The Longines FEI World Cup Finals got underway on Thursday at Omaha, Nebraska in the USA, with Ireland represented by Kildare’s Judy Reynolds in Dressage and Tipperary’s Denis Lynch in Show Jumping.
Both Irish riders finished in third place on their respective qualifying league tables on the road to the finals and will take their place against the world’s best at Omaha’s 17,000-seater Century Link Center, which is hosting the World Cup Finals for the very first time.
Dressage World Cup
Judy Reynolds, who has taken the Dressage world by storm in recent years with some stunning performances around the globe, will ride the 15-year-old gelding Vancouver K, who is owned by her parents Joe and Kathleen Reynolds.
Judy and Vanvouver K, who last year made it to the Olympic Dressage Final in Rio, scored an eighth place finish in the 2016 World Cup final held in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The Dressage World Cup competition begins with a Grand Prix class on Thursday evening, followed by the Freestyle To Music on Saturday which will determine who will be crowned the new Dressage World Cup Champions.
Show Jumping World Cup
Denis Lynch and the Thomas Straumann-owned 14-year-old stallion All Star were one of the most consistent combinations on the road to the finals in Omaha and will be among the favourites to lift the World Cup Jumping trophy. They finished fifth overall at the 2016 final, where they were the only combination to jump clear over all five rounds of competition.
The Show Jumping World Cup competition starts on Thursday with a speed class, followed by a Grand Prix on Friday. The top 30 combinations will then go forward to Sunday’s final two rounds, to decide who will lift the 2017 World Cup Jumping trophy.
Facts & Figures
- The FEI World Cup Final is an annual international showdown among the world’s best horses and riders
- The very first World Cup Jumping Final was held in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1979
- Despite coming close on many occasions, no Irish rider has ever won the World Cup Jumping Final. Jessica Kurten finished as runner-up in Kuala Lumpur in 2006 with Castle Forbes Libertina. Trevor Coyle also finished runner-up at Gothenburg in Sweden in 1999 with the legendary Irish Sport Horse Cruising. Eddie Macken achieved third place at the inaugural World Cup Final at Gothenburg in 1979 with Carrolls of Dundalk. In 2015, a then 19-year-old Bertram Allen also finished third with Molly Malone in Las Vegas.
- Denis Lynch and All Star finished fifth in the 2016 World Cup Jumping Final.
- The first ever World Cup Dressage final was held in 1986
- Both Judy Reynolds and Denis Lynch finished third on their respective league tables on the road to qualifying for the Finals in Omaha
- Judy Reynolds finished in eighth place overall at the 2016 FEI World Cup Dressage final in Gothenburg, which was the very first time an Irish Dressage rider competed at the World Cup Finals
- Newly-appointed Irish Show Jumping team manager Rodrigo Pessoa won the World Cup Final three years in-a-row from 1998 to 2000 with the stallion Baloubet Du Rouet.
- Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat is this year gunning for his third win in-a-row, having won the jumping title in 2015 and 2016
- The Jumping Final will see 46 horses line-out, with riders representing 18 nations
- Dutch rider Hans Peter Minderhoud won the 2016 World Cup Dressage title with Glock’s Flirt
- 17 horses and riders will line out in the Dressage World Cup final with a prize fund of €250,000 on offer
- This years World Cup Finals are being held for the first time at CenturyLink Center – Omaha, Nebraska in the USA – a state-of-the-art professional sports and event venue, home to the International Omaha Horse Show since 2012
- The course builder for the World Cup Jumping final is Ireland’s Alan Wade, son of Irish jumping legend Tommy Wade
- The World Cup Jumping final offers a total prize fund of €1.3 Million
Schedule (All Times quoted are Irish Time)
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 2017
Dressage Warm-up class at 3:30 pm
Jumping Training Session at 8:00 p.m
THURSDAY, MARCH 30
FEI World Cup Dressage Grand Prix at 8:00 p.m.
Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final I (Speed Class) at 1am (Friday morning)
FRIDAY, MARCH 31
Dressage Showcase at 9:00 p.m.
Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final II (Grand Prix) at 1am (Friday morning)
SATURDAY, APRIL 1
FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final (Dressage Freestyle to Music) – the event determining the FEI World Cup Final 2017 winner
Jumping Grand Prix competition at 1am (Sunday morning)
SUNDAY, APRIL 2
Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final III (Grand Prix Jumping Final) – event determining the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final 2017 at 8:00 pm (Two rounds of jumping, top 30 jump first round, top 20 go into final round)
Where to watch – All competitions shown on FEITV (pay per view)
Where to follow – Team Ireland Equestrian will keep you updated every step of the way, on Facebook: Team Ireland Equestrian, Twitter: @TeamIRLEq & Instagram: teamirleq