Tag Archives: Challenge of the Americas

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

Zerbino Interagro “Plays for Pink” on Challenge of the Americas Team International

Cherri Reiber and Zerbino Interagro at the 2013 Challenge of the Americas. (Photo courtesy of JRPR)

Wellington, FL (March 14, 2013) – Nowhere was the beauty and power of dressage put to better use than on Saturday evening, March 9th during the 2013 Challenge of the Americas (COTA), where quadrille teams of Grand Prix horses danced elaborate routines to music to support breast cancer research and awareness.  Zerbino Interagro, ridden by trainer Cherri Reiber, demonstrated the baroque elegance of Lusitano dressage horse as they rode for Team International and helped boost the team to the highest score and the win during the 11th Annual Challenge of the Americas at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“Lusitanos like Zerbino Interagro are a special treat.  It is a beautiful breed to have participate in such an historically haute ecole performance.  It really hearkens back to the origins of dressage and classical horsemanship,” said COTA organizer, Mary Ross.

The equestrian Who’s Who list of COTA riders and guests, many whose lives have been touched by cancer, created a memorable evening of horsemanship in support, through Play for P.I.N.K., of the important work of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).  The Challenge, which celebrated its 11th year, has raised upwards of $1.8 million in funds directly benefiting BCRF research.

“I just keep wanting to raise more,” said a deeply appreciative Ross, who started the event in memory of her late mother, Jean Cruse, and her battle against cancer.  “I am so appreciative of the riders who come and perform.  They do it simply because cancer in some way has touched their lives.  They get nothing in return but dinner.”

The real winners, in addition to the beneficiaries, were the spectators, who were swept off their feet by the elegant equestrian synchronicity of the winning Team International sponsored by the Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch:  Todd Flettrich, Devon Kane, Susanne Hamilton, Nancy Later, Sharon McCusker and Cherri Reiber made mastering the quadrille pattern created by coaches and choreographers Ruth Hogan-Poulsen and Erin Swaney look effortless. Hogan-Poulsen’s musical compilation included hits by recent Oscar-winner Adele, as well as P!nk, David Guetta, and Bruno Mars.

The Challenge of the Americas began in 2002 as a luncheon exhibition at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby to its position today as a ‘must’ on the Florida equestrian scene’s March calendar.  Each year’s COTA features dressage alongside another equestrian sport, and this year’s spotlight was on bridleless reining performances with brothers Trevor and Rick Steed, and the special ‘return to the saddle’ by Mason Phelps, alternate for the 1968 US Olympic Three-Day Team, retired from the irons for 15 years. Phelps performed a disco Pas de Deux with US Olympic Bronze Medalist Debbie McDonald that drew cheers from appreciative fans.

Interagro Lusitanos, breeders of Zerbino Interagro were thrilled that one of their horses was on hand to contribute to the fund raising event. “We love to showcase these talented horses and it is even more exciting when it is for such a good cause,” said Cecilia Gonzaga, the Managing Director for Interagro Lusitanos in Itipira, Brazil.

About Interagro Lusitanos

Founded in 1975 by Dr. Paulo Gavião Gonzaga to preserve the Lusitano breed, Interagro Lusitanos is now recognized as the world’s largest breeder and exporter of Lusitano horses. Dr. Gonzaga started with a small band of four mares and one stallion imported to Brazil from the breed’s native Portugal; to date over 600 horses populate the 1200-acre ranch outside São Paulo. Today, Cecilia Gonzaga manages the farm and operations. Interagro Lusitanos are handled, prepared, and evaluated from birth, with a handful of the best stock presented at auction each year. Interagro hosts guest at the farm with their Destination Lusitano program. For more information on Destination Lusitano or to learn more about Interagro Lusitanos, visit their website at www.lusitano-interagro.com.

