The first annual champagne luncheon to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation was held at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby in Loxahatchee, Florida, on Sunday, March 3. Highlighting the event was a Pas de Trois exhibition. Mary Ross organized the luncheon and the kur. Ross's mother died of cancer six years ago and she planned the benefit in her memory. Ross also wanted to find a way to promote dressage and organized the Pas de Trois to show the entertaining side of the sport.
More than 200 guests filled the sold-out chalet behind 'A' to watch the Grand Prix freestyle competition and the Pas de Trois while they enjoyed a fabulous buffet catered by Affairs to Remember. Guests participated in a Silent Auction offering a fine array of select items. Founder of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Evelyn Lauder of the Estee Lauder cosmetics company, made a presentation to the guests detailing the work of the organization. Sponsors of the luncheon included Jolie and Thomas Burrell; Anastasia and Alan Bagliore; Carol and Alan Cohen of Twin Swans Farm; Jane Rainis; Kimberly Van Kampen of Hampton Green Farms; Calvin Giordano & Associates; and Play For Time.
Riders Betsy Steiner, Linda Alicki, and Patrick Burssens performed the Pas de Trois, a freestyle featuring three horses moving in synchronization to music. Beth Zimski choreographed the kur and Terry Gallo of Klassic Kur set it to music using a patriotic theme. Steiner rode Dalue owned by Karen Sakas; Alicki rode Kip owned by Elizabeth Kane; and Patrick Burssens rode Marfil owned by Mary Anne McPhail. The horses and riders received a standing ovation from the spectators gathered an all sides of the arena.
More than $40,000 was raised for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. "I'm thrilled by the response from the dressage community to the Breast Cancer Foundation and our sport," said Mary Ross. "I'm looking forward to presenting the event at the Derby again next year."