Category Archives: Horse Jumping

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.

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!

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!

The 1980s – When the US Ruled the Show Jumping World

The FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final has been dominated primarily by European competitors who have won the coveted title 21 times in its 36 year history. However, back in the 1980s, it was a very different story. The 1980s were the golden era for US show jumping. In addition to winning team Gold medals at the 1984 Olympics and 1986 World Championships, in addition to team Silver at the 1988 Olympics, the US dominated the World Cup, winning the Final seven times in its first nine years.

The first World Cup Final, held in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1979, was everything that the organizers and spectators hoped it would be. In the end, it was Hugo Simon of Austria who took center stage on the podium claiming the win on Gladstone in a jump-off with US rider Katie Monahan who took second with The Jones Boy. It was a crowded stage in Gothenburg that year, as Ireland’s Eddie Macken and Carrols of Dundalk tied for third place with another US rider, Norman Dello Joio on Allegro.

1980 World Cup champions Conrad Homfeld & Balbuco in Baltimore, Maryland.

1980 World Cup champions Conrad Homfeld & Balbuco in Baltimore, Maryland.

The US began its World Cup domination in 1980 when the Final took place in the US for the first time. In that 1980 Final in Baltimore, the Americans scored a one-two finish as Conrad Homfeld and Balbuco claimed victory while teammate Melanie Smith and Calypso took second. At the 1981 Final in Birmingham, England, the US once again took the top two spots, this time with Michael Matz and the great Jet Run leading the way. Teammate Donald Cheska and Southside, who were competing outside the US for the first time, took the runner-up spot. The 1979 winners, Hugo Simon and Gladstone, took third. A total of six US riders finished in the top ten!

Michael Matz and Jet Run on their way to victory at the 1981 World Cup Final in Birmingham, England.

Michael Matz and Jet Run on their way to victory at the 1981 World Cup Final in Birmingham, England.

A return visit to Gothenburg for the 1982 Final saw a change in the format and scoring along with another US win. Melanie Smith became the first female World Cup winner aboard her superstar Calypso. It was close as the pair finished only one penalty point ahead of second placed Paul Schockemohle of Germany and Akrobat, while Hugo Simon and Gladstone shared third place with Britain’s John Whitaker and Ryan’s Son.

Melanie Smith & Calypso - first female World Cup Champion winning in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1982

Melanie Smith & Calypso – first female World Cup Champion winning in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1982

Prince Philip congratulates Norman Dello Joio after winning the 1983 World Cup Final in Vienna, Austria.

Prince Philip congratulates Norman Dello Joio after winning the 1983 World Cup Final in Vienna, Austria.

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. While a win on home turf was not meant to be that year for Simon, 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 the few riders with three World Cup wins.

The American National Anthem may not have been played at the prize giving ceremony at the 1984 Final in Gothenburg, but the stars and stripes were indeed still flying. Dello Joio and I Love You tied for second place with Brazilian rider Nelson Pessoa and Moet et Chandon Larramy, as Canada’s Mario Deslauriers, only 19 years-old, clinched the win aboard Aramis who was only seven years-old! Seven of the top thirteen finishers were US riders. It was the first time that the US relinquished the World Cup trophy after four straight wins, although the US quickly snatched it back the following year and held on to it for three more consecutive years.

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 great grey stallion Abdullah, his partner at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles where he not only helped the US win its first-ever Team Gold medal in show jumping, but won the Individual Silver medal as well. European riders completed the World Cup podium, as Nick Skelton of Great Britain took second place aboard Everest S. James and France’s Pierre Durand and Jappeloup took third.

Click here or on the video link below to Conrad Homfeld and Abdullah at the the 1985 World Cup Final in Berlin!

Leslie Burr Lenehan & McLain receive their trophy at the 1986 World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Leslie Burr Lenehan & McLain receive their trophy at the 1986 World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden.

