Teams Jump for Good Causes

Practical Horseman - - Winner's Circle -

Dressed in Hol­ly­wood-in­spired cos­tumes, 29 teams—each made up of three riders—jumped to ben­e­fit lo­cal non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions dur­ing the Great Char­ity Chal­lenge pre­sented by Fidelity In­vest­ments , Feb. 3, at the Win­ter Eques­trian Fes­ti­val in Welling­ton, Florida. “A Night When Every­one is a Star” was the theme of the event, which dis­trib­uted $1.5 mil­lion to a va­ri­ety of causes.

The win­ners— Shane Sweet­nam, Lind­sey Tomeu and Chloe White— had three clear rounds and the fastest com­bined time of 88.157 sec­onds. They were out­fit­ted as char­ac­ters from the mu­si­cal “Grease” and backed by team spon­sor Spy Coast Farm/Lisa Lourie and Mon­ica Pre­ston and cor­po­rate spon­sor Dever Golf Carts.

It was the third con­sec­u­tive win for Sweet­nam and Tomeu, whose ef­forts sent the Chal­lenge’s top prize of $150,000 to the Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that fa­cil­i­tates stu­dent achievement by sup­port­ing qual­ity pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion for more than 200,000 chil­dren in Palm Beach County.

“We thought we left the door open a lit­tle bit,” said Sweet­nam. “I had a younger horse, a lit­tle bit of change of dy­nam­ics to the team. So it wasn’t as fast as last year, but every­one did a great job. Some­one had to re­ally take chances to beat us. It’s great for the Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion.”

“It was amaz­ing,” added first-time com­peti­tor White. “It’s great that we get to do some­thing that we love and raise money for other peo­ple while do­ing it.”

Since its in­cep­tion in 2010, the Great Char­ity Chal­lenge has dis­trib­uted more than $12.2 mil­lion to some 220 lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Top row, cen­ter: The win­ning team—Shane Sweet­nam (left), Lind­sey Tomeu and Chloe White—flanked by the sec­ond- and third-place fin­ish­ers of the Great Char­ity Chal­lenge

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