For more information contact:
Johnny Robb – JRPR, Inc.
561-753-4608
jrpr@mac.com

Merrill Lynch Team International Takes Home Quadrille Title at 2013 Challenge of the Americas

Debbie McDonald and Mason Phelps show off their disco moves during their Pas de Deux. (Photos by Susan J. Stickle)

Wellington, FL – March 10, 2013 – Merrill Lynch Team International bested Purina Team USA in a thrilling battle for the title of quadrille champions at the 11th Challenge of the Americas Presented by SSG Gloves, held on Saturday evening at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center.

Spectators gathered to enjoy equestrian entertainment and support the important work of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) through Play for P.I.N.K. The funds raised by the Challenge go directly to benefit critical research projects at BCRF.

Pas de Deux and reining performances opened the evening and set the stage for the quadrille showdown. Top riders from multiple disciplines joined Challenge founder and organizer Mary Ross to support the cause by putting on a show for the eager crowd. The Challenge Gala, an elegant event with dinner and dancing, capped the evening of equestrian entertainment.

“It was an outstanding evening,” Ross said. “The riders were absolutely super. All of them worked so hard to put together their performances and raise money for breast cancer research.”

After guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, the event got underway with a reining demonstration by brothers Rick and Trevor Steed. Rick Steed began by donning a wig and bright pink t-shirt to energize the crowd, racing around the ring and guiding his horse without a bridle. His brother then joined him for a freestyle exhibition, and the two were perfectly in sync as they showed off their thrilling sliding stops and spins.

Mason Phelps and Debbie McDonald’s Pas de Deux was a true crowd-pleaser. The two former Olympic-level competitors in the disciplines of eventing and dressage came out of retirement to support the Challenge, riding an upbeat test that included disco moves to “Stayin’ Alive.” Phelps and McDonald were supported by the best in the business: Carl Hester helped choreograph the test, while Terry Ciotti Gallo compiled music for the pair. Phelps rode Oliver Twist, owned by Jennifer Benoit’s Seahorse Stables, while McDonald rode Suzanne E. Mott Dansby’s Perfect Step.

“Debbie and I are thrilled to have helped the cause,” said Phelps. “Mary is a dear friend and this event has been one of the highlights of the season. We’re glad it’s back.”

Evi Strasser and Tanya Strasser-Shostak
Evi Strasser and Tanya Strasser-Shostak

The mother-daughter team of Evi Strasser and Tanya Strasser-Shostak matched each other stride for stride throughout their fluid Pas de Deux aboard their horses, the appropriately named Action Tyme and Dancing Tyme. Strasser-Shostak arranged the music, while Strasser choreographed their routine. Strasser is a seasoned international dressage competitor for Canada whose career has included appearances at the Olympics, World Equestrian Games and World Cup Finals, while Strasser-Shostak has been racking up the ribbons on the North American Junior and Young Rider circuits.

Team International, sponsored by The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch, led off the quadrille competition, and their performance won the approval of the judges and the hearts of the crowd. Team coaches and choreographers Ruth Hogan-Poulsen and Erin Swaney put together an intricate quadrille pattern and worked with the team to prepare the exhibition. Hogan-Poulsen arranged the music, a mash-up of recent pop hits that included chart toppers by P!nk, David Guetta, Adele, and Bruno Mars.

Team International riders Todd Flettrich, Devon Kane, Susanne Hamilton, Nancy Later, Sharon McCusker and Cherri Reiber faced the dual challenge of mastering a complicated quadrille and adapting to the unique format of the Challenge. Many of the riders were making their Challenge debut, but their talent and hard work resulted in a spectacular performance.

“This was my first year riding in the Challenge, but it won’t be my last,” Hamilton said. “It was a blast, just so much fun. I had great team members, fabulous choreographers in Ruth and Erin, and a fantastic organizer, Mary Ross.”

“It’s definitely a commitment, but it was worth every bit of it last night,” she added. “It’s for a great cause that is very dear to me. I’ve lost a very close friend to cancer, so when I took those long drives to practice in the evenings, that’s who I thought about. And it was worth every second of driving. It’s such an important cause and I’m very proud to have been a part of it.”

