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ATTACHED PHOTOS

The American Invitational is held rain or shine. McLain Ward and Sapphire won last year and overcame great odds.

Click on the above photos for details and a high resolution version.

Photographs may be used free of charge only in relation to the PMG press releases they pertain to.

Tampa Showdown! Budweiser American Invitational Qualifying Battle Narrowed to Three Key Classes

Written by: Kenneth Kraus
Client: American Invitational http://www.stadiumjumping.com/sj/index.cfm
Release Date: 2009-01-20

Top Show Jumpers in Tampa will go head to head for a spot in America�s premier equestrian event

Tampa, FL - January 20, 2009 - The city of Tampa, Florida, will once again play host to Stadium Jumping Inc.�s Tampa Equestrian Festival, starting on March 18 and continuing through April 4 at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, FL.

The highlight and concluding event of this year�s festival is the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, the nation�s premier outdoor show jumping event and a Tampa tradition for 37 years. Show jumping�s main event will be held under the lights at Raymond James Stadium, the site of this year�s Super Bowl, on April 4, 2009.

Over the years, the American Invitational has been recognized as the crown jewel of American show jumping, and year in and year out, it has been one of its toughest tests.

The $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational brings together a star-studded international group of equestrians to compete for one of the richest purses in all of show jumping. The unique invitation-only format assures the best possible starting field.

And for the first time this year, the Tampa Equestrian Festival will be the only location for qualifying events, making those competitions more important and more competitive than ever before.

Based on money won in these three classes - the $35,000 Tampa Bay Welcome Stake, CSI 2* on March 26, the $75,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier & Grand Prix of Tampa CSI 2*-W on March 29, and the $35,000 Grand Prix of Florida on March 31, the top 27 money winners will advance to Raymond James Stadium to battle it out for their chance at a part of the $200,000 in prize money.

The starting field on that first Saturday night in April is already guaranteed to be a impressive affair, with automatic invitations being issued to last year�s Budweiser American Invitational champion McLain Ward, plus the other three members of this year�s Olympic Gold Medal Show Jumping team from Hong Kong: Beezie Madden, Laura Kraut and Will Simpson. In addition, the Individual Gold Medalist, Eric Lamaze of Canada, has a reserved spot in this year�s competition.

During the three weeks of competitions held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center leading up to the main event, the world�s best riders will be in heated and head to head competition for the remaining spots on the roster for this year�s $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational.

Riders will also be fighting for the seven coveted openings on the squad for the 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup Finals, to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, in April.

The stakes will once again be high when show jumping excitement returns to Tampa in March.

American Invitational Champions over the Years

1973 $15,000 American Invitational
Rodney Jenkins & Idle Dice
1974 $15,000 American Invitational
Michelle McEvoy & Sundance
1975 $15,000 American Invitational
Michelle McEvoy & Sundance
1976 $15,000 American Invitational
Robert Ridland & Southside
1977 $15,000 American Invitational
Terry Rudd & Mr. Demeanor
1978 $25,000 American Invitational
Norman Dello Joio &Allegro
1979 $30,000 Anheuser-Busch American Invitational
Rodney Jenkins & Third Man
1980 $35,000 Anheuser-Busch American Invitational
Bernie Traurig & Eaden Vale
1981 $50,000 Anheuser-Busch American Invitational
Buddy Brown & Felton
1982 $50,000 Anheuser-Busch American Invitational
Melanie Smith & Calypso
1983 $50,000 Anheuser-Busch American Invitational
Katie Monahan & Noren
1984 $100,000 Anheuser-Busch American Invitational
Leslie Burr & Albany
1985 $100,000 Michelob American Invitational
Katie Monahan & The Governor
1986 $100,000 Michelob American Invitational
Tim Grubb & Linky
1987 $100,000 Michelob American Invitational
Lisa Jacquin & For The Moment
1988 $100,000 Michelob American Invitational
Katie Monahan-Prudent & Special Envoy
1989 $100,000 Michelob American Invitational
Greg Best & Gem Twist
1990 $100,000 Michelob American Invitational
David Raposa & Seven Wonder
1991 $100,000 Michelob American Invitational
George Lindemann & Three�s & Seven�s
1992 $100,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Ian Millar & Big Ben
1993 $100,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Debbie Stephens & Volan
1994 $100,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Michael Matz & Rhum IV
1995 $100,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Chris Kappler & Seven Wonder
1996 $100,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Harold Chopping & Brandy
1997 $100,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Todd Minikus & Ravel
1998 $100,000 Budweiser American Invitational
McLain Ward & Twist Du Valon
1999 $150,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Marley Goodman & Canyon *
2000 $150,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Schuyler Riley & Ilian
2001 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Molly Ashe & Kroon Gravin
2002 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Molly Ashe & Kroon Gravin
2003 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Chris Kappler & Royal Kaliber
2004 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Norman Dello Joio & Glasgow
2005 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Beezie Madden & Authentic
2006 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Rodrigo Pessoa & Baloubet De Rouet
2007 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational
Beezie Madden & Authentic
2008 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational
McLain Ward & Sapphire

