GLADSTONE, NJ - June 11, 2008 - The top 12 Grand Prix riders in the nation will be vying for a berth on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team for Dressage at the upcoming Selection Trials in San Juan Capistrano, CA, and will also be celebrating at the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation's Olympic fundraising party, "One Team, One Dream - A Salute to Hong Kong," on Saturday evening, June 28, 2008. Debbie McDonald, Steffen Peters, and Courtney King, ranked #1, #2, and #3 respectively, heading into the Selection Trials, are encouraging equestrian enthusiasts to reserve tickets now as the event can only accommodate 350 guests.
"This is your time to support all the Olympic equestrian sports and have a great party with all of us," enthused McDonald, who competed with Brentina on the Bronze Medal team at the 2004 Athens Olympics and is riding the #1 ranked mare and also the #5 ranked Felix in the 2008 Olympic Selection Trials. "It's planned to be a spectacular night. Riders can't survive without the help of everyone. The people behind us are important and we want to party with them, have a good fun night, and make them feel like we're appreciative of everything they've done."
"We seriously appreciate everyone who has helped us out with our dreams, since the Olympic Games is the ultimate goal of each athlete," noted Peters, who rode Udon on the Bronze Medal Team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and was the alternate with Floriano on the 2004 Athens Olympic Team. Peters is qualified with #2 ranked Ravel and #6 ranked Lombardi II for the 2008 Selection Trials. "It wouldn't be possible without the tremendous support that we've had already. We invite everyone to share the dream with us for one special night - it would be so much appreciated."
"In the past, the USET Foundation parties have sold out and some people are disappointed that they don't get a chance to go, so I definitely recommend that people buy their tickets ahead of time," pointed out King, a veteran of two World Cup Finals with Idocus. King qualified #3 ranked Idocus and #7 ranked Harmony's Mythilus for the Selection Trials and is vying for her first Olympic Team. "It's always a very fun occasion because it's so much in the spirit of the team. All the potential team members and their sponsors are there, so it's a great time to mingle and have fun."
The USET Foundation's "One Team, One Dream - a Salute to Hong Kong" will be held at the Oaks Blenheim Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park concurrently with the 2008 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions, including the U.S. Olympic Dressage Team Selection Trials.
The highlight of the evening and primary fundraising effort for the U.S. equestrian Olympic Team will be the Live Auction, which features eight extraordinary items. Brian O'Connor, who will be the dressage announcer at the Selection Trials and at the 2008 Olympic Games, will serve as the Live Auction auctioneer.
"The excitement when it comes to the auction - that really is what makes the party!" noted McDonald. At the 2004 USET Foundation Olympic benefit at this location, McDonald auctioned off a month-long training session with her, which raised $240,000 when three bidders tied at $80,000 each and McDonald accepted all three bids. "There are some fabulous things coming up in the auction this year - and the people that will be there to represent their auction items will be a party in themselves!"
Peters attended the 2004 party and recalled the thrill of that evening, saying. "The USET Foundation Olympic benefit party here was the most exciting one that I've been to. Last time, it was evident that the Olympic spirit was already part of that party. It was a huge honor and a lot of fun to be part of that. This year's party will be of the same caliber. Am I looking forward to it? Absolutely!"
King is also looking forward to the charged atmosphere of the party. "In my experience at the USET Foundation benefits, everyone gets really into it - the party and the fundraising and supporting our country's equestrian sports. We don't get a lot of government support, so it falls into the hands of the equestrian enthusiasts. And it's great fun, not only to help us out, but also to enjoy a great evening."
Elma Garcia, a television commercial producer, amateur dressage rider, and USET Foundation supporter (she was one of the winning bidders at the 2004 Debbie McDonald auction), is the Event Planner and a member of the USET Foundation Benefit Steering Committee for "One Team, One Dream - A Salute to Hong Kong." Garcia has brought together a team of extraordinary professionals to create an unforgettable event including Jeffrey Beecroft, Academy Award Nominee for production design on the film Dances With Wolves, who has created a dramatic Asian-themed decor design.
"It was important to us to have a fundraiser on the West Coast to prove that we have just as much support on the West Coast as we do on the East Coast," pointed out McDonald. "We have so many people that love our sport on the West Coast and this party is like saying 'We can do this right and have a blast doing it!' Elma and the staff at the USET Foundation have used amazing ideas to make this very memorable. Also, you see the riders in a whole different environment. You get to really know them when it's not under crunch time. You see a whole different personality of the riders, which is fun to see the other side of us. Everyone leaving that party will think this was an event well worth supporting."
"One Team, One Dream - A Salute to Hong Kong" - Tickets and Tables
Guests may reserve Gold, Silver and Bronze tables of 10 or purchase individual tickets. Guests may also underwrite an athlete's ticket for $300.
Gold Medal Table/Ten - $25,000
Silver Medal Table/Ten - $15,000
Bronze Medal Table/Ten - $5,000
Patron Single Ticket - $300
Tickets and tables are limited - reserve now! For more information or to make a reservation, please email email@example.com
; or write to USET Foundation, PO Box 355, Gladstone, NJ 07934; or call 908-234-1251, Ext. 208.
