2019 Challenge of the Americas

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Want to show your support for your favorite team? Click here to go to the Play for P.I.N.K. donation page. When you see the area where you fill in the event you would like to support, type in “COTA 2019: (your favorite team).” Team choices include Team Gardy Bloemers, Team Hylofit, Team MatchNRide, Team Purina or Team Winged Foot. You can choose any amount you’d like and we’ll report the outcome. It’s that simple!
Acclaimed as
Best Yet!
We did it! All of us . . .we did it again! And it was bigger, better and even more spectacular than ever. The quadrille teams stepped up their performances (if that’s even possible) and put on a show that thrilled the 500 VIP guests and the sold-out General Admission grandstands packed to capacity with an enthusiastic, and constantly clapping, crowd.
If you weren’t able to attend in person, we hope you caught the amazing live stream provided by Chronicle TV. If not, it’s still available online. The Spectator Judging App, sponsored by IDA Development, was a great success with spectators and fans from around the world voting for their favorite teams.
During the pre-event exhibitions, we enjoyed the upbeat music and jumping quadrille performed beautifully by the first family of jumping, Millar Brooke Farm, with riders Charlotte McLaughlin, Amy Millar, Jonathon Millar and Kelly Soleau-Millar. And we laughed at the delightful skit by Shining Moments, performed by Jordan Osborne and Londyn Pachota, participants in Lendon Gray’s Winter Intensive Training program. That pony really had all the moves and Tigger Montague and Pati Pierucci were hilarious commentators!
Thank you to the Challenge team sponsors: Gardy Bloemers/Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Hylofit, MatchNRide, Purina, and Winged Foot Enterprises. As team sponsors, you make it possible for us to continue our fight against breast cancer.
Thanks to Cunningham & Cunningham Livestock Insurance for protecting the COTA benefit with the best insurance coverage possible and, to our media partner, the United States Dressage Federation, for partnering with us to for helping us spread the word and challenge breast cancer. BioStarUS and its owner, Tigger Montague, went above and beyond to make the evening a rousing success and Back On Track came through again as a valued supporter.
We are so grateful to the Pink Patrons: Florida Atlantic University Schmidt College of Medicine, IDA Farm, Lark’s Home Run and Oak Meadows Farm. Thank you Partners for P.I.N.K. AmFund, EquiJet, Summit Performance, Susan J. Stickle Photography, The Horse Of Course, The Tackeria and Van Dell Jewelers.
The COTA Committee was in overdrive for months before the event to ensure a fabulous evening. Thank you Paula Beauchesne, Sophie Ghedin, Eileen Johnston, Terri Kane, Ilona Klimek, Randy Leoni, Mary Ross, Alex Rozboril, Elizabeth Stauber-Johnson, Cathy Tarantini, Sue Weakley, Barbara Wolff, Kim York and Lily Zilo. And we must not forget the volunteers, a special group of individuals who provided invaluable assistance by keeping on-site operations running smoothly throughout the evening’s festivities.
There are so many unsung heroes who donated their time and money to this event and we can never thank you enough for your support.
And how about those riders? These accomplished athletes and their talented horses gave their all. For two months, each team of riders met every week without fail to practice their routines. Together with the talented choreographers and coaches, they developed, planned and perfected their fabulous performances and made March 8 an evening to remember.
Holland-based Team MatchNRide performed via jumbotron for us with their military- themed quadrille choreographed by Marieke Verdonk. The team even traveled from Holland to Wellington again this year to join in the evening’s festivities. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next year!
When Team Hylofit came in to the arena, the entire audience thought they were riding Clydesdales and there were whispers from the crowd that they had never seen draft horses move like that. The costume details were half-time worthy. Now we all want a dressage draft horse! Thank you for bringing in fresh ideas and thanks to choreographer and rider Melissa MacLaren Velix, riders Meagan Davis, Heidi Degele, Nicholas Hansen, Molly Paris, Caleb Scroggins and Hylofit’s Secret Weapon, Jacquie Brooks.
Team Purina – you took us back in time with the best music of the 70s. The audience was singing and clapping along with the team’s precise performance. Thanks for providing the moon glow as Jupiter aligned with Mars at the Global Dressage Festival Stadium. We loved the peace sign halt and salute! Thank you, too, choreographer and coach Terry Ciotti Gallo along with coach Bill Warren and riders Pamela Goodrich, Bent Jensen, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz, Kasey Perry-Glass, Betsy Steiner and George Williams.
Once again, Team Winged Foot wowed us with their signature rider jacket designs that punctuated their elegant attire and, this year, they spelled out “FIND A CURE.” The audience loved figuring it out as they wove though their intricate choreography set to the rousing (and singable!) music of Queen. Thank you choreographer and coach Ruth Hogan-Poulsen and coach Susanne Hamilton along with riders Marco Bernal, Raúl Corchuelo, Shannon Dueck, Bridget Hay, Yvonne Losos de Muñiz and Ilse Schwarz.
The last team to go, Team Gardy Bloemers, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, blew the audience away with their daring and creative choreography by Tigger Montague and music from “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Decked out in full costume, Jack Sparrow (aka James Koford), along with pirates and wenches Lauren Chumley, Rebecca Cowden, Allison Kavey, Betsy Van Dyke and Noel Williams performed thread-the-needle canter half-pass sequences that were thrilling and brought the audience to their feet. Congratulations Team Gardy Bloemers, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management for winning the 2019 Challenge of the Americas quadrille competition!
As we bask in the afterglow of the 2019 Challenge of the Americas, the teams are already discussing their strategies and we are planning to continue the fight to #challengebreastcancer and help find a for a cure for breast cancer in 2020. We can’t wait to see you there!