Tag Archives: 2020

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!

Riders Around the World are Excited About the FEI World Cup™ Finals’ Return to Las Vegas

The FEI World Cup™ Finals are the most prestigious individual annual championships for jumping and dressage and the excitement that the Finals are returning to Las Vegas next April is already building among all those looking to attend – including the top riders from around the world!

Show jumping superstar Harrie Smolders of The Netherlands is one of those enthusiastic competitors who have their sights set on a spot in the 2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas. A world-class rider with numerous international victories under his belt, the 39-year old Smolders is currently ranked third in the Longines FEI World Rider Rankings.

Smolders has competed at five FEI World Cup™ Finals including the 2016 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden where he placed second to Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat who made it two in a row following his win the previous year in Las Vegas. Smolders’ mount at that 2016 Final was the chestnut Belgium Warmblood, stallion, Emerald, a horse he went on to ride at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Smolders also won the individual Silver medal at the 2017 European Championships and he has competed at two FEI World Equestrian Games, both of which, coincidentally, were held in the U.S. – 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky and 2018 in Tryon, North Carolina. To say that he likes riding in the U.S. is probably an understatement!

Last month, Smolders was part of the winning European team in the Riders Cup at the 2019 Longines Masters of New York. Similar to golf’s Ryder Cup, the Longines Masters’ Riders Cup matches teams from Europe and the United States and this year, for the second straight year, Team Europe came out on top. Two days after helping Europe win the team event, Smolders took second place in the $400,000 Longines Grand Prix of New York riding Une de l’Othain, an 11-year-old Selle Francais mare owned by his student, Jennifer Gates, and her Evergate Stables LLC.

The 2020 FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas are going to be like nothing you’ve ever seen. The Finals will feature the world’s best riders and horses in both jumping and dressage, dazzling entertainment, culinary delights and incredible shopping. The world’s top riders have highlighted the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas on their calendars and you should too!  Join us at the Thomas & Mack Center in the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” April 15-19, 2020.  Trust me, you won’t want to miss it!

Tickets

The exclusive renewal period for 2015 All-Session Ticket holders began on April 15 and ends on May 31. If you had an All-Session ticket in 2015 and haven’t yet renewed, send an email today to ticketoffice@LasVegasEvents.com!

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

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

Newly Dressed and Ready to Impress: Not Your Same Old Thomas & Mack

The FEI World Cup™ Finals are like no other equestrian event and Las Vegas is like no other place. Next April will mark the seventh time that the “Entertainment Capital of the World” will host the World Cup Finals. In an exciting turn of events, the 2020 Finals are not just back in Las Vegas, but also back at a newly-renovated Thomas & Mack Center. It’s going to be quite different. It’s not your same old Thomas & Mack. The venue has had a major facelift and the Finals are going to be bigger and more spectacular than ever before!

FEI20_TnM GroundsTurn of Events

In November 2016, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) announced that the combined Finals would return to Las Vegas in 2020, but at a different venue – the MGM Grand Garden Arena. At the time, the Thomas & Mack Center was undergoing major renovations. Some scheduling conflicts arose at the new venue, and so it was later decided that the 2020 Finals would return to Thomas & Mack. It will be great for everyone – riders, officials, sponsors, vendors and, most importantly, spectators!

Tremendous Transformation

The Thomas & Mack Center underwent a two-year overhaul with $75 million of renovations and improvements. Upgrades include enhanced stabling for the horses, new arena seats, new entrances and escalators, upgraded concessions and restrooms, new floors and additional ADA seating, plus improvements to the sound system – fantastic news for the Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle to Music (which, by the way, returns to its former Saturday evening place on the schedule)!

Strip Pavilion insideVIP ticket holders are in for an absolutely amazing experience. The event’s VIP Hospitality Center – The Taylor Harris Club presented by Lugano Diamonds – will be in the stunning new Strip View Pavilion, a 36,000 square-foot, two-story VIP event space.  VIPs will have access to all the bells-and-whistles including luxurious surroundings, culinary delights and cool cocktails. The new outdoor patio overlooks the stabling area and offers phenomenal views of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip!

