Category Archives: Dressage

It’s Finally Here – The Event We Have All Been Waiting For!

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.

Great Britain's Charlotte Dujardin and her magical horse Valegro are coming to Las Vegas to defend their title! (c) FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst/Pool Pic

Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and her magical horse Valegro are coming to Las Vegas to defend their title (c) FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst/Pool Pic

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.

2014 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Champion Daniel Deusser of Germany (c) FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst/Pool Pic

2014 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Champion Daniel Deusser of Germany (c) FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst/Pool Pic

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!

THC

The Taylor Harris Club presented by The National Horse Show

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.

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World’s Best Coming to Las Vegas for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final – Don’t Miss This Chance to See the Legendary Valegro and Other Stars of the Sport

U.S. dressage fans are in for a treat. The FEI has released the official list of riders and horses that are coming to Las Vegas to compete at the 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final, and for those who want to see the best the sport has to offer, it is going to be a dream come true.

Yes it’s official. Olympic Gold medalist Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain and her wonder horse Valegro are coming to Las Vegas to defend the FEI World Cup™ title they won last year in Lyon, France! The pair has literally rewritten the world record books, breaking every record in the Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle, and becoming the only pair in history to hold all four major dressage titles simultaneously as they are presently the Olympic, World, European and Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ champions.

Golden duo Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro (c) FEI / Arnd Bronkhorst

Golden duo Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro (c) FEI / Arnd Bronkhorst

This is the first U.S. appearance for Dujardin and Valegro since competing at the World Dressage Masters in Wellington, Florida in 2012, just months before winning double Gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics. And with the widely-circulated rumor that Valegro may be retired after the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, this may be the last chance for U.S. fans to see this history-making pair compete on U.S. soil.

Joining Dujardin in the Las Vegas line-up are other superstars of the sport including Isabell Werth of Germany, an Olympic Gold medalist and two-time World Champion as well as a former World Cup winner. Werth is bringing two horses that have already competed in FEI World Cup™ Finals. She rode El Santo NRW at last year’s Final in Lyon, while Don Johnson competed at the 2013 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden. Werth is well known as a tough competitor and will no doubt give Dujardin a run for her money. Countrywomen Fabienne Lutkemeier, who will be competing D’Agostino, her Team Gold medal-winning horse at the 2014 WEG, and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, who will be competing her 2014 World Cup Final partner Unee BB, join her in the line-up.

The top three from the World Cup qualifier in s'Hertogenbosch are all coming to Las Vegas: (l-r) Hans Peter Minderhoud (Glock's Flirt), Isabell Werth (Don Johnson) and Edward Gal (Glock's Voice) (c) FEI

The top three from the World Cup qualifier in s’Hertogenbosch are all coming to Las Vegas: (l-r) Hans Peter Minderhoud (Glock’s Flirt), Isabell Werth (Don Johnson) and Edward Gal (Glock’s Voice) (c) FEI

Another of the sport’s biggest names, former World and FEI World Cup™ Champion Edward Gal of The Netherlands, will be making the trip to Las Vegas for the third time to compete in his ninth Final overall. He is entered with Glock’s Undercover, the horse on whom he won a team Bronze medal at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) last summer, and also at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He will be joined by Hans Peter Minderhoud, a fellow Dutch Olympian and Gal’s 2010 WEG Gold medal teammate, who will be making his fifth FEI World Cup™ Finals appearance and second trip to Las Vegas. This time it will be aboard Glock’s Flirt, the horse on whom he’s had several top placings at FEI World Cup™ qualifying competitions.

Steffen Peters & Legolas 92 at WEG 2014 (c) Susan J. Stickle

Steffen Peters & Legolas 92 at WEG 2014 (c) Susan J. Stickle

U.S. rider Steffen Peters, a three-time Olympian and a former FEI World Cup™ Champion, will be putting the pressure on his fellow competitors as he will be looking to reclaim the title he won in Las Vegas aboard Ravel in 2009.  In this Final, he will be riding Legolas 92, the horse he rode at the 2014 WEG. The pair is fresh from winning two World Cup™ qualifiers back-to-back and earning their personal best score together. Teammate Laura Graves has exploded onto the dressage scene with her 2014 WEG horse Verdades, and the pair just seem to be getting better and better each time out. They had two World Cup qualifier wins just a week apart earlier this month and appear more than ready for the Final.

