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Polo Coming To Traverse City at Horse Shows by the Bay

Horse Shows by the Bay brings Michigan vs. Michigan State polo match to northern Michigan

Traverse City, MI - June 16, 2008 - Traverse City's own world-class equestrian event, Horse Shows by the Bay, announced that it will bring the storied sport and spectacle of polo to Traverse City. The region's first ever polo match will be a charity exhibition between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University co-ed polo teams on Friday, August 1, at 6 p.m. The event will raise funds for both teams.

The polo match is open to the public and tickets can be purchased at the door for $5.

The event will be held in the new Team Elmers competition ring at Flintfields Horse Park on Bates Road in Williamsburg, the site of the three-week long Horse Shows festival to be held July 16-August 3.

Commenting on the special announcement, Horse Show Organizer Alex Rheinheimer said, "This event is going to be a spectacle in every sense. We're delighted to be working with both Michigan State and Michigan to build an event that will include sporting competition, high fashion, the rivalry of Michigan and Michigan State, and more. We're looking forward to a fantastic evening."

To top off the polo match, attendees are also invited to participate in a first-ever hat contest. Prize money totaling $500 will be awarded in four categories: Most Over the Top, Best Team Spirit MSU, Best Team Spirit U of M, and Silliest. The Silliest category will be open to kids only. The hat contest will be sponsored by Meadowview Farm and The Johnson Family of Grand Rapids.

In addition to polo, the three-week long festival will also include competitions for hunters, jumpers, and dressage and award prize money in excess of $360,000. Other events this year include Local Rider Competition Day, scheduled for Tuesday, July 29, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Kid's Day on Saturday, July 19, when all visitors under age 18 are admitted free and can enjoy such activities as horseless jumping, barn tours, face painting, dog agility, and demonstrations.

The public is invited to attend and experience the grace and excitement of equestrian competition each of the three weekends, as well as during the entire final week. Admission is $5 per person.

Polo, the oldest team sport, was originally used for training cavalry more than 2,000 years ago. The first recorded polo tournament was played in 600 BC between the Turkomans and the Persians. Today, polo is an international sport played in more than 60 countries across the world. There are more than 250 active polo clubs in the United States Polo Association and more than 50 million people worldwide enjoy the sport each year.

Additional horse show information can be found by calling 231.267.3700 or by visiting http://www.horseshowsbythebay.com.

Horse Shows by the Bay is sanctioned by the United States Equestrian Federation as "AA-Hunter/Level 4 Jumper" and is also recognized by the World Champion Hunter Rider Awards Program, Show Jumping Hall of Fame, North American League and the Young Jumper Championships. Feature events include four $5,000 Hunter Classics, weekly $25,000 Grand Prix, and a $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Challenge Derby Classic.

2008 HORSE SHOWS BY THE BAY FAST FACTS

EVENT: Horse Shows by the Bay

WHAT: A three week equestrian festival that is "AA" rated, World Champion Hunter Rider sanctioned, and hosts a $25,000 grand prix each week. Horse Shows by the Bay hosts 1,200 horses and offers more than $360,000 in prize money.

WHERE: Flintfields Horse Park, 6535 Bates Road, Williamsburg, MI 49690 - 10 miles east from the beautiful Resort town of Traverse City

WHEN: July 16-August 3, 2008

HIGHLIGHTS:

Friday, July 18, July 25, and Thursday, July 31

$10,000 Open Jumper Welcome Prix

Saturday, July 19

$10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Prix

$5,000 Adult Hunter Classic, sponsored by Lisa A.H. Cudahy

$5,000 Children's Hunter Classic, sponsored by Lisa A.H. Cudahy

Kid's Day Program

Sunday, July 20

$25,000 Spy Coast Farm Grand Prix of Traverse City

$5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic, sponsored by Lanes End

$5,000 Pony Hunter Classic, sponsored by Peter Pletcher

Saturday, July 26

$10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Prix

$10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by Janet P. Read - member event of the ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Dietrich Insurance, featuring Walsh Harness & Saddlery.

