Practices Have Begun for the 2014 Challenge of Americas

Feb 5, 2014 - 9:19 AM
Team Purina USA practices at Betsy Juliano's Havesafe Farm. Photo by Meg McGuire.

Wellington, FL – February 5, 2014 - World-class dressage riders, top freestyle choreographers and big-name coaches are gearing up for the 12th annual Challenge of the Americas presented by SSG Gloves and Betsy Juliano’s Havensafe Farm on Fri., March 7 at the International Polo Club in Wellington.

Three teams made up of high-performance dressage riders are practicing intricate quadrilles set to music to raise funds for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation though Play for P.I.N.K.


One team, Team Purina USA, includes superstars Pam Goodrich, Jim Koford, Adrienne Lyle, Betsy Steiner, George Williams and John Zopatti. Terry Ciotto Gallo created their music and choreography and she is also coaching the team along with Debbie McDonald.


Purina is returning as a proud sponsor for Team Purina USA, having sponsored the team since 2006.   


“The Challenge of the Americas lets us support a great group working for a great cause,” said Kimberly James, the National Sponsorship, Events and Ambassador Manager for Purina. “We’re excited to be back as a sponsor again this year and are looking forward to a new format that includes some of Wellington’s top equestrians. More importantly, we get the chance to support the fundraising and breast cancer awareness efforts of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation & Play For P.I.N.K.”

Josh Parker, one of the principals of The Seley Parker Group, said it’s their eighth year to sponsor the event.


“The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch is extremely proud to once again support the International Team and The Challenge of the Americas,” he said. “Raising awareness and helping find a cure for such a terrible disease should be one of everyone’s top priorities.”


New to the 2014 Challenge of the Americas is Team Off the Record, sponsored by ShowChic. Members, all under the age of the 30, include Holly Johnson, Kevin Kohmann, Mary Bahniuk Lauritsen, Paula Matute, Hannah Michaels and Endel Ots. Ots will serve as coach as well as choreographer and music mixer.


ShowChic has always prided itself as being a supporter of the Dressage Community,” owner Michele Hundt said. “We are very excited to be sponsoring the Young Rider Team for Challenge of the Americas. Not only is the Challenge an event the entire community eagerly anticipates all season, it raises money for a worthy cause. We all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer and we are pleased to be able to support a way to help raise funds for breast cancer research.”


Also new to 2014, teams will also include elite showjumpers riding a course while choosing to tackle the most difficult jumps and shaving seconds off their time in an effort to rack up more points for their teams. 


Tickets for the event range from Gold Patron VIP tickets for tables of 10 for $6,500 per table to $20 for General Admission. Contact Mary Ross at (561) 433-0988 or for VIP ticket information.  General Admission tickets can be purchased at the gate on the night of the even.

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