestions. This isn’t a dictatorship. My riders have input. The answer is usually that they have very good suggestions. So it may start with me but it doesn’t end with me.”

Endel Ots, rider and choreographer for Team Off the Record sponsored by ShowChic, said he and his team also took some creative liberties in their initial process while not skimping on the party.

“We all went to dinner one night and walked through it in the parking lot,” he laughed.

Bethany Peslar helps Team Off the Record's coach, Endel Ots, play the team's music for the quadrille from his phone
Bethany Peslar helps Team Off the Record’s coach, Endel Ots, play the team’s music for the quadrille from his phone

Team Off the Record is comprised of six riders all under the age of 30 and this is their first year to participate in the event.

“It’s a great cause,” Ots said. “I watched it last year and it brought a lot of joy to people. Dressage can be so serious – we all work so hard. It’s fun to make it a little bit more fun. So it’s more of a party. It’s nice to have it be a fun experience for a great cause.”

Team Purina USA’s leader has been contributing her time to COTA since its founding in 2002. Gallo explained how crafting the choreography and music for the quadrille is a specific and tailored process.

“We want that audience to come back every year because the main purpose is to raise money for breast cancer; it’s not to get a score,” she explained. “So we want to keep it entertaining and light so people come back year after year and know that they’re going to have fun.”

All the team participants make this event special based on the passion that’s behind their production.

“Once I have a vision, I cannot put it down until it’s finished,” Team International’s Hogan-Poulsen explained. “I have this vision of how I want it to come out. I’ll edit, call Melissa in – it’s a lot of feedback. I’ll be sitting at my computer with a glass of wine, but at some point I have to put it away and go to bed!”

As the choreographers worked on their creations, they each incorporated themes – though in the spirit of competition, Team USA was reluctant to share theirs. Although Gallo wouldn’t divulge, she did say she enjoyed the creation of the freestyle.

“It’s my favorite part – how to figure out a puzzle,” she said. “I am a puzzle person.”

Hogan-Poulsen has composed a statement, echoing the mashup of music and lyrics, which will be featured in the evening’s program to capture the spirit of the quadrille: prepare, support, say something, be brave, fight for pink.

Hogan-Poulsen described the musical compilation as “upbeat pop and rock with motivational lyrics. Lyrics that all say something about the cause. If you listen to the music, there is a story. Whether you hear the lyrics or not, you’re going to feel the emotions. You’re still going to feel the story.”

Ots said they have a unique surprise in store for the audience with their Great Gatsby themed piece.

“It’s not a very long number – the idea was to make it really quick and really fun. We wanted to have it be a big party – and the party is not just down in the arena,” he hinted.

Hogan-Poulsen and Gallo both share the tactic of keeping a journal where they gather potential quadrille patterns and ideas throughout the year. They also both said their riders are given a substantial voice in the creative process.

It’s evident that a playful essence shines through in each of these quadrilles’ distinctive voices, pushing creative boundaries while championing a great cause.

“We don’t often get the opportunities to give back, so when we’re asked we have to say yes,” Gallo said. “I really truly believe it’s part of our responsibility as the human race. We have a responsibility to ourselves, we have a responsibility to our families and we have a responsibility to the society around us. I really truly enjoy it and it’s why I come back year after year.”

The Challenge of the Americas Presented by SSG Gloves and Havensafe Farm Fast Facts

What:  The Challenge of the Americas (COTA), presented by SSG Gloves and Betsy Juliano’s Havensafe Farm, is a spectacular event in which teams of high-performance dressage riders compete in intricate quadrilles set to world-class music and choreography. New to 2014, teams will also include elite show jumpers riding a four-bar course in an effort to rack up more points for their teams.

This annual fundraiser is a one-of-a-kind affair. Competing riders include the “Who’s Who” of top equestrian competitors in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe. The 12th annual Challenge will once again raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer by benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through Play for P.I.N.K.

