Wellington, FL - February 18, 2014 - The Challenge of the Americas will amp up the competition with a new addition to the 12th annual quadrille freestyle dressage event - four-bar showjumping with top high-performance riders.
Superstar showjumpers will team up with a dressage quadrille group to earn points to determine overall winners. Top showjumpers donating their time and talent to help raise money for breast cancer research include Beezie Madden, Todd Minikus, Laura Kraut, Pablo Barrios and Paulo Santana.
The exciting four-bar class held on Friday, March 7 before the dressage competition, features riders from each team progressing through a series of combinations, four at a time. Each time a rider goes clean, the jumps get bigger and bigger until there's only one horse and rider combination remaining.
Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY, is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and the current reigning FEI World Cup Champion. With 119 major victories to her credit, she's one of the nation's best.
Todd Minikus of Wellington is one of America's winningest grand prix riders with over 120 major victories in his win column. He is a frequent member of the United States Equestrian team in Nations Cup competitions and was an alternate for the Olympic Games.
Laura Kraut of Wellington is also a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and a top contender on the world stage in the highly competitive Global Champions Tour. She has 106 career grand prix wins.
Pablo Barrios of Venezuela is an Olympic veteran for his home country. He burst upon the scene in Wellington in 2010 posting five big wins on the WEF tour that year including the $150,000 Spy Coast Grand Prix. He has been the Hagyard Rider of the Year in Kentucky.
[IAMGE]Paulo Santana, of São Paulo, Brazil, stunned the crowd and the competition in Wellington two years ago when he rode Taloubet to victory in the $50,000 World Cup Qualifier CSI-W at Holiday and Horses. Since then, he has been a top competitor here and across the country.
The four-bar along with the freestyle dressage quadrille will be part of the Challenge of the Americas and held at the International Polo Club. Proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through Play For P.I.N.K.
The evening will begin with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres followed by opening ceremonies. Then, world-class show jumpers and dressage riders team up to compete for points and bragging rights. First, the jumpers will take to the field to tackle the four-bar course. Then, the quadrille challenge pits teams of Grand Prix dressage riders against each other as they perform intricate freestyle patterns to music. After the award presentation, the Challenge Gala will cap off the event with dinner and dancing.
The Challenge of the Americas 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.
Friday, 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
International Polo Club Palm Beach
3667 120th Avenue South
Wellington, FL 33414