New World Cup Event For Las Vegas Next January

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South Point equestrian center in Las Vegas.
South Point equestrian center in Las Vegas.

Oct. 1, 2016

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

A new World Cup event will be staged in Las Vegas in January as the first dressage competition in the world in 2017 and aimed at offsetting a shrunken California winter circuit.

The World Cup qualifier for the final in Omaha will be at the South Point casino-entertainment complex Jan. 4-7, at an equestrian center regarded as perhaps the finest indoor horse facility in the United States. South Point hosts World Cup jumping, premier western disciplines including the national rodeo finals and numerous other horse events throughout the year.

The dates were selected so as not to clash with the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida which starts the following week with the first of its four World Cup events in a lineup of seven CDIs over three months.

A CDI1* for Paso Robles, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the California coast has also been scheduled for the first time, for June 9-11. The organizers earlier this year staged a national competition at the show grounds that were newly built initially for hunter-jumper competitions.

A single World Cup event has been scheduled for the California winter circuit, at Burbank March 9-12. A qualifier for the 2017 Final was held at Del Mar last April. The Burbank event required the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) to give an exception to the rule that does not permit qualifiers to be held within three weeks of the final, though a proposal to change the period to 14 days will be considered next month.

The Las Vegas event is being organized by Heather Peterson of the Two White Feet show management company based in Colorado. She has been in show management for 15 years, organizing events in several western states including the Estes Park CDI in Colorado.

Heather told dressage-news.com she agreed to apply for her first World Cup event after being approached by riders in California.

She opted for the South Point casino with a state-of-the art 4,600-seat equestrian center opened 10 years ago with three arenas of sand and fiber footing and 1,200 climate controlled horse stalls.

The show will offer CDI amateur, children, pony, junior, young rider and young horse classes in addition to the World Cup qualifier.

International judges are Martin Richenhagen and Peter Engel of Germany, Isobell Wessels of Great Britain, Francis Verbeek-von Rooy of the Netherlands and Michael Osinski and Natalie Lamping of the United States.

The World Cup was first staged as an annual championship in 1986, primarily as a final of the European indoor winter circuit centered on the then still new musical freestyle. The final has been held at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Thomas & Mack arena four times and in 2005 was the first to combine the finals of both dressage and jumping.

The World Cup North American League–one of four geographic regions, the others being Western and Central Europe and Pacific–is allocated two starting places at the final to be held in Omaha Mar. 27-April 2.

The two NAL combinations are decided by the average of two top scores, a format that is different than the Western and Central European Leagues which allocates its starting places based on points for placings in the best four events.