Local Washington, D.C. celebrities participate in Media Celebrity Sports Challenge



Jennifer Kappler for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International


MEDIA CONTACT:  Jennifer Kappler of Phelps Media Group, Inc. at (561) 753-3389 or at info@phelpsmediagroup.com


WEB SITE: Phelps Media Group, Inc. Press Releases and Photos are available for download at https://www.phelpsmediagroup.com/ Photo may only be used in relation to this press release.


Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Heather Dobbs and Carl Tanner, winners of the Media Celebrity Sports Challenge at WIHS. Photo by © 2006 Jennifer Wood.This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


Local Washington, D.C. Celebrities Participate in Media Celebrity Sports Challenge at 2006 Washington International Horse Show


Wellington, FL – October 28, 2006 – Combining the nation’s best equestrians, local celebrities, motor vehicles and horses is a guaranteed amusing and exciting mix of entertainment. The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) hosted such an event called “The Media Celebrity Sports Challenge” on Saturday, October 28, at 2:00 p.m. The WIHS takes place in the middle of the nation’s capital at the Verizon Center.


Since 1958, The WIHS has been one of the nation’s leading championship horse shows, hosting some of the finest horses and riders from the U.S. and abroad, including Olympic and World Cup medalists. Along with serious grand prix events, there will be some classes strictly for entertainment such as terrier races and the Media Celebrity Sports Challenge.  


The challenge combined teams of show jumpers and media celebrities in a face off with other jumper/celebrity pairs. Every pair was given an obstacle course in a relay race format and was scored based upon the time it took for them to complete the challenge. Each show jumper rode a horse, and every celebrity drove a Kawasaki Mule, which is a high powered golf cart. The winners of the challenge, were awarded a check for $1,000 made out to the charity of their choice


The celebrities included:


Leon Harris- Anchor of ABC Channel 7. His charity is For Love of Children: www.flocdc.org . For Love of Children’s mission is to provide young children and high-risk youth with the resources to achieve educational and personal success through a continuum of educational services that prepares them to become confident, life-long learners and contributing members of their communities.


Carl Tanner- World renowned American tenor and Arlington native. Tanner’s charity is The Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aides Foundation: www.pedaides.org . The Foundation creates a future of hope for children and families worldwide by eradicating pediatric AIDS, providing care and treatment to people with HIV/AIDS. and accelerating the discovery of new treatments for other serious and life-threatening pediatric illnesses.


Jimmy Alexander- DJ for MIX 107.3’s Jack Diamond Morning Show. Alexander’s charity is Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF: www.jdrf.org . JDRF is the leading charitable funder and advocate of type 1 (juvenile) diabetes research worldwide. The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.


Marilyn Cooley- From WETA-FM, and owner of Nova Holistic Animal Care. Cooley’s charity is Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA): www.awla.org . AWLA is Arlington County Virginia’s official animal shelter and humane society. Dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, bunny rabbits, birds, guinea pigs and more critters are available for adoption to residents of Northern Virginia (Arlington County, Fairfax County, Alexandria City, Falls Church) and Washington, DC.  


Leon Harris described why he chose For Love of Children ashis charity of choice. “When I moved to Washington I figured the best way to get to know the city of D.C. was to work with charities who work with people where the rubber meets the road,” Harris explained.  “Everyone was talking about this group FLOC, and it reminded me a lot of the way that I grew up, so I naturally gravitated towards it. The more that I learn about them, the more that I love them.”


The equestrians that competed in the challenge were:


Haylie Jayne- recipient of the Christy Conard Perpetual Trophy for Equestrian Excellence at the 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival


Julie Welles- 2005 winner of the WIHS Equitation Classic and USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals


Brianne Goutal- winner of all four major Equitation Finals and Individual Gold Medalist at the 2005 NAJYRC


Hillary Dobbs- Individual Gold Medalist at the 2006 Prix des States at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show


Heather Dobbs- winner of the Marantz Family High Junior Jumper Classic at the 2006 Hampton Classic Horse Show


The Celebrity Ride and Drive was off to a fast start when Hillary Dobbs rode Quincy B, and Alexander took off on the Kawasaki Mule over the obstacle course with a vengeance, incurring four seconds in penalties each, making their final time 98.437.


Goutal and Mon Gamin had a very quick round. She and Cooley were next to challenge, and both ladies put in fault free performances and had a lightning fast time of 84.479.


Heather Dobbs and Tanner were the third pair to go. Dobbs had a great time but an unfortunate rail, and Tanner went all out and finished without hitting any cones. Their time was an astounding 84.036.


Welles and Harris were the last team to compete in the Challenge. Welles had a blistering time, but had two rails down, and Harris went around clean, giving them a third place time of 86.860.


Final Results of the Celebrity Sports Challenge

1.  Heather Dobbs/Carl Tanner                       84.036

2.  Brianne Goutal/Marilyn Cooley                 84.479

3.  Julie Welles/Leon Harris                            86.860

4.  Hillary Dobbs/Jimmy Alexander               98.437


“I want to drive the mule again,” Tanner exclaimed.  He did get to take one more pass as the winning pair entered the winner’s circle, then he turned the keys over to Dobbs who took a turn speeding around on the Kawasaki Mule. “I would do it again in a minute,” Tanner said. “Just don’t make me ride a horse!”


The winners of the challenge,  Heather Dobbs and Carl Tanner, were awarded a check for $1,000 made out to The Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aides Foundation


Photo Credit: Heather Dobbs and Carl Tanner, winners of the Media Celebrity Sports Challenge at WIHS. Photo by © 2006 Jennifer Wood.This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.





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WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition, and holds the highest rating,  CSI5*-W, awarded by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, as well as a US Equestrian 6* Jumpers and  Premier Hunters. It is recognized by the US Hunter Jumper Association, Maryland Horse Show Association, and Virginia Horse Show Association. WIHS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization.