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Sold Out Gala at Challenge of the Americas Will Host 750 Guests in International Club

General Admission Tickets Available - Includes Dance Party in International Arena

WELLINGTON, FL - March 7, 2008 - Once again, the annual Challenge of the Americas Gala dinner/dance is a sellout party, this year hosting 750 guests in the International Club at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. The Challenge of the Americas (COTA), featuring Musical Quadrilles and High Jumping, will be held on Saturday night, March 8, 2008, for the seventh consecutive year as a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

"This is the first time the Challenge of the Americas gala will be held at this location, and we are very excited about this new venue as a showcase for the competition and the gala," said Mary Ross, founder and chairman of the Challenge of the Americas. "It's very exciting for our dressage riders to compete for the first time in the new International Arena, especially with the new lighting system that has been likened to the equestrian venue for the Olympic Games."

The International Club (formerly the Jockey Club) is the prestigious VIP club for the CN Winter Equestrian Festival, located at the intersection of Southshore and Pierson Roads. The International Club offers a luxurious chandelier-lit dining room for nearly 100 tables of eight guests each that will overlook the International Arena for the Challenge of the Americas competition. The Equestrian Club Tavern on the Green will cater the dinner. The International Club will have a dance floor installed for the evening, with music provided by Disc Jockey Jody McDonald.

General Admission Seats Available - Dance Party in International Arena

The Challenge Gala is sold-out, but the International Arena can accommodate thousands of spectators in the stadium seating. The $20 General Admission tickets will be available at the spectator entrance to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center starting at 5:30 pm on Saturday, March 8. The entrance is located on Equestrian Road off of Pierson Road. Parking is available via shuttle bus or valet.

General Admission ticket holders will have seating in the newly installed blue stadium seats overlooking the International Arena. General Admission ticket holders are also invited to the Dance Party in the International Arena following the competition.

A thrilling equestrian sport and entertainment package, the Challenge of the Americas offers an exciting evening of top-notch Olympic-level equestrian feats and fun in a world-class venue. Highlights of the 2008 Challenge of the Americas include Opening Ceremonies with 2008 Equestrian Idol Winner Ki-Juan Minors singing the National Anthem, followed by two exhibition solo freestyles. Two-time Olympian Steffen Peters will ride "A Salute to America." Pan American Games Team Gold and Individual Silver Medalist Lauren Sammis will ride "A Tribute to Judy" in honor of her medal-winning mount's owner, Judy Guden, who died of cancer last year. The featured event is the Challenge competition pitting three teams of world-class riders against each other. Competition kicks off with nine Grand Prix show jumpers in the High Jump, followed by 18 Grand Prix dressage riders competing in the Musical Quadrilles.



2008 Challenge of the Americas Teams

Team USA Purina Mills

Quadrille: Lynda Alicki, Pamela Goodrich, Chris Hickey, Susan Jaccoma, Bent Jensen, and Betsy Steiner. Coach: George Williams. Choreographer: Terry Ciotti-Gallo of Klassic Kur. Jumpers: Todd Minikus, Candace King, Ashley Fleischhacker, and Emily Williams.

Team International Morgan Stanley

Quadrille: Marco Bernal, Patrick Burssens, Mikala Munter Gundersen, Karen Lipp, Cathy Morelli, and Silke Rembacz. Coach/Choreographer/Music: Beth Zimski. Soundtrack: Marlene Whitaker of Custom Freestyles, Inc. Jumpers: Eduardo Salas, Eric Flameng, and Darragh Kerrins.

Team Can/Am SSG Gloves

Quadrille Simone Williams, Jacqueline Paxton, Kayce Redmond, Chris Saunders, Tara Stegen, and Gary Vander Ploeg. Coach: Eva-Marie Pracht. Jumpers: Karen Cudmore, Ainsley Vince, and Erynn Ballard.

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. "National Anthem" - Ki-Juan Minors, 2008 Equestrian Idol

"Salute to America" - Steffen Peters, Olympic Team Bronze Medalist

6:45 p.m. "In Memory of Judy" - Lauren Sammis, Pan Am Team Gold & Individual Silver Medalist

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

TICKET INFORMATION

General Admission: $20

Tickets will be available at the Palm Beach Equestrian Center entrance gate starting at 5:30 pm on Saturday, March 8, 2008. General Admission seating is in the blue flip-up stadium style seats overlooking the International Arena. Dance Party in the International Arena with music by provided by Disc Jockey Jody McDonald of Miami, FL.

For information about the 2008 Challenge of the Americas, contact Mary Ross, COTA founder and chairman, at 561-852-2591.



PHOTO: Team USA Purina Mills Quadrille. PHOTO CREDIT: Susan J. Stickle

 

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