The FEI announced earlier this week that the World Cup Jumping and the World Cup Dressage finals would be run concurrently in Las Vegas in April 2005. This is the first time in the history of equestrian World Cup events that two disciplines will be held in the same place at the same time.
The World Cup jumping series was started in 1978, and nowadays comprises 13 leagues on five continents. Individual riders who have qualified on the basis of FEI Gandini World Jumping Riders’ Ranking List are eligible to compete in what are primarily indoor competitions.
The USA have dominated the World Cup Jumping Finals since the inaugural event 26 years ago, and have taken the title seven times. They have also hosted the finals a record six times, most notably the same Las Vegas venue hosted the highly acclaimed Budweiser – sponsored show jumping finals in 2000 and 2003.
The FEI World Cup Dressage series came into being seven years after the first jumping final, and consists of a series of qualifying leagues encompassing Western and Central Europe, North America, Canada and Australia. It was during an FEI World Cup Dressage that the first official freestyle to Music competition was launched, and the finals combine art, sport and partnership between horse and rider at the highest level and consistently proves a winning formula with audiences all over the world.
This is only the second time that the World Cup Dressage Final will have been held in the USA, and victory for the hosts could add to their one win so far. The first American to win was Debbie McDonald, who rode Brentina to victory in 2003.