Wellington, Fla.—Feb. 4
The Great Charity Challenge challenge has it all: the hilarity of the costumes, the drama of high speed relay races, and most importantly it’s all for a good cause!
Every year for the past nine teams of riders have gotten together to represent a charity in one of the most popular night classes of the Wellington season. Each team is comprised of three riders jumping three different heights between 1.0-meter and 1.30-meter and the team with the fastest time and least amount of faults wins.
But instead of riders earning prize money, the winning team gets the biggest chunk of the purse given to the charity they represent, $150,000! No charity goes home empty handed either, because the class pays out all the way to last place earning $15,000.
Irish rider Shane Sweetnam’s team earned the victory for their charity, The Education Foundation. Check out photos from the night!
Wands at the ready! This year’s Great Charity Challenge was Hollywood themed and the Harry Potter themed team was first in the ring with Ariel Bluman dressed as the boy who lived. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Emma Crate (left) and Ellyn Fritz played Cinderella and Prince Charming. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Cooper Dean, or Tom Cruise? Either way bonus points for matching goggles with your horse. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Ava Ellis makes a pretty convincing Sebastian the crab from The Little Mermaid! Photo by Ann Glavan.
Dannie Murphy’s cape was flying around course as she jumped for her Lord of the Rings themed team. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Darth Vader doesn’t mess around when it comes to jumping clean rounds, and neither does Kaitlyn Lovingfloss. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Everyone in the crowd about fell over laughing when the Ghostbusters team came in the ring with actual ghosts to bust. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Who you gonna call? Photo by Ann Glavan.
Alex Crown ain’t afraid of no ghost! Photo by Ann Glavan.
The Toy Story team won the costume contest judged at the beginning of the night, and it’s not hard to see why! Haley Schaufeld aka Woody the Cowboy and his trusty steed Bullseye blazing away on course! Photo by Ann Glavan.
Kama Godek clad as the Black Widow from The Avengers was positively flying around the corner after finishing her leg of the relay. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Just a couple of My Little Ponies! Lexie Smylie in the irons. Photo by Ann Glavan.
…not food. Sage advice from rider Maggie Savoie aka Bruce the shark from Finding Nemo. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Nicole Bellissimo was flying around course dressed in character from the wildly popular TV series Game of Thrones. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Nicolas Gamboa went all out on his King Kong get up. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Paige Bellissimo of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons. Photo by Ann Glavan.
It wouldn’t be a Hollywood themed night without a little Grease Lightning! Lindsey Tomeu representing the Pink Ladies. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Kristy Herrera played the fairy godmother from Cinderella! Photo by Ann Glavan.
Chronicle’s resident Harry Potter nerd is unsure whether this creature is a hippogriff or a thestral, but either way we love it! Samantha Wight in the irons. Photo by Ann Glavan.
How cool is this Avatar costume?! Abbey Soffer made a very convincing Na’vi from the James Cameron blockbuster. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Eventing fans may recognize that chestnut horse in the middle: it’s Phillip Dutton’s long time four star mount, Mr. Medicott! Ridden by Dutton’s daughter, Olivia, while Phillip is mounted on his current event horse, Z, on the right, and longtime owner Caroline Moran rounded out the trio on the left. Photo by Ann Glavan.
This photographer admits to finding the teeny tiny sombreros on the Three Amigo’s horses’ tails way to funny. The Amigos were played by Grady Lyman, Kira Kerkorian, and Brady Mitchell. Photo by Ann Glavan.
We can neither confirm nor deny this, but we’re pretty sure that’s a grub on Kaitlyn McCann’s horse’s breastplate, and we love that dedication to this Timon and Pumba costume. Hakuna Matata! Photo by Ann Glavan.
It may be obvious why this team won best costume. Barbie Ruziska as Mr. Potato Head, Haley Schaufeld as Woody the Cowboy, and Angel Karolyi as Buzz Lightyear. Photo by Ann Glavan.
Check out those tentacles on Ursula the scary octopus from The Little Mermaid, played by Heather Caristo-Williams. Photo by Ann Glavan.