Wellington, FL - Singers dominated the first four rounds of American Equestrians Got Talent auditions, but breakdancer Roberto Gallardo tossed out that trend with a big win Wednesday night in the fifth round of auditions at The Grille Fashion Cuisine. Gallardo narrowly missed out on the win two weeks prior, with the judges having to break a tie between him and Teaghan James. He came back with a vengeance. "Everybody deserves a second chance," Gallardo said. "If you have a second chance, just do it. Don't be afraid." Celebrity judges Carl Hester, Ashley Holzer and P.J. Rizvi were full of praise for Gallardo. "You are an absolute star!" Hester said. "You entertain everybody. You're in time with the music. I think we've seen some amazing people tonight, but every now and then a star pops on stage."
Rizvi added, "I love your sense of humor. That's what makes a real dancer. You have the ability to pop in any kind of music and actually dance to it and act out the story."
Gallardo is a groom at Diamante Farms, the dressage facility in Wellington where trainer and competitor Devon Kane is based. The Diamante Farms team made a strong showing to cheer him on. "I'm feeling so happy," he said. "I'm really proud of my team who came here to support me. This is amazing. I can't explain how happy I am." Gallardo is putting the $500 prize, sponsored by PSdressage.com, to great use. He plans to send it back to his home country of Honduras to help children struggling with poverty.
Also making the top three were Brian Lookabill, whose convincing rendition of Hozier's "Take Me to Church" was a hit with the audience, and Jackie O'Connell, whose polished, relaxed stage presence and beautiful voice stood out as she sang Joss Stone's "Right to Be Wrong." Other performers included Laura Killian of Laura Ashley Dressage, who upped the ante with a fire baton twirling show, and several singers.
Gallardo joins Ayden Uhlir, Ki-Juan Minors, Teaghan James and Taylor Hughes in the March 15 final, where they will compete for a $5,000 grand prize sponsored by Robert Ross, P.A., Luxury Equestrian Realtor for Keller Williams.
"I'm going to come back with something different!" Gallardo said.
Auditions are held Wednesdays every week through March 4. Sign up to audition by contacting Robert Dover (email@example.com).
Several sponsors, led by Robert Ross, Kim and Fred Boyer, Equestrian Sport Productions, Tuny and David Page, and PSdressage.com, are supporting this exciting event. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Sara Ike (908-234-1251 or firstname.lastname@example.org.) or Robert Dover (Rdover2@aol.com).
American Equestrians Got Talent Fast Facts
- Spearheaded by U.S. Dressage Team Chef d'Equipe Robert Dover, American Equestrians Got Talent is the third annual East Coast fundraiser to benefit USEF High Performance Dressage programs through the USET Foundation.
- Contestants audition to earn their place in the season finale. Celebrity judges will be on hand at each audition to critique the performances, and the audience's applause will determine who moves forward to the finale and who goes back to the barn.
When: Every Wednesday evening from Jan. 7 through March 4, 2015
7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Where: The Grille Fashion Cuisine, 12300 South Shore Blvd., Wellington, Florida
Prize: PSdressage.com is sponsoring prizes of $500 to be awarded to the top performer at each audition
Participants: Auditions are open to the entire equestrian community, including riders, grooms and others involved in any discipline from dressage and hunter/jumpers to polo and Western. Please sign up in advance by contacting Robert Dover (Rdover2@aol.com). Walk-ins accepted if space is available.
When: March 15, 2015
Where: The Stadium at PBIEC (Global Dressage Festival show grounds), 13500 South Shore Blvd., Wellington, Florida
Prize: The winner, who will be named America's Most Talented Equestrian, will receive a grand prize of $5,000 sponsored by Robert Ross, P.A., Luxury Equestrian Realtor for Keller Williams.
Platinum - $25,000
Gold - $15,000
Silver - $10,000
Bronze - $5,000
Individual tickets (high top tables in back row) - $300
Bleachers - $20
Standing room around the arena - $10
Sara Ike (908-234-1251 or email@example.com) or Robert Dover (Rdover2@aol.com)
The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America's elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.