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Debbie McDonald Offers Training Package As Fundraiser For Olympic Dressage Team

WELLINGTON, FL – April 1, 2004 – It’s a dream-come-true package for any rider – one month’s training with internationally renowned Grand Prix dressage rider Debbie McDonald at River Grove Farm in Sun Valley, Idaho, complete with a stall for your horse and a condo for you. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will be auctioned off on June 19 as part of a fundraising event at the Dressage Olympic Selection Trials in San Juan Capistrano, California, called “Celebrate With The Champions” chaired by Jane Thomas, Dick and Jane Brown, and Honorary Chairperson Akiko Yamazaki.

“The Team has been very generous with me and financially I’m not able to give a lot of money, so this is my way of trying to do my part in raising money for the Team,” said McDonald. With her current Athens Olympic hopeful, the Hanoverian mare Brentina owned by Peggy Thomas, McDonald won Individual and Team Gold at the 1999 Pan Am Games, claimed the national Grand Prix Championship at the Festival of Champions at Gladstone twice, earned Team Silver at the 2002 World Equestrian Games, was named the 2003 World Cup Champion, and won the 2004 US Grand Prix Freestyle Championship and US League Final.

Bidding for the ‘Debbie McDonald Training Package’ will take place in a live auction on Saturday, June 19 – the final weekend of the Athens Olympic Dressage Team Selection Trials. The auction will be featured as part of “Celebrate With The Champions” – a California Fiesta dinner for 300 participants held from 6:00pm to 10:00pm PST at the Oaks Bleinheim show grounds. The festive event also features an additional silent auction and entertainment by Felipe de las Rosa’s mariachi band and his dancers. Bidders from across the nation will have the opportunity to participate in the bidding through special telephone numbers designated for the ‘Debbie McDonald Training Package’ auction that evening.

McDonald’s generous offer provides the winning high bidder with five lessons per week during a month’s stay at the beautiful River Grove Farm owned by Peggy and Parry Thomas, her sponsors for more than 30 years. The winning bidder will also have the opportunity to observe the daily work of horses and riders in training with McDonald at River Grove Farm.

The picturesque 60-acre River Grove Farm is nestled on a river at the base of a mountain in Sun Valley, Idaho. Bridle trails canvas the entire scenic property of green grass, soaring trees, and lush landscaping. The world-class training facility includes an indoor arena with mirrors, two outdoor dressage arenas, a jumper arena, a fully enclosed and heated Euro-Walker with TV monitors, fenced pastures, and an 18-stall barn complete with a shoeing room and drying room with ultra-violet lights.

The high bidder will have the option of choosing what time of year to spend the month in Sun Valley. In support of McDonald’s training package offer, Peggy and Parry Thomas added the use of a condominium they own in Sun Valley, which is located in the heart of this beautiful resort town. World-renowned Sun Valley offers year-round activities, seasonally ranging from snow skiing in the winter to water skiing in summer.

“It’s a beautiful town,” said McDonald. “And River Grove Farm is a beautiful place where we try hard to make people feel that they belong and are welcome. I guarantee the winning bidder a wonderful experience.”

Auction And “Celebrate With The Champions” Ticket Information
To attend the live auction of the Debbie McDonald Training Package and “Celebrate With The Champions,” tickets are $100 each. For details and reservations, contact Jane Brown at or fax to 760-438-3873.

To participate in the Debbie McDonald Training Package auction via telephone on June 19, bidders must register first by contacting Mason Phelps, Jr. at Phelps Media Group, Inc. via email at


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