Merrill Lynch Team International
Merrill Lynch Team International

Merrill Lynch Team International’s effort earned them a score of 94 out of a possible 100 points from the Quadrille Judges Panel, which included Lois Yuken, Karin Kruger, Lorraine MacDonald and celebrity judge Robert Dover. The judges assessed the two teams on criteria such as choreography, musical interpretation and harmony of horses and riders. The international team received particularly high marks in the musical category, while the U.S. team earned strong scores for choreography and horse/rider harmony en route to a total of 86 points.

Purina Team USA’s star cast of riders relied on their extensive experience with the format of the Challenge to put together a precise performance. Dressed in leather jackets and poodle skirts, Pam Goodrich, Chris Hickey, Betsy Steiner, Bill Warren, George Williams and John Zopatti rode to a selection of rock-and-roll music that included the classics “Old Time Rock and Roll,” “Shout,” “Rock Around the Clock” and “Duke of Earl.” Longtime Challenge choreographer Terry Ciotti Gallo created the pattern and musical accompaniment for the U.S. team.

“I’m crazy about the way Terry Gallo does her music – she does such a great job, and we really enjoy riding to it,” Steiner, who has ridden in the Challenge every year since its inception in 2002, commented. “I think the standard is raised every year. It keeps developing, and the teams get better and better.”

Purina Team USA
Purina Team USA

“It’s just such a fun event, and it’s one of the nicest things of the season to spend time with other professionals,” she added. “We are all quite busy, and we all find the time. I think that has a lot to do with Mary Ross and with the cause. It means a great deal to me personally – we have some very dear friends who are breast cancer survivors. If you know that you’re just a little part of doing something that might help someone, it makes you feel much better. You think, ‘My goodness, I’m doing something I love and it could help somebody.’ It doubles the effect.”

Matt Ketcham, a representative of Team USA sponsor Purina, noted that the spectators enjoyed the show. “The Wellington crowd is always welcoming,” Ketcham said. “Purina is always interested in supporting programs like the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. It is always good to mix good people and animals because animals make people better.”

“Everyone had a good time,” Ross remarked. “The Breast Cancer Research Foundation was able to attend, and they enjoyed the whole evening.”

“Jim Brandon Equestrian Center was a perfect venue for the event,” she continued. “It was exciting for both the riders and the spectators to have an intimate setting that lets the audience see everything up close.”

Trevor and Rick Steed execute a sliding stop
Trevor and Rick Steed execute a sliding stop

The Challenge of the Americas has grown over the years from a small luncheon dressage exhibition at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby to its current status as a one-of-a-kind exhibition and gala. Ross created it in honor of her mother, Jean Cruse, who died of breast cancer. Each year’s event features dressage alongside another equestrian sport, such as polo or show jumping. In its first 10 years, the Challenge raised over $8 million for breast cancer research.

“Not only do I congratulate all of the riders and coaches, especially the winning international team and coaches Erin Swaney and Ruth Hogan-Poulsen, I also thank them from the bottom of my heart,” said Ross. “They commit a great deal of time to preparations for the Challenge, and we would not be able to do it without them. Every single one of them is devoted to the cause. They do a fantastic job and allow us to make a real difference.”

Along with SSG Gloves, the presenting sponsor, the Challenge received support from a number of generous patrons. Sponsors included Purina, Merrill Lynch, Back on Track, Palm Beach Equine, Cunningham & Cunningham, the United States Dressage Federation, International Polo Club Palm Beach, MatchnRide.com, Red Barn Feed & Supply, Samshield, Steed Training, Tackeria, Wellington Classic Dressage, Dover, Bushel Stop, 360 Landscape & Design, and Mulvehill Nursery, Inc.

For more information about the Challenge, visit their website at www.challengeoftheamericas.com and follow their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChallengeOfTheAmericas.

The Challenge of the Americas Beneficiaries

Play for P.I.N.K.

