FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marty Bauman, Classic Communications
Robyn Eden, Local PR Chair
Omaha, Nebraska - July 27, 2016 - The 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals, an annual indoor Championship competition for the world's best jumping and dressage horses, is returning to the U.S. March 29 - April 2, 2017. The red carpet will be rolled out for the world's elite competitors as they vie for the coveted World Cup titles at the CenturyLink Center in the dynamic Midwestern city of Omaha, Nebraska.
The 2017 FEI World Cup Finals™ feature both the Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Final and the FEI World CupTM Dressage Final, which offers spectators the rare opportunity to watch the world's best horses and riders from around the world, including Olympic, World and European Champions, all in one location.
"We are expecting attendance of more than 60,000 for the 2017 FEI World Cup Finals™," said Mike West, CEO of the Omaha Equestrian Foundation which is producing the 2017 FEI World Cup Finals™. "The excitement is building by the day and tickets are selling fast. The Finals will undoubtedly be THE equestrian event of the year so make sure you don't miss out!"
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 38 Finals held through 2016, Germany (10) and the United States (9) have emerged with the most titles. 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, 2015). Top competitors may include 2012 Olympic gold medalist and two-time FEI World Cup™ Champion Steve Guerdat of Switzerland, who will have the opportunity to defend the back-to-back titles he won in 2015 and 2016, while top U.S. rider Rich Fellers could potentially be making his tenth FEI World Cup™ Final appearance and possibly with the legendary chestnut stallion Flexible, aboard whom Fellers has competed in eight FEI World Cup™ Finals and won the championship in 2012.
The FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final was first held in 1986 and features the world's best dressage horses and riders. A total of 31 Finals have been held through 2016, and 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. six times, in Los Angeles (1995) and Las Vegas (2005, 2007, 2009, 2015). 2016 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Champion Hans Peter Minderhoud of The Netherlands will have the opportunity to defend his title, but there will be many other top competitors who will be looking to have their name engraved on the trophy. Two-time World Cup Champion Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain, the reigning Olympic, World and European Champion, may seek to reclaim the titles she won in 2014 and 2015, while top American rider Steffen Peters, could also regain the World Cup Championship that he won in 2009. Fellow U.S. rider Laura Graves may also have a great shot, having placed a very respectable fourth place at the 2015 Final in Las Vegas.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 will feature the Jumping Warm-up at 9:30 AM and the Dressage Warm-up at 2:00 PM. Actual competition will begin on Thursday, March 30, with the Dressage Grand Prix starting at 1:00 PM and Jumping Speed Class at 7:00 PM. On Friday, March 31, the Dressage Freestyle Rehearsal will be held at 9:00 AM with the Dressage showcase starting at 3:00 PM followed by the Jumping Grand Prix at 7:00 PM. On Saturday, April 1, the Dressage Freestyle to Music - the event determining the 2017 FEI World Cup Champion - will begin at 2:00 PM, with the Jumping Grand Prix competition at 7:00 PM. On Sunday, April 2, the Final Jumping competition will begin at 2:00 PM, which ultimately decide who will be crowned the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Jumping Champion.
A variety of tickets packages are available for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final and FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final, but the VIP Tickets are the best seats in the house and include access to the VIP Hospitality Lounge throughout the event! The VIP Hospitality Lounge will feature full meals, open bar and other amenities, all included with each VIP ticket. There are also All-Session tickets available and each all-session package includes admission to five sessions. For more information about the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals and to purchase tickets, please go to www.OmahaWorldCup2017.com, www.ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or at the CenturyLink Center Omaha box office.
Hospitality Packages are now available! The elegant Suites are spacious, comfortable and overlook the entire arena with seating for 20-25 people. Wait service, food, drink and access to the VIP Lounge are included throughout the event. Ringside tables gets you up close to the action in comfort and style with In-Arena seating for 8 people, complimentary wine and heavy hors d'oeuvres along with access to the VIP Lounge throughout the event. For more information on Hospitality packages please call 508-698-6810 x10.
Vendor spaces are still available in the Shopping Village which will also features the NEW Tailgate Lounge and food service area around the warm-up area. The Shopping Village encourages spectators to eat and browse the boutiques and shops while being able to watch the world's best riders and their top horses warm-up for the competition.
For more information about the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals, hotels, and ticket information, please go to www.OmahaWorldCup2017.com.
The 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals are being produced by the Omaha Equestrian Foundation, a certified 501c(3) not-for-profit foundation. The focus of the foundation is to foster and develop international caliber athletes within the equestrian sport as well as supporting and educating the community. Since 2013, The Omaha Equestrian Foundation has donated tickets to local charities and last year created field trips for over 2,400 elementary school students, veterans and local military families. The OEF also runs the International Omaha, an annual top-level jumping and dressage competition also held at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. For more information about the Omaha Equestrian Foundation, visit www.OmahaEquestrian.com or call 402-444-1630. For more information about International Omaha, please visit www.InternationalOmaha.com.