The entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas, is to host the FEI World Cup Finals for dressage and show jumping for the second time in 2007. The success of the 2005 event, which saw the finals for both sports brought together for the first time, lead the FEI’s decision to repeat the successful formula.
“The 2005 FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas changed the perception of equestrian sport in the United States,” said John Long, CEO of the United States Equestrian Federation. “It was an incredible event that combined the excitement and glamour of Las Vegas with competition from the top riders in the world. It was spectacular with a standing room-only crowd. The USEF is thrilled to have the dual FEI World Cups back in Las Vegas in 2007.”
Running the events concurrently found favour with fans and riders alike in 2005. During the five-day competition more than 90,000 spectators attended the finals. More than 90% of tickets were sold to individuals living outside the state of Nevada, including fans who travelled from 13 countries around the world to attend.
“I don’t think our sport has ever been so well received as it was at the FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas,” said 2003 FEI World Cup dressage champion Debbie McDonald. “I believe that the finals in Las Vegas were a real watershed moment for our sport.”
Anky Van Grunsven of The Netherlands, who won the FEI World Cup Dressage Final for a record seventh time in Las Vegas in 2005, echoed McDonald’s sentiment at the press conference following her victory saying: “This is what a World Cup Final is supposed to be.”
This year’s dressage and jumping World Cup Finals will take place separately in Amsterdam in The Netherlands and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia respectively.
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