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

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation

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

Mary Adelaide Brakenridge 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

Jennifer Benoit Helps Mason Phelps Prepare for The Challenge of the Americas

Wellington, FL – March 9, 2013 – Jennifer Benoit, a USDF Gold, Silver and Bronze medalist, trainer, coach, clinician, certified equine appraiser and licensed USEF judge, is helping Olympian Mason Phelps prepare for his return to the arena.  Phelps and fellow Olympian Debbie McDonald are performing a pas de deux exhibition at The Challenge of the Americas March 9.

Phelps and McDonald agreed to come out of retirement to help The Challenge raise funds for breast cancer research. Benoit volunteered the use of her horse, Oliver Twist, to Phelps for the event and is helping him brush up on dressage skills. Phelps was an Olympic athlete in eventing at the Mexico City games.

“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be,” Phelps said. “Jennifer has been instrumental in helping me prepare for this event.  She is great at utilizing strategy to get the results I wanted.”

Benoit specializes in using correct training while being fair and honest to help riders set and achieve their goals. “Their riding goals, their competitive goals – it could be any goals they set for themselves,” she said.

Benoit008931Benoit and her husband, Chris, own Seahorse Stables, LLC, of Wellington and offer performance horse sales, boarding, training, clinics, instruction and certified appraisals in a tranquil setting ideally located near all the competition venues. Her philosophy of quality over quantity allows her to focus on the health and happiness of the horses, riders and owners. She specializes in the training, development, conditioning, fitness and performance of dressage athletes and believes riding should be comfortable and enjoyable for both horse and rider.

She is dedicated to classical training, matching horse and rider for long-term success and helping riders to achieve their dreams. She said that sometimes riders need to adjust goals, change the horse’s job or think about the match in a different way, all while working within their personal parameters.

Benoit also specializes in helping people “match up their dance partners.”

“Sometimes people have a horse already but their partnership is just not synching,” she added.  “So, if there’s a way to salvage the relationship, like a marriage counselor, I will do that.”

She said she loves to compete and enjoys helping riders reach their competitive goals, but she also enjoys helping riders who want to have fun on their horses.  “It’s supposed to be fun,” she said.

Benoit008932Benoit’s goal in working with Phelps was to get him show ready for The Challenge of the Americas Saturday night.  The Challenge of the Americas (COTA) Presented by SSG Gloves is known throughout the equestrian world for its spectacular performances on horseback and 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.

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.

The cause is especially important to Phelps’ pas de deux partner, McDonald.  “After losing my mother and sister to breast cancer, the cause is near and dear to me,” she said. “If we can entertain and sell a few more seats, it is all for a good cause.”

Phelps and McDonald are performing their pas de deux along with The Challenge quadrille teams vying for victory, a reining exhibition, and a mother-daughter pas de deux.  After an award presentation, the Challenge Gala featuring dinner and dancing will cap off the event.

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

To learn more about Seahorse Stables and Jennifer Benoit, visit seahorsewellington.com, call (561) 309-7300 or email jennbenoit@yahoo.com.

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.

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

MatchnRide.com and The Challenge of the Americas a Perfect Pairing

Wellington, FL – March 7, 2013 – It was just natural for the co-founder of the horse classified website MatchnRide.com, Mary Ross, to support The Challenge of the Americas, an event benefiting breast cancer research.

Not only did she help create the MatchnRide website to help prospective horse owners find their perfect match, but Ross is also the organizer of The Challenge. The Challenge of the Americas (COTA) Presented by SSG Gloves returns for its 11th anniversary on March 9 at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center to continue its fight against breast cancer.

“It makes sense, since I founded The Challenge, that I would want to have my company support the cause,” Ross said. “My partner, Dr. Timmie Pollock, and I thought it was important to support something that affects so many of us.”

Ross created the event in honor of her mother, Jean Cruse, who died from the disease. The Challenge of the Americas features teams of international riders competing in dressage 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.

Ross works tirelessly to make the family-friendly event a success and gives it her all.  That work ethic and philosophy carries over to MatchnRide.com, the best new website around for listing horses and ponies for sale or lease, advertising an equestrian professional’s business through the Trainers Corner, or listing any other equestrian-related business in the online Marketplace.

“The goal of the MatchnRide website is to find the perfect pairing of horse and rider,” Ross said.  “When a buyer goes to MatchnRide.com, they learn more about a prospective horse and the horse’s owner and trainer. We’re different from the rest and it’s much more comforting to the buyer and to the seller.”

To learn more about MatchnRide.com and peruse the horses available for sale, visit www.matchnride.com.

Visit www.challengeoftheamericas.com to find out about The Challenge of the Americas.  To buy tickets, contact Mary Ross at (561) 433-0988 or via email at Anglot@aol.com.

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.

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

Samshield Added to Sponsor List for The Challenge of the Americas

Mason Phelps practices his Pas de Deux sporting his custom Samshield helmet.

Wellington, FL – March 3, 2013 – The makers of Samshield Helmets have graciously agreed to sponsor The Challenge of the Americas and donated custom, top-of-the-line riding helmets to Olympic athletes Debbie McDonald and Mason Phelps for their comeback Pas de Deux performance for The Challenge.

McDonald and Phelps will celebrate their return to the ring sporting Samshield Helmets in a dressage freestyle exhibition at the March 9 event at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center to help raise funds for breast cancer research at The Challenge of the Americas.

Samshield Helmets pair customized styling with high-tech functionality, making Samshield the helmet of choice for many international riders. Now ASTM/SEI approved and available for purchase in the U.S., Samshield is delighted to offer American professional and amateur riders the ultimate in fit, safety and style.

“Samshield is the result of a mix between the pro and amateur rider’s needs, the young designer’s creative energy and the engineer’s technical vision,” explained Julien Lecomte of Samshield USA. “Samshield’s philosophy is to always propose advanced products in terms of active and passive security, comfort, hygiene, material and finish quality as well as customization.”

“I am proud to support Debbie and Mason by providing helmets, but even more important is the reason for the event − raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research,” Lecomte continued.  “This will surely be a night to remember.”

The Challenge of the Americas returns for its 11th anniversary to continue its fight against breast cancer. This annual fundraiser, held at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, 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 competing in team quadrilles to help raise funds for breast cancer research.

The evening will begin with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres followed by opening ceremonies. McDonald and Phelps will come out of retirement for their special Pas de Deux wearing their Samshield Helmets then reining cow horse champions Rick Steed and his brother Trevor will perform a reining exhibition. After their exhibition, the Canadian mother/daughter team of Evi Strasser and Tanya Strasser-Shostak will present another Pas de Deux. Then, the quadrille team challenge will pit teams of top dressage riders against each other as they perform intricate freestyle patterns to wow the crowd.  After an award presentation, the Challenge Gala featuring dinner and dancing will cap off the event.

Both McDonald and Phelps came out of retirement to help raise funds for breast cancer research. “It was a collaborative effort to challenge each other to get back in front of the public and it is all for a good cause,” Phelps said. “Debbie and I are thrilled to be helping raise money for breast cancer and we couldn’t have done it in such a big way without the help of so many generous sponsors and helpers.”

Top names are behind the duo, including Carl Hester, who is helping choreograph the freestyle, Terry Ciotto Gallo, who is donating the musical compilation for the disco-themed ride, Stoddard Oliver, who is tailoring the costumes, Suzanne E. Mott Dansby of Dancing Horse Farm and Jennifer Benoit of Seahorse Stables of Wellington, who are lending horses for McDonald and Phelps to ride, and Samshield.

The blinged-out McDonald and Phelps will sport white tailcoats with red satin lining and collar and red buttons, blue bowties and cummerbunds, and blue breeches along with their Samshield custom helmets.

Samshield melds innovation, elegance and distinctiveness to provide advanced products in terms of active and passive security, comfort, hygiene, material and finish quality as well as customization for the modern rider.  Riders like McClain Ward, Kent Farrington, Ally Wolf, Ashley Holzer, Heather Blitz and Adrienne Lyle, Debbie McDonald’s protégé, all choose Samshield helmets. Samshield’s donation of custom helmets to dressage Olympian McDonald and eventing Olympian Mason Phelps provides the duo ultimate protection combined with stylish good looks to make their Pas de Deux even more unforgettable.

