FEI World Cup Back in Vegas

By September 18, 2013
John Quirk and Pat Christenson of Las Vegas Events.

Pat Christenson (right), president of Las Vegas Events, honors industry luminary John Quirk for his role in bringing the FEI World Cup Finals to Las Vegas.
(Photo courtesy Tish Quirk)

The World Cup has booked a return engagement in Las Vegas for 2015! The Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final and the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center, April 15-19, 2015.

The announcement was made today (Sept. 18) by the  Fédération Équestre International (FEI), the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and Las Vegas Events, Inc. (LVE). This will mark the sixth time that Las Vegas will host the FEI World Cup Finals, on the heels of jumping finals in 2000 and 2003 and dual jumping/dressage finals in 2005, 2007 and 2009.

The three combined finals in Las Vegas were the first times that the FEI’s global championships for two Olympic equestrian disciplines were held concurrently.

The combined Las Vegas jumping and dressage finals in 2005, 2007 and 2009 drew an average of nearly 90,000 spectators (over the course of the five-day event) for each of the three years. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, those events had a non-gaming economic impact of more than $20 million each. Individuals representing some 25 countries and all 50 of the United States purchased tickets with more than 90% of the events’ attendees coming from outside Nevada.

“We are delighted that the FEI World Cup Finals in both Jumping and Dressage will be returning to Las Vegas in 2015, giving our sport and our title sponsors Longines and Reem Acra further global exposure on this fabulous American stage,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said. “It will be good to be back in Las Vegas after a six-year gap and we are looking forward to really top class sport in this fabulous venue.”

Debbie McDonald rides an exhibition in Spanish costume.

Debbie McDonald gives an exhibition performance at the 2009 FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas.
(Photo by Paula Parisi)

The announcement also generated excitement from the U.S. community of high performance riders. “The fact that the FEI World Cup Finals are returning to Las Vegas is great news for everyone,” said Beezie Madden, a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist who is the reigning FEI World Cup show jumping champion. “I have been fortunate to compete all over the world and nowhere is our sport presented with as much flair and excitement as in Las Vegas,” the Cazenovia, NY-based rider added.

“They showcase our sport like no one else and the riders absolutely love competing there,” said San Diego, CA-based rider Steffen Peters, who in 2009 won the FEI World cup Dressage Final in Las Vegas.

Started in 1979, the FEI World Cup Jumping Final is an annual international showdown among the world’s best show jumping horses and riders. In the 35 Finals held through 2013, United States riders have emerged with the most titles, having won the championship nine times. Previous FEI World Cup Jumping Finals held in the United States include Baltimore (1980), Tampa (1989), Del Mar, CA (1992) and Las Vegas (2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009). The FEI World Cup Dressage Final was previously held in the U.S. in Los Angeles 1995.

Ticket information will be announced at a later date. Fans can find more information at the event’s official website, www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.

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