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Challenge of the Americas Announces New Competition Format and 2007 Teams of Dressage/Jumper Riders

WELLINGTON, FL – February 14, 2007 – The PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas presented by Collecting Gaits Farm is a one-of-a-kind international evening of equestrian sport featuring Grand Prix dressage musical freestyles, team quadrilles, show jumping, and a gala dinner/dance with silent auction. The event will be held Saturday evening, March 10, 2007, at International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida. Marking its sixth consecutive year, the PhelpsSports Challenge is an annual fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).

This year, the PhelpsSports Challenge will showcase three international teams each comprised of eight world-class dressage riders and two topnotch show jumpers competing for the title of “2007 PhelpsSports Challenge Team of the Americas.”

Show jumping is a new addition to the format of the 2007 PhelpsSports Challenge, which has transitioned over the years from a three-horse Pas de Trois exhibition at a luncheon to its current evening gala that now encompasses 30 horses and riders.

“The show jumpers who will be competing in the event this year are some of the top competitors in the world and we are extremely appreciative of them joining the PhelpsSports Challenge,” said Mary Ross, the founder and co-chair of the PhelpsSports Challenge. “We have added something new each year to this event in order to broaden the audience and increase the amount of money we can raise for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The addition of the high jump contest is an appropriate fit for the caliber of this competition and the expectations of our audience.”

The 2007 PhelpsSports.com Challenge team members are:

Team USA Purina Mills - Dressage Riders: Betsy Steiner, George Williams, Lynda Alicki, Pamela Goodrich, Chris Hickey, Susan Jaccoma and Tami Hoag; Show Jumpers: Todd Minikus and Candice King.

Team Can/Am SSG Gloves - Dressage Riders: Shannon Dueck, Courtney King, Chris Von Martels, Danielle Gallagher, Tina Erwin, Daphne Haagmans, Lisette Milner, Katherine Bateson-Chandler, Suzanne Dansby Phelps; Show Jumpers: Eric Lamaze and second jumper to be announced.

Team International Morgan Stanley - Dressage Riders: Marco Bernal, Patrick Burssens, Silke Rembacz, Karen Lipp, Kathy Priest, Todd Flettrich, Kelly Hannigan; Show Jumpers: Eric Flameng and Darragh Kerins.

PhelpsSports Challenge New Competition Format

The show jumpers will kick off the event with a high jump contest that counts for 25% of the total score. The dressage riders will then compete in two dressage-to-music formats – the Pas de Deux (two riders and two horses), which counts for 25% of the total score, and the Quadrille (six horses and six riders), which counts for 50% of the total score.

The format for the jumping portion of the competition is the High Jump. The winning team for this phase will be the team that clears the highest jump with the least amount of attempts. The jump will be raised in height a total of three times and each team member will have two chances to clear each level. A rider who clears the jump in the first attempt will receive a higher score than riders who require a second jump. The team score will be the combined points from each of the team jumpers.

Three FEI (Federation Equestre International) dressage judges will score the technical and artistic elements of each musical ride. Officiating will be: Anne Gribbons, Carol Lavell, and Linda Zang. Celebrity judges will also attend to offer commentary on the rides.

The dressage competition format for the PhelpsSports Challenge is distinguished from the traditional dressage show, which highlights individual choreographed freestyles to music performed by one horse and rider. The Pas de Deux and Team Quadrille freestyles raise the level of difficulty because each horse/rider pair must perform in synchronized choreography with up to five other combinations. All of the dressage rides are at the Olympic level of the sport, the Grand Prix, which includes piaffe, passage, one-tempi changes, and pirouettes. Adding to the excitement and entertainment level, the Pas de Deux and Team Quadrille competitions are ridden to dynamic musical accompaniment ranging from rock ‘n’ roll to show tunes to classical.

2007 Challenge Gala Sold Out! General Admission Tickets Still Available!

Last year, the event drew more than 1,600 fans. Over 600 patrons attended the sell-out gala following the competition, which included dinner, dancing, and a live auction. This year, the Challenge Gala has also sold out in advance, but General Admission tickets are still available. For the 2007 event, spectators can purchase the $20 General Admission tickets at the gate on the night of the event and will be seated in the special Tier Seating overlooking the competition ring. Food and beverages will be available in the Tier Seating, catered by International Polo Club Palm Beach.



PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas Presented by Collecting Gaits Farm

SCHEDULE OF FESTIVITIES

5:30 p.m. Patrons and Sponsors Cocktails and Hors D'oeuvres

Sponsored by Fidelity Federal Bank & Trust

6:15 p.m. The PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas

Team High Jump, Pas de Deux, Quadrilles

8:00 p.m. Awards

8:15 p.m. Patrons and Sponsors Challenge Gala Dinner and Dancing

GENERAL ADMISSION TICKET INFORMATION

General Admission Tickets: 
General Admission Tickets for the competition will be available at the gate for $20 per ticket on the night of the event. General Admission ticket holders will be seated in the special Tier Seating overlooking the competition. Food and beverages will be available in the Tier Seating, catered by International Polo Club Palm Beach.

For more information about the 2007 PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, visit http://www.challengeoftheamericas.com.



“PhelpsSports Challenge” Sponsors

PhelpsSports.com

Collecting Gaits Farm

United States Dressage Federation

Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate Diagnosis, New Technology, Knowledge

Purina Mills

Morgan Stanley

SSG Gloves

Fidelity Federal Bank & Trust

King Ferry Winery

Cunningham & Cunningham Livestock, Inc.

UBS Financial Services Inc.

GumBits

International Polo Club Palm Beach

HorseSport USA

Klassic Kur

Equestrian Graphics

Ecogold

Palm Beach Equine

Red Barn Feed & Supply

Van Dell Jewelers

Tackeria

Dover Saddlery



PHOTO CAPTION: 2006 Celebrity Judges Debbie McDonald and Steffen Peters with official judges Anne Gribbons, Carol Lavell, and Linda Zang. PHOTO CREDIT: SusanJStickle.com.

 

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