World Class Competition, Shopping, Entertainment, Dining and more

The FEI World Cup™ Finals are the biggest annual individual championships for jumping and dressage riders.  The biggest names in the sport, including Olympic, World, European, Pan American and World Cup champions, will come from all four corners of the globe to battle it out. The competition will be thrilling to say the least! The shopping will be superb with hundreds of vendors on-site, and there will be a huge variety of dining options. On top of that, the special events and entertainment throughout the Finals will be incredible and memorable – all done with that world-famous ‘Las Vegas style’ of course!

The Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas will be the place to be on April 15-19, 2020.  Exclusive All-Session Ticket offers began on April 15. These apply to either jumping or dressage or for combined packages including both disciplines.

  • From April 15 – May 31, 2019, All-Session Ticket holders from 2015 have the first chance to order All-Session tickets for 2020 during an exclusive renewal period. Previous All-Session ticket holders who have not received information by mail or email should send an email to ticketoffice@LasVegasEvents.com.
  • Starting July 1 and continuing through August 15, members of the World Cup Club will have the next exclusive opportunity to purchase All-Session Tickets. It’s FREE to become a World Cup Club member, so be sure to sign up now to have first choice on the best available seats, and also to 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.

Mark your calendars now, get your tickets and book your flights and hotel for this world-class event. I’m looking forward to seeing you at the new and improved Thomas & Mack Center next year!

Longines Masters New York 2019

It was an exciting week of show jumping at the second annual Longines Masters Cup New York (April 25-28, 2019), as five-member teams from Europe and the U.S. went head-to-head in the Riders Masters Cup. ‘Riders Europe,’ including Harrie Smolders (NED), Pius Schwizer (SUI), Darragh Kenny (IRL), Olivier Philippaerts (BEL), and Edward Levy (FRA) successfully defended their title in a nail-biting finish against ‘Riders USA,’ consisting of Olympic gold medalist and 2017 FEI World Cup™ champion McLain Ward; 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games gold medalist Devin Ryan; FEI World Cup Final competitors Kristen Vanderveen and Laura Chapot; and Under 25 star Lillie Keenan. Egypt’s Nayel Nassar made history at the event as the first rider to win both the Longines Speed Challenge and the $400,000 Longines Grand Prix of New York at the same event, and he also did it with the same horse, “Lucifer V.” We hope to welcome these riders at the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas!

Guerdat is Golden at the LONGINES FEI World Cup™ Finals Gothenburg

The Scandinavium Arena was sold out on the final day of the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals Gothenburg. That’s 12,000 seats filled with nervous excitement and anticipation. The atmosphere was electric. Each spectator dared to not move, whisper, or blink as each competitor contested two jump rounds at 1.60m designed by Spanish course designer Santiago Varela. No stranger to pressure, the current FEI World Rank No. 1 show jumper, Steve Guerdat, soared over the final 12-obstacle course to win his third Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title.

Awards-FEI-Liz-Gregg

Steve Guerdat, Peder Fredricson and Martin Fuchs 📸 Credit: FEI Liz Gregg

This was lucky trip number 13 to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals for Guerdat. Winning his first World Cup in Las Vegas in 2015 and again in 2016 in Gothenburg, Switzerland’s Olympic veteran Steve Guerdat and Alamo, the black 11-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Patricio Pasquel Quintana held onto a podium finish throughout the entire competition. The last to go in the final round, Guerdat and Alamo raced the clock with 68 seconds allowed and no rails in hand. As the last fence combination marked the downfall of so many, Guerdat and Alamo cleared them with ease ending their time in Gothenburg as champion with just two penalty points.

“I was a bit unsure going to the Final today as this is his (Alamo’s) first championship and I was a little nervous on Friday after the speed class, but in the end, he has been amazing all week”, said Guerdat.

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Steve Guerdat 📸 Credit: FEI Liz Gregg

A reminiscent Guerdat recalls his World Cup journey. “When I was young I used to dream of winning the World Cup, and when I finished second twice I wondered if it would ever happen. So when I won in 2015 (Las Vegas) it was very special, and to win here in Gothenburg the next year was even better, because this is such a great show, the crowd is like nowhere else and the atmosphere is unbelievable. To win three times, and to do it in Gothenburg again today, this makes me very proud!”

