Omaha, Nebraska To Host 2017 World Cup Finals for Dressage, Jumping, Gothenburg to Host Europeans in 2017

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CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska that will host the 2017 World Cup Finals of dressage and jumping.
CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska that will host the 2017 World Cup Finals of dressage and jumping.

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Omaha, Nebraska in America’s heartland will host the 2017 Word Cup Finals for dressage and jumping in a decision Tuesday by the International Equestrian (FEI) Bureau.

The award to Omaha in their first ever bid to host the only annual individual global championships for the two Olympic disciplines beat out 10-time host ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands and first time bidder Hong Kong

The World Cup dates are March 27 to April 2, 2017.

The Swedish city of Gothenburg won out in its joint-bid to host the FEI European Jumping, Dressage & Para-Equestrian Dressage, and Driving Championships in 2017.

The World Breeding Dressage Championship for Young Horses were awarded to Ermelo, Netherlands from 2016 to 2018 in a move away from the long time host in Verden, Germany.

“We have had some really fantastic bids for our major events,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said.

“It’s very exciting that Omaha, which has the full support of the local community and government, will be hosting both the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping and FEI World Cup Dressage Finals in 2017. And we are also very much looking forward to going to Gothenburg for the European Jumping, Dressage and Para-Dressage and Driving Championships in 2017, and to Strzegom for the European Eventing Championships 2017.”

The World Cup, European Championship and World Young Horse championships were among the award of several events by the FEI which a day earlier named Bromont/Montreal in Canada as the site of the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

Omaha typifies American Heartland values of down to earth common sense and friendliness and has pulled off bigger and more improbable sports extravaganzas than the World Cup it will host in 2017.

Although it has yet to put on an international dressage event–part of the deal is that it will do so before the World Cup–the venue was so successful in staging the U.S. Olympic Swim Team Trials in 2008 that they were held there again in 2012 and will be for the 2016 Olympic Games. Omaha is 1,650 mles (2,650km) from the swimming powerhouse centers in Southern California or South Florida in a glamor sport the U.S. dominates.

The city has a population of 1.2 million, among them Warren Buffett, one of the world’s richest individuals, and five Fortune 500 companies, and organizers are confident it can pull off the World Cups that would bring about 50 of the world’s elite dressage and jumper riders and horses to Omaha.

Lloyd Landkamer, who ran the dressage operation for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010, organizes dozens of shows every year throughout the United States including the winter-long Adequan Global Dressage Festival of seven CDIs in Wellington, Florida has been named to oversee dressage in Omaha.

John McQueen, who includes Spruce Meadows among the shows he has helped manage for more than two decades, has been named competition manager. Among those events has been the International staged in Omaha for the past two years.

The costs of hosting the World Cups, would not be near as expensive as other events, such as the swim trials where two Olympic-size pools had to be built inside the center.

The arena where thw Woeld Cups would be held seats about 8,000 people and the main uses are for Creighton University basketball and University of Nebraska-Omaha ice hockey as well as music concerts. Rodeos are also staged.

The organizers reviewed procedures ahead of time for the import of dozens of horses from outside the United States.

Discussions have been held with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create a quarantine zone at the airport that could be extended to the show center five minutes away.

Ticket prices will be kept low. Prices for most seats at the international jumping event staged there have been $25 (€18) in the past two years of the International jumping competition.

Other events allocated by the FEI Bureau include:

–Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final in October, 2015 to Barcelona, Spain for the third successive year;

–FEI European Championships for Ponies (Jumping, Dressage & Eventing) to Malmo, SwedenAug. 5-9, 2015;

–FEI European Jumping, Dressage & Para-Equestrian Dressage, and Driving Championships in Aug. 22-27, 2017, and

–FEI North America Championships for Young Riders & Juniors (Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Endurance & Reining), Partker, Colorado on dates to be confirmed for 2016.