Tag Archives: 2020

The 1980s: When the U.S. Ruled the Show Jumping World!

The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final is an annual international showdown among the world’s best show jumping horses and riders, started in 1979.  Of the 41 Finals held through 2019, the U.S. has won the most titles – 11 – with seven of those wins coming in the 1980s.

Mclain Victory 2 © Lili Weik LOW RES

Mclain Victory © Lili Weik

While U.S. riders have won four Finals this decade – Rich Fellers in 2012, Beezie Madden in 2013 and 2018, and McLain Ward in 2017 – the dominance of the U.S. in the 1980 is not likely to be seen again.  The 1980s were the golden era for U.S. jumping. Not only did the Americans dominate the World Cup, but the U.S. also won team Gold medals at the 1984 Olympics and 1986 World Championships, as well as team Silver at the 1988 Olympics.

The first World Cup Final was held in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1979, and it was the start of something very special for equestrian sport. The event was everything the organizers, as well as the spectators, hoped it would be. Austrian rider Hugo Simon impressively won the inaugural event on Gladstone in a jump-off with U.S. rider Katie Monahan who took second place with The Jones Boy. It was a crowded podium that year as her compatriot Norman Dello Joio on Allegro tied for third place with Ireland’s Eddie Macken and Carrols of Dundalk.

The 1980 Final took place on American soil in Baltimore, Maryland, and began the U.S. domination. The Americans scored a one-two finish as Conrad Homfeld and Balbuco claimed victory with Melanie Smith and Calypso taking second. At the 1981 Final in Birmingham, England, the U.S. once again took the top two spots, with Michael Matz and the great Jet Run clinching the victory and Donald Cheska and Southside, who were competing outside the U.S. for the first time, taking the runner-up spot. The event’s debutante winners, Hugo Simon and Gladstone, took third place. It was an incredible result, as a total of six U.S. riders finished in the top ten!

The 19982 Final returned to Gothenburg with a change in the format and scoring, and the U.S. celebrated another victory. Melanie Smith became the first female to win the Final aboard her superstar Calypso. It was an exciting finish as the pair finished just one penalty point ahead of second-placed Paul Schockemohle of Germany and Akrobat, while Hugo Simon and Gladstone shared third place with Great Britain’s John Whitaker and Ryan’s Son.

Norman Dello Joio and I Love You World Cup Finals '83

Norman Dello Joio and I Love You • World Cup Finals ’83

Both Norman Dello Joio and Melanie Smith returned to the podium in 1983 in Vienna, but this time it was Dello Joio who clinched the win with I Love You, while Smith and Calypso took third place behind home nation favorites Hugo Simon and Gladstone. Although he wasn’t able to enjoy a victory on home soil, the ever-competitive Austrian did later reclaim the World Cup trophy with back-to-back victories in 1996 and 1997, and he remains one of five riders that have scored three wins in the history of the World Cup Final.

At the 1984 Final in Gothenburg, the Canadian national anthem was played, but the stars and stripes were still flying. Dello Joio and I Love You tied for second place with Brazilian rider Nelson Pessoa and Moet et Chandon Larramy, as Mario Deslauriers, at just 19 years-old, clinched the first win for Canada aboard Aramis who was only seven years-old! Deslauriers became the youngest rider ever to win the FEI World Cup Final, a record that still stands today.

Homfeld at 1985 World Cup Final with Abdullah

Homfeld at 1985 World Cup Final with Abdullah

The 1985 Final in Berlin saw a record field of 45 riders from 13 nations. Conrad Homfeld became the first rider to win the World Cup for a second time, and it was with the famed grey stallion Abdullah, his partner at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles where they not only helped the U.S. win its first-ever team Gold medal in show jumping, but also won the individual Silver medal. European riders rounded out the World Cup podium, as Great Britain’s Nick Skelton took second place aboard Everest S. James and France’s Pierre Durand and Jappeloup took third.

When the 1986 Finals returned to Gothenburg, it was another exciting victory for the U.S. as Leslie Burr became the second woman to win the World Cup Final. Leslie and her horse McLain won with a score of zero faults, ahead of Canada’s Ian Millar and Big Ben, who later would become the first rider to win back-to-back World Cup titles in 1988 and 1989. Leslie’s compatriot Conrad Homfeld made his third appearance in the top three, taking third place with May Be.

Katharine Burdsall and The Natural

Katharine Burdsall and The Natural

The U.S. claimed success yet again at the 1987 Final in Paris, taking two of the top three spots. Katharine Burdsall, a former student of Melanie Smith, copied her mentor and rose to victory aboard The Natural, the horse she rode on the Gold medal U.S. Team at the 1986 World Championships. France’s Philippe Rozier and Malesan Jiva took second place, while U.S. rider Lisa Jacquin and For The Moment rounded out the top three.

Following that incredible run of seven titles in nine years in the 1980s, it would be 25 years before another American rider claimed the World Cup title. At the 2012 Final in s’Hertogenbosch, Rich Fellers broke the spell. He and his chestnut stallion Flexible, reclaimed the title, followed a year later by a win by Beezie Madden and Simon in Gothenburg in 2013.

In 2017 in Omaha, McLain Ward and HH Azur jumped spectacularly throughout the event to clinch Ward’s first World Cup title. It was a truly special moment as he rode around in the victory gallop and waved to the appreciative home crowd while fighting back tears.  Switzerland’s Romain Duguet and Twentytwo Des Biches took second place, while Sweden’s Henrik von Eckerman took third aboard Toveks Mary Lou.

Beezie-Madden-Breitling-2018 LS-Photo-by-Taylor-Renner-45

Beezie Madden Breitling 2018 ©Taylor Renner

The American National Anthem played again at the 2018 Finals in Paris, when Beezie Madden claimed her second World Cup title, this time aboard Breitling LS. Countryman Devin Ryan and Eddie Blue had the ride of a lifetime, taking second place in their World Cup Final debut, while Henrick von Eckerman and Toveks Mary Lou again rounded out the top three on the podium. Ward and HH Azur finished fourth.

With U.S. riders dominating international competitions in recent years, it will undoubtedly be an exciting 2020 Longines FEI World Cup™ Finals! The best equestrian athletes from around the globe will be in Las Vegas (for the FEI Dressage World Cup™ too!) and you won’t want to miss it. The only prediction I can make is that history will be made once again, as it’s going to be the biggest and best Finals the world has ever seen!

The 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas take place April 15-19! All-Session tickets for either discipline are now on sale!  Tickets for individual sessions will go on sale early this winter, so it’s best to get your tickets NOW to be sure you get the best seats! Everyone is welcome to join the World Cup Club at http://www.worldcuplasvegas.com/world-cup-club. Membership is FREE and members receive all the latest breaking news, information on host hotels, hospitality 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

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.

Outstanding Officials On Board for 2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas

The world’s elite jumping and dressage horses and riders will arrive en-masse in Las Vegas next April to vie for the prestigious title of FEI World Cup™ Champion. This week, the list of officials for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final is being announced, and as expected, it’s an all-star line-up!

Heading the list of officials is Anna Lindqvist of Sweden, who will be President of the Ground Jury. She will be joined by Ground Jury Members David Distler and Jack Robson of the USA, and Colleen Hoffman of Canada.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany will be the Course Designer. Dan Reed of the USA will be the Chief Steward, while Maria Hernek of Sweden will be the European Steward. Santiago Varela of Spain will be the Foreign Technical Delegate and Neil O’Connor of the USA will be the Limb Sensitivity Liaison Judge. The Jumping Final will once again be managed by Stephanie Lightner of Blenheim EquiSports.

Stephanie Lightner cropped

Stephanie Lightner

Anna Lindqvist (Sweden) – President of the Ground Jury

Anna Lindqvist is an FEI 4* rated judge – one of only two in Sweden. Lindqvist was a member of the Ground Jury at the 2016 and 2019 FEI World Cup™ Finals, both in Gothenburg, Sweden.

David Distler (USA) – Ground Jury Member

David Distler

David Distler has been judging around the world since 1975. He became an FEI show jumping judge in 1989, and is currently the only FEI 4* rated judge in the U.S. Distler has served as a member of the Ground Jury at several previous Finals, four of which he served as Ground Jury President, including the 2009 Final in Las Vegas. He served as a member of the Ground Jury at the 2008 and 2016 Olympic Games and was also on the Jury at the 2007 Pan American Games and 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games.

Colleen Hoffman (Canada) – Ground Jury Member

Colleen Hoffman is an FEI 3* rated judge with years of experience as an official. She was a member of the Ground Jury at the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Final in Omaha, Nebraska, among many others.

Jack Robson (USA) – Ground Jury Member

Jack Robson is an FEI 3* rated judge and course designer with over 30 years of experience. He has worked with the likes of Frank Chapot, Bert de Nemethy, Pamela Carruthers, and Robert Jolicoeur to name a few. He was a Member of the Ground Jury for the 2009 and 2015 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, and has been either President or a Member of the Ground Jury at shows such as the Las Vegas National, Los Angeles National, Blenheim Equisports, Del Mar International and Ocala Masters.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. (Germany) – Course Designer

Olaf Petersen Jr

Olaf Petersen, Jr. is a FEI Level 4 Course Designer. He was Co-Course Designer at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and has also designed courses at the 2006 Asian Games, 2005 South East Asian Games, and over a dozen FEI World Cup™ qualifiers such as Thermal, Wellington, Del Mar, and Los Angeles in the U.S., Wroclaw (Poland), Budapest (Hungary), Moscow (Russia), Kiew (Ukraine) and Balvanera (Mexico) to name a few. Petersen competed at the grand prix level himself before adding course designer to his resume in 1990 after being inspired by his famed father, FEI course designer Olaf Petersen, Sr.

Santiago Varela (Spain) – Foreign Technical Delegate

FEI BarcelonaSantiago Varela began designing courses when he was just 15 years old and is now an FEI Level 4 Course Designer. He was Course Designer at the 2011 FEI European Championships and for the first Nations Cup Final in Barcelona in 2013, as well as the FEI European Championships for Young Riders, Juniors, and Children. He has designed courses for many of the biggest events around the world, and has been selected as the Course Designer for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Dan Reed (USA) – Chief Steward

Dan Reed has been a Steward at numerous top international jumping events across the nation including the National Horse Show, Las Vegas National Horse Show, Washington International Horse Show, Old Salem Farm Horse Shows, Hampton Classic, Palm Beach Masters and Split Rock Jumping Tour, to name just a few. He is highly respected for his integrity and calm demeanor.

Maria Hernek (SWE) – European Steward

Maria Hernek is a FEI 3* Jumping Steward and conducts FEI Jumping Steward clinics all over the world. She has been the Chief Steward at the Gothenburg Horse Show in Sweden for many years, including the 2013 FEI World Cup™ Final. She was also an FEI Steward at the 2011 FEI European Jumping Championships in Madrid, Spain. She was the Chief Steward at the 2015 FEI World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas.

Neil O’Connor (USA) – Limb Sensitivity Liaison Judge

Neil O’Connor is a USEF and FEI 3* Judge and Steward and officiates regularly at national and international shows. He has served as President or Member of the Ground Jury at many prestigious U.S. shows such as the Hampton Classic, Pennsylvania National, Winter Equestrian Festival, Washington International, National Horse Show, and the inaugural 2014 Central Park Horse Show. Internationally, O’Connor has officiated at Spruce Meadows and the Royal Winter Fair, both in Canada. A native of Millstreet, County Cork, Ireland, O’Connor now resides in the U.S.; ironically he was the Foreign Judge at the 2014 Dublin Horse Show.

The 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas take place April 15-19! All-Session tickets for either discipline are now on sale!  Tickets for individual sessions will go on sale early this winter, so it’s best to get your tickets NOW to be sure you get the best seats! Everyone is welcome to join the World Cup Club at www.worldcuplasvegas.com/world-cup-club. Membership is FREE and members receive all the latest breaking news, information on host hotels, hospitality 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

Click here to purhcase tickets

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

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.

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!