A joint final for World Cup show jumping and dressage is being planned for 2005 in Las Vegas: it would be the first time the World Cup finals of the two disciplines have been staged together.
Las Vegas Events, which ran the 2000 and 2003 World Cup show jumping finals in the entertainment capital, originally just had the rights for the show jumping finals in 2005. But the concept of combining the two has been around for a while.
“What’s most attractive to me is the marketing component,” says Las Vegas Events president Pat Christenson. “We’d like to be able to market it as the world’s top equestrian sports festival.”
He envisages the advertising slogan as: “Come watch America compete against the world”, and explains: “Debbie McDonald [who took the 2003 World Cup dressage title after Ulla Salzgeber was disqualified] will be our icon.”
Organisers plan to call the 2005 competition the World Cup Equestrian Games, and hope that the approach will increase attendance. Crowds for the 2003 show jumping World Cup were down about 15% from 2000.
“People who buy tickets for dressage would also be interested in show jumping,” says Glenda McElroy, who is organising the dressage side and ran the 1995 dressage World Cup in Los Angeles.
The plan to hold the two events together is awaiting FEI approval, but McElroy says that the organisation has been receptive to the proposal. Las Vegas Events also has the option for the 2007 show jumping final.