It's Warming Up in Las Vegas – Show Jumpers Set to Go at 2015 FEI World Cup™ Finals

It's Warming Up in Las Vegas – Show Jumpers Set to Go at 2015 FEI World Cup™ Finals

Casually dressed but definitely all business, horses and riders had 120 seconds to familiarize themselves and their mounts to the Thomas & Mack Center arena over a track of eight obstacles set by American course designer Anthony D'Ambrosio in preparation for the 2015 LONGINES FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.

A world-class designer, D'Ambrosio also created the tracks for the 2009 FEI World Cup Finals. Having previous experience with the Thomas & Mack Center arena should bode well in developing the upcoming track challenges for show jumpers hailing from nineteen countries.

Not only is the international representation remarkable, riders range in age from nineteen to fifty-five, and horses from nine to nineteen. The youngest horse is the eight-year-old mare KS Coradina with Latvian rider Andis Varna competing against veterans like the ever-young Irish Sporthorse stallion Flexible at the age of nineteen.

Some riders, such as Americans Jack Hardin Towell and Vinton Karrasch, are competing in their first FEI World Cup™ Final, while we also welcome Geir Gulliksen of Norway who hasn't competed in this Final since 2006. Certain to add competitive flair, the 2012, 2013 and 2014 World Cup Champions and their mounts, Americans Rich Fellers with Flexible and Beezie Madden aboard Simon as well as German Daniel Deusser on Cornet D'Amour, respectively, are all here to claim another World Cup™ title. Fellers and Flexible, however, are the only ones that competed here at the Thomas & Mack Center back in 2009. Deusser is currently ranked first on the FEI LONGINES World Ranking list, while Madden is sitting seventh.

Quite a few world-ranked riders are on the start list, including Kevin Staut of France, Olympic Gold Medalist Steve Guerdat from Switzerland and the rising star from Ireland, Betram Allen, who are currently ranked eighth, ninth and tenth.

Most warm-up riders jumped all eight jumps in the order set, plus spent precious time riding around the perimeter of the arena. That work space will certainly seem increasingly smaller as the jumps increase in number and height. Several riders did a touch of flatwork, finishing up their training session with a relaxed walk and pat on the neck. American Laura Kraut on the eleven-year-old KWPN mare Nouvelle chose to both jump as well as ride in-between the jumps. The crowd chuckled when the mare illustrated her talent leaping over the ferns between two jumps. Also notable, Fellers and Flexible only flatted around the arena, choosing to save the jumping for the remainder of the week. Just missing the Final Four at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, American McLain Ward, currently fourth aboard the warrior Rothchild are also poised to impress.

Thursday night will set the stage for The 2015 LONGINES FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final. Noted in the rules as a 'Table C over a Table A course', with a maximum height 1.50 meters, this speed class for world class athletes sets the pace for the rest of the competition.

Categories: News, Show Jumping