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Opening Day Of Charlotte Jumper Classic CSI**** Kicks Off On Friday, April 9
Three Day Schedule Features Olympians, R&B Singer Jeffrey Osborne, And Easter Bunny

CHARLOTTE, NC – April 8, 2004 – The 14,000-seat Charlotte Coliseum has been transformed from an NBA basketball court into a four-star indoor horse show arena for the Charlotte Jumper Classic CSI, which opens on Friday, April 9, and runs through Sunday, April 11, in Charlotte, NC.

Topnotch show jumpers scheduled to compete are US Olympians Joe Fargis, Todd Minikus, Nona Garson, and Laura Kraut, plus eight-time Canadian Olympian Ian Millar. Pan American Team Gold Medallists Beezie Madden and Chris Kappler are also on the roster, as well as three-time AGA Rider of the Year McLain Ward, and the record-holder for most Grand Prix wins in a single year, Aaron Vale. This inaugural staging of the three-day Charlotte Jumper Classic will also feature top Amateur and Young Riders, including Paige Johnson, 18, daughter of Bob Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Network (BET) and owner of the NBA Charlotte Bobcats and WNBA Charlotte Sting – hometown teams of the Charlotte Coliseum. Produced by Eugene R. Mische and Stadium Jumping, Inc., the Charlotte Jumper Classic offers $260,000 in prize money.

Friday, April 9 – Charro Jerry Diaz Performs, Evening Features $25,000 Welcome Stake

The coliseum doors open at 1:00 pm on Friday April 9. Pre-show entertainment includes performances by Mexican charro Jerry Diaz and the E.E. Waddell High School Junior ROTC color guard. The Bar None Barbershop Quartet will deliver their rendition of the National Anthem. The first horse gallops on course at 2:00 pm for the Amateur/Young Rider Competition. Diaz will perform again before the second event, the International Riders Competition.

Doors re-open at 6:00 pm for the evening show, which kicks off with entertainment by Stewart Scher. Children will enjoy The Good News Clown who will treat them to face painting and balloon animal sculptures. Charro Jerry Diaz will deliver an exhibition of his horsemanship and roping skills, the E.E. Waddell High School Junior ROTC will present America’s colors, and Scott Scher will sing the National Anthem. Horse show competition starts at 7:15 pm with the $25,000 Charlotte Welcome Stake Qualifier. Diaz will entertain the audience prior to the Jump-Off, which will determine the night’s big winner.

Saturday, April 10 – Jeffrey Osborne Performs, Evening Features $25,000 Grand Prix

On Saturday, April 10, Pony Rides and a Petting Zoo are available for children and their families starting at 12:30 pm. The Good News Clown will be on hand for face painting and to entertain from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. The Coliseum doors open at 1:00 pm, and the excitement begins with Mexican charro Jerry Diaz demonstrating his expert riding and roping feats accompanied by the E.E. Waddell High School Junior ROTC color guard. R & B star Jerry Osborne will sing the National Anthem. Competition kicks off at 2:00 pm with the Amateur/Young Rider Competition. Charro Diaz will deliver another of his riding and roping to music performances prior to a fun featured event – the “Rider Free Throw” starting at 3:10 where riders on horseback will shoot basketballs. The International Riders Competition starts at 3:45 pm.

Doors reopen at 6:00 pm for the evening show. Entertainment kicks off from 6:00 to 8:00 pm with face painting and fun provided by The Good News Clown. Mexican charro Jerry Diaz along with the E.E. Waddell High School Junior ROTC color guard will perform, and Samuel Herrera, who is a high school senior at E.E. Waddel High School, will sing the National Anthem. Competition begins at 7:00 pm in the Amateur/Young Riders Top Score Competition (Gambler’s Choice). At 8:00 charro Diaz will again dazzle with his Mexican-flavored exhibition on horseback. A highlight of the Charlotte Coliseum’s Easter Weekend line-up is R & B star Jeffrey Osborne’s 35-minute performance from 8:25 pm to 9:10. Competition in the $25,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte Round One For The Charlotte Bobcats Cup begins at 9:10 pm. The evening wraps up with awards presentations at 10:00 pm.

Sunday, April 11, Easter Bunny And Egg Hunt In Coliseum, $150,000 Grand Prix!

The Easter Bunny will be at the Charlotte Coliseum from 11:30 am until 3:00 pm on Easter Sunday. The Coliseum doors open at noon and kids can begin checking in for the Easter Egg Hunt, which will take place right in the arena amongst the jumps from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Children can also enjoy Pony Rides and a Petting Zoo from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and face painting and fun with The Good News Clown until 4:00 pm. From 2:00 pm to 2:45 pm Sibyl Lee-English, a local Charlotte jazz singer, will perform. Jerry Diaz and the E.E. Waddell High School Junior ROTC color guard will bring on the flag and Sibyl Lee-English will sing the National Anthem. Starting at 3:00 pm, the first of two Grand Prix for this finale Sunday begins with the $25,000 Charlotte Young Riders Grand Prix. Charro Diaz will perform again right before the finale event starting at 5:45 pm – the inaugural staging of the $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte Round Two For the Charlotte Bobcats Cup, Member Event of the AGA Series of Show Jumping. The show wraps up with colorful awards ceremonies at 7:00 pm.

Net proceeds from the horse show will benefit the Bobcats Charitable Fund, the organization’s philanthropic giving arm.

General Admission

To order tickets for the Charlotte Jumper Classic, visit www.ticketmaster.com or to order by phone, call 704-522-6500. Tickets are also available at the Charlotte Coliseum Box Office Monday through Friday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm.

Three levels of tickets are available: Level One (Season Boxes) or Level Two and Level Three (Reserved Seats). Prices range from Level Three single tickets at $15 to Level One five-show packages at $220.

For more information, and a complete listing of the weekend’s events, log on to www.charlottejumperclassic.com


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Updated: October 2005.