FEI World Cup Finals, How it Works

WorldCupLogo150x150The world’s best riders in show jumping and dressage have their sights set on the 2015 FEI World Cup™ Finals and they are gearing their horses to be part of equestrian sport’s biggest annual event when it is held in Las Vegas in April!

This will be the sixth time that Las Vegas will host the FEI World Cup™ Finals. The Jumping Finals were held there in 2000 and 2003 and combined Finals in both Jumping and Dressage were held there in 2005, 2007 and 2009; those were the first times that the world’s premier annual championships in the two Olympic disciplines were held together, and each one was more fantastic than the one before. Qualifying for the 2015 Finals has already begun and the qualifying process assures us that only the best will make it to the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’ for what will surely be a week we will remember forever!

Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final

First held in 1986, the FEI World Cup Dressage Final has been held in the U.S. four times, in 1995 in Los Angeles and in 2005, 2007 and 2009 in Las Vegas. The United States won the title in 2003 when Debbie McDonald won on Brentina, owned by Peggy and Parry Thomas (for whom the Thomas & Mack Center is named), and in 2009 when Steffen Peters won in Las Vegas on Ravel. The Netherlands has won the most titles, 12, with 9 of those by Anky van Grunsven with her two famed horses, Bonfire and Salinero.

Germany's Helen Langehanenberg & Damon Hill NRW win the FEI Dressage World Cup Qualifier at Neumunster on home turf (c) Karl-Heinz Freiler /FEI

In order to compete in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final, riders and horses qualify through one of four FEI World Cup™ Dressage leagues: Western Europe, Central Europe, North America, and Pacific (Australia and New Zealand). In any League, a rider/horse combination may start in only six qualifying events, with the four best results to count.

To be eligible for the Final, each rider/horse combination must meet the minimum qualification score of at least 68% in the Grand Prix Freestyle to Music in two different Qualifiers (CDI-W), at least one of which must be in a foreign country. For riders that don’t belong to one of the recognized Leagues, they must score at least 68% in a Grand Prix Freestyle in a CDI3/4/5*/CDIO on two different occasions. The defending Champion (in this case, Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain) is automatically qualified with a horse of her choice, but still must compete in the Freestyle in at least two Qualifiers during the qualifying season.

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Ever wonder how the top riders warm up for a World Cup ride?

Wonder no more…I can show you! In 2007 and 2009 we were granted exclusive access to the Grand Prix Warm Up. So interesting and exciting. We then had the warm up commentated by a top judge and trainer.

You can watch this type of video to get an idea of how a warm up might look, for your own ride. You can also watch for fun to see if the

World Cup Dressage Warm Up Ring Grand Prix
World Cup Dressage Warm Up Ring Grand Prix

warm up gives much insight to how the rider performs in the actual test and try to predict the standings.

Here is a small clip from the World Cup 2007 Grand Prix Warm Up which Janet Foy, FEI Judge and trainer, provided commentary.

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