Wellington, FL - Featuring more exciting equestrian performances than ever before, the Ninth Annual Challenge of the Americas will return to Wellington, FL, on Saturday, March 13, 2010, at the beautiful International Polo Club Palm Beach. The evening will get underway at 5:30 p.m. and feature musical team quadrilles, a four bar jumping exhibition, and a new and unique dressage and figure skating adagio. The event is presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) and will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation was founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder as an independent 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to funding innovative clinical and translational research. It is estimated by the American Cancer Society that in 2009 about 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed among women in the United States and at this time there are about 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. Since its inception, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation has raised over $250 million across the globe to fund research.
In a sport with many women, the equestrian industry has come together to support the BCRF through the Challenge of the America's one-of-a-kind event. Returning for her fourth year as a COTA competitor, Canadian dressage rider Shannon Dueck will be participating as part of the International Quadrille Team - Team International The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch. Dueck has been part of the winning international team for the past three years and looks forward to more fun competition at this year's Challenge.
The fight against breast cancer is a personal one for Dueck, who counts herself as a survivor after being diagnosed with breast cancer following last year's Challenge. "Until last year I did the Challenge because I thought it was an important cause and then it became very personal when last year my mother, my aunt and myself were all diagnosed with breast cancer in one year," Dueck stated. "I think that we need to try and find treatments and cures. I am very lucky because I caught it early, but my mother and my aunt are still fighting."
"It is a very important cause for everyone to support because so many women get diagnosed with breast cancer and it will affect everyone in this world," Dueck added. "I am just always grateful to be a part of this event. The night of the Challenge is so much fun and the crowd is so appreciative of what we do."
International Team rider Heather Bender agreed, stating, "So many people have been touched by breast cancer and this is a great, fun way to raise money for a very important cause that touches so many people's lives, including Shannon's."
"Even in our small community we are touched directly by this disease," Bender stated. "Shannon was on the team last year before she was diagnosed, so it is really great to have her back this year and to be able to represent her struggle. It is just fun, no pressure competition. Everyone is having a good time, and most importantly, we are able to do something that is helping a cause that is dear to everyone's hearts."
Following The Challenge of the Americas will be an elegant evening of dinner and dancing at the Challenge Gala. The Challenge Gala, always a sell-out, will once again be held in IPC's spacious and decorative catering tent off of Piaget Field. An awards presentation will be featured and guests will have the chance to meet and socialize with riders and judges.
VIP COTA/Gala Tickets are available for $250 per person and general admission Challenge tickets will be $20 at the gate, $15 pre-purchase at the Palms West Chamber of Commerce. Children under 12 are admitted free. For more information, please visit the Challenge of the Americas website, www.challengeoftheamericas.com, or contact Mary Ross at 561.852.2591.
2010 Challenge of the Americas Fast Facts
EVENT: The Ninth Annual Challenge of the Americas Competition and Gala
WHAT: A Grand Prix international musical freestyle and team quadrille dressage challenge featuring a special polo sweepstakes, dressage and figure skating adagio, and four-bar show jumping exhibition. 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.
WHERE: The International Polo Club Palm Beach
3667 120th Avenue South
Wellington, FL 33414
WHEN: March 13, 2010
SPONSORS: The International Polo Club Palm Beach; SSG Gloves - Team Canada; Purina Mills - Team USA; The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch- Team International; USDF; Cunningham & Cunningham Livestock Insurance; Red Barn Feed & Supply; Palm Beach Equine Clinic; Neiman Marcus; Wellington Classic Dressage; ViaGen, Inc; Dover Saddlery; Back on Track; Ecogold; Platinum Seamless; and Incredible Ice.
HONORARY MEDIA MEMBERS: "The Mo and Sally Morning Show" on KOOL 105.5; Roxanne Stein from WPTV News Channel 5
BENEFICIARY: Challenge of the Americas benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation
ADMISSION: VIP COTA/Gala Tickets are available for $250 per person and general admission Challenge tickets will be $20 at the gate, $15 pre-purchase at the Palms West Chamber of Commerce and the Wellington Chamber of Commerce. Children under 12 are admitted free.
CONTACT: To make reservations for the Challenge Gala & VIP Box Seating, contact Mary Ross at 561-852-2591.
Photo Credit: The Ninth Annual Challenge of the Americas competition will be held March 13 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Photo by Susan J. Stickle.