We did it! All of us . . . 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 grandsstands packed to capacity with an enthusiastic and constantly clapping audience.
If you weren’t able to attend personally, we hope you enjoyed the amazing live stream provided by Chronicle TV. The Spectator Judging App, sponsored by IDA Development, was a great success with spectators 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, Miller 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: Hylofit, Purina, Gardy Bloemers, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, MatchNRide, and Winged Foot Enterprises. 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 spread the word. 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 IDA Farm, Florida Atlantic University Schmidt College of Medicine, Larks 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, Patti Thompson, 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.
And how about those riders? These accomplished athletes 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.
Holland-based Team MatchNRide performed via jumbotron with their military-themed quadrille choreographed by Marieke Verdonk. The team traveled from Holland to Wellington to join in the evening’s festivities. We can’t wait to see what you come up with next year!
Team Hylofit – when you came in to the arena the entire audience thought you were riding Clydesdales and there were whispers from the crowd that they had never seen Clydesdales move like that. 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 precise performance. Thank you 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.
Team Winged Foot – how creative was the rider jacket design spelling out FIND A CURE? The whole performance represented the fight against breast cancer with the pink sashes, bonnets and accessories. The intricate choreography was beautiful to watch. 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.