Showjumpers named for World Cup Final

April 5, 2009

The starting line-up for showjumping's prestigious World Cup final to be held in Las Vegas from April 15 has been named.

Some 46 riders from 22 countries have confirmed their participation in the event, at the Thomas & Mack Centre. Riders will accumulate points through various classes before the final two rounds to decide the outright World Cup winner.

The event also features the dressage World Cup final. "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."

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 US 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 7pm. 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 Champion.

Darragh Kerins, 32, is the only Irish rider to make the final. He clinched his place in the prestigious startlist with a joint first place in the World Cup Qualifying competition at Tampa, Florida last Sunday with the Double H Farms-owned gelding Night Train. Added to other points already accumulated, this gave the Wellington, Florida-based rider one of just eight World Cup places allocated to riders competing in the USA East Coast League.

No Irish competitor has ever won the World Cup, though some have come agonisingly close.

Eddie Macken was equal third in the Final at Gothenburg, Sweden in 1979 with Carrolls of Dundalk, Trevor Coyle finsihed second in Gothenburg in 1999 with Cruising, Jessica Kurten was runner-up at Kuala Lumpur in 2006 with Castle Forbes Libertina, and was also joint fourth in 2008 at Gothenburg, again with Castle Forbes Libertina.