FEI World Cup™ Final first-timers include Spanish Olympic rider Morgan Barbancon Mestre with her 2012 Olympic mount Painted Black, whom she also rode at the 2014 WEG. Sweden’s Paulinda Friberg will compete Di Lapponia T, while Malin Hamilton will be aboard Fleetwood. Denmark’s Agnete Kirk Thinggaard is entered on Jojo AZ .

Laura Graves (USA) & Verdades at WEG 2014 (c) Susan J. Stickle

Laura Graves (USA) & Verdades at WEG 2014 (c) Susan J. Stickle

Russian Olympian Elena Sidneva will be making her second appearance in Las Vegas, this time with her 2014 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Final partner Romeo Star, while countryman Tatiana Dorofeeva will compete Kartsevo Upperville, the horse she rode at the 2014 WEG.

The four riders who earned ‘FEI extra starting places’ are all seasoned competitors with top international experience. Olympian Lars Petersen of Denmark will be competing his 2014 WEG horse Mariett, marking Petersen’s third trip to an FEI World Cup™ Final. Fellow Danish rider Mikala Gunderson will be riding her 2014 FEI World Cup™ Final horse, My Lady, whom she also competed at the 2014 WEG. Inessa Merkulova of Russia, a four-time WEG veteran, will be competing Mister X, the horse she rode at last year’s FEI World Cup™ Final in Lyon. Finland’s Terhi Stegars has earned her ticket aboard her 2014 WEG partner Axis TSF.

The 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Final is only three weeks away and it’s going to be a rare chance to see the world’s best dressage riders and horses all under one roof in the “Entertainment Capital of the World!” And did I mention that Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro are going to be there?  Don’t miss your chance to be part of history. Get your tickets before it’s too late!

Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and Valegro will be defending their title after clinching the 2014 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final in Lyon, France © FEI/ Dirk Caremans

Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and Valegro will be defending their title after clinching the 2014 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final in Lyon, France © FEI/ Dirk Caremans

Celebrity Chef Creations and Spectacular Wine Wall Await VIP’s at the Taylor Harris Club presented by The National Horse Show

For those of you who have already purchased a VIP ticket package to the 2015 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, you will be glad you did. And for those of you haven’t yet, you are going to want to get one. In addition to the premier seating from which VIP members will watch the world’s best jumping and dressage riders compete for the coveted World Cup™ titles, there will be phenomenal food and drink at the Taylor Harris Club presented by The National Horse Show. The luxury amenities and the unrivaled epicurean fare is only available to VIP ticket holders, and it’s going to be amazing!

Taylor Harris Club presented by The National Horse Show

Celebrity chefs from the Bellagio hotel, including Chef Edmund Wong, Executive Chef for Bellagio, Chef Royden Ellamar of Sensi, and Chef Patrick Lee of Noodles will prepare mouth-watering delicacies each day for VIP members. The five-star menu will include:

Thursday:

Sensi – 10am

  • Super Grain Salad, Kale, Line Caught Albacore Tuna Confit
  • Crab Cake BLT

Noodles – 5pm

  • Wok Fried Crabmeat Brown Rice with X.O. Sauce
  • Pan Fried Pot Sticker, Dumpling Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper Soft Shell Crab Burger, Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

Friday:

Sensi – 10am

  • Tandoori Chicken and Mango Salad, Organic Lettuce, Goat Cheese
  • Early Melon Gazpacho, Hand Pulled Mozzarella, Mint and Basil Pistou

Tuscany Kitchen – 5pm

  • Boneless Citrus glazed Pork Ribs, Red Jalepeno, Cilantro
  • Grilled Shrimp and Chorizo Robata, Avocado and Tomatillo Salsa

Saturday: 

Noodles – 10am

  • Shrimp & Pork Dumpling
  • Mustard Sauce & Cucumber Pickles
  • Honey Barbeque Pork Rice
  • Roasted Barbeque Pork & Fragrant Rice
  • Greens & Soy Reduction

Sensi – 5pm

  • Smoked Beef Brisket, King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, Red Onion Marmalade, Savoy Slaw
  • Carolina Broken Rice Risotto, Rice Flake Crusted Shrimp, Pickled Asian Vegetables

Sunday:

Noodles – 10am

  • Dim Sum Shrimp Ball
  • Deep Fried Shrimp ball, wrap with Shredded Flakes.
  • Mayo Dressing
  • Wok Fried Noodles
  • Wok Fried Sweet Spicy Noodles with Shrimp
Southern Wine winebarrels

