Category Archives: Dressage

Canada Wins Team Gold and U.S. Takes Silver in Pan American Games Dressage

Launched in 1951, the Pan American Games are a multi-sport championship held once every four years that also serves as a qualifying event for countries to earn spots in the Olympic Games. The 2019 Pan American Games are now underway in Lima, Peru, featuring the three Olympic disciplines of dressage, jumping and eventing – the first two of which we will see at the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas next April. The dressage competition was held last week and it was very exciting to say the least!

During the two-day team competition, riders competed at both the Small Tour (Prix St. Georges/Intermediate 1) and Big Tour (Grand Prix/Grand Prix Special) levels. Canada clinched the team Gold medal with a final score of 440.111 to narrowly edge the U.S. who won team Silver on 437.791. Brazil claimed team Bronze with 408.696. As a result, both Canada and Brazil have qualified to compete in next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo (the U.S. had already qualified by winning the team Silver medal at last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon).

Canada fielded two Small Tour and two Big Tour partnerships. Three of their combinations – Lindsay Kellock on Floratina, Tina Irwin on Laurencio and Naima Moreira-Laliberté  on Statesman – all posted scores above 73 percent, while their fourth team member, Jill Irving on Degas 12, scored 67.851.

Lima 2019 Pan Am Games - Day 3

Gold medal team from Canada – 📸 by FEI/Raul Sifuentes/Getty Images

Canada’s 22-year-old Moreira-Laliberté is the daughter of Guy Laliberté, co-founder of Cirque du Soleil which offers several amazing shows you can see while in Las Vegas (remember to book tickets early!). She competed at the Big Tour level and led her team in both rounds. She was thrilled with her horse. “This is my first year of Grand Prix, my sixth competition at this level and my first major Games,” she said.

Led by Chef d’Equipe Debbie McDonald (2003 FEI World Cup champion), the three-rider U.S. contingent included Nora Batchelder and Faro SQF, Jennifer Baumert with Handsome, and Sarah Lockman aboard First Apple. New to Championship-level competitions, they performed extremely well in winning three medals, the team Silver plus individual Gold and Bronze.

“I’m really proud of the team and their performances,” said McDonald. “There is a lot to look forward to when you look at the direction of this program and I believe the future is very bright. The more international and championship exposure we can give our athletes, the better we become as a team. Overall, I think everyone handled the environment to the best of their ability, and these riders have each benefited greatly as a group and individually from this experience.”

In the individual competition, the USA’s Sarah Lockman and First Apple won the Gold medal with a personal best score of 78.980% in the Freestyle to music. This made it three times in a row that the U.S. has taken the Pan Am individual Gold, following wins by Steffen Peters (2009 FEI World Cup champion) in 2011 and 2015. This was the U.S.’s ninth individual Dressage title at the Pan American Games!

Pan Am Dressage Silver Medal Team -- USA

Silver medal team from USA – 📸 by Taylor Pence/US Equestrian

“I am over the moon excited about it!” said Lockman, who also had the highest individual score in the team competition. “It’s everything I ever dreamed of and wanted. I’m just so proud of my horse and thankful to everyone who helped get me here. This is my first time representing the U.S. and it’s such a different feeling as our sport is for the most part an individual sport. This (the team competition) has brought a different element and I love it. It’s amazing seeing our flag raised; it’s definitely a rush and something I will never forget!”

Canada’s Tina Irwin on Laurencio added to her team Gold, winning the individual Silver with a Freestyle score of 77.780%. America’s Jennifer Baumert on Handsome won the individual Bronze on 75.755%!

Dressage – with the Biggest of the Big Tour stars! – will be one of two equestrian disciplines on display when the world’s best horses and riders come to Las Vegas next April 15-19 to compete in the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals. Less than two weeks remain for you to take advantage of an exclusive pre-sale opportunity for All-Session tickets before they go on sale to the general public. To take advantage of this exclusive opportunity, go to www.worldcuplasvegas.com/world-cup-club and join the World Cup Club right now. Membership is FREE and it will give you an inside edge on getting the best available seats as well as the latest breaking news, host hotel updates, hospitality information and much more!

All-Session Ticket Packages are available as follows:

  Jumping Dressage Combo
VIP Seating $2,000 $2,000 $3,950
Plaza $450 $450 $850
Balcony $250 $250 $450

*Additional fees may apply

All VIP ticket holders will have access to the impressive Taylor Harris Club presented by Lugano Diamonds which will be an amazing experience. Located in the Thomas & Mack Center’s brand new Strip View Pavilion, the new 36,000 square-foot, two-story magnificent VIP space has an outdoor patio overlooking the stabling area with spectacular views of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. Access to the Taylor Harris Club, presented by Lugano Diamonds will provide:

  • VIP seating in the first four rows of the venue
  • Easy access from seats to the VIP area
  • VIP Food & Beverage
  • Live music
  • An exclusive entrance to the venue for VIP ticket holders only
  • Large screen TVs so no one has to miss any action
  • Complimentary World Cup Souvenir Program
  • Complimentary Day Sheets

Click here for the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals Tentative Schedule

The Thomas & Mack Center will be the place to be next April for equestrian sports’ biggest annual championship. Join me in the Entertainment Capital of the World, April 15-19, 2020, for a week you’ll never forget and to see who will be crowned World Cup Champion in both jumping and dressage!

Further information on the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, and the chance to join the World Cup Club, is available at the event’s official website at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.

Thrilling Competition from World Cup Champions at World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen

The world’s top riders and horses congregated in Aachen, Germany last week (July 12-21) for the World Equestrian Festival Aachen CHIO – the world’s largest annual equestrian event – and to say it was exciting would be an understatement!

Although they host five disciplines at Aachen, our focus is on the two – jumping and dressage – that will be featured at the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas next April.  The list of competitors in both these Olympic disciplines read like a who’s-who in the sport and the competition kept everyone on the edge of their seats from start to finish. The U.S. riders put on their A-game, scoring some big victories and new personal best scores.

The jumping was simply spectacular, complete with a nail-biting finish in front of a packed stadium of 40,000 spectators. U.S. rider Kent Farrington, team Silver medalist at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, again proved why he is a ‘Master of Faster,’ winning Aachen’s prestigious €1,000,000 Grand Prix with Gazelle. Determined not to come in second place like he did in 2014 (when he had the fastest round but with a dropped rail), Farrington produced two fantastic clear rounds over the Frank Rothenberger-designed courses which had many obstacles set at an impressive 1.70m. Farrington and Gazelle flew effortlessly over the jumps, ultimately finishing in the fastest time of 43.98 seconds to claim the win.

kent farrington-gazelle_large

Kent Farrington – 📸 US Equestrian

“It is such an impressive list of riders who have won the Grand Prix of Aachen. I am so proud to now be one of them!” said Farrington.

Farrington is now in the running for a €250,000 bonus if he goes on to win the Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows in September. The former world number one had a bad fall in 2018 which required surgery and he’s made it back to the top after a lot of hard work. “Gazelle has helped me fight my way back to the top again,” he remarked.

In second place was Germany’s Daniel Deusser, an Olympic bronze medalist and the 2014 FEI World Cup™ Champion, who currently leads the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Western European League rankings. Riding Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z, Deusser also jumped double clear, but had a slightly slower time of 44.35. Great Britain’s Ben Maher, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist who competed at the 2009 World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, had a faster time of 43.94 seconds with Explosion W, but a rail down left him in third place.

Double Olympic gold medalists McLain Ward, who won the World Cup Finals in 2017, and Beezie Madden, who won the Finals in 2018 and 2013, both had good rounds in the Grand Prix and finished in the top ten. Although it wasn’t to be for either of them on that day, both riders did win at Aachen. Ward clinched Saturday’s main feature, the Allianz-Prize, aboard Noche de Ronda, and Madden clinched the Sparkassen-Youngsters-Cup Final with Garant, a horse which Madden refers to as ‘Junior’ at home as he reminds her of her former top horse Authentic in terms of talent.

The Dressage competition was equally phenomenal and the Lambertz Nations Cup competition was fierce to say the least. The German team ultimately claimed its 38th Nations Cup victory on home ground with a final score of 489.77, while Denmark took silver with a team total of 457.515. The U.S. team of Adrienne Lyle, Katherine Bateson-Chandler, Steffen Peters and Shelly Francis fought to the end with superb performances and were rewarded with a total score of 450.775 for the bronze medal.

dressage team bronze_large

US Dressage team – 📸 US Equestrian

Olympic and World Equestrian Games veteran Adrienne Lyle earned the highest scores for the U.S. aboard Salvino. The pair placed eighth in the Grand Prix with a score of 76.870% and seventh in the Grand Prix Special with 76.745%.

Teammate Steffen Peters, a three-time Olympic bronze medalist and the 2009 FEI World Cup champion, was hot on Lyle’s heels in the Grand Prix, earning a score of 75.848% for ninth place with Suppenkasper. They followed with a 74.872 percent in the Grand Prix Special for 12th place.

WEG veteran Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar also put in strong performances, earning 72.674% in the Grand Prix followed by 73.766% in the Grand Prix Special. It was an emotional return to Aachen for Bateson-Chandler, as Alcazar suffered a life-threatening colic episode at Aachen three years ago which required surgery to save him.

Shelly Francis and Danilo, the horse she rode to a 12th place finish at the 2018 World Cup Finals, produced a Grand Prix score of 70.826 percent and a Grand Prix Special score of 65.532 percent at Aachen.

Both Lyle and Bateson-Chandler posted career personal-best scores in the Grand Prix Freestyle to Music. Lyle and Salvino placed sixth with a score of 83.560%, which surpassed their 2019 World Cup Final score of 81.832% to become the top placed American combination at Aachen. Bateson-Chandler scored a personal best score of 77.690% in the Freestyle to finish in 12th place.

Isabell Werth, the most decorated Olympic equestrian in history with 10 medals (six gold and four silvers) and a four-time FEI World Cup Champion (2019, 2018, 2017, 2007), dominated the competition from start-to-finish aboard her 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) gold-medal winning partner Bella Rose, winning the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special for the Nations Cup. To top it off, Werth celebrated her 50th birthday on the last day in winning style, dancing to another victory with Bella Rose in the Freestyle, scoring 90.450% and becoming only the sixth horse-and-rider combination in history to be awarded at least 90%.

isabell werth at aachen

Isabell Werth – 📸 CHIO Aachen

The Aachen roster included numerous World Cup Final competitors, many of whom will be at the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas next April 15-19. If you haven’t reserved your tickets yet, be sure to join the World Cup Club today. Membership is free and it will give you an inside edge on getting the best available seats for the Finals. Through August 15, members of the World Cup Club have an exclusive opportunity to purchase All-Session tickets. To take advantage of this exclusive opportunity, go to www.worldcuplasvegas.com/world-cup-club right now – everyone is welcome to join! Not only will you have exclusive access to the All-Session tickets, as a World Cup Club member you will also get the latest breaking news, host hotel updates, hospitality information and much more!

All-Session Ticket Packages are available as follows:

  Jumping Dressage Combo
VIP Seating $2,000 $2,000 $3,950
Plaza $450 $450 $850
Balcony $250 $250 $450

*Additional fees may apply

All VIP ticket holders will have access to the impressive Taylor Harris Club presented by Lugano Diamonds which will be an amazing experience. Located in the brand new Strip View Pavilion, the new 36,000 square-foot, two-story magnificent VIP space has an outdoor patio overlooking the stabling area with spectacular views of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. Access to the Taylor Harris Club, presented by Lugano Diamonds will provide:

  • VIP seating in the first four rows of the venue
  • Easy access from seats to the VIP area
  • VIP Food & Beverage
  • Live music
  • An exclusive entrance to the venue for VIPs only
  • Large screen TVs so no one has to miss any action
  • Complimentary World Cup Souvenir Program
  • Complimentary Day Sheets

Click here for the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals Tentative Schedule

The Thomas & Mack Center will be the place next April for equestrian sports’ biggest annual championship. Please join me in The Entertainment Capital of the World, April 15-19, 2020, fort a week you’ll never forget!

Further information on the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, and the chance to join the World Cup Club, is available at the event’s official website at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.

 

 

World’s Best Heading to Germany for the World Equestrian Festival Aachen CHIO

This month, one of the world’s biggest and most competitive annual equestrian competitions is taking place – the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, July 12-22. The event hosts competition in five of the FEI’s eight disciplines — Eventing, Driving, Vaulting, and the two we feature at the FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, Jumping and Dressage.