It was good fortune for the US again in Gothenburg in 1986, as Leslie Burr Lenehan became the second woman to win the World Cup Final. As her female predecessor Smith did four years earlier in the same city, Lenehan and her horse McLain won the title 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. Conrad Homfeld made his third appearance in the top three, taking third place with May Be.

The US 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 US’s Gold Medal team at the World Championships a year earlier. France’s Philippe Rozier and Malesan Jiva took second place while US rider Lisa Jacquin and For The Moment rounded out the top three.

Princess Anne presents Katharine Burdsall & The Natural with their trophy after winning the 1987 World Cup Final in Paris, France.

Princess Anne presents Katharine Burdsall & The Natural with their trophy after winning the 1987 World Cup Final in Paris, France.

Following that incredible run of seven titles in nine years in the 1980s, it would be 25 years before the US reclaimed the World Cup title. Rich Fellers and his chestnut stallion Flexible broke the spell, reclaiming the title in s’Hertogenbosch in 2012, followed by a second consecutive US win by Beezie Madden and Simon in Gothenburg in 2013.

While there have been many impressive performances in the World Cup Final over the years, no streaks have matched what the US did in the 1980s. With the world’s best horses and riders competing, it is impossible to predict what will happen in a Final, but I can guarantee one thing – this year’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final (as well as the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final) in Las Vegas will be amazing and, in some way, history will be made. Tickets are selling fast, so if you haven’t booked yours yet, I recommend that you do so now; I know you don’t want to miss out!

Three-Peat Pessoa: History Made At First World Cup Final In Las Vegas In 2000

Las Vegas has a well-earned reputation as an unrivaled host for the FEI World Cup Finals. Nowhere is our sport presented with the pizzazz one finds only in the “Entertainment Capital of the World!”

It all started in the year 2000 when Las Vegas hosted the FEI World Cup Final for the first time. Back then, no one had thought of hosting the Finals in both Jumping and Dressage together, something that was done for the first time in Las Vegas in 2005. It was all about Jumping at that first event in 2000 and there was excitement about bringing the sport’s premier annual event to Las Vegas. There was also an added buzz about whether or not Rodrigo Pessoa could achieve an unprecedented “three-peat” by winning the Final for a third consecutive year.

Making History: Rodrigo Pessoa and Baloubet du Rouet clinch their third consecutive World Cup title in Las Vegas in 2000 (c) Jan Gyllensten

Making History: Rodrigo Pessoa and Baloubet du Rouet clinch their third consecutive World Cup title in Las Vegas in 2000 (c) Jan Gyllensten

As we know, the Brazilian superstar pulled it off and Rodrigo became the first – and still only – rider to clinch back-to-back-to-back World Cup wins. To top it off, he won all three titles with the same horse, Baloubet du Rouet!

Rodrigo, son of show jumping legend Nelson Pessoa, and Baloubet du Rouet won their first World Cup Final in Helsinki, Finland, in 1998 and then followed that with a win in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1999. The pair came to Las Vegas as odds-on favorites but, incredibly, almost never even got the chance to step foot in the ring!

Imagine the concern that gripped Rodrigo and his team when the plane bringing the horses from Europe landed and his incredible chestnut stallion stepped off the plane with a case of ‘shipping fever’ and temperature of 105 degrees! Fortunately he recovered quickly and went on to make show jumping history.

The pair won the first round speed class on Thursday night and then placed second in the second round jump-off class on Friday. Under intense pressure in front of a sold-out Thomas & Mack Center, Rodrigo and Baloubet kept their cool and jumped two clear rounds on the final day to clinch the win, etching their names indelibly in the World Cup record books.

The amazing duo went on to win a team bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney that fall and then, four years later, the individual gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

World Cup Champions Rodrigo Pessoa and Baloubet du Rouet

Three-Peat World Cup Champions Rodrigo Pessoa and Baloubet du Rouet

Rodrigo has participated in a total of 13 World Cup Finals, including all five held in Las Vegas (2000, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009). He has ridden in six Olympic Games, winning a team bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in addition to his other aforementioned medals. He has also been in six World Equestrian Games and he won the show jumping World Championship at the 1998 Games in Rome. He also has won two individual silver medals as well as team gold and silver in his three appearances in Pan American Games.

