FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mary Hilton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
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PHOTO CAPTION: Canadian Team at 2006 Challenge (l-r) Quadrille Riders – Chris von Martels, Susan Dutt-Roth, Lisette Milner, Ashley Holzer, Cheryl Meisner Linssen, and Tom Dvorak. Pas de Deux Riders (not pictured) – Jacqueline Brooks and Evi Strasser. PHOTO CREDIT: SusanJStickle.com. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.
SSG Signs on as Sponsor for Canadian Team at PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas Presented by Collecting Gaits Farms
WELLINGTON, FL – December 12, 2006 – The PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas Presented by Collecting Gaits Farm is pleased to announce that SSG, maker of quality gloves for equestrians, has signed on as the sponsor of the Canadian team for the 2007 event. “The Challenge,” an annual fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), will be held on March 10 at International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida. In its sixth edition, “The Challenge” features a night of international Grand Prix dressage competition in a musical freestyle format plus a gala dinner/dance and silent auction.
SSG President Ed James explained that the sponsorship actually fits like a glove. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, SSG brought to market in September the “Riding Gloves For Hope” with the notation that for every pair sold, the company would donate $2, or equivalent, to breast cancer research in the country of purchase. Bearing the BCRF emblem ribbon, the topnotch gloves are made of cabretta leather with spandex gussets and are available in black and pink, or pearl and pink.
“Our ‘Hope’ gloves tie in perfectly to the event,” James related. “There is a great deal of interest in breast cancer research, and people probably buy the ‘Hope’ gloves because we’re contributing to breast cancer research. Here’s a glove that sells very well and here’s an event that promotes a cure for breast cancer, so that’s a perfect fit.”
“I am so pleased to welcome SSG as a sponsor,” said Mary Ross, founder and co-chair of ‘The Challenge’. “SSG is a first-class company and Ed James is just wonderful.” Ross contacted James earlier this year when she was looking for a sponsor for the Canadian team and noticed the Canadian address on an SSG ad. “He was very receptive to the idea and he seemed like such a delightful person,” Ross enthused. “He knew a lot of the riders, he knew about the event, and he decided to come on board. It really is a great fit.”
SSG has offices in
Canada (near Toronto) and
North Boston, New York (near Buffalo). James, 75, who has owned trotting horses for 50 years, launched the company in 1984 with one style of driving gloves for harness racers. The company now offers 40 different kinds of gloves for equestrians in every discipline. James and his wife, Lynda, travel the world to promote the gloves at trade shows and through dealerships, with outlets in countries including Australia, England, and Ireland. In fact, it was during a call on a customer last spring that the idea for the “Riding Gloves For Hope” was generated. Mr. and Mrs. James reside in Canada during the summer, but spend winters in Florida, where SSG is a sponsor at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington.
“I am a firm believer in supporting equine events,” James said. “When the ‘Hope’ gloves became very popular and sold quite well and then the opportunity to become involved with the fundraiser for breast cancer research came up, I thought ‘If we’re into it, why not get right into it and support the Canadian team?’ But it’s really not about nationality, it’s to support the event as a whole.”
In fact, in addition to riders on the Canadian team, James has offered to supply a pair of SSG Riding Gloves For Hope to every rider in “The Challenge.” That’s a lot of gloves, as last year there were 24 riders (three teams of eight riders each) participating, but that’s just fine with James. “If you’re going to be in, you might as well be in to make sure that you do as much as you can,” he explained.
A Canadian team has competed in “The Challenge” since the team format was introduced in 2005 (they won in 2005 and placed third in 2006), but they have not had a team sponsor before. Last year Purina Mills sponsored Team USA and Morgan Stanley and the Cultural Trust of the Palm Beaches sponsored Team International. SSG supplied gloves with Swarovski crystals on the wrist tabs to the Canadians upon their request last year and James said now that his company is Team Canada sponsor for 2007, he is prepared to help the Canadian squad with additional requests.
