Verdades to Appear at 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas
“Diddy” Will Headline Friday’s Devoucoux Dressage Showcase Before Formal Retirement on Saturday Evening Select Spectators to Get Chance to Meet the Legendary Dressage Superstar
Las Vegas, Nevada • Thomas & Mack Center -
Verdades, one of the most popular and beloved horses in dressage history, will make two public appearances at the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, April 15-19. “Diddy” will headline the Devoucoux Dressage Showcase on Friday afternoon, April 17 and then have his official retirement ceremony on Saturday evening.
Laura Graves, Verdades’s owner and rider, announced the 18-year-old, Dutch Warmblood gelding’s retirement in January, leading to an outpouring of love and support from his many followers around the world. That spurred a plan to give his fans a chance to see the legendary superstar at the FEI World Cup™ Final.
“Diddy has so many fans and I wanted to give as many of them as possible a chance to see him before his retirement,” said Graves, who purchased Verdades as a yearling and is the only rider he has ever known. “He has performed on the world’s biggest stages and there really is no bigger stage than the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas so this is really the perfect place for his formal retirement.”
Graves and Verdades will appear during the Final’s Devoucoux Dressage Showcase on Friday afternoon and again on Saturday evening when his official retirement ceremony will be held during the intermission of the Grand Prix Freestyle, the event determining the 2020 FEI World Cup™ champion!
As part of the special occasion, a drawing will be held to select 16 individuals among those in attendance at the Devoucoux Dressage Showcase to meet the legendary horse later that day. In addition, Graves will appear that afternoon in the Taylor Harris Club presented by Lugano Diamonds to meet guests in the World Cup’s VIP club.
Verdades first caught the world’s attention when he carried Graves to the Reserve Championship in the 2014 The Dutta Corp./USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship and then followed that by finishing fifth in the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games, the top U.S. finish.
The duo won team Gold and individual Silver medals at the 2015 Pan American Games and then led the U.S. to team Bronze, while also finishing fourth individually, at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. In 2017, they won the Grand Prix Special at the CHIO Aachen, becoming only the fourth U.S. pair ever to win that event. They added team and individual Silver medals at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games and then achieved a U.S. first later that fall when they were ranked Number 1 on the FEI World Dressage Rankings.
Verdades and Laura competed in four FEI World Cup Finals, the first in 2015 in Las Vegas where they placed fourth. After skipping the Final in the 2016 Olympic year, they went on to finish second three straight years from 2017-2019.
“Diddy not only achieved every goal we ever set, but he fulfilled dreams that I never even knew I had,” Graves said. “We have traveled the world together and competed at the world’s greatest competitions. I am humbled by the outpouring of love from his many fans and I invite everyone to join us in Las Vegas for this wonderful celebration of his career!”
About the FEI World Cup™
The world’s best equestrian athletes will return to the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV, April 15-19, for both the 2020 FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final and the 2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final. The 2020 Finals marks the seventh time that Las Vegas – the Entertainment Capital of the World – is hosting one of the world’s most prestigious equestrian championships. The biggest names in both dressage and jumping will be under one roof to vie for the title of World Cup champion!
The FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final was first held in 1986 and features the world's best dressage horses and riders. A total of 34 Finals have been held through 2019, 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 previously – in Los Angeles (1995), Las Vegas (2005, 2007, 2009, 2015) and Omaha (2017).
Started in 1979, the FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final is an annual international showdown among the world's best show jumping horses and riders. In the 41 Finals held through 2019, the United States has emerged with the most titles (11) with Germany (10) in second. U.S. riders have won two of the last three Longines titles – McLain Ward in 2017 and Beezie Madden in 2018. Previous FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals held in the United States include Baltimore (1980), Tampa (1989), Del Mar, CA (1992), Las Vegas (2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2015) and Omaha (2017).
To order tickets, or for further information on the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, please visit the event's official website at WorldCupLasVegas.com.