For full description of the Live Auction Items, pleased see below (also attached as a separate Word Document):
USET Foundation Live Auction Items, June 28, 2008
Watch the Best in the World at the FEI World Cup (TM) Finals in Las Vegas! Enjoy all the excitement of the 2009 FEI World Cup(TM) Finals in Dressage with four plaza level seats, VIP access passes and one parking pass. In addition, you will be invited to attend the President's Reception where the draw is determined for all riders, and also to attend the USET Foundation brunch. Donated by Las Vegas Events and the USET Foundation
A Night of Olympic Memories with Olympic Athletes and Celebrity Chef! Enjoy a dinner prepared in your home by Sean O'Keefe, chef to the stars (Ellen DeGeneres, Ryan Seacrest) with Olympic Dressage stars as your guests - Debbie McDonald, Guenter Seidel, Steffen Peters and Sue Blinks. Imagine the stories they can tell of their experiences at the Olympics! To be arranged in either Los Angeles or Del Mar at a mutually convenient date and time (after the 2008 Beijing Olympics in August). Donated by Sean O'Keefe, Debbie McDonald, Guenter Seidel, Steffen Peters and Sue Blinks
A Custom Bronze of Your Favorite Equine! Preserve the likeness of your favorite horse or pony forever in a custom bronze created by renowned sculptress Randee Crisman. Your finished work will be of the finest quality and workmanship, measuring approximately 20"L x 15" x 8" W, and will weigh 20 to 25 pounds, finished with base. Requires 8 to 12 weeks to completion - subject to foundry schedule. Donated by Randee Crisman
Golf with Olympian and San Jose Sharks Star Hockey Player Jeremy Roenick in Las Vegas! The high bidder will win an incredible package that includes a round of golf for four players plus Jeremy at the beautiful and challenging Cascatas Golf Course in Las Vegas, dinner for four with Jeremy and Tracy Roenick, show tickets for four (show TBD) and two hotel rooms at the fabulous Caesar's Palace. Limo pick-up to and from all events and the airport. To be arranged at a mutually convenient date and time. Donated by Jeremy and Tracy Roenick and Caesar's Palace
Oscar-Winning Actor and Hollywood Icon, Jack Palance - Original Painting! The late actor, who starred in Shane and City Slickers among many great movies, was a gifted artist who had studied art in Italy and the U.S. He had displayed his works in galleries in Beverly Hills, New York, Palm Beach and Dallas, though he generally chose not to sell his works, preferring to donate a few for charitable purposes, bringing upwards of $16,000. Here is your chance to own one of the few paintings made available through the generosity of the wife of Oscar-winning actor and Hollywood icon, Jack Palance. Title: Forsythia & Apple. Measures 26" H x 32" wide with frame. Donated by Elaine Palance
Dinner Party for Eight Prepared in Your Home, Catered by BeachFire's own Chef Cathy! Cathy McKnight, chef extraordinaire for "One Team, One Dream - A Salute to Hong Kong," will prepare a fabulous dinner, including selected wines, in your home for up to eight people. Chef Cathy was recently named one of the Ten Outstanding Chefs in Orange County - this is a unique opportunity to enjoy her culinary creations. To be arranged at a mutually convenient date, time and location in Southern California. Expires June 28. 2009. Donated by David Donaldson
Equine and Rider Portrait Session with Elma Garcia! You saw the phenomenal and exclusive USET Athlete Portraits at the 2007 World Cup in Las Vegas! Now Elma Garcia, photographer extraordinaire, will join forces again with celebrity make-up and hair stylist David Michaud to create one more stunning portrait capturing the true essence and personality of the horse and rider! Don't miss out on this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Sitting to be arranged at a mutually convenient date, time and location in California. Expires June 28, 2009. Donated by Elma Garcia and David Michaud
Be a Character in a Tami Hoag Novel Tami Hoag, the New York Times #1 best-selling author and Grand Prix dressage rider, offers you the opportunity to become a character in her next suspense novel, to be published in 2010. The high bidder's name will be used for a prominent secondary character in the story. You can choose to be described as yourself, or Tami can make you more handsome than George Clooney or sexier than Angelina Jolie. The winner will be acknowledged in the front of the book with thanks for supporting the USET Foundation and the Olympic Dressage Team and will receive five signed copies. With more than 30 million books in print in more than 20 languages world-wide, Tami is truly offering international stardom to the winning bidder. Bragging rights for years, but no editorial privileges! Donated by Tami Hoag
The non-profit United States Equestrian Team Foundation supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America's elite and developing international, high-performance athletes and horses in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation. For more information about the USET Foundation or to make a donation, please call (908) 234-1251 or visit the USET Foundation website at http://www.uset.org
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/dressage-olympic-uset-tickets-party-06-08.html">Party with Dressage Olympic Candidates at USET Foundation's "One Team, One Dream- Limited Tickets Available</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com