Mclain HH Azur 3 at 2017 Omaha World Cup (📸)Lili Weik

Mclain HH Azur 3 at 2017 Omaha World Cup (📸)Lili Weik

The U.S. is sending a super strong team in jumping, led by two riders who have won the World Cup Finals — Olympic double Gold medalists Beezie Madden, who won the FEI World Cup Finals twice (2013 and 2018), and McLain Ward, who won the Final in 2017.

Joining them are  two-time Olympic veteran Laura Kraut, who won a team Gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong, Kent Farrington, team Silver medalist at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and Nicole Shahinian-Simpson, who has competed at six World Cup Finals, including two in Las Vegas (2005, 2003) and who was also a member of U.S. Team at the 2002 World Equestrian Games.

Beezie Madden Breitling 2018  (📸)Taylor-Renner

Beezie Madden Breitling 2018 (📸)Taylor-Renner

These riders will compete in several individual classes as well as the main jumping competition, the Nations Cup team competition which is taking place on Thursday, July 18.

The Dressage competition will be equally exciting with another team of experienced U.S. riders. While the U.S. jumping horses have not yet been announced, the dressage horses have been.

Steffen Peters will be riding Four Winds Farm and Akiko Yamazaki’s 11-year-old KWPN gelding “Suppenkasper.” In the four Olympics in which Peters has competed, he has won three Bronze medals – most recently at the 2016 Games in Rio. He has competed at five World Cup Finals, including 2007 when he finished third and 2009 when he emerged as World Cup champion!

Steffen Peters 2009 (📸)Tony DeCosta

Steffen Peters 2009 (📸)Tony DeCosta

Joining Peters at Aachen are Olympic and World Equestrian Games veteran Adrienne Lyle, who will be competing the 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion “Salvino,” owned by Betsy Juliano LLC. Lyle competed in her first World Cup Final this year in Gothenburg, where she and “Salvino” finished seventh. Also on the U.S. team are WEG veterans Katherine Bateson-Chandler, who will be riding Jane Clark’s 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding “Alcazar,” and Shelly Francis, who will be riding Patricia Stempel’s 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding “Danilo,” whom she rode in the 2018 World Cup Finals in Paris where they finished 12th.

The Dressage Nations Cup will consist of the Grand Prix CDIO5* on Thursday, July 18, and the Grand Prix Special CDIO5* on Saturday, July 20. The Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO5* will take place on Sunday, July 21, for individual honors.  In addition to the U.S. riders, we know the field at Aachen will feature many of the sport’s elite riders who are likely to be competing at the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas next April 15-19. With that in mind, be sure that you don’t wait another minute to join the World Cup Club. Membership is free and it will give you an inside edge on getting the best available seats for the 2020 World Cup Finals in Las Vegas.

Through August 15, members of the World Cup Club have an exclusive opportunity to purchase All-Session tickets. To take advantage of this exclusive opportunity, go to www.worldcuplasvegas.com/world-cup-club right now — everyone is welcome to join! Not only will you have exclusive access to the All-Session tickets, as a World Cup Club member you will also get the latest breaking news, host hotel updates, hospitality information and much more!

All-Session Ticket Packages are available as follows:

Jumping Dressage Combo
VIP Seating $2,000 $2,000 $3,950
Plaza $450 $450 $850
Balcony $250 $250 $450

*Additional fees may apply

All VIP ticket holders will have access to the impressive Taylor Harris Club presented by Lugano Diamonds which will be an amazing experience. Located in the brand new Strip View Pavilion, the new 36,000 square-foot, two-story magnificent VIP space has an outdoor patio overlooking the stabling area with spectacular views of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. Access to the Taylor Harris Club, presented by Lugano Diamonds will provide:

  • VIP seating in the first four rows of the venue
  • Easy access from seats to the VIP area
  • VIP Food & Beverage
  • Live music
  • An exclusive entrance to the venue for VIPs only
  • Large screen TVs so no one has to miss any action
  • Complimentary World Cup Souvenir Program
  • Complimentary Day Sheets

Click here for the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals Tentative Schedule

The Thomas & Mack Center will be the place next  April for equestrian sports’ biggest annual championship. Join me in  The Entertainment Capital of the World, April 15-19, 2020, fort a week you’ll never forget and to see who will be crowned World Cup Champion in jumping and dressage!

