Debbie McDonald & Mason Phelps Partner for Challenge of Americas Pas de Deux

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Debbie McDonald and Mason Phelps, Jr. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Debbie McDonald and Mason Phelps, Jr., longtime pals from California,will perform a pas de deux for the Challenge of the Americas breast cancer researcg benefit at the Jim Brandon Center in West Palm Beach, Florida Mar. 9.

Carl Hester, Great Britain’s Olympic gold medal winner, has designed the choreography and Terri Gallo is donating the music for a “Saturday Night Fever” disco freestyle.

As to be expected, the riding clothes from Stoddard Oliver will be outrageous–black boots, navy britches, white tail coats with red satin piping and lining, and blue cummerbund.

The idea was hatched over dinner between Debbie, who rode Brentina to become the first American World Cup champion, and Mason when they were reminiscing about their wild days at California horse shows when she was 14 and he was 20 years old.

Mary Ross, organizer of the Challenge, also at the dinner, invited Debbie to be a celebrity judge at the event as she had been in the past.

Debbie instead suggested a pas de deux and in the lateness of the hour Mason said he had not been on a horse for 15 years but agreed.

Not wanting to leave it to chance, Debbie texted him in the middle of the night: “Were you really serious?” Mason replied: “Ok, you’re on. I’m going to get a pair of britches in the morning.”

Jane Forbes Clark let Mason ride one of her hunters to go through movements. Carl Hester, visiting Jane’s farm in Wellington as the coach of Katherine Bateson-Chandler, who trains and competes Jane’s dressage horses, choreographed the freestyle on the spot.

Debbie will return to California until May 8 but will catch the red eye back to the East Coast, have one dress rehearsal the mornng before the event and then ride in the Challenge that night.

For tickets contact Mary Ross at 561 433 0988.