COTA Fantasy Team Challenge—An Imaginary Competition Comprised of Actual Horse-and-Rider Combinations Competing in Actual USEF Shows—Kicks Off
RELEASE: November 8, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Phelps Media Group
"Football and basketball fans have been doing this for years, and now horse sport fans can have online fantasy teams," said Mary Ross, founder of the Challenge of the Americas (COTA) Fantasy Team Challenge. "If you've ever dreamed about creating the perfect team of dressage riders or show jumpers, and including yourself or a stable pal in the mix, this is the opportunity. It's fun, exciting and for a good cause." The COTA Fantasy, a benefit for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), launched November 5, at www.challengeoftheamericas.com
Participants create a "dream team" of four actual dressage riders or show jumpers. The team can include your favorite riders at all levels of competition, from anywhere in the U.S. or from other countries—any rider competing within the U.S. and participating in at least three USEF-sanctioned competitions is eligible for team selection. The team sponsors can be individuals, groups, or businesses. Sponsors enroll in the COTA Fantasy Team Challenge Series online by making a donation of $150 to the BCRF when they select their team.
"It's not necessary to request a rider's participation and it doesn't matter if someone else has also selected a certain rider—it's an imaginary competition and you can select any rider you want for your team," explained Ross. "We've run numerous tests on the Fantasy and the feedback has been exhilarating! People love the idea and are so excited about this—they can't wait to play for real!"
The 'Fantasy Team' sponsors follow their riders' USEF competitions and scores for the allotted months of the Challenge's Winter or Summer timeframe, and enter scores from three USEF shows for each rider on www.challengeoftheamericas.com. Sponsors use the USEF show number obtained by a link to the USEF site. The scores are tabulated in an equation, which ultimately produces the final score and reveals the winning team. The sponsors of the top three teams in both the dressage and jumping contests will be awarded prizes for first, second, and third place in the 2008 COTA Fantasy Team Challenge Series.Timeframe:
The COTA Fantasy Team Challenge Series will include both a Winter Fantasy and a Summer Fantasy, thereby providing everyone within the U.S. the opportunity to sponsor a Fantasy Team. The Winter Series will begin on December 1, 2007, and end on March 31, 2008. The Summer Series begins on April 1, 2008, and ends on November 30, 2008. Fantasy Team Riders:
All riders competing within the U.S. and participating in at least three USEF-sanctioned shows qualify for Fantasy Team selection. Riders can be from anywhere around the world, but they must be competing within the U.S. at sanctioned USEF shows during the time of the Fantasy Series.Fantasy Team Divisions:
The COTA Fantasy Team Challenge Series includes all levels of competition within the equestrian sports of dressage and show jumping. Each Fantasy Team Sponsor must select two Horse/Rider (H/R) combinations from each of the following divisions for either dressage or show jumping: Fantasy Dressage Team Divisions include:
Grand Prix; Intermediaire or Prix St. Georges; Fourth or Third Level (non-professionals only); and Second or First Level (non-professionals only). All dressage tests, except the freestyle, qualify in each of the dressage levels. Fantasy Jumper Team Divisions include:
Grand Prix, Amateur Owner Jumper, Adult Amateur Jumper and Junior Jumper. All classes within each of the Jumper Divisions qualify for team participation. Substitute Riders:
Sponsors are allowed one 'First Choice H/R' and one 'Reserve Choice H/R' so that the Reserve can be substituted if the sponsor's First Choice H/R is unable to complete the required three USEF-sanctioned competitions. Bonus Points:
The final team score