Team Purina Practicing for the 2018 Challenge of the Americas

Team Purina (left to right standing) Terry Ciotti Gallo, Shiela Conde, Bill Warren (eft to right astride) Pamela Goodrich, Kimberly Herslow, Charlotte Bredahl, George Williams, Betsy Steiner, Kasey Perry-Glass, Team Purina’s coach Bill Warren and freestyle choreographer Terry Ciotti Gallo. Photo by Sue Weakley

Team Purina’s dressage riders, choreographer and coach are keen on capturing the win for the March 9 return of the Challenge of the Americas (COTA). Back after a year’s hiatus, the 2018 COTA will feature five teams of top dressage riders competing in Grand Prix freestyle quadrilles set to music, all to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through their partner Play for P.I.N.K.

Team Purina, sponsored by Purina Animal Nutrition in conjunction with Red Barn Feed and Supply, is led by choreographer Terry Ciotti Gallo and coach Bill Warren. The riders practice their pattern at Betsy Juliano’s Havensafe Farm in Wellington, Florida. Team members Charlotte Bredahl, Pamela Goodrich, Kimberly Herslow, Kasey Perry-Glass, Betsy Steiner and George Williams are laser-focused on claiming bragging rights by winning the most popular charity event of the 2018 South Florida show season.

This year’s Challenge will be held at the Global Dressage Festival’s International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington.

Freestyle choreographer Terry Ciotti Gallo, owner of Klassic Kur LLC, has been designing patterns and crafting the music for COTA since its inception. She has created freestyles for some of the biggest names in dressage including Steffen Peters, Laura Graves, Debbie McDonald, Adrienne Lyle, Guenter Seidel, Charlotte Bredahl and George Williams.

Team Purina’s coach Bill Warren and freestyle choreographer Terry Ciotti Gallo. Photo by Sue Weakley

“I have been with this fundraiser since it started in 2002,” she said. “It was a single pas de trois then, but every year it gets better and better because of the great leadership and imagination of founder Mary Ross. This year will be no exception. It is an honor for me to be part of the event, to work with all the volunteers – especially the riders who trailer in every week for practice – and to acknowledge our sponsor Purina, who has supported us for years.”

Charlotte Bredahl, Kimberly Herslow, Pamela Goodrich, George Williams and Betsy Steiner work on their spacing. Photo by Sue Weakley

“All the horseman believe in Mary’s efforts to help breast cancer research,” said Shiela Conde, the South Florida Equine Specialist for Purina Animal Nutrition. “We really like being involved. Everyone is invested in the quality and commitment to the cause as well as the passion that goes into it and they all come together as a team.”

She said the pre-party was created to thank the riders, support teams and horses for their dedication of time and talent. Purina donates food and beverages in a comfortable place to gather before the event as well as goodies for the horses and riders.

“The goal was to make all the horsemen and their horses feel appreciated,” she said. “The energy before the competition is amazing and the Challenge of the Americas is an event that we are truly excited and happy to sponsor.”

Kasey Perry-Glass, Betsy Steiner and Kimberly Herslow focus on instructions. Photo by Sue Weakley

The Challenge of the Americas Goes Global in 2018​

The Challenge of the Americas (COTA) is back after a year’s hiatus and we’re busting down borders! Not only is COTA returning to help find a cure for breast cancer, it’s so big, it’s going global.

COTA’s signature six-rider Grand Prix Quadrille Team Challenge will be held live on March 9 at the world-renowned Global Dressage Festival (GDF) show grounds in Wellington, Florida, and for the first time, it’s also being live-streamed via the Chronicle TV. To add more excitement, the competition will break down borders when one of the teams competes via video from Holland.

Six Dutch Grand Prix riders are thrilled to join in the first Challenge of the Americas international event to help find an end to breast cancer. Their freestyle will be prerecorded and they’ll join Wellington-based Team Back on Track, Team Canada, Team Purina, and Team Winged Foot via the big screen in the GDF International Arena.

Another global touch will showcase the beauty and elegance of the PRE horse as riders from Hampton Green Farm kick off the evening with a musical freestyle quadrille.

“It’s time we went global,” said COTA founder Mary Ross. “Breast cancer knows no boundaries and to help end breast cancer, we need to raise more donations ear-marked for breast cancer research. The best way for us to do this is to reach out to equestrians in other locations for their support.”

Funds from ticket sales, sponsorships and donations will go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation through their partner Play for P.I.N.K The mission of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is to prevent and cure breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research.

“We are extremely proud of our partnership with the Challenge of the Americas and indebted to everyone involved in wanting to see the end of breast cancer,” said Stephanie Hamburger, Executive Director of Play for P.I.N.K., a volunteer organization dedicated to raising funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). “The Challenge of the Americas’ support is critical to the research-funding capability of BCRF. The money raised will impact the lives of countless individuals and families affected by the disease.”

Join us Friday, March 9 to see the Challenge of the Americas at the Global Dressage Festival showgrounds and help us put an end to breast cancer.