2008 Challenge of the Americas to be Held March 8 in International Arena at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
RELEASE: January 31, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Mary Hilton
The Challenge of the Americas, a horse sport spectacular featuring grand prix dressage and show jumping with a dinner/dance gala, returns to Wellington, FL, for the seventh consecutive year as a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The 2008 Challenge of the Americas will be held at the newly renovated Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, the home of the CN Winter Equestrian Festival, on Saturday night, March 8, 2008.
Competition will be held under the extraordinary new lights in the International Arena. The VIP Gala will be held in the International Club overlooking the International Arena, with catering by Tavern on the Green. A spectacular new addition to this year's VIP Gala will be dancing in the glamorous International Arena following the competition.
"I want to thank Mark and Katherine Bellissimo, our new Honorary Chairpersons, for their generosity to the Foundation and to the Challenge in providing the use of the facilities at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center," said Mary Ross, founder of the Challenge of the Americas. "It is one of the most exciting and spectacular venues in the world for horse sports, and we are thrilled to present the Challenge here. Dancing in the International Arena is going to be an absolute kick!"
The 2008 Challenge of the Americas will also feature new additions to the entertaining equestrian-focused format. Opening ceremonies will be included for the first time. In honor of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, a special equestrian "Salute to America" will launch the night. Then, to honor Judy Guden, one of dressage's most beloved owners who passed away recently, Lauren Sammis, Chris Hickey and Susan Dutta, Team Gold medalists at the 2007 Pan American Games, will ride a special musical freestyle tribute entitled "In Memory of Judy." Guden, with her husband Al Guden and their Hyperion Farm, owned Sammis' mount Sagacious HF, who won Individual Silver and Team Gold at the Pan Am Games. Guden died of cancer in November 2007. Judy is remembered for her love of horses and dressage.
Challenge of the Americas competition will take center stage next when Team USA, Team Canada and Team International face off for the title in this year's Challenge of the Americas. Each team is comprised of two show jumpers and six dressage riders.
The show jumpers will kick off the Challenge with a high jump contest that counts for 40% of the total score. The dressage riders will compete in the musical quadrille (six horses and six riders), which counts for 60% of the total score.
The Awards Ceremony will conclude the mounted action in the arena.
An installed dance floor in the International Arena will host the 750 capacity guests for the VIP Gala dance party. Master Disc Jockey Jody McDonald will spin his magic under the Florida night skies to wrap up the 2008 Challenge of the Americas.
"We have wonderful sponsors, a wonderful venue and 24 of the top riders in the world all helping to entertain the audience and raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation," said Ross. "This promises to be the biggest and best Challenge we've ever presented."
2008 Challenge Gala and general admission tickets are available.
Challenge Gala: VIP Gala Dinner and Dancing - Individual $250. Tables of eight: Bronze Level - $2,000; Silver Level - $4,500; and Gold Level - $6,500.
General Admission: Spectators can purchase the $20 General Admission tickets at the gate on the night of the event and will be seated in the special blue seats overlooking the International Arena.
For tickets, table reservations and information about the 2008 Challenge of the Americas, contact Mary Ross at (561) 852-2591.