Although three other riders have won the World Cup Finals three times (Austria’s Hugo Simon, and Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Marcus Ehning, who narrowly edged Rodrigo to dash his hopes of a fourth title in 2003), no one, other than Rodrigo, has done it in consecutive years. That accomplishment remains his and his alone.

If you’d like to watch Rodrigo and Baloubet du Rouet in World Cup action, then click here to see their winning performance at the 1999 FEI World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden.

If you want to see World Cup action from Las Vegas, then you need to make sure you get your tickets for next April’s Finals and I suggest that you do that right now because there’s a good chance that history will be made there again and I know you won’t want to miss it!

Top Jumping Officials Announced for 2015 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals

With the world’s best horses and riders competing for the prestigious title of FEI World Cup Champion at the 2015 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Las Vegas next April, it is vital that a world-class slate of officials be on hand to oversee the competition.  Well, we are happy to report that that will be the case as an impressive slate of officials is in place and will be officially announced in the next few days.

Heading the list of officials for jumping is Kim Morrison of Canada who will be President of the Ground Jury. She will be joined by Ground Jury Members David Distler, Neil O’Connor, and Jack Robson, all of the U.S., and Sven Holmberg of Sweden. The Course Designer will be Anthony D’Ambrosio of the U.S., while Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela will act as Foreign Technical Delegate. President of the Appeal Committee will be Cesar Hirsch of Venezuela. Maria Hernek of Sweden is Overall Chief Steward, Debbie Sands of the U.S. is Chief Jumping Steward, and Kate Horgan of Ireland will be the EU Steward.

Kim Morrison (CAN) – President of the Ground Jury

President of the Ground Jury Kim Morrison

President of the Ground Jury Kim Morrison

Kim Morrison has been active in equestrian sport for over 25 years. She competed in four North American Young Rider Championships, and was long-listed for the Canadian Show Jumping Team for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Morrison has served as a Judge and Steward, and is the only FEI Level 4* show jumping official in Canada. Morrison was President of the Ground Jury at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, was a member of the Ground Jury at the 2012 London Olympic Games, the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games, and 2012 FEI World Cup Final.  Morrison has taught National Judge Courses over the past several years and was awarded 2013 Official of the Year by Jump Canada.

David Distler (USA)

David Distler has been judging around the world since 1975, and has organized national and international equestrian competitions since 1985. He became an FEI show jumping judge in 1989, and is currently the only FEI 4* rated judge in the U.S. Distler served as a member of the Ground Jury at five previous FEI World Cup Finals, three of which he was Ground Jury President, including the 2009 World Cup Finals in Las Vegas. He served as a member of the Ground Jury at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong and was also on the Jury at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His most recent major accomplishment was serving as a member of the Ground Jury for the Show Jumping World Championships at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.

Sven Holmberg (SWE)

Sven Holmberg has been involved in national and international equestrian sport for over 45 years as both a judge and organizer. He served as the 1st Vice President of the FEI, was an FEI Bureau Member and was also Chair of the FEI Jumping Committee until 2010. A member of the Board of the Swedish Equestrian Federation for 15 years, Holmberg is one of only two FEI 4* rated judges in Sweden. He has been involved in the organization of the Gothenburg Horse Show since 1979, where he also served as President for three FEI World Cup Finals. He was one of the key figures behind the 1990 World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, Sweden, and was a member of the Ground Jury at the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, the 2003 and 2007 European Championships, and was President of the Ground Jury at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Neil O’Connor (USA)

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., and ironically he was the Foreign Judge at the 2014 Dublin Horse Show.

