The 2009 FEI Show Jumping and Dressage World Cup Are All About Lights, Camera, Action

Lights, camera and action might be a strange way to refer to the 2009 FEI Show Jumping and Dressage World Cup Finals but when in Vegas they really must feel like they are performing onstage.  Here the energy is all around you with the clinging of coins and the ringing of the bells when people win.  There’s an excitement that you feel in the air and it permeates into the competition arena.  The competition doesn’t start until Thursday, April 16th and runs through Sunday, April 19th but I’m already here looking for the behind-the-scenes stage.

On the flight over I started to think back to all the events I’ve covered over the years for Horsesdaily.  I’ve journeyed to numerous World Equestrian, Pan American and Olympic Games as well as done stories about events happening throughout the United States.  When you do these events you wonder why you would want to take on such a huge workload because the days are so packed filled with covering and photographing the event followed by hours of downloading and labeling photos, interviews and writing the story.  Yet, it is the memories that make it all worth it.

I think back now to the World Equestrian Games in Jerez when Mary Phelps was also there and we worked together capturing the action.  That was the time my laptop totally crashed and I was borrowing other laptops until a new one got shipped in to me.  Even going through that nightmare of a situation when I think back to then I remember the night we enjoyed Flamenco dancing, the new addition of Reining and the powerful competition.

For the 2004 Athens Olympic Games we had a tram that would take us around to our abodes.  We lived in a unique Olympic journalist village that was very different than any place we’d stayed before.  My memories of the event are of the huge grass show jumping arena and some of the unbelievable jumps.  Even now when I look through the pictures of Beezie Madden, McLain Ward and Chris Kappler I am both thrilled and saddened by the thought that following that major event Kappler lost his beautiful mount Royal Kaliber to colic.

The last 2007 Pan American Games were in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  I recall that very few journalist went because everyone was worried about the dangers that city posed.  Yet there were more equine journalist there then when I covered the Pan Am Games in Cuba where I was truly the only U.S. equestrian journalist.  What a great time I in Cuba dancing in the streets with the locals and enjoying the cuisine around town.


So, now here I am in Vegas covering another World Cup.  I can’t even recall how many this will be but I know I’ve been here before because a Vegas World Cup is something you just don’t forget.  They truly do put the show into the horse show.  Last time I recall some of the in between entertainment as some of the best I’ve ever seen at an equine event.   Dancers, singers and acrobatics have all been part of the World Cup action in this happening city.  It makes me anxious for the show to go on.

As the days unfold I’ll be bringing you the behind-the-scenes action because there will be plenty of other journalists covering the actual competition.  I will also focus on the competition but in a unique light.  That’s what is so special about Horsesdaily.  We add some flavor to an already tasteful competition.  

As always, feel free to email me with your comments and questions at  I always enjoy weaving your questions and answers into my commentary.    So, now it’s time to stay tuned for lots of World Cup action.  It’s good to be back bringing the story to all the loyal Horsesdaily readers.