When:
Fri., March 7, 2014
5:30 p.m.     Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres
6:00 p.m.     Opening ceremonies
6:10 p.m.     Challenge of the Americas Competition
7:45 p.m.     Award Presentation
8:00 p.m.     The Challenge Gala: Dinner and Dancing

Where:
International Polo Club Palm Beach
3667 120th Avenue South
Wellington, FL 33414
www.internationalpoloclub.com

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

Ticket prices:
VIP Tables of 10:   price includes competition and gala dinner and dancing
Gold Patron           $6,500 per table
Silver Patron         $4,500 per table
Bronze Patron        $2,500 per table
Individual Seating: $250 per person
General Admission seating $20 per person at the gate
Children 12 and under admitted free (General Admission)

Website:
www.challengeoftheamericas.com

Facebook:
www.facebook.com/ChallengeOfTheAmericas

The Challenge of The Americas Beneficiary: The Breast Cancer Research Foundation through Play for P.I.N.K

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 2013, PFP donated $4.25 million to BCRF for a cumulative total of $34 million. For more information about PFP, visit playforpink.org.

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

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

Meg McGuire 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

Challenge of the Americas March 7 Event to Benefit Breast Cancer Research Foundation

The 2013 Seley Parker Group/Merrill Lynch Team International, winners of the Challenge of the Americas. Photo by Mary Adelaide Brakenridge.

The Challenge of the Americas Presented by SSG Gloves Fast Facts

What:  The Challenge of the Americas (COTA), presented by SSG Gloves, is a spectacular event where teams of high-performance dressage riders compete in intricate quadrilles set to world-class music and choreography. New to 2014, teams will also include elite showjumpers riding a course while choosing to tackle the most difficult jumps and shaving seconds off their time in an effort to rack up more points for their teams.

This annual fundraiser is a one-of-a-kind affair where competing riders include the “Who’s Who” of top equestrian competitors in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe. The 12th annual Challenge will once again raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer by benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through Play for P.I.N.K.

When:
Fri., March 7, 2014
5:30 p.m.     Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres
6:00 p.m.     Challenge of the Americas Competition – Dressage and Show Jumping
7:30 p.m.     Award Presentation
7:45 p.m.     The Challenge Gala: Dinner and Dancing

Where:
International Polo Club Palm Beach
3667 120th Avenue South
Wellington, FL 33414
www.internationalpoloclub.com

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

Ticket prices:
VIP Tables of 10:   price includes competition and gala dinner and dancing
Gold Patron           $6,500 per table
Silver Patron         $4,500 per table
Bronze Patron        $2,500 per table
Individual Seating: $250 per person
General Admission seating $20 per person at the gate
Children 12 and under admitted free (General Admission)

Website:
www.challengeoftheamericas.com

Facebook:
www.facebook.com/ChallengeOfTheAmericas

The Challenge of The Americas Beneficiary: The Breast Cancer Research Foundation through Play for P.I.N.K

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 2013, PFP donated $4.25 million to BCRF for a cumulative total of $34 million. For more information about PFP, visit playforpink.org.

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

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

Challenge of the Americas Takes Break for 2012, Continues to Raise Funds to Fight Breast Cancer

Wellington, FL – December 12, 2011 – The Eleventh Annual Challenge of the Americas competition and gala will be taking a recess for 2012. Although the event is taking the year off, it will return in 2013 bigger and better than ever. The recent death of Evelyn H. Lauder, founder of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), gave way to a new outlet to continue to raise funds for the Foundation. Challenge of the Americas Chairman Mary Ross and business partner Timmie Pollock will actively donate two dollars from each advertisement purchased on their equestrian marketplace Web site, MatchnRide.com, to Play for P.I.N.K, a grassroots fundraising organization which uses lifestyle and sporting events to raise funds for BCRF.

Lauder became an ardent advocate for breast cancer awareness in 1989 when she was personally diagnosed. She became the creator of the Pink Ribbon campaign, a worldwide symbol of breast health, and in 1993, she founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Since its establishment, BCRF has raised more than $350 million to support clinical and translational research at medical institutions worldwide. Lauder actively participated and partnered with Ross to organize Challenge of the Americas with all proceeds from the event benefiting BCRF. Lauder unfortunately passed away from non-genetic ovarian cancer at the age of 75, and the Challenge of the Americas expresses their sympathy and promises to carry on her work.

