WELLINGTON, Fla. - Presenting sponsor FarmVet edged out Team MeadowView to win the 2011 Sidelines Tetrathlon Presented by FarmVet on Jan. 30, at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. More than 500 people came together for an evening of friendly competition, great food and exceptional auction items, to raise more than $100,000 to benefit the Equestrian Aid Foundation (EAF). The EAF helps equestrians, horsemen and equine professionals who are suffering from catastrophic illnesses or injuries during their time of need. The event was managed by Sean O'Keefe Events, which specializes in developing signature events for nonprofit organizations.
"It's been more than three years since the last Sidelines Triathlon and we've successfully brought it back to a higher level of competition by adding the all-American sport of reining," said R. Scot Evans, president of the EAF. "With the overwhelming support from the community for the vision of Sean O'Keefe of Sean O'Keefe Events, we were given the resources to create a fun-filled evening that also successfully raised necessary funds for those in the horse world who need our help."
Master of Ceremonies Brian Lookabill added commentary to the competition, which included dressage, show jumping, polo and reining. Riders showed world-class talent as they performed in disciplines not their own.
Teams sponsors and riders:
FarmVet: Ashley Holzer, Candice King, Whistle Uys, Christian Currey
MeadowView: Katherine Bateson-Chandler, Will Simpson, Brandon Phillips, Seth Ingram
MooreBroker Realty/Hunt Ltd.: Mary Ann Grant, Nick Dello Joio, Mauricio Devrient, Lauri Ingram
Palm Beach Equine Clinic: Olivia Swerdlin, Bob Kraut, Tommy Biddle, Jon Ingram
After the gambler's choice jumping, each rider scored an extra 200 points for successfully clearing the joker jump positioned within a few feet of the first row of tables! The dressage highlight featured Pop Art ridden by Ashley Holzer's teammate Candice King. "I thought the entire event captured not only a spirit of fun and camaraderie, but also how much all of us in the horse industry, regardless of our personal riding discipline, love and support each other," said Jane Savoie, who shared her dressage judging duties with husband Rhett and announcing with Brian O'Connor.
The reining competition, judged by Jessica Niles, held some great rides and gave everyone a reason to whoop and holler. Polo turned out to be a participation sport for all when the inflatable indoor polo ball left the arena and landed in the audience!
Winners for each sport
Jumping: Seth Ingram for Team MeadowView
Reining: Will Simpson for Team MeadowView
Dressage: Nick Dello Joio for Team MooreBroker Realty/Hunt Ltd.
Polo: Team FarmVet
Ultimately, all riders were successful in their newly found disciplines and created a scoring tie for Teams FarmVet and MeadowView, with the others close behind. In accordance with the rules, the tie was broken by the winner of polo - Team FarmVet! "Everyone was a winner tonight," said Christian Currey, owner of the winning team and presenting sponsor Farmvet. "We're very excited about the huge turn out for EAF. I know all the competitors had a blast and I hope we raised a lot of money to help EAF!"
The competition was managed by Premier Sport Services.
Event sponsors included:
Sidelines, FarmVet, MeadowView, MooreBroker Realty, Hunt Ltd., Palm Beach Equine Clinic, Ingram Training Stable, Frank Madden Show Stable, Inc., Air & Power Solutions, Event Studio Productions, Wellington-WEF.com, Polo Gear USA, Panache, Wellington Equestrian Classifieds, Weigh-To-Go mobile horse weighing service, Kate Byars Photography, Sidelines Barn Book, Potions in Motion, Charles Owen, Rums of Puerto Rico, Pana Cavallo, International Polo Club-Palm Beach, Fame Dance and Performing Arts, Premier Sport Services, Nikko Entertainment and Sean O'Keefe Events.
Fun and Games
Throughout the night, guests had the opportunity to participate in games to win fabulous prizes. The night started with the Charles Owen-sponsored "No Brainer" game where participants bought raffle tickets to guess which of 10 helmets held the winning polo ball. The winner received a custom Charles Owen helmet. The Weigh To Go "Guess the Weight of the Horse" had people speculating the horse's weight before walking him onto the Weigh To Go mobile scale. The winner received an EquiFit product basket. To win a Grill Dome barbeque smoker, participants purchased an Equestrian Aid Foundation band and played a spirited game of Simon Says.
