April 15, 2008 -- Las Vegas Events will once again host the FEI World Cup Finals in both show jumping and dressage at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev., April 15-19, 2009.
This will mark the fifth time that Las Vegas hosts the FEI World Cup Finals and only the third time ever, following two previous times in Las Vegas in 2005 and 2007, that the world's premier annual championships in the two Olympic equestrian disciplines are held concurrently.
In April 2007, more than 85,000 spectators attended the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Dressage Finals. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the event had a non-gaming economic impact of $23.4 million. Individuals representing 25 countries and all 50 of the United States purchased tickets for the finals, bringing a true international feel to the weekend's competition.
The success of that event, combined with the success of the finals held in Las Vegas in 2000, 2003 and 2005, precipitated the return of the finals to Las Vegas in 2009.
"Each time we've hosted the FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, they proved to be an incredible success for the destination," said Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events. "The combination of show jumping and dressage proved to be captivating for American fans, as well as for those from around the globe. We eagerly anticipate the return of the finals to Las Vegas in 2009, and our goal will be to surpass our previous success."
Las Vegas' groundbreaking presentation of show jumping and dressage together engendered unprecedented interest in the finals by spectators and also proved a huge hit with the riders. "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 of Hailey, Idaho. "I believe that the finals in Las Vegas provided an incredible boost for our sport."
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 29 finals held through 2007, United States riders have emerged with the most titles, having won the championship seven times. The 2008 FEI World Cup Jumping Final is being held in Gothenburg, Sweden.
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, Fla., in 1989, Del Mar, Calif., in 1992, and the four in Las Vegas 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 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.
Those who purchased series seats for the 2007 Finals and would like tickets for the 2009 FEI World Cup Finals will have an exclusive ticket renewal period that will run through May 15. From June 1-15, members of the World Cup Club will have their own exclusive time period when they can purchase priority seating before tickets go on sale to the general public on June 16. Interested fans can sign up for World Cup Club membership at the official website at www.worldcuplasvegas.com.
Further information about the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping and Dressage Finals is also available at the official website.