Continue reading Challenge of the Americas Takes Break for 2012, Continues to Raise Funds to Fight Breast Cancer

2011 Challenge of the Americas Raises $275,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Mason Phelps, Mary Ross and Brian O'Connor at the 2011 Challenge of the Americas Photo Credit: Susan J. Stickle Photography

Wellington, FL – March 22, 2011 – The tenth annual Challenge of the Americas competition and Gala were held Saturday evening, March12, at the beautiful International Polo Club Palm Beach. Held as a benefit for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Play for P.I.N.K., the event raised approximately $275,000 in support of research to help find a cure for this disease that has affected so many lives.

The Challenge Gala got underway following an exciting evening of equestrian competition that included the first ever four-on-four polo match, where Team Vanderbilt-Ingram proved victorious.  Following polo the musical quadrille team challenge commenced with Team Purina USA earning the winning score in this fantabulous event.  This year’s gala, a sold-out affair with almost 600 in attendance, featured an evening of dinner and dancing and was held in the New Nespresso Lodge just off Piaget Field at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.  The sit-down dinner, silent auction and dancing was enjoyed by top riders, trainers and judges from the equestrian world of dressage and polo, along with generous sponsors and supporters.

Held as a benefit for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation over the last ten years, the Challenge of the Americas has raised over 1.5 million since its inception in 2002. This year they will once again add a generous donation to that total. President of Play for P.I.N.K., spoke at the Gala and acknowledged all that Challenge of the Americas has done for breast cancer research. 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. They contribute 100% of all funds raised to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Continue reading 2011 Challenge of the Americas Raises $275,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Team USA – Purina Mills Wins Dressage Quadrille, Team Vanderbilt-Ingram Victorious in Polo Match at 10th Annual Challenge of the Americas

Team USA. All photos: Susan J. Stickle Photography

March 12, 2011 – Tonight was a gorgeous evening, where Team Purina USA performed a stunning quadrille under the lights at this year’s Challenge of the Americas. In its tenth year, the Challenge of the Americas is an annual fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Play for P.I.N.K., and is sponsored by the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Team USA beat Team International and Team Can/America by earning the evening’s highest score of 93.95, marking their first ever win during the Challenge.  It was not an easy fight, however, as Team International scored a very close 91.95.  Throughout the performance, the teams were judged on impact on the audience, spacing and alignment, choreography interpretation, and harmony.

This year’s United States Team featured Betsy Steiner, aboard Domingo, owned by TAH Enterprises and Trisha Hessinger, George Williams riding Sandro Simian, owned by Mitzi Presnell and Holly Shook, Pamela Goodrich showing Karateka III owned by Judy Sprieser, Bill Warren with Romantic, owned by Team Romantic LLC, Jim Koford riding Liberty, owned by Barbara Marks, and John Zopatti aboard Fabio, owned by Christina Hewitt and sponsored by Blue Marlin Farms. Terry Ciotti-Gallo handled the team’s choreography, music and coaching.

The winning team completed passages, tempi changes, half passes and pirouettes, all in perfect harmony with one another. They performed to an original melody of music featuring the theme of New York, honoring the Twin Towers. The team opened with “Two Yankees”, followed by Jay-Z and Alicia Keyes’ “New York” and ended their performance with Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”.

Continue reading Team USA – Purina Mills Wins Dressage Quadrille, Team Vanderbilt-Ingram Victorious in Polo Match at 10th Annual Challenge of the Americas

Arenus Announces Sponsorship of Challenge of the Americas at International Polo Club Palm Beach to Benefit Breast Cancer Research

Arenus will be sponsoring the polo portion of the competition which takes place March 12 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida. (Photo courtesy of Sue Stickle)

Wellington, FL (March 10, 2011) – Arenus, a premier provider of innovative health and nutrition products for pets and horses, is pleased to announce they are sponsors of The Challenge of the Americas, a Grand Prix International Musical Freestyle Quadrille Team Challenge and Polo Extravaganza to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology, Knowledge). The Challenge of the Americas will be held at the International Polo Club Palm Beach on March 12.

“The Challenge of the Americas is well known in the equestrian world for its spectacular performances and the fact that it raises money to fight breast cancer. Arenus is pleased to be part of the 10th Anniversary of The Challenge of the Americas and we are excited to announce that we are sponsoring the polo playing during the event,” said Kristen Galvan, an Arenus Sales Specialist for the southeast.

