Upper Marlboro, Md., August 27, 2009 -- The Potomac Valley Dressage Association (PVDA) announced that their annual Ride for Life dressage show and Jill Hassler-Scoop Memorial Dancing Horse Challenge raised more than $85,000 in donations to benefit breast cancer research. The event has raised over $250,000 in its six years for the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center. The charity dressage show, with a Saturday evening Challenge performance, was held June 27-28, 2009, at the Prince George's Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Md.
The PVDA also announced the raffle winners for the weekend donated by the event's Platinum Sponsors. Dover Saddlery donated a $500 shopping spree (won by Lindy Blythe) and Nutrena donated 1,000 pounds of feed (won by McKenna Oxenden). The sponsors also donated awards for the individual High Pledge winners.
High pledge winners for the weekend were as follows:
Individual winners in each category: Open division winners - High Pledge - Vanessa Swartz; Runner Up - Alison Thompson; Second Runner Up - Nanci Lindroth. Junior division winners - High Pledge - Julia Van Steenberg; Runner Up - Anne Matthews; Second Runner Up - Erica Greenwald. Amateur division winners - High Pledge - Tanya Horning; Runner Up - Jeannette Bair; Second Runner Up - Shari Glickman. Phantom horse (non-at-show-rider) winners - High Pledge - Carolyn Del Grosso; Runner Up - Cherie Chauvin; Second Runner Up - Jennifer Tingley.
Group winners: The North Carolina Caravan for the Cure broke records and raised over $20,000 for this year's show through pre-event fundraising activities, including a schooling show and T-shirt sales.
At the Challenge, international-level equestrians rode their horses to music for a chance to win the Dover/Nutrena People's Choice Award (awarded to Jennifer Sirrine) and Rosenthal Land Rover $5,000 Trophy (first place and $3,000 were awarded to Belinda Nairn-Wertman by Olympic judge Linda Zang).
Also competing in the Challenge were: 2009 Olympian Courtney King-Dye; Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel; 2009 Brentina Cup rider Lauren Sprieser; and Jules Anderson. Barbara Strawson performed a tribute ride accompanied by the Bowen McCauley Dancers, Hope Garden dance studio and the music of Eva Cassidy. Unable to ride, but in attendance was Betsy Steiner. Dr. Cesar Parra, Cathy Morelli and Michael Barisone were also unable to perform at the last minute.
"Saturday evening's Dancing Horse Challenge brought approximately 2,250 spectators into the Showplace Arena, almost doubling last year's attendance. This is a notably high turnout for a dressage event of this kind. By Sunday morning, people on multiple online forums were comparing the event to the World Cup," said Hilary Moore, chair of ticket sales.
The 2010 PVDA Ride for Life will be held June 26-27 at the same venue. For more information about the PVDA Ride for Life, visit www.pvdarideforlife.org.