Top Dressage & Jumper Riders to Compete in FEI World Cup Reining Challenge

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. Apr. 9–Some of the world’s top dressage and jumping riders will compete in an international reining challenge at the Rolex FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas on Saturday, Apr. 18.

Participating in the reining demonstration are dressage riders Anky Van Grunsven, nine-time World Cup dressage champion and three-time individual Olympic gold medalist and Charlotte Bredahl-Baker, Olympic team bronze medalist and jumping riders Rodrigo Pessoa, Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Cup champion, and Will Simpson, Olympic team gold medalist.

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Anky van Grunsven giving reining exhibition at the Exquis World Dressage Masters in Wellington, Florida in January 2009. © 2009 Ilse Schwarz

The four riders will test their skills reining, famous for its sliding stops and quick spins, under the guidance of reining experts Rick Weaver, National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity Open Division champion and multiple NRHA World champion, and Ann Fonck, NRHA Open World champion and accomplished dressage competitor.

Teams of one dressage rider, one jumping rider and one NRHA professional will be formed. They will be assigned donated experienced reining horses and given a “crash course” in the discipline.

They will compete in what is billed as the International Reining Celebrity Challenge to be held on Saturday, Apr. 18.

The dual World Cups are being held in Las Vegas for the third time in the past five years. However, the World Cup of jumping through 2013 has been allocated to European venues thus breaking the string of dual championships every two years in Las Vegas.

The 2009 event begins Wednesday, Apr. 15 with jumping and dressage warmups.

On Thursday, the dressage Grand Prix begins at noon US Pacific time (3 p.m. Eastern/1900 GMT) and the first round of jumping at 7 p.m. (10 p.m. Eastern/0200 GMT Friday).

A Las Vegas Dressage Showcase kicks off at noon Friday, along with the official retirement ceremony for Brentina, the only U.S. horse ever to win the Dressage World Cup Final. Friday will also feature the second round of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final.

Saturday, April 18 features the Las Vegas Jumping Grand Prix at noon.

Dressage competition concludes with a new World Cup Dressage Champion crowned following the Grand Prix Freestyle at 7 pm. Jumping concludes Sunday, April 19 with the concluding round of the Rolex World Cup Final, and the determination of the champion.

More information about the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Dressage Finals, including information on purchasing tickets, is available at the official website, www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.