Las Vegas, NV. - The world's best horses and riders set to compete at the 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final took advantage of the schooling session held in the main arena on Wednesday afternoon, which gave them the opportunity to acclimate their horses to the atmosphere and practice in the dressage arena. The Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final is being held concurrently with the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, April 15-19. The FEI World Cup™ Finals has returned to the United States for the first time since 2009. Each schooling session had a fixed time of 30 minutes, and riders were scheduled in pairs. Although the official classes don't start until Thursday, there were thousands of people in the stands that came to watch the schooling sessions and gave loud applause to each rider that entered the main arena.
At one point there were two FEI World Cup™ Dressage champions schooling together. Defending champion Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro practiced alongside two-time FEI World Cup™ champion Isabell Werth of Germany. Werth won the Finals in 2007 and 1992, and this year she is looking to reclaim the coveted World Cup™ title aboard El Santo.
The schooling session concluded with U.S. riders Laura Graves on Verdades, followed by Steffen Peters, who won the World Cup™ Final the last time it was held in Las Vegas in 2009. This time Peters is riding Legolas 92, the horse he competed at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Caen, France.
The Netherland's Edward Gal, who won the 2010 World Cup™ Final on the famed black stallion Totilas, is vying for the 2015 title aboard Glock's Undercover, his 2012 Olympic Team bronze medal winning partner.
The Reem Acra FEI World CupTM Dressage Final includes Thursday afternoon's Grand Prix and Saturday afternoon's Grand Prix Freestyle as well as the Las Vegas Dressage Showcase on Friday.
The Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Final includes Thursday evening's one-round speed class, Friday evening's jump-off class and Sunday afternoon's two-round Final, as well as Saturday evening's $75,000 Canadian Pacific Grand Prix of Las Vegas.
Spectators have the opportunity to experience the heated competition featuring world-renowned horses and riders while also enjoying the entertainment that has given Las Vegas its worldwide reputation. From laser light shows to acrobats to fireworks and Vegas show girls, this event dazzles from start to finish.
VIP guests of the FEI World Cup™ Finals are being treated to top amenities that can't be duplicated anywhere else in the world at the Taylor Harris Club presented by The National Horse Show. The Taylor Harris Club includes a private VIP hospitality area complete with deluxe food and beverages as well as VIP preferred parking.
Started in 1979, the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final is an annual international showdown among the world's best show jumping horses and riders. In the 36 Finals held through 2014, Germany (10) and the United States (9) have emerged with the most titles, having won the championship nineteen times between them. Previous FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals held in the United States include Baltimore (1980), Tampa (1989), Del Mar, CA (1992) and Las Vegas (2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009).
First held in 1986, the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final features the world's best dressage horses and riders. The United States has won the championship twice - in 2003 (Debbie McDonald with Brentina) and 2009 (Steffen Peters with Ravel). The Final has been held in the U.S. in Los Angeles (1995) and Las Vegas (2005, 2007, 2009).
Las Vegas Events is a private, not-for-profit organization that serves as the exclusive major special events agency for the city. Founded in 1982, LVE is funded by hotel room tax. Through its Signature Event initiative, LVE has created a model to integrate all elements of special events and formally improve communication between event producers and Las Vegas' hotel properties and sponsors. Since 1991, Las Vegas Events has produced, presented or supported more than 600 events.
For further information, please visit the World Cup's website at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.