What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Team Purina USA Starts Weekly Practices for The Challenge of The Americas Freestyle Quadrille

February 06, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Team Purina USA practices quadrille for  The Challenge of The Americas. All Photos Phelps Media Group

Team Purina USA practices quadrille for
The Challenge of The Americas. All Photos Phelps Media Group


Wellington, FL-February 5, 2013-Team Purina USA for The Challenge of The Americas spends several hours every week at Betsy Juliano’s dressage facility, Havensafe Farm, practicing to unveil their unique quadrille freestyle at The Challenge, an event raising funds for breast cancer research.

The U.S. dream team, sponsored by Purina and made up of dressage superstars Pam Goodrich, Chris Hickey, Betsy Steiner, Bill Warren, George Williams and John Zopatti, was all smiles while working hard on their quadrille for The Challenge of the Americas, a fundraiser to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation through Play for P.I.N.K. on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. FEI riders from the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe will compete in a quadrille team challenge, and a gala with dinner and dancing follows the competition.



The Challenge of The Americas is celebrating its 11th year raising funds for breast cancer research and Purina is proud to sponsor the U.S. team. Kimberly James, the National Sponsorship, Events and Ambassador Manager for Purina, said the company is pleased to be a part of the event and has sponsored Team Purina USA since 2006.

“The Challenge of the Americas gives us an opportunity to support a great group working for a great cause,” she said. “Not only do we get to be involved in an entertaining evening showcasing some of the top dressage talent around but, more importantly, we have the opportunity to support the fundraising and breast cancer awareness efforts of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation & Play For P.I.N.K.”

Team Purina USA riders agreed that they enjoy the practice for The Challenge as well as working for the cause.

“It’s a way for me to give, plus there’s nothing like playing on the ponies with my friends for the best cause in the world. And it’s a blast,” said Goodrich, a dressage trainer and instructor for more than 30 years, who said she has been riding in The Challenge for eight or nine years. “It’s to celebrate those who have survived and to give hope to those who are in need.” Goodrich added that the mother of one of her young rider’s was just diagnosed with breast cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. “So, I’m doing it for her this time,” she said.

John Zopatti and Betsy Steiner do-si-do

John Zopatti and Betsy Steiner do-si-do

Zopatti, a United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Gold Medalist and the four-time winner of the Gold Coast Dressage Association’s Trainer of the Year award, also has reasons why he participates in the Challenge. “I am the single man in my family,” he said. “I have four sisters and my mom and I think it’s important to raise money and awareness for the cause.” He said he has ridden in the event for three or four years. “I love getting together with all the other professionals and this is one of the most fun times of the year,” he said.

Bill Warren, a USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medalist, judge and trainer, said he did this type of exhibition riding in the past and is enjoying doing it again. “I enjoy the camaraderie and the fact that it’s for breast cancer. It’s for a good cause and I want to support that cause,” he said. “Also, this is a group of horses that work well together and this team of six professionals support each other.”

USDF President George Williams agrees. “The camaraderie that this group has is outstanding and we look forward to being able to work together year after year after year because it’s just so much fun doing it,” he said. The event is special to Williams, whose sister did not survive breast cancer.

George Williams riding Betsy Juliano's Cleopatra .All photos By

George Williams riding Betsy Juliano’s Cleopatra .All photos By Phelps Media

Another team member, top FEI trainer and competitor Betsy Steiner, said she participates in the event for Challenge organizer Mary Ross, whose mother had breast cancer. “She started it for her mom and I support her 100 percent,” she said. “No. 1, I do it for that and No. 2, it’s so much fun to get together with friends and ride our horses and go out to do a performance.” She participated in the first Challenge when it started as a pas de trois and hasn’t missed one in 11 years.

Betsy Steiner sports a helmet with attached shades at  The Challenge of The Americas practice

Betsy Steiner sports a helmet with attached shades at
The Challenge of The Americas practice

The Challenge of The Americas

Fast Facts



The Challenge of The Americas (COTA), known throughout the equestrian world for its spectacular performances on horseback, returns for its 11th anniversary to continue its fight against breast cancer. This annual fundraiser is a one-of-a-kind affair that highlights the equestrian sport of dressage. Competing riders include the “Who’s Who” of top equestrian competitors in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe.

There are few, if any, places throughout the world where an audience can delight in the performances of such a large and distinguished group of riders and their magnificent equine partners. The Challenge of The Americas’ teams of international riders compete in quadrilles to world-class music and choreography in an effort to raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer. Proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through Play For P.I.N.K.



Saturday, March 9, 2013

5:30 p.m.        Cocktails and hors d’Oeuvres

6:15 p.m.        Opening Ceremonies

6:25 p.m.        Reining Freestyles and Pas de Deux

6:45 p.m.        Quadrille Team Challenge

7:30 p.m.        Award Presentation

7:45 p.m.        The Challenge Gala: Dinner and Dancing



Jim Brandon Equestrian Center

West Palm Beach, Florida




Back on Track Products

Cunningham & Cunningham Livestock, Inc.

International Polo Club Palm Beach


Merrill Lynch, The Seley Parker Group


Red Barn Feed & Supply


SSG Gloves

Steed Training


United States Dressage Federation

Wellington Classic Dressage


Ticket Information:

Mary Ross

8067 Montserrat Place

Wellington, FL 33414

(561) 433-0988


Ticket prices:

VIP Tables of 8:

Gold Patron                $6,500 per table

Silver Patron              $4,500 per table

Bronze Patron            $2,000 per table


VIP Individual Seating:

Competition and Gala (includes dinner and dancing)       $250 per person

Competition (includes hors d’oeuvres and cash bar)        $100 per person


General Admission seating $20 per person at the gate

Children 12 and under admitted free (General Admission)

News and Information:

Phelps Media Group

Sue Weakley

(561) 753-3389
12012 South Shore Blvd., Suite 105
Wellington, FL 33414






The Challenge of The Americas Beneficiaries:

Play for P.I.N.K.

Play for P.I.N.K.® (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology, Knowledge) is a grassroots organization dedicated to raising funds to fight breast cancer, by creating and promoting awareness of breast cancer through sporting and lifestyle events including men’s and women’s golf tournaments, tennis, swimming, card games, equestrian events, and shopping benefits.  Our commitment is to contribute 100% of all funds raised to our beneficiary, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. In 2012, PFP donated $4 million to BCRF for a cumulative total of $29.75 million. For more information about PFP, visit  www.playforpink.org.

Website: www.playforpink.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/playforpink

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Website: www.bcrfcure.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheBreastCancerResearchFoundation