The FEI World Cup Finals are coming back to Omaha!
After Omaha’s hosting of one of the most successful World Cup Finals ever in 2017, the FEI has announced that the Finals will return to Omaha in 2023. The Omaha Equestrian Foundation (OEF) will once again host the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final and FEI Dressage World Cup Final at the CHI Health Center Omaha in April 2023!
Lisa Roskens. Photo courtesy of Classic Communications
“We are so honored and excited to once again bring equestrian sport’s biggest annual individual championship to Omaha,” said Lisa Roskens, Chairman of the Omaha Equestrian Foundation. “The 2017 Finals went beyond all expectations in building new awareness of Omaha around the world and developing new interest in equestrian sports in the Midwest and we are ready to take what we accomplished in 2017 to a whole new level.”
“We are honored that the FEI has once again chosen Nebraska to host the prestigious FEI World Cup Finals,” said Governor Pete Ricketts. “It is truly exciting as this is the only professional world championship we host here in Nebraska. We’re thrilled to have this chance to welcome so many visitors back to our state and we look forward to another spectacular event.”
Governor Pete Ricketts. Photo courtesy of Classic Communications
A total of 52,119 spectators from all over the globe attended the 2017 Finals in Omaha including Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets, television star Kaley Cuoco, tennis legend Steffi Graf, and business magnates/ philanthropists Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.
They were treated to an unprecedented experience and world-class sport featuring 53 riders from 26 countries highlighted by dramatic wins by Isabell Werth of Germany, the most decorated rider in Olympic history, in dressage and two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward of the United States in jumping. Both victories prompted celebrations unlike anything the sport had ever seen before.
Isabell Werth Celebrates her world cup win. (c)SusanJStickle.com
“To say that the 2017 World Cup Finals in Omaha was one of the greatest weeks of my life would be an understatement,” said Ward. “Winning the Final had been a goal of mine for a long time, but it is hard to imagine a better circumstance than how it all played out there. Omaha was the best World Cup Final I have ever been to and the people of Omaha are as friendly as any people I have ever met; to win it there and have everyone in that arena celebrate with me was beyond my wildest dreams!”
Following the event, John Roche, FEI World Cup Director, said that the 2017 Finals in Omaha were, “A shining example of how every Championship should be presented. Anyone who was there would have thought that the local Omaha Organizing Committee had been doing this forever, rather than it being their first time. The event was magnificent in every way!”
McLain Ward after his victory. Photo Courtesy of Classic Communications
FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez went a step further, saying that, “Omaha has set a new standard for what a World Cup Final should be. Lisa Roskens and everyone connected with the Omaha Organizing Committee are to be commended for putting on one of the best championships our sport has ever seen!”
In addition to thrilling competition, the 2017 Finals, which generated a local economic impact of $19 million, offered entertainment that included the Omaha Symphony and the first performance in 12 years by Chip Davis and his award-winning band, Mannheim Steamroller. Also featured were educational exhibits and demonstrations including dressage and show jumping forums with leading riders and officials; outstanding hospitality and VIP amenities; and superb shopping with more than 140 vendors surrounding the warm-up arena that brought visitors inside the World Cup experience!
The OEF Board of Directors and World Cup Organizing Committee conducted surveys and studies of the 2017 Finals and plan to incorporate the best aspects of the event and add new features to make the 2023 Finals even more successful. Specific plans and event highlights will be formulated over the coming months to ensure another groundbreaking experience. Details and information will be announced as they become available on the event website at www.OmahaEquestrian.com.