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Press Release


Team Purina's captain Pam Goodrich warms up with Jennifer Marchand. Photo by Annan Hepner

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Challenge of the Americas Choreographers Design Quality Quadrilles

Written by: Annan Hepner
Client: Challenge of the Americas
Release Date: 2016-03-11

Wellington, FL - March 11, 2016 - Terry Ciotti Gallo, Tigger Montague, Ruth Hogan Poulsen and Heather Bender have dedicated many hours to creating the world-class dressage quadrilles that will be on display tonight at the 2016 Challenge of the Americas. With the assistance of these talented choreographers, the Challenge of the Americas can provide thrilling entertainment to spectators while raising money to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) through their partner Play for P.I.N.K.

Team Purina's choreographer, Terry Ciotti Gallo, has been involved with the Challenge since the inaugural event in 2002. She was motivated to take part because of breast cancer's broad reach.  

"I don't think there is anybody who is unaffected by cancer," Gallo explained. "It is important that we continue our development in terms of research."

After Team Purina won last year, Gallo is aiming to wow the crowd again. An episode of American Idol inspired this year's music selection. She worked with Betsy Steiner and Pam Goodrich, Team Purina's captain, to design the routine and help lead their team practices.

"I have so much respect for my riders," Gallo said. "They are all professionals who donate their time out of their busy schedules. I also appreciate the owners who allow the riders to use their horses. We cannot do this event without their contributions."
Tigger Montague designed the choreography and music for Team Back on Track this year.

"My process is to pick the music first, and then I let the music give me ideas for the choreography," Montague said. "I am not making the music fit the choreography; the choreography is a result of the music. I get an intuitive feeling because the Challenge is very much an audience event, and I was driven to music that I knew the audience could connect with and relate to."

The choreographer for Team Merrill Lynch, Ruth Hogan Poulsen, has been involved with the design of the Challenge's dressage quadrilles for the past 10 years.

"My mom is a breast cancer survivor of 35 years, and that is very close to my heart," Poulsen said. "There are so many of us who have friends, neighbors, and family who are touched by cancer, so the least I can do is put in all this time and energy to do the Challenge."

While the other two choreographers often have a rough outline of their routine prior to the first week of practice, Poulsen likes to get her riders very involved in the music selection and the patterns for the routine.

"I show up with my riders at the first meeting in mid-January, and they give me input since I don't have music or movements then," she said. "This year, our theme on the back of our shirts is 'We Cancer-vive,' so all the pieces of music are about survival."
Along with the three dressage quadrilles competing for top honors at the Challenge of the Americas, Heather Bender has created an entertaining exhibition pas de trois. The FEI trio is very rare due to their cremello color. The riders will be dressed as the Pink Ladies of Grease for their Friday night performance.

"It is one of the most fun events that I have been involved in, and what makes it special is that we can raise money for breast cancer research," Bender said. "The whole event is so beautiful and so much fun for everybody. There are top class horses and riders, so it's all quality, but it's done for fun, so we have a great time!"

Fast Facts: 2016 Challenge of the Americas

When: 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 Reality
Kimberly Dianne Ritchie  


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