On Sunday, March 2 the 2003 Freestyle Celebration presented by Play For T.I.M.E. paid tribute to the “Year of the Freestyle”. Lynda Alicki, Patrick Burssens, Pamela Goodrich, Bent Jensen, Betsy Steiner and George Williams performed a stunning musical quadrille (plus two), to the tunes of Motown.
The audience, caught up in the excitement, clapped to the beat and swayed to the music while cheering the riders on in their dance for women around the world. As the spectacular six performed pirouettes and half-passes in unison the audience roared their approval, finishing with a standing ovation as the riders delighted the crowd with several laps around the ring – it was like an encore, the crowd just didn’t want to let them go.
The quadrille (plus two), created to assist The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in their efforts to prevent and find a cure for breast cancer, was held at The Palm Beach Dressage Derby, a CDI***/CDIY competition located at Walter and Mary Anne McPhail’s Horse Park at Equestrian Estates in Loxahatchee, Florida.
The audience for the kur included a seven-deep crowd around the arena, a tent filled with Derby sponsors, and a chalet hosting 360 guests for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation benefit luncheon.
Choreographed by Beth Zimski and set to music by Terry Gallo of KlassicKur with last minute editing by Ruth Hogan-Poulsen, the quadrille was a work in progress for weeks before the performance.
Zimski said that with each practice session the quadrille was refined, and even the day before the performance the riders were seen entering the HorsesDaily.com “On The Scene” trailer for a final review of the spacing and timing necessary to perform the synchronized movements presented in the kur. The hard work paid off…you can’t adlib when there are six riders in the ring!
The quadrille served as the main event for guests at the benefit Champagne Luncheon hosted by Evelyn Lauder, founder of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The luncheon began at noon to coincide with the Grand Prix Freestyle competition and ended with the musical quadrille.
Mary Ross, hunter turned dressage rider, organized the event in honor of her mother who died of cancer seven years ago. Thrilled with the turnout, Ross expressed her heartfelt thanks to all those who helped make the event a success.
“I had a great committee, a large group of sponsors, and six fabulous riders who were willing to give up their time to be a part of the effort. These six riders deserve to be recognized and applauded for their support of the fight against breast cancer, as well as to their dedication to the sport of dressage”. When asked about next year Ross said “With the tremendous support shown by the community this year we will definitely be back, bigger and better than ever”.
The horses performing the event were Dalue, owned by Karen Sakas and ridden by Steiner; Aliandro owned by Susan Gohl and ridden by Alicki; Marnix owned by Chuck and Joann Smith and ridden by George Williams; Marsaelis owned by Kelly Corrigan and ridden by Jensen; Zhivago owned by Barrie Zesiger and ridden by Goodrich; and Ippico owned by Diane Hodges and ridden by Burssens.
Committee members included
Mary & Stanley Ross, Joli & Thomas Burrell, Kimberly Van Kampen, Stacy and Alan Bagliore, Marcy & Robert Haupt, Diane Hodges, Lisa Kroll, Laura & Ira Lassman, Barbara & Richard Marks, Mary Anne & Walter McPhail, Ingred & Mitchell Pollak, Allyn Schiavone, Lily & Alex Zilo and Elizabeth Zimski.