Riders are polishing their performances, officials, judges, celebrity judges and other participants have marked their calendars, and VIP seating has been expanded to accommodate the interest shown for the inaugural Challenge of the Americas Grand Prix Dressage Quadrille. This fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation will be held at the Palm Beach Polo Club and the Players Club Restaurant at 6:45 p.m. on March 12, 2005 in Wellington, Florida, with teams representing Canada, the United States and Latin America.
While VIP seating has nearly sold out, there will be extensive field-side general admission seating available for a $10 donation.
Spectators and others who are interested are invited to check out the Challenge website, where you can find more information as well as meet the riders that will participate in this spectacle under the lights.
Challenge founder and organizer Mary Ross, who has developed the event over the past few years from a pas de trois exhibition, to a quadrille, to this year’s competition, is excited to announce that Tiffany and Co. will graciously provide the trophies for the competition. Other new additions to the Sponsor List include Euro-American Saddlery, Leather Goods of Spain, Outback Steakhouse (steak and champagne), and Red Barn Feed and Supply, who will provide flowers for the event.
Other sponsors include Aragon Stables, Cunningham & Cunningham Livestock Insurance, Dressage Canada, EquestrianGraphics.com, Highlife Farms, Horse Deals US, Klassic Kur, Marismas Sporthorses, Palm Beach Polo, PhelpsPhotos.com, The Players Club, Tiffany and Co., Play for P.I.N.K., Premier Equestrian, Royalty Farms/Diamond Legacy Breeding and the United States Dressage Federation.
The most recent addition to the US team of riders is Leslie Morse, who has been having great success in Wellington, most recently winning the $2000 Grand Prix Musical Freestyle at the Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic riding Kingston to music from The Pirates of the Caribbean. She and Kingston also won the FEI Grand Prix, and her Swedish stallion, Tip Top 962, won the Grand Prix Special.
Judges will be representative of all three countries competing: Lorraine Stubbs (CAN), Marian Cunningham (PER), and Linda Zang (USA). Newly added to the roster, in a neutral capacity, is FEI “O” judge Stephen Clarke of Great Britain. Clarke has judged at the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games, as well as numerous other esteemed international competitions.
Kathy Connelly, Master of Ceremonies at the Challenge
Master of Ceremonies will be Kathy Connelly, a respected dressage rider and coach who has been involved since the inception of the quadrille several years ago, when it was simply a demonstration and fundraiser. She has also emceed at the Festival of Champions in Gladstone, New Jersey, with a panel of experts during the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestylle at Dressage at Devon, and for the New England Dressage Association.
Connelly said, “It’s a beautiful cause and I’m impressed with the presentation. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is one of my favorite charities. Mary Ross is so enthusiastic and each year expands the way she presents it; she is selfless and passionate. One year it was a luncheon and a silent auction; last year it was a grand bonanza in a stadium jumping arena. Every year it is presented in a down-to-earth but classy way, and it’s heartrending to be there with cancer survivors; these are people we know.”
Support from the community and beyond has been huge for the Challenge of the Americas. Committee Members are as follows:
Honorary Chair: Myra Biblowit - President of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Biblowit will also participate as one of the celebrity judges. C
hairpersons: Mary & Stan Ross
Andrea Nason Azran
Anastasia & Alan Bagliore
Christina & Robert Baker
Kimberly & Frederic Boyer
Charmaine & Plato Foufas
Mayli & Calixto Garci-Velez
Susan & F.H. Gohl
Marcy & Robert Haupt
Laura & Ira Lassman
Barbara & Richard Marks
Rose & Norman Peslar
Debra & Mark Schoder
Janet & Chris Spire
Vonnie & Larry Steinbaum
Lily & Alexander Zilo