Southern Wines and Spirits of Nevada ‘Wine Wall’

In addition to the five-star food, there will also be a bevy of beverages to quench your thirst. Along with champagne and beer, VIP guests will be able to sample a collection of fine wines and interact with the sommelier from Southern Wines and Spirits of Nevada. The ‘wine wall’ will feature:

White: 2011 Iberian Remix Albarino, Edna Valley, CA

From two cool climate vineyards we call the “Bay and Beach” one about 2 miles from Pismo Beach and another about 2 miles from the San Francisco Bay in Carneros. Known for being a quintessential seafood white with a core of crisp lemon fruit and almost saline minerality. Aromatic flavors of meyer lemon, orange blossom and jasmine flowers, clean mineral finish. Touch of creamy lees on mid palate.

White: 2012 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County, CA

Jim Clendenen is the “Mind Behind” Au Bon Climat creating internationally recognized, Burgundian-focused wines of balance and intrigue. This barrel fermented, full bodied Chardonnay has mouth filling citrus fruit and a palate cleansing, bright finish. It will become richer and more complex with age.

Red: 2012 Summerland Merlot, Paso Robles, CA

Well-balanced red with gorgeous fruit flavors of blackberry, chocolate covered cherries, blackcurrant and juicy plums. The oak on this wine is beautifully integrated allowing notes of cedar, vanilla and charred wood to marry with the fruit and soft tannins. Pair this wine with succulent pork roast, cheesy gratin or chicken liver pâté.

Red: 2012 Proletariat Red Blend, Columbia Valley, CA

This distinctive blend  of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 7% Malbec offers a lively balance of raspberry, dark cherry and pomegranate against fine, velvety tannins. Offers freshness and immediate appeal.

Bubbles: Pere Ventura Tresor Brut Rosé Cava, Spain

Pere Ventura’s wine producing vocation is rooted in a family tradition dating back to the 19th century. When he decided to found his namesake winery in 1992, he did so in honor of his ancestors. Pere’s family heritage with Cava dates back to 1872, when his great grandfather, Manuel Montserrat Font, helped produced the first bottles of Cava at Codorniu. Intense and deep pink with persistent, fine bubbles. Clean and sophisticated aromas of red fruits with a slight note of rose petal. Fresh and elegant flavors of strawberry, raspberry and cherries with a long lasting finish.

Live music and special Las Vegas entertainment will accompany the first-class cuisine and service for VIP members, along with the luxury amenities and VIP parking. In addition to admission to the Taylor Harris Club, a VIP Package also includes one premier All-Session seat to watch the world-class action. VIP Packages cost $1,500 per person for either the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final or the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final. A VIP Combination Package for BOTH Finals can be purchased for $2,950.

It’s going to be gastronomic glee at the 2015 FEI World Cup™ Finals in the Taylor Harris Club presented by The National Horse Show. If you haven’t done so already, buy your VIP package now or you are going to miss out!

World Class Shopping at the FEI World Cup Finals Gift Show

The 2015 FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas will be world-class in every way. The competition will be spectacular. The entertainment will be amazing. The hospitality will be out of this world. And the shopping will include almost anything you could want, all right there for you to enjoy!

No matter what you are looking for, you are going to find it at the 2015 FEI World Cup™ Finals Gift Show. Almost 100 vendors will be boasting their wares and tantalizing the wallets of the most discerning shoppers. Visitors will be able to browse the latest in riding wear, boots, saddles and every accessory for horse or rider you could possibly imagine, in addition to clothing, jewelry, fine art and a wide variety of non-horse items as well.

For the latest in equestrian fashion, visit US Animo, an Italian company well known the world over as a leader in equestrian clothing. All products are made in Italy from top quality materials that utilize the latest technology, which keeps riders comfortable and looking great both in and out of the show ring.

Animo_logo_Clean

Comfort for the equine athlete is of ultimate importance, and having the proper saddle will help a horse perform at its best. CWD designs and manufactures their saddles with the latest technology and they offer a wide range of custom made saddles for jumping, eventing, dressage, hunters, and ponies. They also offer a huge selection of tack including bridles, girths, and boots all made with top grade leather.

CWD Vendor Booth (c)T Quirk

photo (c) Tish Quirk

Devoucoux saddles provide the perfect combination of tradition and innovation. Devoucoux now has over 18 models of saddles for every Olympic discipline, and is ever innovating to bring the best possible products to their customers.

