On Tuesday, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) entrusted Lyon with the organization of the 2014 World Cup finals in show jumping and dressage.
This task is like a consecration for GL events and the organizational team of Equita directed by Sylvie Robert. Since 2005, they showed that their understanding of excellence concerning this high-class equestrian event as well as their desire to improve every little detail lead to the fact that many regard the Lyon stage as one of the most beautiful of the international circuit. In 2009, Lyon became a stage of the show jumping World Cup and since 2010 also a stage of the World Cup in dressage (this year from October 26th – 30th at Eurexpo).
France has not hosted a show jumping World Cup final in 24 years – not since 1987 in Paris-Bercy, with the victory of the American Katherine Burdsall and The Natural) – and the last dressage World Cup final that took place in France was 1991, also in Bercy, with the victory of the Finn Kyra Kyrklund and Matador. In 2014, France will host two finals under one roof: that of Eurexpo in Lyon! For French sport, it will thus be an event of great importance.
The World Cup, created in 1978, is one of the most prestigious individual show jumping series and therefore highly appreciated by the riders of this discipline. The final results in a world title after ten months of qualification on 14 leagues all over the planet. At the end of this qualification circuit, the 40 world’s best riders are qualified for the final. The appearance of the World Cup final in dressage dates back to 1985; it helped popularize the discipline by delivering the title on a Kür (freestyle to music).
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, triple winner of the Show Jumping World Cup (2005, 2008 and 2009), and great German Champion, heard the news in California (her current location) and seemed very pleased: “The prestige of the World Cup adds another dimension to indoor competitions. The final is a true indoor World Championship. Three days of difficult classes with a lot of pressure on the riders and the horses, oftentimes with a rather dramatic scenario which is always enthralling to the audience. I even made such a dramatic experience myself when falling off in a final that I had basically already won in 2007. My three victorious finals with Shutterfly made particularly proud. I am very delighted that Lyon obtained the final of 2014, as it is a competition that is entirely designed for the well-being of the horse, its rider and the audience and therefore Lyon truly deserves to be the host. I was victorious there two times, once with Shutterfly back when Lyon was not yet a stage of the World Cup, and last year with Checkmate: It’s a competition I have always supported and as I know Lyon’s audience, the 2014 final is going to be a great moment in our sport.”
The FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Dressage Finals 2014 will run from 16-20 April.
Photo: Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Checkmate