$1,000 Ride for the Ribbon 2'6" Non-Pro Hunter Classic

Sunday, July 27

$25,000 Grand Traverse Bay Grand Prix

Friday, August 1

University of Michigan vs. Michigan State University Polo Match & Charity Fundraiser

Saturday, August 2

$25,000 D-BRAIDER Cherry Capital Classic Grand Prix

Sunday, August 3

$10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Prix

$10,000 Children's/Adult Jumper Prix, sponsored by North Face Farm

ADDITIONAL WEEKLY FEATURES:

$2,500 Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classics

$2,500 Children's & Adult Jumper Classics

$3,000 NAL Open Speed Qualifiers

USEF "AA" Hunter Divisions

"A" & "C" Rated Hunter Classics

Young Jumper Championship Qualifiers

New Hunter Breeding Divisions

New Short Stirrup and Children's Pony Hunter Classics

Non-rated Hunter, Jumper, & Equitation Classes

Charity Fundraisers

Daily and Weekly Exhibitor Socials and Parties

HOURS:

Wednesday through Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m.

ADMISSION:

Wed and Thursday - Closed to the Public

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays - $5/person, Children under 5 are free

July 19 - Children under the age of 18 Free

General admission tickets can be purchased at the gate

PARKING: Available on-site; included in admission price

DIRECTIONS:

From South East Michigan (Detroit Area):

I-75 North to M-72 West (@ Grayling); Follow M-72 West through Kalkaska; @ Williamsburg continue 1.9 miles to Bates Road; after Rail Road Crossing turn right onto Bates Road; Show Facility on Left 1 mile

From Mid Michigan (Lansing Area):

Follow US-127 north to Clare; Merge onto M-10 Wes/M-115 West towards Ludington/Cadillac to Route 115 North; Merge onto M-131 North; Turn left onto Fife Lake Road/CR-605; Follow jog left staying on CR-605 to Williamsburg; Turn left on M-72 West; @ Williamsburg continue west 1.9 miles to Bates Road; after Rail Road Crossing turn right onto Bates Road; Show Facility on Left 1 mile

From South West Michigan (Grand Rapids Area):

East I-96 north to Grand Rapids; take US 131 north to Cadillac; Turn left onto Fife Lake Road/CR-605; Follow jog left staying on CR-605 to Williamsburg; Turn left on M-72 West; @ Williamsburg continue 1.9 miles to Bates Road; after Rail Road Crossing turn right onto Bates Road; Show Facility on Left 1 mile

From Northern Michigan (Petoskey Area):

US 31 South to Acme; East on M-72 3 miles; just prior to Railroad Tracks, turn left on Bates Road; Show Facility on Left 1 mile

From Traverse City:

Follow US 31 East to Acme; turn East on M-72 3 miles; just prior to Railroad tracks,

Turn left on Bates Road; Show Facility on Left 1 mile

By Air :

Use the Cherry Capital Airport-Traverse City; Follow Directions from TC

OFFICIAL HOST HOTEL:

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

Michigan's finest and most comprehensive resort experience, 3 miles west of Flintfields Horse Park, Group Block Rate expires May 16, 2008

http://www.grandtraverseresort.com

800-236-1577

FEATURE HOTEL:

Park Place Hotel

In the heart of downtown Traverse City's shopping and dining district, group block rate expires June 1, 2008

http://www.park-place-hotel.com

231-946-5000

ADDITONAL BLUE RIBBON HOST HOTELS:

Grand Beach Resort, 231-938-4455

Park Shore Resort, 231-947-3800

Sugar Beach Resort, 231-938-0100

Super 8- East Bay, 231-938-1887

Traverse Victorian Inn, 231-947-5525

Holiday Inn-West Bay, 800-888-8020

Pointes North Resort, 800-968-3422

Shanty Creek Resorts, 800-678-4111

Timber Ridge RV Resort, 800-909-2327

For all other Group Rates & Additional Hotel Listings, contact 1800-TRAVERS

STABLING/SPONSORSHIP CONTACT:

Alex Rheinheimer

561-723-6287

alexrheinheimer@aol.com

http://www.horsesportsbythebay.com



Photo Credit: The exciting and fun sport of polo is coming this year to Horse Shows by the Bay. Photo (C) 2008 Peter Llewellyn. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.

 

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