Further information on the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, and the chance to join the World Cup Club, is available at the event’s official website at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.

World’s Best Heading to Germany for the World Equestrian Festival Aachen CHIO

This month, one of the world’s biggest and most competitive annual equestrian competitions is taking place – the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, July 12-22. The event hosts competition in five of the FEI’s eight disciplines — Eventing, Driving, Vaulting, and the two we feature at the FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, Jumping and Dressage.

Beezie Madden Breitling 2018  (📸)Taylor-Renner

Beezie Madden Breitling 2018 (📸)Taylor-Renner

The U.S. is sending a super strong team in jumping, led by two riders who have won the World Cup Finals — Olympic double Gold medalists Beezie Madden, who won the FEI World Cup Finals twice (2013 and 2018), and McLain Ward, who won the Final in 2017.

Joining them are  two-time Olympic veteran Laura Kraut, who won a team Gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong, Kent Farrington, team Silver medalist at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and Nicole Shahinian-Simpson, who has competed at six World Cup Finals, including two in Las Vegas (2005, 2003) and who was also a member of U.S. Team at the 2002 World Equestrian Games.

Mclain HH Azur 3 at 2017 Omaha World Cup (📸)Lili Weik

Mclain HH Azur 3 at 2017 Omaha World Cup (📸)Lili Weik

These riders will compete in several individual classes as well as the main jumping competition, the Nations Cup team competition which is taking place on Thursday, July 18.

The Dressage competition will be equally exciting with another team of experienced U.S. riders. While the U.S. jumping horses have not yet been announced, the dressage horses have been.

Steffen Peters will be riding Four Winds Farm and Akiko Yamazaki’s 11-year-old KWPN gelding “Suppenkasper.” In the four Olympics in which Peters has competed, he has won three Bronze medals – most recently at the 2016 Games in Rio. He has competed at five World Cup Finals, including 2007 when he finished third and 2009 when he emerged as World Cup champion!

Steffen Peters 2009 (📸)Tony DeCosta

Steffen Peters 2009 (📸)Tony DeCosta

Joining Peters at Aachen are Olympic and World Equestrian Games veteran Adrienne Lyle, who will be competing the 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion “Salvino,” owned by Betsy Juliano LLC. Lyle competed in her first World Cup Final this year in Gothenburg, where she and “Salvino” finished seventh. Also on the U.S. team are WEG veterans Katherine Bateson-Chandler, who will be riding Jane Clark’s 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding “Alcazar,” and Shelly Francis, who will be riding Patricia Stempel’s 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding “Danilo,” whom she rode in the 2018 World Cup Finals in Paris where they finished 12th.

The Dressage Nations Cup will consist of the Grand Prix CDIO5* on Thursday, July 18, and the Grand Prix Special CDIO5* on Saturday, July 20. The Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO5* will take place on Sunday, July 21, for individual honors.  In addition to the U.S. riders, we know the field at Aachen will feature many of the sport’s elite riders who are likely to be competing at the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas next April 15-19. With that in mind, be sure that you don’t wait another minute to join the World Cup Club. Membership is free and it will give you an inside edge on getting the best available seats for the 2020 World Cup Finals in Las Vegas.

Through August 15, members of the World Cup Club have an exclusive opportunity to purchase All-Session tickets. To take advantage of this exclusive opportunity, go to www.worldcuplasvegas.com/world-cup-club right now — everyone is welcome to join! Not only will you have exclusive access to the All-Session tickets, as a World Cup Club member you will also get the latest breaking news, host hotel updates, hospitality information and much more!