McDonald is also pleased to be a part of the event. “After losing my mother and sister to breast cancer, the cause is near and dear to me,” McDonald said.  “If we can entertain and sell a few more seats, it is all for a good cause.”

To purchase tickets to see McDonald and Phelps Pas de Deux as well as the top international dressage riders competing in dressage freestyle quadrilles and other exhibitions, contact Mary Ross at (561) 433-0988 or via email at Anglot@aol.com.

For more information, go to challengeoftheamericas.com.

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.

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

Talented Mother-Daughter Pair Prepares Pas de Deux for Challenge of the Americas

Wellington, FL – February 25, 2013 – The Challenge of the Americas unfailingly draws top riders from around the world, and this year’s duo from Canada is no exception. The accomplished mother-daughter pair of Evi Strasser, an Olympian dressage rider and a longtime Canadian National Team member, and Tanya Strasser-Shostak, an up-and-coming Young Rider, will perform a pas de deux at the March 9 event.

Both mother and daughter support the Challenge of the Americas in its effort to raise funds for breast cancer research. “It’s for a very good cause, for breast cancer fundraising,” Strasser said. “I want to support that and be part of it.”

“It’s such a good cause and it’s something that’s affected everybody, or someone that we’ve known,” Strasser-Shostak added.

The pair is choreographing a test that will showcase the best qualities of the two horses they choose for the event. Strasser plans to ride her Grand Prix horse, Action Tyme, while 17-year-old Strasser-Shostak has yet to decide between Dancing Tyme and the Karen Soupcoff-owned Ruby Tyme. Strasser-Shostak, who will take on the challenging task of fitting music to the test, is enjoying her involvement in all aspects of the planning and preparation.

“I’m looking forward to riding whatever horse I’m going to be riding,” she said. “I’m excited to be working on the choreography with my mom, and I’m looking forward to hopefully making the music properly, because it’s something that really interests me. I just think the whole experience is really good.”

Tanya Strasser-Shostak and Dancing Tyme at the 2013 Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge
Tanya Strasser-Shostak and Dancing Tyme at the 2013 Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge

With their extensive competitive experience, the mother-daughter duo fit right in among the renowned international riders who gather at Challenge of the Americas to support breast cancer research and put on a show for spectators. Evi Strasser has been among Canada’s top dressage competitors for the past two decades. Born in Germany, she moved to Canada in 1988 and founded Good Tyme Stables in 1994. She represented Canada at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, riding Lavinia.

In 2003, Strasser helped secure a team Silver Medal for Canada at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, where she also finished eighth individually with Quantum Tyme. She and Quantum Tyme earned the highest result for a Canadian pair at the 2006 World Equestrian Games and also competed at the 2005 and 2007 World Cup Finals. Strasser has often been selected as the alternate for Canada’s teams at such major events as the Olympics and World Equestrian Games. She continues to compete at the highest levels of the sport and collected many top results on the international circuit in 2011 and 2012.

Strasser’s influence on the dressage world extends beyond her own impressive competitive results. She specializes in training young horses up to the Grand Prix level, and several of the horses she’s worked with have gone on to make their marks on the international dressage scene. Hiscox Artemis was the most recent of a number of graduates of Strasser’s program to compete at the Olympic Games. Strasser trained Hiscox Artemis through to the World Cup before selling him, and, with rider Richard Davison, he was chosen as the British team’s individual entry for the 2012 Olympics in London. He also finished fourth in the 2012 World Cup Final.

Strasser-Shostak has already compiled an impressive record and appears poised for another successful show season in 2013. She was the youngest competitor in the Young Rider division at the 2012 FEI North American Young Rider Dressage Championships (NAYRC), where she collected a team Bronze Medal and finished eighth individually on Dancing Tyme. She also rode Dancing Tyme to several top-three finishes in the Young Rider divisions. With Ruby Tyme, she earned top placings in the Junior divisions, including several wins at CDI competitions in West Palm Beach.