Jack Robson (USA)

Jack Robson is an FEI 3* rated judge and course designer with over 30 years of experience in the industry. 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 FEI World Cup Jumping Finals in Las Vegas, and has been either President or a Member of the Ground Jury multiple times at the Las Vegas National Horse Show, Los Angeles National Horse Show, Blenheim Equisports Shows, Del Mar International Horse Show, and Ocala Masters.

Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) – Course Designer

Course Designer Anthony D'Ambrosio

Course Designer Anthony D’Ambrosio

Anthony D’Ambrosio has over 35 years of experience in the equestrian industry. As a competitor, he won thirty five grand prix competitions at highly esteemed shows such as the Hampton Classic, International Jumping Derby, USET Show Jumping Championship, International Cup of Mexico and twice held the world record in the Puissance (1973 on Sympatico at Madison Square Garden’s National Horse Show and in 1983 on Sweet & Low at the Washington International Horse Show). D’Ambrosio owns and operates Wild Horse Ranch with his wife Michael which specializes in developing grand prix jumpers and has sold four Olympic horses. For over ten years D’Ambrosio has been a FEI 4* Course Designer and Technical Delegate as well as a member of the USEF Jumper Committee, and received the USHJA Course Designer of the Year Award in 2008 and 2010. He has created tests for horse and riders at Spruce Meadows, the Young Riders Championships and the Pan Am Trials for the Canadian Team Riders. He was the Technical Delegate for the 2009 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, and the Course Designer for the 2009 FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas.

Leopoldo Palacios (VEN) – Technical Delegate

Leopoldo Palacios

Technical Delegate Leopoldo Palacios

Leopoldo Palacios is a one of the most highly respected and sought after course designers in the world. He is an FEI ‘O’ level and 4* Course Designer and Technical Delegate, and has officiated at competitions in more than 35 countries. He has designed courses at the highest level including the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, and the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong, and is only the second person in history to have had the distinction of designing two Olympic courses. Palacios created the courses for the 1997 World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, and the 2005 World Cup Final in Las Vegas as well as the 1991 and 1995 Pan American Games in Havana and Buenos Aires respectively. He served as Technical Delegate for the 2003 Pan Am Games in Santo Domingo, 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and the 2007 Pan-Am games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Formerly the 2nd Vice President of the FEI, Palacios is also the co-founder of the Aachen School of Equestrian Arts.

Cesar Hirsch (VEN) – Appeal Committee President

Cesar Hirsch began his equestrian career as a jumping competitor in Venezuela in 1979, and turned his interest in the sport into his full-time profession. Hirsch is an FEI 3* Judge and Steward, and has officiated at hundreds of shows for over 15 years including four Pan American Games (Winnipeg, Santo Domingo, Rio de Janeiro, and Guadalajara), Central American and Caribbean Games, South American Championships, Spruce Meadows, and the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington. He was also President of the Ground Jury at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships.

Debbie Sands (USA) – Chief Jumping Steward

Debbie Sands has been an equestrian professional for almost 40 years. She is an FEI 3* Jumping Steward and a USEF “R” rated judge in Hunter, Jumper, Hunter Breeding, and Hunter Seat Equitation. Her most recent accomplishment was as a Steward at the 2014 Las Vegas National Horse Show and Chief Steward at the 2014 Los Angeles Masters. For many years Sands has been an official at the Gold Coast Series, Arizona Winter Festival, Los Angeles National, and Blenheim Equisports Horse Shows.

Maria Hernek (SWE) – Overall Chief 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 Jumping Final. She was also an FEI Steward at the 2011 FEI European Jumping Championships in Madrid, Spain.

Kate Horgan (IRL) – EU Steward

Kate Horgan has been an equestrian official for over 15 years. She is a FEI 3*Judge and Steward, and also acts as an FEI Steward Course Director as well as the FEI General Steward for Ireland. She has officiated at many international horse shows including the 2013 FEI World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden.

If you haven’t ordered your tickets for the Finals yet, I recommend that you do so today. It’s not every year that the World Cup Finals are held in the U.S. and next April in Las Vegas promises to be an incredible event that I know you won’t want to miss!