Fellow Swiss rider and Olympic veteran Martin Fuchs piloted Clooney 51, the sure-footed 13-year-old Westphalian gelding, in a tense second round. Fuchs only had one point separating him from the leader, Guerdat. The momentum of Fuchs and Clooney 51 never waned as they came barreling down to the last few fences, an imposing Longines wall to a large oxer combination to the final vertical. Fuchs completed the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals Gothenburg with three penalties securing his spot on the podium behind is mentor for second place.

Martin-Fuchs-FEI-Liz-Gregg

Martin Fuchs 📸 Credit: FEI Liz Gregg

Fuchs now has finished second in two major events, last year’s World Championship and the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final, Fuchs noted “If I have to be beaten it’s great if Steve wins, he is my friend and training partner. Clooney was amazing, he jumped both rounds easy, he is one of the best horses in the world. Two times second place is already a great achievement, and I am already looking forward to the European Championships this summer!”

Peder-F-FEI-Liz-Gregg

Peder Fredricson 📸 Credit: FEI Liz Gregg

The reigning European champion and hometown hero, Sweden’s Olympic veteran Peder Fredricson and Catch Me Not S, the striking grey 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood owned by Ebba Berglöf, were foot-perfect. Consistently ranked in the top three, there was not enough of a gap to relax between fourth place finisher Germany’s Daniel Duesser who posted a double clear round. Strategic speed and stride management cemented Fredricson’s final round going double clear with a final score of five penalty points for third place.

The defending World Cup champion from the U.S., Olympic veteran Beezie Madden and her 13-year-old stallion Breitling LS, were efficient throughout the entire competition. It was, however, not their week for a back-to-back World Cup victory as a bogie fence in each round cost them a spot in the top three. Beezie and Breitling LS concluded the competition with a total of 11 penalty points for sixth place. They were the highest placed U.S. combination.

Final Results: https://results.hippodata.de/2019/1638/docs/jwcf_got_2019_-_final_standings_-_confirmed.pdf

The Countdown for the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas Has Begun: One Year Until the World’s Top Jumping and Dressage Competitors Return to Las Vegas!

In just one year (well, one year and 14 days, but who’s counting?) the world’s top equestrian jumping and dressage superstars will return to the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’ to once again compete for the prestigious title of FEI World Cup™ Champion. The countdown to the 2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ and FEI Dressage World Cup™ Finals has begun and what an incredible week it will be!

jumper 8 of 59The Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas will be the place to be on April 15-19, 2020 and everyone who is there is surely in for a treat! The FEI World Cup™ Finals are like no other competition, and Las Vegas – the Entertainment Capital of the World – showcases the sport like nowhere else! The Finals are the biggest annual individual championships for jumping and dressage athletes. The entry list will read like a who’s-who of the biggest names in the sport including Olympic, World, European and World Cup champions, many of whom don’t usually compete in the U.S.  It will be a rare opportunity for fans to watch the absolute best our sport has to offer!

jumper 36 of 59Not only will spectators be treated to thrilling competition from start to finish, but they will also get to experience the dazzling entertainment that has made Las Vegas famous around the world! It will be a feast for the senses with Olympic, World, European and World Cup champions on hand, plus an array of Las Vegas acts, spectacular shopping and special events.

Dressage Final Back in Primetime!

dressage 7 of 41The schedule for 2020 also features the return of the Dressage Freestyle, the class that determines the World Cup Champion, to its previous Saturday evening timeslot. Based on past experience, this promises to be one of equestrian sports’ most exciting nights of the year!

Exclusive All-Session Ticket Offers

Two exclusive ticket offerings will begin on April 15. These apply to either jumping or dressage or for combined packages including both disciplines.

  • From April 15 – May 31, 2019, All-Session Ticket holders from 2015 will have the first chance to order All-Session Tickets for 2020 during an exclusive renewal period.
  • From July 1 – August 15, members of the World Cup Club will have the next exclusive opportunity to purchase All-Session Tickets. There’s no charge to become a World Cup Club member, so be sure to sign up now to have first choice on the best available seats, and also to get the latest news, ticket and hotel information. Join at www.worldcuplasvegas.com/world-cup-club.