Der Dau makes custom make boots in every type of leather, design, color and texture you can imagine. Let your imagination run wild – Der Dau can create the boots you’ve always dreamed about!

photo (c) Tish Quirk

photo (c) Tish Quirk

For the ultimate boutique shopping experience, discerning equestrians will enjoy browsing through WC Equestrian, Equis LLC, In The Stirrup, LA Saddlery, and Equ Lifestyle Boutique. With brands like Kingsland, Manfredi, Parlanti, Kentucky Horsewear, Anna Scarpati, Arista and Barbour to name a few, all of these shops will undoubtedly offer a truly satisfying shopping experience!

M & R Moda in Pelle Firence Inc. is a family-owned, leather fashion company based in Florence, Italy, that produces beautifully crafted leather fashions such as jackets, skirts, and hand bags from only the finest Italian materials. They are also well-known for their custom-made designs for discerning customers worldwide, so if they don’t have it, they will make it!

Le Fash fills the void between standardized riding attire and high-end equestrian inspired sportswear by creating one product line that can cross seamlessly into both markets. Make a statement both on and off a horse!

If you have been looking for the perfect saddle that will fit both you and your horse, there are plenty of saddles from which to choose. Voltaire saddles are hand-made in France, and have looked to the fashion industry in designing their product. Schleese saddles are customized with models more ergonomically designed for women, and are designed to be adjustable for the bio-mechanics of the horse in motion. Albion saddles are made exclusively in Great Britain and cater to dressage, jumping, and recreational riders.

Charles Ancona show jackets are made using the finest Italian stretch fabrics to provide both stylish looks and high performance functionality. All jackets are machine washable, water repellant and lightweight to help keep you cool on the hottest days. Each jacket’s design is fully customizable, and with over 1,500 possible designs, no two jackets are alike!

Since 1906, La Mundial has been making superior quality hand-made riding boots which can be customized to suit a rider’s needs and tastes for any English discipline. Whether you are a hunter, jumper, dressage rider, polo player or foxhunter, La Mundial can create your perfect pair of boots!

Ever wonder about the genetics of your horse? The folks at Etalon Diagnostics are the experts. They have created various itemized tests to diagnose genetic markers in color, health and performance of our equine athletes.

AIM Media is a rapidly growing media company focusing on enthusiast magazines and related consumer shows, Internet sites, and books. Did you know they produce many of your favorite equine magazines and websites? Their Equine network includes: American Cowboy, Discover Horses, Dressage Today, Equine.com, EquiManagement, Equisearch, EQUUS, Hitch Up!, Horse Journal, Horse & Rider, In Stride, Practical Horseman, Spin To Win Rodeo, Stable Management, The Trail Rider and USRider.

Ogilvy Equestrian specializes in the design and production of quality equestrian accessories. They integrate traditional ideas with avant-garde textiles, and cater to all equestrian disciplines – and they even have a fantastic range of canine products!

From the feed room to the tack room, SmartPak offers innovative solutions to help riders take great care of their horses, including the patented SmartPak supplement feeding system that are custom-made for your horse. The company has grown rapidly each year and is now the largest retailer of equestrian products in the United States. SmartPak is the only equine company ever named to the Inc 500 list.

Do you know the best feed for your horse? Cargill can help you. They produce Nutrena® animal feeds and supplements which has been an industry leader in animal nutrition, research and science for more than 80 years.

This is just a sampling of what the Gift Show at the FEI World Cup™ Finals will have to offer. You can learn more at http://worldcuplasvegas.com/home/gift_show. And if you haven’t yet bought your tickets to come to Las Vegas to watch the world’s best horses and riders in both Jumping and Dressage, what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on the equestrian event of the year, order your tickets today!

Steffen Peters Makes History On Home Ground in 2009

Steffen Peters & Ravel win the 2009 FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Las Vegas  (c) Tony DeCosta

Steffen Peters & Ravel win the 2009 FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Las Vegas (c) Tony DeCosta

The 2009 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Las Vegas was historic. In a championship competition that had been dominated by Dutch and German riders, who had won the title sixteen times in the 24 years since its inception, 2009 was the first time that an American won the coveted title on home soil. Steffen Peters and his amazing mount Ravel put on a stellar musical freestyle performance to clinch the World Cup trophy and earn a personal best score of 84.950% to top it off!

