Stadium Jumping's $200,000 American Invitational Remains a Winter Equestrian Festival Tradition in Tampa
RELEASE: January 10, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Phelps Media Group
The city of Tampa, FL, will once again play host to the final weeks of this year's Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), starting on March 19, 2008, at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.
The festival, the nation's oldest and largest equestrian extravaganza, is celebrating its 37th season of equestrian excellence. The Tampa portion of the festival, produced by the equestrian production company, Stadium Jumping, Inc., also plays host to the grand finale of the winter-long series, the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational CSI****, under the lights at Raymond James Stadium, on April 5, 2008.
Over the years, the American Invitational has been recognized as the crown jewel of American show jumping, and year in and year out, it has been one of its toughest tests.
The $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, at Raymond James Stadium, brings together a star-studded international group of equestrians to compete for one of the richest purses in all of show jumping. The unique invitation-only format assures the best possible starting field.
U.S. Olympic Team Gold medalists Beezie Madden and Authentic and McLain Ward on Sapphire, one-two finishers in last year's American Invitational, will return to fight it out again this year. Madden, who rode to victory in 2005 and again last year, will attempt to become one of the few three-time winners of this classic with a victory in 2008.
Canada's Ian Millar, the most storied of all Olympians with 10 appearances, finished third last year in Tampa with In Style and plans to return and improve on that performance in 2008.
This trio of equestrian superstars will be challenged by one of the toughest starting fields ever assembled for a show jumping competition.
During the three weeks of competitions held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center leading up to the main event, the world's best riders will be in heated and head-to-head competition for the 30 available spots on the roster for the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational. Riders will also be fighting for the seven coveted openings on the squad for the 2008 Rolex FEI World Cup Finals, to be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, on April 24-27, 2008.
The stakes will once again be high when show jumping excitement returns to Tampa Bay in March. American Invitational Champions Over the Years
1973 $15,000 American Invitational
Rodney Jenkins & Idle Dice
1974 $15,000 American Invitational
Michelle McEvoy & Sundance
1975 $15,000 American Invitational
Michelle McEvoy & Sundance
1976 $15,000 American Invitational
Robert Ridland & Southside
1977 $15,000 American Invitational
Terry Rudd & Mr. Demeanor
1978 $25,000 American Invitational
Norman Dello Joio & Allegro
1979 $30,000 Anheuser-Busch American Invitational
Rodney Jenkins & Third Man
1980 $35,000 Anheuser-Busch American Invitational
Bernie Traurig & Eaden Vale
1981 $50,000 Anheuser-Busch American Invitational
Buddy Brown & Felton
1982 $50,000 Anheuser-Busch American Invitational
Melanie Smith & Calypso
1983 $50,000 Anheuser-Busch American Invitational
Katie Monahan & Noren
1984 $100,000 Anheuser-Busch American Invitational
Leslie Burr & Albany
1985 $100,000 Michelob American Invitational
Katie Monahan & The Governor
1986 $100,000 Michelob American Invitational
Tim Grubb & Linky
1987 $100,000 Michelob American Invitational
Lisa Jacquin & For The Moment
1988 $100,000 Michelob American Invitational
Katie Monahan-Prudent & Special Envoy
1989 $100,000 Michelob American Invitational
Greg Best & Gem Twist
1990 $100,000 Michelob American Invitational
David Raposa & Seven Wonder
1991 $100,000 Michelob American Invitational
George Lindemann & Three's & Seven's
1992 $100,000 Budwe