The 2015 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas – the event we’ve been waiting for – is finally here! The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final and Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final will get underway in Las Vegas in just one week, and we can’t wait!
Tickets are almost gone, the arena preparations at the Thomas & Mack Center are underway, and the horses are arriving this weekend via jet or luxury charter. Las Vegas will be rolling out the red carpet as the world’s best horses and riders arrive in the “Entertainment Capital of the World” for four days of spectacular competition, the likes of which this country rarely gets to experience.
The U.S. dressage scene is buzzing with excitement as the reigning World Cup champions, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, are coming to the U.S. to defend their title. Dujardin and Valegro are the only duo in history to hold the Olympic, World, European and World Cup titles concurrently, and they have broken every world record. Charlotte, who is also the world’s number one ranked dressage rider, is well known as the ultimate perfectionist, and she has already alluded to wanting to break another record in Las Vegas – their own – which may in fact be possible with ‘the professor’ Valegro. A total of 18 riders from nine countries, including several Olympic and World Equestrian Games medalists, will be competing for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ title and the stunning trophy.
A total of 41 riders from all four corners of the globe will be competing in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final. The list reads like a who’s who in the show jumping world, and boasts many of the world’s top-ranked riders including Olympic champions, World Equestrian Games medalists and FEI World Cup™ veterans. Germany’s Daniel Deusser, the reigning FEI World Cup™ champion, will be defending his title and is bringing his 2014 winning horse Cornet d’Amour. Countryman Marcus Ehning, a three-time World Cup champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, will be putting on the pressure, as will U.S. riders Beezie Madden, (2013 Champion), Rich Fellers (2012 Champion) and two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward, who has competed at an astounding 15 FEI World Cup™ Finals in his career. Todd Minikus, who has competed in seven Finals including the first held in Las Vegas in 2000, is another one to watch, after having won the US East Coast League.
For those who bought VIP tickets to the Finals, you are going to be blown away. In addition to premier seating, VIP members have access to the Taylor Harris Club presented by The National Horse Show, a private VIP hospitality area with luxury amenities, phenomenal food and specialty beverages. Celebrity chefs from the Bellagio have created a stunning menu of five-star dishes, while Southern Wines and Spirits of Nevada will provide a sampling of their fine wines from their ‘Wine Wall’, as well as interaction with their sommelier. Live music and entertainment, the likes of which can only be found in Las Vegas, tops off this first-class treatment!
With almost 100 vendors at the Finals, the World Cup Gift Show has something to offer for everyone. Whether you are looking for a new saddle, custom clothing, fine jewelry or anything in between, you will find it at the World Cup Gift Show!
The thrilling action will commence at the Thomas & Mack Center on Wednesday, April 15 with the warm-up classes for both jumping and dressage. Actual competition begins on Thursday, April 16 with the Reem Acra FEI World CupTM Dressage Grand Prix at noon, followed by the LONGINES FEI World CupTM Jumping Final Round I at 7:00 PM.
Competition continues the next day, Friday, April 17, with the Reem Acra FEI World CupTM Dressage Freestyle Rehearsal (for VIP ticket holders only) at 7:30 AM, the Las Vegas Dressage Showcase at noon and the LONGINES FEI World CupTM Jumping Final Round II at 7:00 PM.
Saturday, April 18 features the Reem Acra FEI World CupTM Dressage Final (Freestyle) at noon, followed by the $75,000 Canadian Pacific Show Jumping Grand Prix of Las Vegas at 7:00 PM. The competition concludes on Sunday, April 19 with the LONGINES FEI World CupTM Jumping Final Round III at noon. All times are local time.
The FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas are going to be big, and simply amazing. That’s a fact. There are a few tickets left and plenty of hotel rooms (after all, it is Las Vegas!) so if you can adjust your schedule, it’s not too late. Come join us for the most spectacular equestrian event of the year! I look forward to seeing you there.