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Challenge of the Americas Announces Teams

27 International Riders to Compete in High Jump and Musical Quadrille on March 8

WELLINGTON, FL - February 27, 2008 - The Challenge of the Americas (COTA) is pleased to announce the names of the 27 riders who will ride on three teams competing in the 2008 event featuring Grand Prix dressage and Grand Prix show jumping. The seventh edition of this horse sport spectacular will be held on Saturday night, March 8, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. Competition will be held under lights in the new International Arena. COTA is an annual benefit for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Each team of international caliber riders will feature nine competitors. New this year, the jumpers have added one more rider, and will now compete in the High Jump with three Grand Prix show jumpers. Six Grand Prix dressage riders will compete in the Musical Quadrille.

Team USA Purina Mills

Competing on the quadrille squad are Lynda Alicki, Pamela Goodrich, Chris Hickey, Susan Jaccoma, Bent Jensen, and Betsy Steiner. The quadrille coach is George Williams. Choreographer for the quadrille is Terry Ciotti-Gallo of Klassic Kur. The jumpers for the team are Todd Minikus, Candace King, and Ashley Fleischhacker.

Team International Morgan Stanley

The quadrille squad is comprised of Marco Bernal, Patrick Burssens, Mikala Munter Gundersen, Karen Lipp, Cathy Morelli, and Silke Rembacz. Coach and choreographer for the quadrille is Elizabeth ("Beth") Zimski. Marlene Whitaker of Custom Freestyles, Inc. created the team's soundtrack from music selections by Beth Zimski. Team jumpers are Eduardo Salas, Eric Flameng, and Darragh Kerrins.

Team Can/Am SSG Gloves

Performing the quadrille will be Dianne O'Brien, Jacqueline Paxton, Kayce Redmond, Chris Saunders, Tara Stegen, and Gary Vander Ploeg. Coach for the quadrille is Eva-Marie Pracht. The jumpers are Karen Cudmore, Ainsley Vince, and Erynn Ballard.

The High Jump counts for 40% of the total score. The Musical Quadrille counts for 60% of the total score. Steve Stephens, a course designer for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, will create the design for the High Jump. Judging the Musical Quadrille will be three top-tier USA judges: Linda Zang (O), Gary Rockwell (I), Anne Gribbons (O), Carol Lavell (R), and Lois Yukins (I).

The 2008 COTA welcomes back Brian O'Connor - the announcer for this event every year for the past seven years. O'Connor, who has been named as the Official Dressage Announcer for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, is thoroughly versed in the sports of dressage and show jumping, plus his knowledge of COTA and the riders always adds excitement and fun to the competition.

2008 Challenge of the Americas

Schedule Of Festivities

Palm Beach International Equestrian Center

Equestrian Club Road

6:00 p.m. Patrons and Sponsors Cocktails and Hors D'oeuvres - International Club

6:30 p.m. "Salute to America" - Steffen Peters

6:45 p.m. "In Memory of Judy" - Lauren Sammis

7:00 p.m. Challenge of the Americas - Musical Quadrille and Jumper Extravaganza

8:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony

8:15 p.m. The Challenge Gala - International Club

General Admission Dancing - International Arena


Gold Table Patron: $6,500

Premier seating for 8 (eight) at The Challenge of the Americas and The Challenge Gala; Patron table signage; Gold Level acknowledgement event programs and on promotional posters displayed throughout the Wellington community.

Silver Table Patron: $4,500

Prominent seating for 8 (eight) at The Challenge of the Americas and The Challenge Gala; Patron acknowledgement in the event programs and on promotional posters displayed throughout the Wellington community.

Bronze Table Patron: $2,000

VIP seating for 8 (eight) at The Challenge of the Americas and The Challenge Gala.

Individual Patron: $250

VIP seating at The Challenge of the Americas and The Challenge Gala.

General Admission: $20

Tickets available at the PBIEC entrance gate on the night of the event; seating is in the blue flip-up stadium style seats overlooking the International Arena. Dancing following the competition is included.

For tickets, table reservations, and information about the 2008 Challenge of the Americas, contact Mary Ross at 561-852-2591.

PHOTO CAPTION: Team Can/Am SSG Gloves, winners of the 2007 PhelpsSports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby. PHOTO CREDIT: Susan Stickle.


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