Starting August 16, following these two exclusive periods for 2015 All-Session Ticket holders and World Cup Club members (did I mention that it’s FREE to join the World Cup Club?), general sales of All-Session tickets will open and All-Session tickets for either discipline will be available to anyone. Tickets for individual sessions will go on sale at the end of the year.

The 2020 Finals marks the seventh time that Las Vegas is hosting the FEI World Cup™ Finals following 2000 and 2003 when it hosted the Jumping Finals, and 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2015 when it hosted both the Jumping and Dressage Finals. The world’s best will be there and the American contingent is sure to be a major force – especially on home soil. U.S. riders have won the last two Jumping Finals, with Olympic Gold medalists McLain Ward taking the 2017 title in Omaha and Beezie Madden adding her second World Cup title in Paris in 2018. The U.S. Team (including Ward) also clinched the Gold medal at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) in Tryon, North Carolina.

dressage 5 of 41The U.S. is equally strong in Dressage. Laura Graves has made her mark on many a podium over the past few years. She and her legendary partner Verdades (“Diddy”) were second at both the 2017 and 2018 Finals and won individual and team Silver medals at the 2018 World Equestrian Games and team Bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics. In fact they are off to Gothenburg, Sweden this week to see if they can continue their incredible streak at this year’s FEI World Cup™ Finals.

One think I am absolutely sure of is that the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas will be one event you won’t want to miss. If you had an All-Session ticket in 2015, be ready on April 15 to order your tickets for next year. If not, then be sure to join the World Cup Club immediately so that you’re eligible to order your tickets on June 1. Take a moment to visit the event’s official website at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com and sign up today (did I mention that it’s FREE to join?).

I look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas next year!

The FEI World Cup™ Finals Are Returning to Las Vegas and the Thomas & Mack Center in 2020!

With the announcement by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) in November 2016 that the FEI World Cup™ Finals are returning Las Vegas in 2020, excitement rippled through the equestrian world. That excitement is building to new levels with the recent news that the Finals are in fact returning to the newly renovated Thomas & Mack Center. Get ready everyone for what is going to be the most spectacular and thrilling Finals in the history of the sport!

The FEI World Cup™ Finals feature the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final and the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final; they are the biggest annual individual championships for horses and riders in both Olympic disciplines.  Entry lists include the “who’s who” of the world’s top competitors from all corners of the globe – including Olympic, World, and European Champions – all of whom must qualify during the year in order to compete at the prestigious Finals.

This will mark the seventh time that Las Vegas will be hosting the FEI World Cup™ Finals following 2000 and 2003 when it hosted the Jumping Finals, and 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2015 when it hosted both the Jumping and Dressage Finals at the Thomas & Mack Center. The “Entertainment Capital of the World” provides the perfect backdrop for this prestigious event, as proven by the 73,895 spectators who came to the highly acclaimed 2015 Finals.

A Major Facelift and Change of Venue

The 2020 Finals in Las Vegas were originally slated to be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, but unforeseen scheduling difficulties arose at the new venue. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect as the Thomas & Mack Center was already in the process of a two-year $75 million major renovation, all of which is completed and now the Thomas & Mack is ready to welcome back the world’s premier horses and riders. The significantly improved venue is now a truly world-class facility.

Some of the upgrades include an improved competition arena and warm-up area, enhanced stabling for the horses, new arena seats and floors, new entrances and escalators, upgraded concessions and restrooms. Improvements to the sound system should make the Dressage Freestyle performances more mesmerizing and entertaining than ever before.

A spectacular addition is the new Strip View Pavilion, a brand new 36,000 square-foot, two-story VIP space within which will be the event’s VIP Hospitality Center – The Taylor Harris Club presented by Lugano Diamonds.  It features a magnificent event space and an outdoor patio overlooking the stabling area with incredible views of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The Taylor Harris Club presented by Lugano Diamonds will be open to all VIP ticket holders. VIP hospitality with a view – it doesn’t get any better than that!

The world’s best show jumping and dressage athletes will be doing all they can to qualify for the Finals which will be held April 15-19, 2020. Tickets are sure to sell out fast, so be sure to join the free World Cup Club for the latest news, offers, and ticket information which will be available very soon. Visit www.WorldCupLasVegas.com to sign up today!

This promises to be the most exciting equestrian competition of the year in the most exhilarating city in the world; I can hardly wait!