USET Foundation's Equestrian Application to 2008 Rose Parade Accepted; Olympians in Three Disciplines Will Ride on New Year's Day Before Millions
RELEASE: August 9, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Phelps Media Group
The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation's Equestrian Application to field a squad of 12 Olympic riders in the 2008 Rose Parade has been officially accepted by the Equestrian Committee of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. The USET Foundation will select four Olympians from each of the three Olympic disciplines (dressage, show jumping and eventing) to ride in the 119th Rose Parade on January 1, 2008, in Pasadena, CA. The USET Foundation squad will lead the floral float entered by the Beijing Olympic Games Committee.
The Rose Parade on New Year's Day is viewed by millions of people in more than 75 countries and almost one million spectators line the five-and-a-half mile parade route. The 119th edition of the Rose Parade kicks off on Tuesday, January 1, 2008, at 8 a.m. (PST). Following the Rose Parade, the 94th Rose Bowl Game starts at 2:00 p.m. and will be broadcast exclusively on ABC and on ESPN radio, showcasing the best of collegiate football.
The 2008 Rose Parade marks the first time in the 119-year history of the parade that all three Olympic equestrian disciplines have been represented.
"This is an extraordinary opportunity to showcase our Olympic equestrian sports to millions of people around the world," noted USET Foundation Executive Director Bonnie Jenkins. "In an Olympic year, this is perfect timing for our athletes to be in the spotlight."
The theme of the 119th Rose Parade is "Passport to the World's Celebrations," and will feature more than 300 horses representing various breeds, groups and disciplines, plus the pageantry and tradition of floral floats, and outstanding marching bands from around the world.
CL Keedy, President of the 2008 Pasadena Tournament of Roses, said, "I chose 'Passport to the World's Celebrations' as the theme for this coming Rose Parade because New Year's Day is a global celebration of the year to come. The Rose Parade provides the perfect opportunity to showcase traditions from around the world."
President Keedy added, "Every year on New Year's Day, the Rose Parade provides the world with a passport to our celebration, and I want our parade to give people a glimpse at other festive traditions around the world. It will be fun for our global audience to see the traditions of their culture parade down Colorado Boulevard on New Year's Day."
The USET Foundation's equestrians will parade in traditional Olympic show clothes representing their disciplines. The show jumpers will wear pink coats, dressage riders will wear shadbellies and top hats, and eventers will wear cross-country attire. The athletes will ride local mounts accustomed to parade work, contributed by USET Foundation supporters.
Mason Phelps, Jr., will coordinate the selection and donation of mounts for the Olympians representing the USET Foundation in the 2008 Rose Parade. Phelps rode in the 75th Rose Parade in 1963 with Mary Mairs and Frank Chapot as a troupe representing the Valley Hunt Club&mdashl;the founding organization of the Rose Parade. Earlier this year, Phelps' public relations firm, Phelps Media Group, Inc., International (PMG), submitted the 14-page Equestrian Application to the 2008 Rose Parade Equestrian Committee on behalf of the USET Foundation.
Peggy Phelps, a resident of Pasadena, will serve as on-site logistics organizer for the riders' housing. Peggy Phelps will also host a New Year's Day celebration for the athletes and guests following the parade.
"We are looking forward to participating in this very exciting and historic event," said USET Foundation President and CEO Jane Forbes Clark. "The exposure the Rose Parade will bring to the USET Foundation will be extremely helpful to our fundraising efforts on behalf of our high-performance athletes as they head for Beijing."