Articles: Press Release
U.S. League Qualifying Prepares for Last Push Toward
the 2007 Rolex FEI World CupT Jumping Final
Michael Mack, Las Vegas Events (702) 260-8605,
Marty Bauman (508) 698-6810,
Las Vegas, NV-December 20, 2006-With U.S. qualifying more than half over,
the race to earn berths in the 2007 Rolex FEI World CupT Jumping Final is
tightening up. Final qualifying events in both the East and West Coast
Leagues will decide which horses and riders will represent the U.S. in the
World Cup Final in Las Vegas, April 18-22, 2007.
Las Vegas, the world's premier city for exciting entertainment, will once
again be the backdrop for the 2007 Rolex FEI World CupT Finals in both
jumping and dressage. In 2005, the FEI World Cup Jumping and Dressage
Finals were held in the same location simultaneously for the first time in
history. In 2007, for the second time ever, Las Vegas will again host the
Rolex FEI World CupT Jumping and Dressage Finals concurrently.
Attendance at the 2005 Finals topped 90,000 (90,221 to be exact) as
equestrian sports fans turned out in record numbers to share in the
excitement. After the record-breaking success of the 2005 Finals in Las
Vegas, excitement over the Finals' return to the U.S. in 2007 is at an
At the conclusion of eight out of 12 qualifying events in the U.S. East
Coast League, Lauren Hough of Ocala, FL, led the standings with 69 points.
Following Hough, a 2000 Sydney Olympic veteran, were Chris Kappler with 63
points and McLain Ward with 61 points. Kappler and Ward were teammates on
the United States' Gold Medal team at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
In the West Coast League, Richard Spooner of Glendale, CA, led the standings
with 88 points following the completion of six out of 12 qualifying
competitions. Spooner has competed in seven World Cup Finals, including
1998 when his fourth place finish was the highest by a U.S. rider. He also
won the Grand Prix of Las Vegas at the World Cup Final in 2003. In the
second spot was Jill Humphrey with 77 points. Behind Humphrey with 67
points was Mandy Porter.
The coming months of the qualifying season promise continued fierce
competition in all 14 FEI World Cup Jumping Leagues. Approximately 45 of
the world's best show jumping riders will qualify for the Final. Every
rider hopes to earn the right to compete in the Final in Las Vegas,
representing his or her country against the world's strongest competition.
Started in 1979, the FEI World Cup Jumping Final is an annual international
showdown among the world's best show jumping horses and riders. The 2007
event will mark the seventh FEI World Cup Jumping Final to be held in the
United States, following Finals in Baltimore in 1980, Tampa, FL in 1989, Del
Mar, CA in 1992 and the three in Las Vegas in 2000, 2003 and 2005. In the
28 finals held through 2006, United States riders have emerged with the most
titles, having won the championship seven times.
First held in 1986, the FEI World Cup Dressage Final has been held in the
U.S. only twice, in 1995 in Los Angeles and 2005 in Las Vegas. The
Netherlands has dominated the competition, winning seven times, followed by
Germany with six. The United States won its first title in 2003 when Debbie
McDonald rode Brentina to the Championship. Brentina is owned by Parry and
Peggy Thomas of Las Vegas, for whom the Thomas & Mack Center, the venue for
the World Cup Finals, is named.
Las Vegas Events, Inc. (LVE), producer of 2000, 2003, 2005, and 2007 FEI
World Cup Finals, was founded in 1983. LVE has grown with Las Vegas as the
city has emerged as one of the world's top special event and resort
destinations. A private, not-for-profit organization, LVE is funded by
hotel room tax and serves as the exclusive major special events agency for
the city. Since 1991, Las Vegas Events has produced, presented or supported
more than 200 events, which have driven more than 2.8 million visitors to
the area, resulting in a non-economic impact of more than $1.4 billion.
For more information on the 2007 Rolex FEI World CupT Jumping and Dressage
Finals, including how to order tickets and how to become a member of the
World Cup Club free of charge, please visit the official Las Vegas World Cup
website at www.worldcuplasvegas.com.