Photo Credit: The American Invitational is held rain or shine. Last year's winners, McLain Ward and Sapphire, overcame great odds for the victory. Photo © Randi Muster. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.

The Tampa Equestrian Festival and the 37th Annual $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational Fast Facts

EVENT: Tampa Equestrian Festival presented by Stadium Jumping, Inc. and 37th Annual $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, which features the world's best Olympic athletes.

WHAT: Three-week hunter/jumper horse show circuit produced by Stadium Jumping, Inc. The 37th Annual $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational is one of the premier show jumping events in the United States.

WHERE:
Tampa Equestrian Festival:
Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds
4800 North US Highway 301
Tampa, FL 33680

37th Annual $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational:
Raymond James Stadium
4201 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33607

WHEN: Daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Suncoast Internationale - March 18-22, 2009
Tampa Classic CSI 3*-W - March 25-29, 2009
Tournament of Champions, CSI - March 31-April 4, 2009
37th Annual $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational CSI 3* - April 4, 2009, 7 p.m.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Wednesday, March 18, 1:00 pm,$35,000 Tampa Bay Welcome Stake
Sunday, March 29,2 p.m. - $75,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier CSI 3*-W Just World International Grand Prix of Tampa
Wednesday, April 1, 1:00 pm, $35,000 Grand Prix of Florida, Final Qualifier for American Invitational
Saturday, April 4: 6:00-6:45 p.m. - Open Course Walk
7 p.m. - 37th Annual $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational CSI 3*

Directions
From Tampa or St. Pete/Clearwater via I-275 to I-4 Eastbound
Orient Rd. Entrance Gate: From I-4 Eastbound only, take Exit #6 for Orient Rd. and turn right off the ramp. There will be a sign for the Fairgrounds entrance immediately on the left-hand side. Check in at the Security Guard gate for entry.

From Lakeland/Orlando area via I-4 Westbound
Orient Rd. Entrance Gate: Travel on I-4 West toward Tampa to Exit #7 toward US-92 W / HILLSBOROUGH AVE and merge onto E. HILLSBOROUGH AVE. Proceed to the light at Orient Road and turn left. There will be a sign for the Fairgrounds entrance on the left-hand side. Check in at the Security Guard gate for entry.

Traveling from I-75 North/South (from Ocala/Sarasota area)
Orient Rd. Entrance Gate: Traveling north on I-75, take Exit #260 (B) and merge LEFT onto DR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR BLVD (aka SR-574 West). Traveling south on I-75, take Exit #260 and merge RIGHT onto DR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR BLVD. Go west for 2.5 miles and pass the light at U.S. Hwy. 301. Keep proceeding on MLK, Jr. Blvd. to the next light which is ORIENT RD. Make a right at Orient Road. There will be a sign for the Fairgrounds entrance on the right-hand side. Check in at the Security Guard gate for entry.

THE FACILITY:
Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, Tampa, FL
All arenas have a separate warm-up area with all-weather footing
Grand Prix Field 250' x 350' all weather footing
Covered Ring 165' x 300' clay/sand mixture
Annex Ring 150' x 275' all weather footing
Indoor Ring 130' x 250' clay/sand mixture

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Outdoor Stadium Arena 150' x 360' bermuda sod grass

HOTELS (in Tampa, more listed in prize list):
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Tampa
5223 North Orient Road (next to showgrounds)
Tampa, FL
(813) 627-7625

La Quinta Inn East Fairgrounds
4811 U.S. 301 North
Tampa, FL
(813) 623-3321
(800) 642-4271

SpringHill Suites
4835 W. Cypress Street
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 639-9600
(888) 236-2427

STADIUM JUMPING INC.: Corporate Office
1301 Sixth Ave. West, Suite 406
Bradenton, FL 34205
Tel: 941-744-5465
Fax: 941-744-0874
Web site: http://www.stadiumjumping.com

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12230 Forest Hill Blvd.
Suite 214
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
http://www.phelpsmediagroup.com


 

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