All-Session Ticket Packages are available as follows:

Jumping Dressage Combo
VIP Seating $2,000 $2,000 $3,950
Plaza $450 $450 $850
Balcony $250 $250 $450

*Additional fees may apply

All VIP ticket holders will have access to the impressive Taylor Harris Club presented by Lugano Diamonds which will be an amazing experience. Located in the brand new Strip View Pavilion, the new 36,000 square-foot, two-story magnificent VIP space has an outdoor patio overlooking the stabling area with spectacular views of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. Access to the Taylor Harris Club, presented by Lugano Diamonds will provide:

  • VIP seating in the first four rows of the venue
  • Easy access from seats to the VIP area
  • VIP Food & Beverage
  • Live music
  • An exclusive entrance to the venue for VIPs only
  • Large screen TVs so no one has to miss any action
  • Complimentary World Cup Souvenir Program
  • Complimentary Day Sheets

Click here for the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals Tentative Schedule

The Thomas & Mack Center will be the place next  April for equestrian sports’ biggest annual championship. Join me in  The Entertainment Capital of the World, April 15-19, 2020, fort a week you’ll never forget and to see who will be crowned World Cup Champion in jumping and dressage!

Further information on the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, and the chance to join the World Cup Club, is available at the event’s official website at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.

Ready…Set…Go! Exclusive All-Session Tickets on Sale for the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas!

Want to see the world’s biggest and brightest jumping and dressage stars compete at one of the world’s most prestigious championships? In the most exciting city in the world? Well, join the World Cup Club today and you can get the best seats in the house for the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas next April!

From July 1 through August 15, members of the World Cup Club have an exclusive opportunity to purchase All-Session tickets. It’s free (yes FREE!) to join the World Cup Club, so take advantage of this exclusive opportunity. Go to www.worldcuplasvegas.com/world-cup-club right now — everyone is welcome to join!

As a World Cup Club member, not only will you have exclusive access to All-Session tickets, you will also get the latest breaking news, host hotel updates, hospitality information and much more!

I can tell you that the 2020 World Cup Finals are going to be bigger and better than ever before!  Nearly 74,000 spectators came to the 2015 Finals in Las Vegas which were absolutely spectacular, and more are expected in 2020. When you have the biggest names in two Olympic disciplines under one roof, there’s no doubt that the competition will be incredible, and so will the entertainment, dining and shopping.

The schedule for 2020 Finals features the return of the Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle to music, the class that determines the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Champion, to its previous primetime spot on Saturday evening. It’s a favorite competition for both riders and spectators, and promises to be one of the most exciting nights of the year! 

All-Session Ticket Packages are available as follows:

  Jumping Dressage Combo
VIP Seating $2,000 $2,000 $3,950
Plaza $450 $450 $850
Balcony $250 $250 $450

*Additional fees may apply

All VIP ticket holders will have access to the impressive Taylor Harris Club presented by Lugano Diamonds which will be an amazing experience. Located in the brand new Strip View Pavilion, the new 36,000 square-foot, two-story magnificent VIP space has an outdoor patio overlooking the stabling area with spectacular views of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. Access to the Taylor Harris Club, presented by Lugano Diamonds will provide:

  • VIP seating in the first four rows of the venue
  • Easy access from seats to the VIP area
  • VIP Food & Beverage
  • Live music
  • An exclusive entrance to the venue for VIPs only
  • Large screen TVs so no one has to miss any action
  • Complimentary World Cup Souvenir Program
  • Complimentary Day Sheets

Click here for the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals Tentative Schedule

The 2020 Finals will be like nothing you’ve ever seen, so make sure you don’t miss out! Tickets are expected to sell fast, so get your tickets right away, because starting August 16, All-Session tickets will be available to everyone and they will go FAST. Tickets for individual sessions will go on sale early next winter.

I’m already a member of the World Cup Club, are you? Don’t wait … join NOW!

Get your tickets now and join me at the Thomas & Mack Center in The Entertainment Capital of the World, April 15-19, 2020, to see who is crowned World Cup Champion!

Further information on the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, and the chance to join the World Cup Club, is available at the event’s official website at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.

Historic Moments at the Las Vegas World Cup Finals

With the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas just ten months away and the excitement building like crazy, I thought we should look back at some of the historic moments that have taken place at the six previous Finals held in the “Entertainment Capital of the World.”

The first FEI World Cup Final anywhere was held in 1979; it was held for jumping with the first dressage Final coming in 1986. The concept for the World Cup Final was developed by Swiss journalist Max Ammann at the request of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, then President of the FEI. The format was modeled after skiing’s World Cup and it aimed to improve media coverage of equestrian sport.

