Red faces as Las Vegas payouts delayed

  • Most of the riders who participated in the inaugural $1 million Las Vegas World International (LVWI) show jumping competition in October were still waiting for their prize-money last week.

    Although the US’s Lauren Hough said she was able to cash her cheque two days after the show ended, others who competed in the fixture at the Thomas & Mack Centre had not received their funds.

    Show president David Shriner said he hoped to resolve the matter soon.

    “We had some unexpected expenses, which cost us a whole bunch of money — there were some accounting glitches,” said Shriner, who felt the problem would not affect plans for 2006 “as long as we can handle this in a timely fashion”.

    “It’s been a very unpleasant experience. It’s been very embarrassing for me,” Shriner said.

    Michael Whitaker, who, with Nick Skelton, competed at the show, is not sure of the status of his cheque because he moved straight on to Washington and Syracuse shows. He said he hoped to return to Las Vegas in 2006, though if he is not paid, it would be “a different story”.

    Meanwhile the Las Vegas World International is set to lose it’s place as the world’s richest jumping show, after the Dubai Equestrian Club announced The Maktoum Challenge, which will take place in January next year with a prize fund of US$1,250,000 (£717,000).

    The top 20 international show jumpers will compete alongside an FEI World Cup qualifier for the Arab League from 11-13 January 2006. Former HOYS operations manager Stephen Renouard will manage the show on-site.

    The show is the brainchild of Princess Haya Al Bint Al Hussein of Jordan, who is one of the three individuals currently in the running for the position of president of the International Equestrian Federation.

    Princess Haya is married to the Dubai’s Crown Prince, General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. She has been show jumping internationally since the age of 13 and competed at the 200 Olympics and the 2002 World Equestrian Games.

    The other candidates for the presidency are Princess Benedikte of Denmark, who is the patron of the World Breeding Federation for Sports Horses, and the FEI’s current vice-president, Freddy Serpieri of Greece.

    • Read more on all these stories in today’s H&H (10 November, ’05)

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