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Richardson becomes Presenting Sponsor of 2012 Ford World Women’s

Richardson International, Canada’s largest, privately owned agribusiness, will be the Presenting Sponsor for the 2012 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, March 17-25 in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Richardson becomes presenting sponsor of 2012 Ford World Women's

“Curling is a Canadian passion and we are proud to be the presenting sponsor of the 2012 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship,” said Jean-Marc Ruest, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel. “At Richardson, we have a legacy of supporting and investing in the community and we are happy to help bring a world-class event to Lethbridge.”

Richardson first became associated with the Canadian Curling Association’s Season of Champions events as a gold sponsor for the 2008 Tim Hortons Brier in Winnipeg, then was the Presenting Sponsor for the 2009 Canada Cup in Yorkton. In 2010, the company was a Diamond Sponsor for the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship in Swift Current while last season Richardson was the Presenting Sponsor for the 2011 Ford World Men’s in Regina.

Based in Winnipeg, Richardson International has served farmers across the country for more than 150 years. Richardson has over 1,600 employees and is a worldwide handler and merchandiser of all major Canadian-grown grains and oilseeds. One of Canada’s 50 best-managed companies, Richardson is recognized as a global leader in agriculture and food processing.

The 2012 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Richardson, will be played at the recently renovated 5,000 seat ENMAX Centre. It will mark the 12th time that Canada has hosted the World Women’s Championship since it began in 1979 in Perth, Scotland. The last time it was held in Canada was in 2010 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, while Alberta last hosted the championship in 2006 in Grande Prairie.

Ford of Canada has sponsored the world men’s and women’s championships since 1995, when the first Ford Worlds was held in Brandon, Manitoba. When the men’s and women’s championships were separated, beginning in 2005, Ford continued to be the title sponsor of the men’s or women’s event held in Canada each year. Recently, it was announced that Ford of Canada has extended its title sponsorship of the Worlds in Canada through 2013 (with an option for 2014) and will also be the television presenting sponsor for the Worlds held outside of Canada during that time.

Lethbridge last hosted a major curling championship in 2007, when successfully staging the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Tickets for the 2012 Ford World Women’s can be purchased by calling the ENMAX Centre at (855) 329-SEAT or online at www.seasonofchampions.ca/lethbridge. Canada’s representative will be determined at the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, February 18-26 in Red Deer, Alberta.

Canada has won a leading 15 gold medals at the World Women’s since 1979, followed by Sweden with eight. Canada’s last victory came in 2008 in Vernon, British Columbia, when Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones defeated China’s Bingyu Wang in the final. Last season, in Esbjerg, Denmark, Saskatchewan’s Amber Holland won a silver medal, losing the final to Sweden’s Anette Norberg.

The 12 countries competing at the 2012 Ford World Women’s will also earn Olympic qualifying points. Based on cumulative points earned for their finishes at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Women’s, the top nine countries (host Russia receives an automatic berth) will qualify for the curling competition at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.