The world’s top dressage riders are coming to the “Entertainment Capital of the World” to compete at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final 2015 in Las Vegas.
The competition will be held concurrently with the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final 2015 at the Thomas & Mack Center, April 15-19.
Reigning Reem Acra champion Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain is set to defend the title she won last year in Lyon, France with her record-setting horse, Valegro. In a rare U.S. appearance, they are hoping to break another world record – a feat they have accomplished three times already. Dujardin and Valegro are the only duo in history to hold all four major dressage titles simultaneously as they are currently the Olympic, World, European and Reem Acra FEI World Cup champions. This is their first U.S. appearance since competing in the World Dressage Masters in Wellington, Florida in 2012, and with the superstar horse’s rumored retirement after next year’s Olympic Games, this may well be the last chance for dressage fans to see him compete in the U.S.
“This could be the last time that U.S. dressage fans will have the opportunity to watch Valegro compete on U.S. soil,” said Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events. “We are going to have the best dressage riders and horses in the world under one roof and the competition is going to be at the highest level the sport has ever seen.”
Former World and FEI World Cup Champion Edward Gal of The Netherlands will be making his third trip to Las Vegas to compete in his ninth FEI World Cup Final. This time he will be bringing Glock’s Undercover, the horse on whom he won Team Bronze medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 (WEG). Fellow Dutch Olympian and WEG Team Gold medalist Hans Peter Minderhoud will be competing Glock’s Flirt, a horse that has been in the top placings at several FEI World Cup qualifiers, but will be making his first appearance in a Final. Minderhoud has competed at four FEI World Cup Finals, including the 2009 Final in Las Vegas.
Olympic Gold medalist Isabell Werth of Germany, a two-time World Champion and former World Cup Champion, is bringing two horses with FEI World Cup Final experience. Werth competed El Santo NRW at last year’s Final in Lyon, while Don Johnson competed at the 2013 Final in Gothenburg, Sweden. Countrywomen Fabienne Lutkemeier will be competing D’Agostino, her Team Gold medal-winning horse at the 2014 WEG, and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl will be competing her 2014 World Cup Final partner Unee BB, after winning two World Cup qualifiers this season.
Spanish Olympic rider Morgan Barbancon Mestre will be making her first FEI World Cup Final appearance aboard her 2012 Olympic mount Painted Black, whom she also rode at the 2014 WEG. Denmark’s Agnete Kirk Thinggaard and Jojo AZ will also be competing in Las Vegas for the first time, as will Sweden’s Paulinda Friberg riding Di Lapponia T, and Malin Hamilton on Fleetwood.
Olympic and WEG veteran Elena Sidneva of Russia will be making her second appearance in Las Vegas, this time with her Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final 2014 partner Romeo Star, while fellow Russian Tatiana Dorofeeva will be bringing her 2014 WEG partner Kartsevo Upperville.
The U.S. riders will no doubt be giving their fellow competitors a run for their money in Las Vegas. Three-time Olympian Steffen Peters will be looking to reclaim the FEI World Cup title he won in Las Vegas with Ravel in 2009, and he is entered on his 2014 WEG horse Legolas 92. The pair is looking better than ever and scored back-to-back FEI World Cup qualifier wins in the last month alone. U.S teammate Laura Graves will be competing her 2014 WEG horse Verdades, after the duo made two consecutive visits to the winner’s circle in FEI World Cup qualifiers earlier this month.
Olympian Lars Petersen of Denmark will be making his third FEI World Cup Final appearance aboard Mariett, the horse he rode at the 2014 WEG, while countrywoman Mikala Gunderson will be competing My Lady, her 2014 WEG and 2014 FEI World Cup Final partner.
Finland’s Terhi Stegars has entered her 2014 WEG partner Axis TSF, while four-time FEI World Equestrian Games competitor Inessa Merkulova of Russia has confirmed her entry with Mister X, the horse she rode at last year’s Final in Lyon and the 2014 WEG.
