Budweiser World Cup Final in Las Vegas Excites
the Show Jumping World
German Marcus Ehning Emerges as Champion
Vegas, NVApril 22, 2003Marcus Ehning of Germany won
the 25th annual FEI Show Jumping World Cup Final when the worlds
best show jumping horses and riders met to do battle at Budweiser
World Cup 2003, April 16-20 at the Thomas & Mack Center in
Las Vegas, Nevada. The international event featured 41 riders
from around the world who competed for the prestigious title of
World Cup Champion. Spectacular presentation of the sport with
laser light shows, Las Vegas show acts, and the world-famous Budweiser
Clydesdales made the World Cup a hit with everyone.
put in a faultess performance in the final round of Budweiser
World Cup competition on Sunday, April 20, riding his Oldenburg
mare Anka to victory. Three-time World Cup Champion Rodrigo Pessoa
of Brazil had to settle for the runner-up position this time aboard
Baloubet du Rouet, owned by Diago Pereira Coutinho. Third went
to Malin Baryard of Sweden riding Christina Larssons H&M
Butterfly Flip. The top U.S. rider was Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc,
WI, who tied for fifth aboard Anthem, owned by the Summit Syndicate.
received a wonderful birthday present a day late, as he had celebrated
his 29th birthday on Saturday. I cant believe it,
he said. I never thought I would win. If you think too much
about it, it can hurt you, you need to go day to day.
was much to think about going into the last rounds of competition
on the final day. Competition was fierce, and the top three were
less than a rail apart in the placings. Going into Sundays
first round, Ehning and Pessoa were tied for second place with
two faults, and Baryard was in the lead with a perfect score of
zero. Ehning, a Sydney Olympic team Gold Medalist, went clear,
Pessoa had a rail down to give him a total of six faults, and
Baryard dropped a rail for four faults total.
second and final round saw Pessoa go clear, putting pressure on
the remaining entries. The atmosphere was thick as Baryard entered
the ring. If the young Swede had even one rail down, there would
be no chance to win, as that would give her a total of eight faults
to Pessoas six. Unfortunately, she had a rail down and dropped
to third place.
was the last to go and had no room for error. One rail would tie
him with Pessoa and force a jump-off. Two rails would give Pessoa
the title. Ehning and Anka rose to the occasion leaving all the
rails up and claiming the title of World Cup Champion. He threw
down the reins and raised his arms in the air as the crowd rose
to their feet cheering for the pair. It was a spectacular finish
for the most prestigious show jumping competition in the world
win made it two in a row for Germany, following Otto Beckers
win at Leipzig last year. Germany now has three wins overall with
Ludger Beerbaum having won at Gothenburg in 1993. The U.S. leads
all nations with seven World Cup titles.
opening rounds leading up to the dramatic finish of the years
most important equestrian event in the entertainment capital of
the world were just as action-packed as the concluding ones.
April 17, featured McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, riding Viktor,
owned by Ward and Harry Gill, winning the first round of Budweiser
Word Cup competition, a speed class in which faults are converted
one of the 14 riders representing the United States, had one rail
down in the speed class, but was able to claim the win with his
lightning fast time. The pair had a final score of 72.73. Baryard
finished without any jumping faults, but at a slower time, placing
her second. Pessoa was third.
a great horse, said Ward. I made some small mistakes,
but he bailed me out.
was the runner-up in the second round of Budweiser World Cup 2003
on Friday evening, making her the overall leader going into Sundays
Final competition. The 28-year-old had a double clear, but could
not beat the impressive jump-off time of Markus Merschformann
of Germany. 33.25. Riding Camirez, owned by Gutsverwalltung Berl,
Merschformann won the class with a faultless performance in a
time of 31.60. Baryard was second with a time of 33.25, and Ehning
finished in third place with a time of 34.04.
top U.S. rider of the evening was Leslie Howard of Westport, CT,
on Priobert De Kalvarie, owned by Higher Grund Farm, who secured
a place in the jump-off in the initial round, but had a rail down
in the jump-off finishing sixth for the evening.
Saturday afternoon, Richard Spooner of Glendale, CA, riding Robinson,
owned by the Half Moon Investment Group, won the Grand Prix of
Las Vegas at the Budweiser World Cup in an exciting jump-off.
The United States swept the top three places in this international
competition with Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY, coming in second
on Judgement, owned by Iron Spring Farm, and Peter Wylde, who
currently resides Maastricht, Holland, finishing third aboard
Mania Jolly, owned by Double H. Farm.
is a special win for me, especially coming with Robinson,
Spooner said. He is a great horse who really changed my
career and my life. He is the best friend I have and Im
very happy he got to show what he can do here at the World Cup
on Saturday, six of the World Cup riders threw on blue jeans and
donned cowboy hats in order to compete against six World Champion
barrel racers in a barrel racing competition. Pessoa won the class
easily, defeating the likes of three-time Olympic Gold Medalist
Ludger Beerbaum of Germany, 2001 World Cup Champion Markus Fuchs
of Switzerland, and U.S. stars Ward, Howard, and Norman Dello
Joio of Wellington, FL.
day featured an opportunity for spectators to cheer on their neighbors
as the best local amateur riders of the state competed in the
Nevada Team Invitational. The Red Team emerged victorious, consisting
of Team Captain Amy Sears, Celebrity Captain and World Cup competitor,
Richard Spooner, Darlene Hayes, Amanda Meyers, Whitney Stewart,
Brittany Smith and Rita Koentopp.
addition, special ceremonies were held during the show. Prior
to the start of Sundays World Cup competition, four U.S.
riders received Silver Medals for competing in 100 World Cup competitions.
They were Donald Cheska, Beezie Madden, Eric Hasbrouck and Susie
Cup icon Max Ammann, director of the World Cup for the last 25
years, was honored for his service and dedication in a retirement
celebration. Ammann created the World Cup and was largely responsible
for making it the truly great event that it is today. Six former
World Cup Champions paid tribute to him in the arena on Friday
night on the occasion of his retirement.
on Earth Day 2003 (April 19), the Athens Environmental Foundation
(AEF) launched an 18-month tree-planting project that will circle
the globe along the 2004 Olympic torch route forming a figurative
Global Olive Wreath. Las Vegas, host of Budweiser World
Cup, joined the project by planting a tree that was presented
on behalf of Olympic athletes by three-time Gold Medalist Ludger
Beerbaum of Germany who was in Las Vegas to compete for show jumpings
World Cup Final has brought the Olympic movement right to our
doorstep and we are pleased to support this important cause,
said Robert Maxey, Chairman of Budweiser World Cup 2003, who received
the tree on behalf of Las Vegas, along with Daren Libonati, Director
of the Thomas & Mack Center.
with the opening ceremonies and lasting throughout the weekend
of non-stop equestrian action, the 30,000 spectators who attended
the Budweiser World Cup 2003 were treated to dazzling laser light
shows, brilliant fireworks, Las Vegas showgirls, variety acts,
daily appearances by the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, and
equestrian demonstrations, including a dressage demonstration
by 1999 Pan American Games double Gold Medalist and 2002 World
Equestrian Games team Silver Medalist Debbie McDonald on her brilliant
mare Brentina, owned by Parry and Peggy Thomas. The packed stands
appreciated every minute of it making the whole event one to be
complete results from the Budweiser World Cup 2003 and photos,
please visit their website www.worldcuplasvegas.com.