March 10, 2023 – Wellington, Fla. – The Challenge of the Americas, casually known as COTA, is a highly anticipated annual event held under the lights at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The evening is put on by The Pink Hats, a committee of equestrians who have directly felt the effect of breast cancer. International dressage riders dedicate months of rehearsal in preparation for the big evening, where a handful of teams consisting of six riders each go head-to-head showcasing their quadrille routine. Not only is it a fun-filled night, but used as a fundraiser for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Mary Ross began the event in 2002, where she vowed to have all profits donated to finding a cure as a tribute to her mother who passed away from breast cancer. As of last year, COTA has raised over $3.3 million for research purposes. 

Before the five teams were set to compete, we saw exciting non-judged presentations such as; A miniature horse quadrille led by Jonathan Millar, Kelly Soleau-Millar, Charlotte McLaughlin and Alex Granato; a “Grease” themed quadrille with Jim Koford, Liz Austin, Allison Kavey and Pati Pierucci; and last but not least Lauren Chumley next to Jessie Hayes performing a pas de deux. After the opening presentations, Lee Tuman, Jeanne McDonald and Gary Rockwell took to their assigned judge’s box. 

Team Merrill Lynch
Team Merrill Lynch

The night continued on with back-to-back grand prix quadrilles. The themes had a large variety, starting off with “Prom Night” and concluding with “Roaring 20’s.” After the three judges rate the music, harmony, technical and spacing out of 10, the four scores are averaged together for the final mark.

 The results follow, listing each team rider in alphabetical order. 

Quadrille Results :

1- Team BioStar – 91.500% 

Tigger Montegue – Choreography, music and coaching

Rider / Horse / Owner 

Betsy Van Dyke / DEM Esplendido / Tina Evans

James Koford / Adeline / James Koford

Jessie Hayes / Avatar’s Jazzman / Melissa Dowling

Kymberly Pullen / Hot Date / Hot Date Syndicate LLC

Lauren Chumley / Nikolas / Melissa Dowling

Shannon Stevens / Ferrari / Jeannette Pinard

Team BioStar
Team BioStar

2- Team Purina – 87.400%

Terry Ciotti Gallo – Choreography and music

Betsy Steiner – Coach

Bill Warren – Coach

Rider / Horse / Owner 

Benjamin Winger / QC Roberto Cavalli / Melany Lipar 

Bent Jensen / Franz Ferdinand / Claudia Sands

George Williams / Sir Velo / George & Noel Williams

Pam Goodrich / Giacomo B / Patricia Bellinger 

Jaralyn Gibson / Sanford / Jaralyn Gibson

Jennifer Williams / Francis HW / Lisa & Ken Norling

Team Purina
Team Purina

3- Team Wright Dressage – 81.000%

Dianne Creech – Choreography and coach

Patti Thompson – Coach

Collier Wimmer – Music

Rider / Horse / Owner 

Ali Potasky / Zig Zag / Kathy Priest & Julie Skinner 

Emily Wright / Sanchez / Emily Wright

Mary Laurtisen / Jeroboam de Massa / Ellen Lazarus 

Rebecca Waite / Fandi Lam / Olivia & David Aebischer

Tara Stegen / Solitico / Amie Pala 

Vanessa Creech-Terauds / Daniel L / Lousie Leatherdale 

Team Wright
Team Wright

4- Team Merrill Lynch – 79.000%

Alex Rozboril – Choreography and coaching

Carlos Aguera – Music

Rider / Horse / Owner 

Amy Walker-Basak / Duke / Alma Ericson

Camilla Fritze / Galavant / Camilla Fritze

Karen Lipp / Mount Saint John DeLa Beaute / Christine Felker 

Kerstin Wilder / Zephyr / Kerstin Wilder

Lisa Lewis / Donegal GGF / Lisa Lewis

Michelle Gibson / Walking The Line / Amy Bock

Team Merrill Lynch
Team Merrill Lynch

5- Team Winged Foot – 77.700%

Ruth Hogan-Poulsen – Choreography, music and coach

Emilie Goddard – Coach

Rider / Horse / Owner 

Amy Speck-Kern / Clingh / Dressage4Kids

Nicole Harrington / Wizard Of Oz / Three Oaks Farm

Sahar Hirosh / Whitman / Jane & Salo Suwalsky 

Susanne Hamilton / Lesath / Barbara Eisvogel 

Todd Flettrich / Sublime Nadales / Margaret Duprey & Cherry Knoll Farm

Vincent Flores / Ebene de Kerquelen / Vincent Flores

Team Winged Foot
Team Winged Foot

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