James noted that if he were to name a goal for his sponsorship at the PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, that it would be “to promote the awareness of breast cancer, because before I brought out the ‘Hope’ glove I must confess that I didn’t realize how much interest there was and how much need there is, so when this event came along with the same theme I thought, my main business is to promote two things – to promote SSG gloves and at the same time, in this case, to promote breast cancer awareness. Based on my customers’ reaction to the breast cancer glove program, I’m sponsoring the team so it pushes upfront and center that we do make a Riding Glove For Hope. If it sells more gloves, that’s a bonus.”
For more information on SSG and the Riding Gloves For Hope program, visit www.ssgridinggloves.com
For tickets, table reservations, and information about the PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, contact Mary Ross at 561-852-2591.
PHOTO CAPTION: Canadian Team at 2006 Challenge (l-r) Quadrille Riders – Chris von Martels, Susan Dutt-Roth, Lisette Milner, Ashley Holzer, Cheryl Meisner Linssen, and Tom Dvorak. (not pictured) Pas de Deux Riders – Jacqueline Brooks and Evi Strasser. PHOTO CREDIT: SusanJStickle.com. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.
SSG Joins A Stellar List of “Challenge” Sponsors
As sponsor of the Canadian Team at the PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas Presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, SSG joins a stellar list of generous sponsors, including:
• www.PhelpsSports.com, the official title sponsor of the 2007 Challenge. PhelpsSports.com is the website for the latest breaking news of the Hunter, Jumper, Dressage, and High Performance disciplines, which includes up-to-the-minute audio reports, live video interviews and winning rounds, feature stories from around the globe, photography, and the creative writing and reporting of some of the finest equestrian journalists in the world.
• Collecting Gaits Farm, the official presenting sponsor of the 2007 Challenge, is a dressage training center in Alpharetta, Georgia, owned by Shereen and Jeff Fuqua.
• Land O’Lakes Purina Feed, the official sponsor of Team Purina Mills USA for the second consecutive year. Land O’Lakes Purina Feed LLC develops, manufactures, and markets high-quality feeds for a variety of animals, backed by one of the leading research facilities in the U.S.
• Morgan Stanley, the official Sponsor of Team Morgan Stanley International for the second consecutive year. The Seley Parker Group is a team of Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors focusing on Investment Advisory Services, Tax Minimization Strategies, Wealth Management, Concentrated Stock Solutions, Executive Compensation Planning and Charitable Giving Strategies.
• King Ferry Winery, the official wine of the PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas Presented by Collecting Gaits Farm. Located near Cayuga Lake in New York, this small farm winery produces world-class Treleaven™ Wines from vinifera grapes that are hand-tended and selectively picked to produce extremely complex and full-flavored wines. Treleaven Chardonnays are crafted in the centuries-old Burgundian tradition.
• Cunningham & Cunningham Live Stock Inc., the official insurance provider for the event for the third consecutive year. Based in Monroe, New York, the firm offers a complete line of Equine Insurance products and has been serving clients for over a quarter century.
• The United States Dressage Federation (USDF), which has sponsored the event as a media partner for three consecutive years. The USDF promotes the PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas presented by Collecting Gaits Farm through a variety of mediums including advertisements and event coverage in the Federation’s magazine USDF Connection, which is distributed to 34,000 members; notices sent via e-news to USDF members; postings on the USDF website (www.usdf.org); and press releases.
• GumBits (Corporate Sponsor): GumBits was developed by two Atlanta women to aid in the daily training of their dressage horses. GumBits is given by hand to the horse just prior to putting on the bridle, and eaten by the horse like candy to promote chewing, activate salivation, encourage submission, and eliminate teeth grinding.
For information on sponsorship opportunities at the PhelpsSports.com Challenge of the Americas presented by Collecting Gaits Farm, contact Mary Ross at 561-852-2591.