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 Cup Dressage Grand Prix at noon, followed by the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final Round I at 7:00 PM.
Competition continues the next day, Friday, April 17, with the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Freestyle Rehearsal at 7:30 AM, the Las Vegas Dressage Showcase at noon and the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final Round II at 7:00 PM.
Saturday, April 18 features the Reem Acra FEI World Cup 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 Cup Jumping Final Round III at noon. All times are local time.
For either the Jumping or Dressage Final, spectators may purchase an all-session balcony level ticket (priority seating) at $200 per person, an all-session plaza level ticket (priority seating) at $350 per person, or the VIP package, which includes one premier all-session seat and access to the Taylor Harris Club Presented by the National Horse Show for $1,500 per person. Combo packages are also available with seats for both Jumping and Dressage with discounted prices as follows: balcony level at $350, plaza level at $650, or the VIP package at $2,950.
Individual session ticket prices are also available and vary depending on the location and session. Tickets for the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final range from $30 – $85, while tickets for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final range from $35 – $115.
VIP guests of the FEI World Cup Finals will be treated to top amenities that can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the world at the Taylor Harris Club presented by The National Horse Show. The Taylor Harris Club includes a private VIP hospitality area complete with deluxe food and beverages as well as VIP preferred parking.
Taylor Harris Club members will enjoy featured plates prepared by an impressive list of celebrity chefs from the Bellagio. With creations from Chef Edmund Wong, Executive Chef for Bellagio, Chef Royden Ellamar of Sensi, and Chef Patrick Lee of Noodles, meals will be as exciting as the competition itself. In addition, VIP guests will be able to sample an artful collection of fine wines, spirits, and champagne, as well as interact with the sommelier from Southern Wines and Spirits of Nevada, and enjoy the music and entertainment of 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 36 Finals held through 2014, Germany (10) and the United States (9) have emerged with the most titles, having won the championship nineteen times between them. 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).
First held in 1986, the FEI World Cup Dressage Final features the world’s best dressage horses and riders. The United States has won the championship twice – in 2003 (Debbie McDonald with Brentina) and 2009 (Steffen Peters with Ravel). The Final has been held four times in the U.S. in Los Angeles (1995) and Las Vegas (2005, 2007, 2009).
Las Vegas Events is a private, not-for-profit organization that serves as the exclusive major special events agency for the city. Founded in 1982, LVE is funded by hotel room tax. Through its Signature Event initiative, LVE has created a model to integrate all elements of special events and formally improve communication between event producers and Las Vegas’ hotel properties and sponsors. Since 1991, Las Vegas Events has produced, presented or supported more than 600 events.
For further information on the 2015 FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, or to order tickets, please visit www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.
Following is the list of qualified riders for the 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Las Vegas:
- Charlotte DUJARDIN/Valegro (GBR)
Western European League (9 slots)
- Edward GAL/Glock’s Undercover (NED)
- Jessica VON BREDOW-WERNDL/Unee BB (GER)
- Fabienne LÜTKEMEIER/D’Agostino (GER)
- Isabell WERTH /Don Johnson/El Santo (GER)
- Hans Peter MINDERHOUD/Glock’s Flirt (NED)
- Agnete KIRK THINGGAARD/Jojo AZ (DEN)
- Morgan BARBANCON MESTRE/Painted Black (ESP)
- Paulinda FRIBERG/Di Lapponia T (SWE)
- Malin HAMILTON/Fleetwood (SWE)
Central European League (2 slots)
- Elena SIDNEVA /Romeo Star (RUS)
- Tatiana DOROFEEVA /Kartsevo Upperville (RUS)
North American League (2 slots)
- Steffen PETERS/Legolas 92 (USA)
- Laura GRAVES /Verdades (USA)
FEI extra starting places
- Lars PETERSEN/Mariett (DEN)
- Mikala GUNDERSEN/My Lady (DEN)
- Inessa MERKULOVA/Mister X (RUS)
- Terhi STEGARS /Axis TSF (FIN)