U.S. Show Jumping Riders Start Race To Qualify For 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals at Las Vegas
RELEASE: September 9, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Classic Communications
The nation's best show jumping riders from coast-to-coast have started their quest to qualify for the 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas. The first two qualifying events of the season—the $200,000 FTI Grand Prix and FEI World Cup Qualifier at the Hampton Classic Horse Show in Southampton, NY, and the Showpark All Seasons Grand Prix in Del Mar, CA—have set the stage for an exciting race for the right to compete in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Events (LVE) will once again host the FEI World Cup Finals in both show jumping and dressage at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, April 15-19, 2009.
"If the excitement of the first two qualifying events for the World Cup Jumping Finals is any indication of the thrilling competition we'll see in Las Vegas in 2009, then we are in for a great show," said Pat Christenson, President of Las Vegas Events.
The $200,000 FTI Grand Prix at the Hampton Classic Horse Show was the first of 11 East Coast qualifying events. Hillary Dobbs bested a star-studded field of Olympic medalists and top grand prix riders to make history as the youngest rider ever to win the Classic's featured event. Dobbs, a 20-year-old junior at Harvard University, rode Corlett to two fault-free rounds to win the grand prix and earn 20 points on the World Cup rankings, setting her atop the East Coast point standings.
On the West Coast at the Showpark All Seasons Grand Prix in Del Mar, CA, it was Ali Nilforushan of Iran aboard Warco van De Halhoeve who took first-place honors to earn 20 points on the World Cup rankings. By placing second, Mandy Porter was the leading U.S. rider with her mount San Diego. Porter earned 17 points to take the early lead in the U.S. World Cup rankings on the west coast.
Both the East and West Coast leagues will see 10 more qualifying competitions before determining which U.S. riders will be eligible to compete at the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas.
Season ticket prices for the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final are $1,000 for VIP seating, $325 for Plaza seating and $175 for Balcony seating. For dressage, the prices are the same: VIP tickets are $1,000, Plaza tickets are $325 and Balcony are $175.
Started in 1979, the FEI World Cup Jumping Final is an annual international showdown among the world's best show jumping horses and riders. Approximately 45 riders qualify from 13 leagues around the world. In the 30 finals held through 2008, United States riders have emerged with the most titles, having won the championship seven times.
The 2009 event will mark the eighth FEI World Cup Jumping Final to be held in the United States, following Finals in Baltimore, MD, in 1980; Tampa, FL, in 1989; Del Mar, CA, in 1992; and the four in Las Vegas, NV, in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2007.
First held in 1986, the FEI World Cup Dressage Final has been held in the U.S. three times, in 1995 in Los Angeles, CA, and 2005 and 2007 in Las Vegas. The Netherlands has dominated the competition, winning nine titles, followed by Germany with seven. The United States won its first title in 2003 when Debbie McDonald rode Brentina to the championship.
Las Vegas Events, Inc. (LVE), producer of 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2007 FEI World Cup Finals, was founded in 1983. LVE has grown with Las Vegas as the city has emerged as one of the world's top special event and resort destinations. A private, not-for-profit organization, LVE is funded by hotel room tax and serves as the exclusive major special events agency for the city. Since 1991, Las Vegas Events has produced, presented or supported more than 440 events, which have driven more than 3.8 million visitors to the area, resulting in an economic impact of more than $2.3 billion.
Interested fans can sign up for World Cup Club membership at the official website at