The Challenge of the Americas is an annual fundraiser and a one-of-a-kind affair that highlights the equestrian sports of dressage and polo.  Riders competing in the event make up a “Who’s Who” of top equestrians from the United States, Canada, Latin American and Europe. The Challenge Gala, an elegant evening of dinner and dancing, gets underway immediately following The Challenge of the Americas competition. An awards presentation will be featured and guests will have the chance to meet and socialize with riders and judges.

Continue reading Arenus Announces Sponsorship of Challenge of the Americas at International Polo Club Palm Beach to Benefit Breast Cancer Research

Challenge of the Americas This Saturday, March 12 at International Polo Club

Challenge of the Americas. Photo Credit: Susan J. Stickle

Wellington, FL – March 9, 2011 – The Tenth Annual Challenge of the Americas competition and gala is set for this Saturday, March 12, 2011 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, FL. Beginning at 5:15 pm at the Nespresso Lodge, the 2011 Challenge of the Americas (COTA) will be presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) and will benefit Play for P.I.N.K., a partner of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

This equestrian evening features musical team quadrilles performed by the “who’s who” of top riders in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe. COTA will be an exciting evening to benefit an incredible cause. In addition to the team quadrille dressage challenge the evening’s events will feature a special polo match.

COTA Chairmen Mary Ross, along with Georgette Escobar and the Challenge Committee are proud to present an International Musical Grand Prix Dressage Quadrille Team Challenge and Polo Extravaganza. The Challenge Gala, an elegant evening of dinner and dancing, will get underway immediately following the “The Challenge of the Americas” competition. An awards presentation will be featured and guests will have the chance to meet and socialize with riders and judges.

Continue reading Challenge of the Americas This Saturday, March 12 at International Polo Club

Tenth Annual Challenge of the Americas Competition and Gala

Steiner and Hoag. Photo Credit: Susan J. Stickle Photography

Wellington, FL – March 3, 2011 – The Tenth Annual Challenge of the Americas competition and gala is set to take place on Saturday, March 12, 2011 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, FL. Beginning at 5:15 pm at the Nespresso Pavilion the 2011 Challenge of the Americas (COTA) will be presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) and will benefit Play for P.I.N.K., a partner of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

This equestrian evening features musical team quadrilles performed by the “who’s who” of top riders in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe. COTA will be an exciting evening to benefit an incredible cause. In addition to the team quadrille dressage challenge the evening’s events will feature a special polo match.

COTA Chairmen Mary Ross, along with Georgette Escobar and the Challenge Committee are proud to present an International Musical Grand Prix Dressage Quadrille Team Challenge and Polo Extravaganza. The Challenge Gala, an elegant evening of dinner and dancing, will get underway immediately following the “The Challenge of the Americas” competition. An awards presentation will be featured and guests will have the chance to meet and socialize with riders and judges.

Continue reading Tenth Annual Challenge of the Americas Competition and Gala

Polo Patrons Join the Fight against Breast Cancer at the 10th Annual Challenge of the Americas

Team International from the 2010 Challenge of the Americas Photo Credit: Susan Stickle

Wellington, FL – February 1, 2011 – Featuring more exciting equestrian performances than ever before, the Tenth Annual Challenge of the Americas will return to Wellington, FL, on Saturday, March 12, 2011, at the beautiful International Polo Club Palm Beach. The evening will get underway at 5:00 p.m. and feature musical dressage team quadrilles and a new and exciting four on four polo challenge.  Presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach the event will benefit Play for P.I.N.K (PFP), a partner of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Play for P.I.N.K, which stands for Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology, and Knowledge, is a grassroots organization dedicated to raising funds to fight breast cancer.  PFP does this 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, shopping benefits, spa days and wine tastings.  PFPs commitment is to contribute 100% of all funds raised to their partner The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Since 1996, PFP has donated $18,750,000 to BCRF.  Play for P.I.N.K and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation are proud to share the same vision: Find prevention and a cure in our lifetime.

Continue reading Polo Patrons Join the Fight against Breast Cancer at the 10th Annual Challenge of the Americas