Strasser and Strasser-Shostak are in South Florida for the winter competitive season, training and campaigning several of their horses. Strasser-Shostak hopes to return to NAYRC and will try to qualify for the Young Rider World Cup in Europe, while Strasser is taking her time preparing new Grand Prix mount Action Tyme for the international scene.

Strasser-Shostak is looking forward to making her Challenge of the Americas debut after watching her mother perform previously. “I think it’s pretty neat that we can do this one together,” she said. “I used to watch it when I was younger, and my mom participated a couple of years ago in it. It’s something I grew up watching and now I get to be a part of it, and it’s great.”

“Most of the time, you see older people do it and it’s good, I think, that there’s someone a bit younger also in it,” she continued, noting that breast cancer research is an important cause for her generation to support as well.

Strasser, who has ridden at The Challenge of the Americas in previous years, enjoys the event’s electric atmosphere and devotion to the cause. “It’s always amazing,” she said. “It’s always a great turnout. They always do a fantastic job organizing it and really emphasize the reason for why it’s done. Lots and lots of people are supporting it.”

“It’s always a lot of fun to do this with your daughter, and it is always a lot of excitement,” Strasser added. “We really enjoy working together and figuring out what we’re going to do with this and how we’re going to present it. (Show organizers) thought it was a good routine because it’s mother and daughter, and we’re doing this for breast cancer.”

“I think it’s just a fantastic job by all,” Strasser concluded. “I really enjoy doing it.”

For more information about the Strassers, visit their website at www.goodtymestables.com.

To learn more about The Challenge of The Americas, go to challengeoftheamericas.com.

To buy tickets, contact Mary Ross at (561) 433-0988 or 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.

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

Mary Adelaide Brakenridge 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

Rick and Trevor Steed Performing Dueling Reined Cow Horse Exhibition at COTA

Wellington, FL – February 20, 2013 – Reined cow horse champions Rick Steed and his brother Trevor will perform a dueling reined cow horse exhibition at The Challenge of the Americas, Saturday, March 9 at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center where the two will try to outdo each other with spins, stops and slides.

The Challenge of the Americas Presented by SSG Gloves 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 competing in team quadrilles to help raise funds for breast cancer research.

Rick Steed has been involved in the horse industry as a trainer, mentor, showman and clinician for more than 20 years and is pleased to help The Challenge. “I believe in supporting charities and giving back to the community as No. 1,” he said. “No. 2 is in our quest to become horsemen; we exhibit the special relationship between horse and rider.”

His career diversity ranges from winning World and National championships to working with the BLM teaching adopters and wild mustangs to donating his time to 4-H clubs. Since 2006, he has won nine World and Reserve Championships in reined cow horse, a World Championship in reining freestyle and a Reserve World Championship in reining freestyle.

Trevor Steed won his first Reserve World Championship in Reined Cow Horse in 2012.

Rick Steed and Smarty
Rick Steed and Smarty

Rick Steed pioneered a program he calls “Simplifying Horsemanship” in which he teaches that there are three guideable body parts on a horse: the nose, the shoulders and the hips. “There’s nothing you can’t do on a horse, even at a high level, if you can guide those body parts,” he said.

Steed believes that in true horsemanship, the horse always comes first. He added that anyone interested in learning about Simplifying Horsemanship is welcome to come to his ranch to check it out. “The first lesson is always free,” he said.

He has also built a blueprint for reined cow horse events he calls Show By Appointment (SBA) Reined Cow Horse Company, with the goal of making horse shows fun, fair and affordable for all competitors. SBA offers exhibitors the opportunity to make an appointment to show their horses on the day of the scheduled show at a time they choose, given availability. Steed emphasized fairness in judging and a relaxed atmosphere are part of the events.

For more information about Rick Steed and Simplifying Horsemanship, log onto www.steedtraining.net.

To learn more about Show By Appointment, go to showbyappointment.com.

To learn more about The Challenge of The Americas, go to challengeoftheamericas.com.

To buy tickets, contact Mary Ross at (561) 433-0988 or 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.

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

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

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.”

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