During the competition intermission, guests were treated to a cowboy-themed song and yodel by 9-year-old 2010 Palm Beach Idol winner Jade Master. Jade was then joined by reining horses galloping in the arena and nearly 50 dancers, including guests and EAF board members, to perform a choreographed number to Flo Rida's Right Round. Amber of Fame Dance and Performing Arts in Wellington, choreographed the dance and held daily practices for dancers and non-dancers alike.
Guests had the opportunity to bid on everything from diamond jewelry to exotic vacations. Popular items included a Zulu Nyala African safari, a culinary experience with Sean O'Keefe and autographed memorabilia donated by Bruce Springsteen. Also auctioned for reining enthusiasts was a two-day stay at the ranch of USEF Horseman of the Year Tom and Mandy McCutcheon, including instruction with Tom and his team riding one of Turnabout's horses and tours of other top training and breeding facilities.
Auction items were donated by:
Badgley Mischka, Bamboo Studio, Barnes and Noble, Beef Wellington, Bobbi Braun, Bruce Springsteen, C.M. Hadfield's Saddlery, Campagnolo Trattoria, Charles Owen, Donovan Designs, Dover Saddlery, Elegante Polo, Emerald Valley Natural Health, EquiFit, FarmVet, Field of Greens, Finish Line, Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, Freedom Health/SUCCEED, GoIncentives, Gracie Street Interior Design Inc., Hunt Ltd., Grill Dome, H.E. Sutton Forwarding Company, LLC, Handsome Hands, Idlewild Furnishing, Ingram Training Stables, Iron Spring Farm, Interiors-Morgan City, Louisiana, Jae's Gems, Kate Byars Photography, Kelly Barnes, Masterpiece Investments, McLelland's Saddlery, Miele, Mimi's Swan, Nicola Godfrey Tile, Oli's, On Course Consignment and Caitlin Young, Palm Beach Equine Medical Center, Pangea Bistro, PJ Saddles, Polo Gear, Potions in Motion, Regency Fine Art, Savida Sangria, Sean O'Keefe Events, Sid Maurer, Sidelines, Susan Easton Burns, Taylor Made Café, The Dressage Connection, The Moriah Company, The Sport Horse, Tom and Mandy McCutcheon and Turnabout Farm, U Shoe Crazy, Van Dell Jewelers, Whole Foods and Zulu Nyala.
Taste of Charity Dinner
Taste of Charity, a unique concept created by Sean O'Keefe Events, brings together area restaurants to offer guests a wide variety of culinary specialties. Participating area restaurants and caterers donated food and staff to deliver exceptional meals for every palette. The goal is to experience many restaurants that guests may not have tried that they can visit and enjoy long after the event is over.
Participating restaurants include: The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, Field of Greens, Oli's Fashion Cuisine & Bar, Taylor Made Cafe, Potions in Motion, Top Notch Caterers, Campagnolo Trattoria, International Polo Club Catering, Beef Wellington Steakhouse and Social Club, Miele, Grill Dome, White Horse Tavern, Potions in Motion Catering, South Florida's Hottest Chefs, Christy's NY Cheesecake, and www.southfloridadines.com.
The guests were greeted at the door with wine and champagne sponsored by Barefoot Wine and Bubbly. Mixed and specialty drinks were provided by Potions in Motion, Savida Sangria and the Rums of Puerto Rico. All the food was served on biodegradable, "green" bamboo plates, bowls and utensils donated by Bamboo Studio.
Sean O'Keefe Events
The tetrathlon is managed and produced by Sean O'Keefe Events, which specializes in nonprofit fundraising events to support the organization's mission.
About the Equestrian Aid Foundation:
In 1996 the Equestrian AIDS Foundation was established to assist those with HIV/Aids. Recognizing a broader need, the organization changed its name and mission. The Equestrian Aid Foundation's mission is to build a membership based organization to assist anyone in the equestrian world suffering from life threatening illness, catastrophic accidents or injuries by providing financial assistance for their medical or other basic needs. It is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization that provides grant recipients funding for medical, healthcare, rehabilitation and essential expenses, such as housing and food throughout their time of need. To learn more about the EAF, visit www.equestrianaidfoundation.org.