Las Vegas, NV - April 3, 2009 - Following months of intense competition, forty-six show jumping riders from twenty-two countries have qualified to compete at the 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup™ Finals.
The Rolex FEI World Cup™Finals return to the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, April 15-19. The Finals feature World Cup Finals in the two Olympic disciplines of show jumping and dressage.
"I am very excited about the list of riders who have qualified to compete in the Rolex FEI World Cup Final in Show Jumping," said Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events. "There are many talented horses and riders, and I know we can expect an exciting show from them as they vie for this prestigious title!"
Among those qualified to compete from the United States are Beezie Madden and McLain Ward, who rode as teammates on the U.S.'s gold medal teams at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. This will be Madden's tenth World Cup Final as she previously competed in 1987, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2006 and 2007. Veteran McLain Ward has ridden in ten previous World Cup Finals in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007.
Also qualified is 2008 World Cup Champion Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum of Germany and her mount Shutterfly. Beerbaum was also victorious at the World Cup Final held in Las Vegas in 2005.
A full list of entries for this year's World Cup Final in Show Jumping is as follows:
South American League - Southern Part
- Vitor Alves-Teixeira, BRA Yuri Itapua, Yuri Climber
- Daijiro Mashiyama, JPN Paradox
New Zealand League
- Anna Trent, NZL Musketeer NZPH, Levitation NZPH
- H. Bin Moteb Al Saud, KSA Ashkur Allah Obelix
- Alberto Michan Halbinger, MEX Chinobampo Lavita
- Enrique Gonzalez, MEX Frida
Western European League
- Gerco Schroeder, NED Eurocommerce Milano - Eurocommerce Seattle - Eurocommerce Pennsylvania
- Daniel Etter, SUI I Peu à Peu 4 - Wisper Zuid
- Marcus Ehning, GER Plot Blue - Sandro Boy - Leconte
- Albert Zoer, NED Oki Doki - Sam
- Steve Guerdat, SUI Trésor V - Ferrari - Jalisca Solier
- Thomas Velin, DEN Grim St-Clair - Godsend du Reverdy
- Rutherford Latham, ESP Valentina van 'T Heike
- Ludo Phillipaerts, BEL Kassini'Jac - Cavalor's Winningmood
- Lars Nieberg, GER Lucie 55
- Mikael Forsten, FIN Isaac du Jonquet
- Helena Lundback, SWE Madick - Bukowskis Erbblume
- Ben Maher, GBR Robin Hood W
- Ludger Beerbaum, GER Coupe de Coeur -All Inclusive NRW - Gotha
- Michael Whitaker, GBR Insul Tech Amai - Insul Tech - Womani Van
- Suncal Portofino 63
- Marco Kutscher, GER Cash 63 - Cornet Obolenski
- Geir Gulliksen, NOR L'Espoir - Cattani
- Christina Liebherr, SUI LB Robin Hood - LB No Mercy
- Max Kühner, GER Acantus GK
- Edwina Alexander, AUS Isovlas Itot du Château -Isovlas Late Night 16 -Isovlas Socrates
- Rodrigo Pessoa, BRA Rufus
Central European League
- Vladimir Beletskiy, RUS Larkanaro - Ragazza 36 - Lotos
- Angel Niagolov, BUL Baloufino -Rue Blanche du Gibet - Stritzel
- Hasan Senturk, TUR Concept - Caro Ass -Pinot Grigio -Siec Janico
USA East League
- Kent Farrington, USA Up Chiqui
- McLain Ward, USA Phillipa - Goldika 539 - Sapphire
- Christine McCrea, USA Promised Land - Vegas
- Todd Minikus, USA Pavarotti - Presidente - Olinda
- Hillary Dobbs, USA Quincy B - Corlett - Marlo -Marengo
- Beezie Madden, USA Danny Boy - Onlight -Judgement
- Michelle Spadone, USA Melismo
- Darragh Kerins, IRL Night Train
USA West League
- Mandy Porter, USA San Diego
- Ashlee Bond, USA Cadett 7 - Chivas Z
- Richard Spooner, USA Ace - Cristallo - Quirino 3
- Harley Brown, AUS Cassiato
- Keean White, CAN Celena - Vienna Rouge
- Ian Millar, CAN Redefin - In Style
- Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, GER Shutterfly
Organising Committee's NF Wild Cards (2):
- Danielle Torano, USA Vancouver d'Oeuvray
- Rich Fellers, USA Flexable - Kilkenny Rindo
The 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup Finals will see exciting equestrian action throughout its five days. Wednesday, April 15 will feature the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Warm Up I and II at 9:30am and the Rolex FEI World Cup dressage warm up at 1:30pm. Thursday, April 16 will feature the Rolex FEI World Cup Dressage Grand Prix at noon and the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final Round I at 7:00pm.
Things begin to heat up on Friday, April 17 with the Las Vegas Dressage Showcase at noon as well as the official Retirement Ceremony for Brentina, the only U.S. horse ever to win the Dressage World Cup Final. Friday will also feature the second round of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final. Saturday, April 18 features the Las Vegas Jumping Grand Prix at noon. Dressage competition concludes on Saturday when a new World Cup Dressage Champion will be crowned following the Grand Prix Freestyle at 7:00pm. Show Jumping concludes on Sunday, April 19 with the third round of the Rolex World Cup Show Jumping Final, and the determination of the next World Cup Show Jumping Champion.
Started in 1979, the FEI World Cup Jumping Final is an annual international showdown among the world's best show jumping horses and riders. Approximately 45 riders qualify from leagues around the world. In the 30 finals held through 2008, United States riders have emerged with the most titles, having won the championship seven times.
The 2009 event will mark the eighth FEI World Cup Jumping Final to be held in the United States, following Finals in Baltimore in 1980, Tampa, Fla. in 1989, Del Mar, Calif. in 1992 and four in Las Vegas in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2007.
First held in 1986, the FEI World Cup Dressage Final has been held in the U.S. three times, in 1995 in Los Angeles and 2005 and 2007 in Las Vegas. The Netherlands has dominated the competition, winning nine titles, followed by Germany with seven. The United States won its first title in 2003 when Debbie McDonald rode Brentina to the championship.
Further information about the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Dressage Finals, including information on purchasing tickets, is available at the official website at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.