Riding to the Rolling Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil and Coldplay’s Vida La Vida, Steffen and Ravel were nearly foot-perfect as they performed in front of an enthusiastic sold-out crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center. The pair floated effortlessly across the arena in a beautifully choreographed test which earned them a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of their performance, followed by deafening cheers when their final score was announced making them the winners. What a great moment it was!

Click below to watch Steffen and Ravel’s winning ride at the 2009 FEI World Cup Dressage Final

Click here to watch Steffen and Ravel’s winning ride at the 2009 FEI World Cup Dressage Final. http://youtu.be/YpzYZMPN4WI

Steffen had done it. He toppled reigning champion Anky van Grunsven of The Netherlands from the World Cup throne, a seat she had held nine times, as Anky placed third; and he also defeated two-time champion Isabell Werth of Germany who finished second as Steffen became only the second American rider ever to claim the World Cup Championship – the first was Debbie McDonald aboard Brentina who won it in 2003 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Steffen and Ravel were one of the most successful partnerships in American dressage history, as the pair claimed many international Grand Prix victories. They won individual and team Bronze medals at the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, and also represented the U.S. at the 2012 London Olympic Games and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Steffen was overjoyed with his win. Watch his reaction after he realized he made history after winning the 2009 FEI World Cup Dressage Final!

The 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, being held concurrently with the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, April 15-19, will no doubt be amazing. History may be made again and you won’t want to miss it. Buy your tickets today and join us in the “Entertainment Capital of the World!”

The Taylor Harris Club presented by the National Horse Show at the FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas: Five-Star VIP Hospitality Alongside a Five-Star Competition

Spectators at this year’s FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas are in for a treat for the senses. It will be a feast for the eyes watching the world’s best show jumping and dressage horses and riders compete for the coveted World Cup™ trophies; and the rest of the senses will also be indulged, especially if you are a VIP ticket holder with the opportunity to experience the unique five-star hospitality experience for VIP guests at the Taylor Harris Club presented by the National Horse Show.  Five-star hospitality alongside a five-star competition – it’s something that can only be found in the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World.’ It just doesn’t get any better than that!

The Taylor Harris Club is a private VIP hospitality area located just a few steps from the front entrance of the Thomas & Mack Center. Admission is included with all VIP ticket purchases. VIP guests of the FEI World Cup™ Finals will be treated to a plush five-star experience, complete deluxe food and beverages, a wine and spirits expo, live entertainment, VIP preferred parking and amenities that can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the world!

Taylor Harris Club presented by The National Horse Show

Since 2011, the Taylor Harris Club at the National Horse Show has been the epitome of VIP hospitality. With first-class cuisine and service, its popularity has continued to grow, establishing the Taylor Harris Club as the new standard in equestrian sport hospitality. Its presence at the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas looks to raise the bar even higher, providing VIP guests with an unforgettable experience.

The unrivaled fare and a unique dining experience at the Taylor Harris Club will tantalize the taste buds. An impressive list of celebrity chefs from the Bellagio hotel will prepare featured items each day, offering unrivaled fare and a unique dining experience. VIP guests will enjoy creations from Chef Edmund Wong, Executive Chef for the Bellagio; Chef Royden Ellamar of Sensi; and Chef Patrick Lee of Noodles. A sommelier from Southern Wines and Spirits of Nevada will interact and offer the VIP guests the opportunity to sample an artful collection of fine wines, spirits, and champagne. All while enjoying live entertainment and music with acts that can be found only in Las Vegas. This promises to be sensory overload!

Celebrity chefs will prepare featured items each day for VIP guests at the Taylor Harris Club presented by the National Horse Show (L-R): Chef Edmund Wong, Executive Chef for the Bellagio; Chef Royden Ellamar of Sensi; and Chef Patrick Lee of Noodles.

Celebrity chefs will prepare featured items each day for VIP guests at the Taylor Harris Club presented by the National Horse Show (L-R): Chef Edmund Wong, Executive Chef for the Bellagio; Chef Royden Ellamar of Sensi; and Chef Patrick Lee of Noodles.

In addition to admission to the Taylor Harris Club, a VIP Package also includes one premier All-Session seat to watch the world-class action. VIP Packages cost $1,500 per person for either the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final or the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final. A VIP Combination Package for BOTH Finals can be purchased for $2,950.

