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Purina Mills Returns as Sponsor of Team USA at Challenge of the Americas

WELLINGTON, FL – February 9, 2007 – Purina Mills returns for the second consecutive year as sponsor of Team USA at the PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas Presented by Collecting Gaits Farm. The PhelpsSports Challenge will be held on Saturday evening, March 10, 2007, at International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida. An annual fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the PhelpsSports Challenge features teams competing in Grand Prix dressage musical freestyles and new for this year, a high jump competition.

Last year, Team Purina Mills USA, comprised of eight top dressage riders, won the Challenge after two rounds of competition consisting of a two-horse Pas de Deux and a six-horse Quadrille. The exciting musical freestyle contest drew 1,600 spectators to the competition and 600 patrons to the Challenge Gala Dinner/Dance that followed. All told, the 2006 event raised over $225,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

“I am absolutely thrilled to welcome back Purina Mills as the sponsor for Team USA,” said Mary Ross, founder and co-chair of the PhelpsSports Challenge. “Purina Mills was essential to the success of the event last year and their continued support is very gratifying. It is so important for the teams participating in the PhelpsSports Challenge to receive corporate sponsorship, especially from a world-renowned company like Purina Mills, which enables us to provide a topnotch event to the fans.”

Purina Mills is a manufacturer of prepared animal feeds, well known for its equine products. Fernando Palacios, president of Purina Mills, and Nancy Shearer, event marketing manager for Purina Mills, shared their thoughts on the company’s involvement with the PhelpsSports Challenge.

President Palacios explained first of all why Purina Mills chose to sponsor Team USA for the second year at the PhelpsSports Challenge. “The Challenge provides an opportunity to interact with our target customers while supporting a worthy cause,” Palacios said. “We believe in doing good while doing well. The event is a win for our customers and the other accomplished teams that participate, a win for our strong Purina Mills brand and the promotion of our leading equine feed products, and a win for the advancement of breast cancer research.”

Marketing Manager Shearer noted that last year’s Challenge proved to be an excellent event for the company not only because they sponsored the winning USA team, but also because of the relationships formed with the participants. “We started great relationships with the team members and some of the coaches, and Mary Ross and everybody associated with the Challenge,” Shearer said. “It was a great event for us to get involved in so we definitely wanted to return for the second year.”

Both Palacios and Shearer feel that the sponsorship Purina Mills provides will have a positive impact on creating awareness of breast cancer and breast cancer research.

“It is our hope that by sponsoring the Challenge, and joining the many others who sponsor, promote and support the elite event, we are helping to make a difference in the quest for a cure,” President Palacios said.

Shearer noted that the contribution Purina Mills makes, plus the publicity the event generates, and the fact that many of the riders are very knowledgeable about breast cancer research, all help to create an impact. “And not only financially but within the horse community the event brought more awareness to everybody that is associated with horses,” Shearer pointed out.

The PhelpsSports Challenge schedule of festivities 
includes a full evening of entertainment, kicking off with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for patrons and sponsors before the competition, more than an hour of thrilling competition that includes a Team High Jump, and exciting Grand Prix dressage musical performances both in the two-horse Pas de Deux and the six-horse Quadrilles, topped off by an impressive awards ceremony, and then the spectacular Challenge Gala 
with dinner, dancing, and a silent auction.

The PhelpsSports Challenge entertainment/sport/social event package is one that sponsor Purina Mills is complimentary about from all aspects.

“This event provides all three facets: great entertainment provided by great athletes in support of a great cause,” summed up President Palacios.

Shearer cited Wellington as an excellent venue for the package because of the strong horse community in the area and the number of prestigious people associated with these equestrian events. “Putting together this kind of entertainment/social event package was just excellent,” Shearer enthused. “And also bringing the awareness to breast cancer and generating funds for cancer research.”

With the success of the 2006 event, Purina Mills is looking forward with high expectations for the 2007 PhelpsSports Challenge. “We hope that we can continue to increase support for breast cancer research while gaining positive brand recognition, attract new users through coupons and marketing support and help support the overall sport,” said Palacios.

Shearer shared that she is hoping that the 2007 PhelpsSports Challenge will be even more successful than it was last year with the inclusion of jumping. “Both the jumping and the dressage will be huge, huge draws for the people in the community, so we’re expecting bigger and better things for this year. I’m sure Mary Ross will bring them on!” Shearer emphasized. “I feel that it is a great social event and awareness program for the community in Wellington and that it will keep growing and growing. It will probably even outgrow the polo field in my opinion!”

Purina Mills Joins the Growing List of “PhelpsSports Challenge” Sponsors

As the official sponsor of Team USA Purina Mills at the PhelpsSports.com Challenge, Purina Mills joins the list of generous sponsors, including:


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

UBS Financial Services Inc.


International Polo Club Palm Beach

HorseSport USA

Klassic Kur

Equestrian Graphics


Palm Beach Equine

Red Barn Feed & Supply

Cunningham & Cunningham Livestock, Inc.

Fidelity Federal Bank & Trust

King Ferry Winery

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


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

7:45 p.m. Awards

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


Gold Table Patron: $6,500 
Premier seating for 10 at the PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas and The Challenge Gala; Patron table signage; Gold Level acknowledgement in invitations, event programs and on promotional posters displayed throughout the Wellington community.

Silver Table Patron: $4,000 
Prominent seating for 10 at the PhelpsSports.com 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: $2,500 
VIP seating for 10 at the PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas and The Challenge Gala.

Individual Patron: $250 
VIP seating at the PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas and The Challenge Gala.

Patron and Sponsor seating will be served cocktails and hors d'oeuvres during Challenge competition sponsored by Fidelity Federal Bank & Trust.

General Admission Tickets: 
General Admission seating for the competition will be available at the gate for $20 per ticket.


For tickets, table reservations, and information about the 2007 PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, visit http://www.challengeoftheamericas.com. For detailed information and sponsorship opportunities, contact 
Mary Ross at 561-852-2591.

PHOTO CAPTION: Team USA Purina Mills rider Tami Hoag receives trophy for the winning Pas de Deux that clinched victory for her team at the 2006 Challenge. PHOTO CREDIT: SusanJStickle.com.


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