Articles: Press Release
McLain Ward's Gamble Paid Off in the Rolex FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final
at 2007 Rolex FEI World Cup Finals
Marty Bauman or Jamie Saults, (702) 895-1086,
Las Vegas, NV - April 19, 2007 - McLain Ward (USA) and Sapphire stunned the
crowd with a precise and quick round in the opening show jumping competition
of the 2007 Rolex FEI World Cup Finals at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las
Vegas. Ward's final score of 63.78 seconds topped a speed duel initiated by
the Germans. Markus Beerbaum, who went early in the lineup, posted a score
of 65.29 on Leena to finish second. His teammate, Marcus Ehning on Gitania,
clocked in at 65.58 for third. Ward was pleased with the outcome.
"I tried to take some risks tonight," Ward admitted, "Warming up, I knew my
horse was not as fast as some of the others, so I was going to have to take
the inside turns. The plan went my way, but it just as could have easily
gone the other way. We're in a good position, but we still have some work
to do, this is a tough competition."
Although Course Designer Guilherme Jorge Nogueira provided several time
saving options, only Ward was able to successfully negotiate the more
difficult shorter route. "I am really happy that McLain took the risk and
showed how it could be done," said Nogueira.
"Even if I went after McLain, I wouldn't have changed my plan," stated
Beerbaum. "I knew my horse was fast enough to be up there on the first day,
which is what is important, because it is a long Championship."
Show Jumping excitement continues on Friday evening with the Rolex FEI World
Cup Final II. Thirty seven of these horses will compete in reverse order
of finish in Thursday's class. The results of Friday's class will set the
starting lineup for Sunday's final two rounds which will determine this
year's Rolex FEI World Cup Show Jumping Champion. Horses that do not
qualify for Sunday's Final will compete in Saturday's Grand Prix of Las
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 the 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2007 FEI
World Cup Finals, was founded in 1983. LVE has grown with Las Vegas as the
city 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 390 events, which have driven more than 3.3 million visitors to
the area, resulting in an economic impact of more than $2 billion.
Fans wanting to bring home the excitement of every ride of the 2007 Rolex
FEI World CupTM Finals will be able to do so with full-coverage DVDs. DVDs
of the Dressage and Jumping Finals will be available for each of Friday,
Saturday, & Sunday's Sessions and will include every minute of action from
those sessions. The DVDs of each session will be available for sale at the
Thomas & Mack Center starting Saturday and will also be available on line.
The Animal Planet television network will televise a special 90-minute
broadcast of the 2007 Rolex FEI World CupTM Finals on Saturday, May 12
beginning at 9:00 p.m. (EDT). The telecast will include the Finals in both
jumping and dressage.
Further information on the 2007 Rolex FEI World CupT Jumping and Dressage
Finals is available on line at the official Las Vegas World Cup website at