Wellington, FL - February 20, 2009 - The Challenge of the Americas (COTA) is pleased to announce the addition of three new performances to the night's festivities. The Challenge of the Americas is an exciting annual fundraising event for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and will be held at the International Polo Club on March 7, 2009. This year's new performances will include the opening "Tribute to America" freestyle by Susan Jaccoma, a western and dressage demonstration by Jon Ingram and Oded Shimoni, and a Pas de Deux featuring Ashley Holzer and Courtney King-Dye.
The "Tribute to America" freestyle will showcase grand prix dressage rider Susan Jaccoma and her ten-year-old mare, Donatella. Jaccoma is very excited to be a part of the tribute, which will also include two military personnel, and features patriotic music arranged by Terri Gallo.
"I've been involved with COTA for five years. I started doing the quadrille for Team USA, and this year they asked me to do the 'Tribute to America' freestyle. I'm happy to be involved and support the breast cancer research," said Jaccoma. "It's nice to be able to use our sport and horses in a manner that is fun for the participants and beneficial to a great cause."
The next exhibition will be performed by reining world champion Jon Ingram and European world champion dressage rider Oded Shimoni. The piece will play on the idea of mirroring each horse and riders' movements. The exhibition will showcase the similarities between the two disciplines that are considered so different.
"I'm going to do a freestyle by myself to the song Jaquima de Freno, with my horse Laura Marie Cash. Then Oded is going to come in and say 'Hey cowboy, bet you can't do this!' We will turn on the music and do an 'anything you can do I can do better' routine," explained Ingram. "This is my first year participating in the Challenge of the Americas, but I'm very excited to be involved with such a great cause and I think it will be a lot of fun."
An exciting Pas de Deux performed by Olympians Ashley Holzer and Courtney King-Dye will be the final performance before the quadrille competition. Holzer and King came together to support a great cause and showcase their sport.
"Courtney and I are very excited, and we think it's going to be really wonderful. I think anytime that two top-level competitors can get together to perform a Pas de Deux for a great cause it's a great thing," smiled Holzer. " We've all had people affected by breast cancer, unfortunately way too many people. My husband's grandmother died of breast cancer and I was very close to her. It's a terrible disease, and I hope that we can raise money to help fight for a cure."
The pair will be riding PRE horses, which are a pure Spanish breed. King-Dye said, "They will be a good match for a Pas de Deux, and something different for the crowd to see. I think the breed itself is great, and has started making an appearance in the dressage world."
"I think it will be a blast to do something fun with Ashley and show off the Spanish breed," King-Dye continued. "I'm excited to be involved, and it's always great to do something fun for a good cause. This fundraiser is so successful because it's fun; the riders have fun, the spectators have fun, and it's a great way to raise money!"
The main event each year is the quadrille competition between Team Purina Mills USA, and Team International: The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch. Team Purina Mills USA will include: Betsy Steiner, Pamela Goodrich, John Zapati, James Koford, Chris Hickey, and George Williams. Team International: The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch will include: Marco Bernal, Patrick Burssens, Heather Bender, Shannon Dueck, Katherine Bateson-Chandler, and Juan Matute.
The Challenge Gala, an elegant evening of dinner and dancing, will get underway immediately following the competition. An awards presentation will be featured and guests will have the chance to meet and socialize with riders and judges.
2009 Challenge of the Americas - Ticket and Table Reservations
To make reservations for the Challenge Gala & VIP Box Seating, contact Mary Ross at 561-852-2591. General Admission tickets can be purchased at the gate on the evening of the event.
For more information on Challenge of the Americas, please visit www.challengeoftheamericas.com.