The World Cup was an immediate hit with riders and spectators and Max and the FEI knew they had a winner. It would go on to even greater popularity after John Quirk convinced Max and the FEI to bring the Final to Las Vegas where great sport would be combined with great entertainment.

After the first Final in Vegas in 2000, I remember Max saying, “Las Vegas proved to the world that you can do a different horse show than what is normally the case. They combined world-class sport with world-class entertainment and presented show jumping like it’s never been seen before. The success of the Final in Las Vegas was a breakthrough for U.S. show jumping and I think what we saw was the future of the sport.”

Adding to the anticipation for that first Final in Las Vegas was the question of whether or not Brazilian rider Rodrigo Pessoa and the remarkable stallion Gandini Baloubet du Rouet, whose bloodlines are still highly sought after, could achieve an unprecedented third consecutive win in the Final. Much to everyone’s delight, he did! The pair jumped two fault-free rounds on the final day to clinch the win and engrave Pessoa’s name in the record books forever.

Although Pessoa came close to another title when the Final returned to Las Vegas in 2003, it wasn’t to be. Entering the last day, Sweden’s Malin Baryard held first place on zero faults while Pessoa and Germany’s Marcus Ehning were tied for second with two faults each. Ehning and the mare Anka jumped two perfect rounds while the other two each had a rail down in the first round with Baryard dropping another in the second round. Ehning clinched the first of his three World Cup Finals (he also won in 2006 and 2010), with Pessoa taking second place and Baryard third.

World Cup history was made in 2005 as the jumping and dressage Finals were held together for the first time. Anky van Grunsven of The Netherlands won her record seventh Final in dressage (she went on to win two more for a record of nine that still stands), but the most memorable moment came when America’s Debbie MacDonald and the legendary chestnut mare Brentina, owned by Peggy and Parry Thomas for whom the Thomas & Mack Center is named, performed their breath-taking Grand Prix Freestyle to a medley of soul music.

The duo virtually ‘rocked the house,’ reaching a climax with their last movements down the centerline set to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” The sold-out stadium of over 11,500 people stood and clapped along (at that time a big ‘no-no’ in dressage) and erupted in cheers before the final halt. Although the pair finished in third, it remains an unforgettable performance that most people feel changed the sport of dressage forever!

When you hear Aretha start singing, listen to the crowd and watch Debbie’s face!

In jumping, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum of Germany, a California native, won the first of her three World Cup titles. Meredith and her famed gelding Shutterfly dropped only one rail through five rounds of jumping to claim the victory, while Great Britain’s Michael Whitaker and Portofino 63 took second place and Germany’s Lars Nieberg took third aboard Lucie 55.

In 2007, Switzerland’s Beat Mandli won his first World Cup Final after more than a decade of attempts. Going into the last day’s final two rounds, the top seven riders were separated by only four faults. Mandli scored the victory after nine of the top 10 riders incurred faults in the first round. Germany’s Daniel Deusser took second with Air Jordan Z, while countryman Markus Beerbaum, Meredith’s husband, took third aboard Leena.

In dressage, Germany’s Isabell Werth put in a spectacular performance aboard Warum Nicht FRH in front of a crowd of 11,925 to claim her second World Cup title. Werth, who had won the 1992 Final, received a score of 84.250%. Dutch rider Imke Schellekens-Bartels scored 77.950% on Sunrise to take second, just slightly ahead of America’s Steffen Peters who finished third on Floriano with 77.800%.

In 2009, it was Peters’s time to shine. Riding his famed partner, Ravel, Peters scored an 84.950% to claim his first World Cup championship – only the second ever for an American! Werth was second with Satchmo 78, while van Grunsven took third aboard Painted Black.

Also that year, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Shutterfly jumped into the record books in one of the closest Finals in history. The duo narrowly edged American McLain Ward who placed second on Sapphire. With the victory, Meredith joined the ranks of three-time winners alongside Pessoa and Austria’s Hugo Simon (Ehning would get his third the following year). Shutterfly became only the second horse to win three Finals joining Pessoa’s Baloubet du Rouet.

The atmosphere in the Thomas & Mack Center for the 2015 Finals was absolutely electric as Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and her record-setting partner, Valegro, came to defend their dressage title. Dujardin and Valegro, still the only duo to hold Olympic, World, European and World Cup titles simultaneously, danced their way across the arena, executing seamless transitions and amazing extensions to score a jaw-dropping 94.196%!

“Having a horse like Valegro is just amazing,” Dujardin commented after her win. “I wasn’t sure how he would cope with all those people, but I think he loved the American crowd!”

The jumping Final saw Swiss rider Steve Guerdat, who had come close to winning the title each of the three previous years, finally claim his first World Cup aboard Albfeuhren’s Paille. Guerdat has since added two more titles to join the exclusive three-win club!

Every time the World Cup Finals return to Las Vegas it is memorable. The “Entertainment Capital of the World” provides the ideal backdrop and one thing I can promise you is this…the 2020 Finals in Las Vegas are going to be bigger and better than ever before, so make sure you join us at the Thomas & Mack Center next April 15-19!

Tickets

From July 1-August 15, members of the World Cup Club will have the next opportunity to purchase All-Session Tickets. It’s free to become a World Cup Club member, so sign up now! You’ll have first choice on the best available seats, and also get the latest news, ticket and hotel information. Join NOW at www.worldcuplasvegas.com/world-cup-club.

Further ticket information for the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas will be announced later this year. Everyone is encouraged to visit the event’s official website at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com and sign up for the latest news and information for FREE at www.worldcuplasvegas.com/world-cup-club.

Photo Credit: Noëlle Floyd

Richard Spooner – The “Master of Faster” Focusing on Las Vegas

Richard Spooner, known throughout the show jumping world as the “Master of Faster,” has been one the United States’ biggest show jumping stars for decades. (No, Richard, I’m not calling you old!) Spooner’s resumé, from his days as a young rider to his highly-successful career as a professional, is filled with awards, championships and Grand Prix victories.

A familiar name on the FEI World Cup™ circuit, Spooner has competed in an amazing 15 World Cup Finals, including five in Las Vegas (2000, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009).  He competed at his first Final ever in 1998 in Helsinki, Finland, where he was the top U.S. finisher, coming home in fourth place overall.

The West Coast-based Spooner, whose most recent trip to the Finals was last year in Paris, currently holds the pole position for next April’s Final in Las Vegas as he leads the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American Western Sub-League with 49 points. He has made it clear that he would love a spot in the line-up when the Finals return to Las Vegas next year!

A force to be reckoned with in every event he enters, the 48 year-old Spooner has finished in the top-six in four World Cup qualifiers this season. He took fourth place on “Quirado RC” at both the Las Vegas CSI4*-W and Thermal CSI3*-W qualifiers, and sixth place at the Del Mar CSI3*-W qualifier. Spooner also took fifth place with “Quitana II” at the Sacramento CSI3*-W qualifier.

Spooner has represented the U.S. on numerous Nations Cups teams over the years. He was an integral part of the U.S. show jumping team that clinched the silver medal at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Mexico at Coapexpan in May, and the bronze medal at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Canada at Thunderbird Show Park in British Columbia just this past weekend. Spooner and “Quirado RC” jumped double clear at both events (although they incurred two time penalties in Mexico) and due in no small part to their efforts, the U.S. has secured a spot at the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona Spain next fall!

Tickets

Starting July 1 and running through August 15, members of the World Cup Club will have an exclusive opportunity to purchase All-Session Tickets. It’s free to become a World Cup Club member, so don’t delay, sign up right now! You’ll have first choice on the best available seats, and also get the latest news, ticket and hotel information. Join NOW at www.worldcuplasvegas.com/world-cup-club.

Further ticket information for the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas will be announced later this year. Everyone is encouraged to visit the event’s official website at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com and sign up for the latest news and information for FREE at www.worldcuplasvegas.com/world-cup-club.

The FEI World Cup™ Finals are the most prestigious individual annual championships for jumping and dressage and the 2020 Finals in Las Vegas will be nothing short of extraordinary.  The world’s supreme equestrian athletes in two Olympic disciplines will be there on April 15-19, 2020. I hope you will join me – and hopefully, Richard Spooner – in the “Entertainment Capital of the World” for what will surely be the most exciting event of the year!