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Press Release


Team Merrill Lynch

Team Merrill Lynch working hard on perfecting their dressage quadrille.

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The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch Supports Dressage Quadrille Team

Written by: Annan Hepner
Client: Challenge of the Americas
Release Date: 2016-02-18

Wellington, FL – February 18, 2016 – A top-notch team sponsored by The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch returns to this year’s Challenge of the Americas (COTA) to wow the crowd with their impressive dressage quadrille while raising funds to help defeat breast cancer. The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch has been a supporter of the one-of-a-kind event for 10 years. COTA will be held March 11 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida.

Josh Parker, one of the principals of The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch, noted that sponsoring COTA is worthwhile on multiple levels. He believes that with a team effort, a cure for breast cancer will be discovered.

“We have all been touched by cancer by some way or another, and we want to give back to help the cause,” Parker said. “If we all do our part, I believe we can beat this disease in the future.”

COTA raises funds to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through their partner Play for P.I.N.K. (Preventing, Immediate Diagnosis, New Technology, Knowledge), and patrons come back year after year to support the cause. The evening is an annual highlight of the Wellington equestrian season, providing much-needed funding for lifesaving research.

“It is pretty remarkable that it raises so much awareness and funds,” Parker explained. “Giving back to the community, raising vital research funds and the good feeling that it creates are really the most important aspects. It’s fun to have a team and root for their success because we feel like we are truly a part of the event. We like to help build camaraderie with our clients in a philanthropic fashion.”

During the 2016 COTA, teams of elite international dressage riders will perform complex routines to music. They will be joined by top show jumpers who will face off to earn additional points for the teams. Team Merrill Lynch looks to take back the top prize after winning in 2013 and 2014. They will go up against Team Purina, who is defending their title from 2015, and Team Back on Track, a more recent addition to the COTA lineup.

The 2016 Team Merrill Lynch consists of Marco Bernal, Susanne Hamilton, Shannon Dueck, Nancy Later Lavoie, Luis Reteguiz Denizard and Melanie Cerny. Ruth Hogan Poulsen and Melissa MacLaren are the choreographers and coaches.

“The Challenge of the Americas is a whole lot of fun with the dressage and jumping entertainment, dinner and dancing,” Parker said. “It seems like every year they’re adding something new to make it entertaining."

Fast Facts: 2016 Challenge of the Americas

Friday, March 11, 2016
5:30 p.m.     VIP Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres
6:00 p.m.     Opening ceremonies
6:10 p.m.     Challenge of the Americas Competition
7:30 p.m.     Award Presentation
7:45 p.m.     The Challenge Gala: Dinner and Dancing

International Polo Club Palm Beach
3667 120th Avenue South
Wellington, FL 33414

Ticket Information:
Mary Ross
Challenge of the Americas website

Ticket Prices:
VIP Tables of 10: price includes competition and gala dinner and dancing         
Gold Patron: $6,500 per table 
Silver Patron: $4,500 per table
Bronze Patron: $2,500 per table
Partners for Pink: $1,500 special sponsorship package that includes two VIP tickets along with advertising and media promotion
Individual seating: $250 per person 

General admission seating: $20 per person at the gate
General admission is free for children 12 and under

Media Contact:
Phelps Media Group
Annan Hepner
(561) 753-3389



The Challenge of the Americas Beneficiary:
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation through their partner Play for P.I.N.K.
Play for P.I.N.K. website:
BCRF website:

International Polo Club Palm Beach 
Purina Animal Nutrition 
The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch
Havensafe Farm 
Cherry Knoll Farm
Cunningham & Cunningham 
Back on Track
Diamante Farms Dressage

Partners for Pink:
The Tackeria
Weiss Family Chiropractic Center
Laura King Hypnosis 
Flamingo Clay Studio
Suzanne Dansby of Dancing Horse Farm
Wellington Classic Dressage
Tree Free Wood LLC
Oak Meadows Farm
Serenity Insurance Agency
Betsy Lindsay, Inc
JetStream Ground Services, Inc
Horsepower Team of BHHS Florida Realty


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