Tickets are selling fast for both Finals. Dressage fans are ecstatic with the anticipation of a possible “Showdown of the Century” between Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and her amazing horse Valegro, vs. Germany’s Matthias Alexander Rath and the famous Totilas, both of whom are expected to compete in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final. Dujardin and Valegro are current Olympic, World, European, and World Cup champions who will be fiercely defending their title. Rath will be looking to claim his first World Cup championship and demonstrate that he and Totilas have indeed formed a winning partnership together like the black stallion had with his previous rider, Edward Gal of The Netherlands, with whom he won three gold medals at the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

Show Jumping fans will be equally thrilled as the world’s best competitors from around the world are focusing their top horses for the opportunity to clinch the coveted Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping trophy. The top European riders are aiming for Las Vegas, including reigning World Cup champion Daniel Deusser of Germany, while the top US riders are doing the same. Olympic gold medalist and former World Cup champion Beezie Madden is setting her sights on re-claiming her 2013 title, as is former 2012 World Cup champion and Olympic teammate Rich Fellers.

This is a rare chance for US audiences to see all the global show jumping and dressage stars in one place! Don’t wait or it may be too late. Buy your tickets to the FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas now!

When Brentina Rocked the House

In looking ahead to next year’s FEI World Cup Dressage Finals, I want to flashback to the 2005 Finals in Las Vegas and remember the mesmerizing performance by U.S. rider Debbie McDonald and her superstar mare, Brentina, owned by Peggy and Parry Thomas, for whom Las Vegas’s Thomas & Mack Center is named.

Based on their record, Debbie and Brentina are one of the most successful combinations in US dressage history. The pair won the 2003 World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, the first U.S. pair ever to do so. They competed at two Olympic Games – 2008 in Hong Kong and 2004 in Athens, where they were part of the U.S.’s Bronze medal team. They also participated in the 2002 World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Jerez, Spain, and the 2006 WEG in Aachen, Germany, where they also won a team Bronze medal.

Brentina's retirement ceremony in Las Vegas 2009 (PMG photo)

Brentina’s retirement ceremony in Las Vegas 2009 (PMG photo)

Brentina was formally retired in ceremonies at the 2009 World Cup Finals in Las Vegas. There was barely a dry eye in the house as a scarf of roses was laid over Brentina’s neck in celebration and appreciation of the much-loved Hanoverian mare and her contribution to the sport. However, with all their winning performances, Brentina and Debbie are in many ways most remembered for their groundbreaking performance at the 2005 Finals in Las Vegas when, performing in front of a sold-out crowd, the duo virtually ‘rocked the house” with their Grand Prix Freestyle, forever changing the way dressage is watched.

The general rule of thumb in dressage is for the spectators to remain silent from the start of the performance until the finish, but in this case the crowd could not contain itself. The choreography and music choice could not have been more perfect for the big chestnut mare, as each of Brentina’s footfalls struck the ground in perfect timing.

Debbie McDonald & Brentina wow the crowds at the 2005 FEI World Cup Dressage Finals in Las Vegas

Debbie McDonald & Brentina wow the crowds at the 2005 FEI World Cup Dressage Finals in Las Vegas

As Debbie and Brentina performed to a medley of Motown hits, the crowd got totally involved and as Brentina performed her last piaffe pirouette and passage down the center line, the packed stadium found itself clapping along to the music which was reaching its climax with Aretha Franklin’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T. With McDonald grinning from ear-to-ear, Brentina floated to her final halt after which the crowd erupted in cheers. What an amazing moment!

Although Debbie and Brentina didn’t win that Final, winding up in third place, the world will forever remember that performance as one that changed the direction of the sport. For the way the crowd reacted to the upbeat performance changed the way people watch dressage, a fitting and lasting legacy for one of the sport’s most beloved combinations.

I spoke with Debbie earlier this year about that night and she agreed that it truly was an incredible moment. “People still bring it up when they see me,” she said. “And I have to say that I smile every time they do. It was something special that I know I will never forget!”

If you’ve never seen this remarkable performance, give yourself a treat and click on the video below to watch the night Brentina and McDonald ‘rocked the house’ at the 2005 FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas. And be sure to listen as the end of the performance nears to hear the crowd join in like it never had before!

The 2015 FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas feature both the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final and the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final. The event promises to be bigger, better and more exciting than ever, and who knows what magical moments lie in store! So if you haven’t ordered your tickets yet, you should do so now. What a perfect holiday gift!