Officials Announced for 2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas
Experienced group of officials selected for 2020 event
LAS VEGAS - Las Vegas Events, Inc., producer of the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals, has announced the list of officials for the 2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, which returns to the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, together with the 2020 FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final, next April 15-19.
Heading the list of officials is Anna Lindqvist of Sweden, who will be President of the Ground Jury. She will be joined by Ground Jury Members David Distler and Jack Robson of the USA, and Colleen Hoffman of Canada.
Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany will be the Course Designer. Dan Reed of the USA will be the Chief Steward, while Maria Hernek of Sweden will be the European Steward. Santiago Varela of Spain will be the Foreign Technical Delegate and Neil O’Connor of the USA will be the Limb Sensitivity Liaison Judge. The Jumping Final will be managed by Stephanie Lightner of Blenheim EquiSports.
"We are honored once again to have some of the world’s best and most experienced officials joining us in Las Vegas for the 2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final,” said Pat Christenson, President of Las Vegas Events, Inc. “They are all highly respected and add to the prestige of this most important championship!”
Anna Lindqvist (Sweden) – President of the Ground Jury
Anna Lindqvist is an FEI 4* rated judge – one of only two in Sweden. Lindqvist was a member of the Ground Jury at the 2016 and 2019 FEI World Cup™ Finals, both in Gothenburg, Sweden.
David Distler (USA) – Ground Jury Member
David Distler has been judging around the world since 1975. He became an FEI show jumping judge in 1989, and is currently the only FEI 4* rated judge in the U.S. Distler has served as a member of the Ground Jury at several previous Finals, four of which he served as Ground Jury President, including the 2009 Final in Las Vegas. He served as a member of the Ground Jury at the 2008 and 2016 Olympic Games and was also on the Jury at the 2007 Pan American Games and 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games.
Colleen Hoffman (Canada) – Ground Jury Member
Colleen Hoffman is an FEI 3* rated judge with years of experience as an official. She was a member of the Ground Jury at the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Final in Omaha, Nebraska among many others.
Jack Robson (USA) – Ground Jury Member
Jack Robson is an FEI 3* rated judge and course designer with over 30 years of experience. He has worked with the likes of Frank Chapot, Bert de Nemethy, Pamela Carruthers, and Robert Jolicoeur to name a few. He was a Member of the Ground Jury for the 2009 and 2015 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, and has been either President or a Member of the Ground Jury at shows such as the Las Vegas National, Los Angeles National, Blenheim Equisports, Del Mar International and Ocala Masters.
Olaf Petersen, Jr. (Germany) – Course Designer
Olaf Petersen, Jr. is a FEI Level 4 Course Designer. He was Co-Course Designer at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and has also designed courses at the 2006 Asian Games, 2005 South East Asian Games, and over a dozen FEI World Cup™ qualifiers such as Thermal, Wellington, Del Mar, and Los Angeles in the U.S., Wroclaw (Poland), Budapest (Hungary), Moscow (Russia), Kiew (Ukraine) and Balvanera (Mexico) to name a few. Petersen competed at the grand prix level himself before adding course designer to his resume in 1990 after being inspired by his famed father, FEI course designer Olaf Petersen, Sr.
Santiago Varela (Spain) – Foreign Technical Delegate
Santiago Varela began designing courses when he was just 15 years old and is now an FEI Level 4 Course Designer. He was Course Designer at the 2011 FEI European Championships and for the first Nations Cup Final in Barcelona in 2013, as well as the FEI European Championships for Young Riders, Juniors, and Children. He has designed courses for many of the biggest events around the world, and has been selected as the Course Designer for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Dan Reed (USA) – Chief Steward
Dan Reed has been a Steward at numerous top international jumping events across the nation including the National Horse Show, Las Vegas National Horse Show, Washington International Horse Show, Old Salem Farm Horse Shows, Hampton Classic, Palm Beach Masters and Split Rock Jumping Tour, to name just a few. He is highly respected for his integrity and calm demeanor.
Maria Hernek (SWE) – European Steward
Maria Hernek is a FEI 3* Jumping Steward and conducts FEI Jumping Steward clinics all over the world. She has been the Chief Steward at the Gothenburg Horse Show in Sweden for many years, including the 2013 FEI World Cup™ Final. She was also an FEI Steward at the 2011 FEI European Jumping Championships in Madrid, Spain. She was the Chief Steward at the 2015 FEI World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas.
Neil O’Connor (USA) – Limb Sensitivity Liaison Judge
Neil O’Connor is a USEF and FEI 3* Judge and Steward and officiates regularly at national and international shows. He has served as President or Member of the Ground Jury at many prestigious U.S. shows such as the Hampton Classic, Pennsylvania National, Winter Equestrian Festival, Washington International, National Horse Show, and the inaugural 2014 Central Park Horse Show. Internationally, O’Connor has officiated at Spruce Meadows and the Royal Winter Fair, both in Canada. A native of Millstreet, County Cork, Ireland, O’Connor now resides in the U.S.; ironically he was the Foreign Judge at the 2014 Dublin Horse Show.
2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals
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 jumping and dressage are expected to come to compete in Las Vegas, which showcases the sport like nowhere else. Nearly 74,000 spectators came to the 2015 Finals in Las Vegas and more are expected in 2020. Since 2015, the Thomas & Mack Center has undergone $75 million of renovations and improvements and it features new upgrades in stabling, seating, concessions, restrooms, sound system and more.
All-Session tickets for either discipline are now on sale. Tickets for individual sessions will go on sale early next winter. Everyone is welcome to join the World Cup Club at www.worldcuplasvegas.com/world-cup-club. Membership is FREE and members receive all the latest breaking news, information on host hotels, hospitality and much more!
The Taylor Harris Club presented by Lugano Diamonds will be open to all VIP ticket holders and will be an amazing experience. Located in the brand new Strip View Pavilion, the new 36,000 square-foot, two-story magnificent VIP space has an outdoor patio overlooking the stabling area with spectacular views of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. Access to the Taylor Harris Club, presented by Lugano Diamonds will provide:
• VIP seating in the first four rows of the venue
• Easy access from seats to the VIP area
• VIP Food & Beverage
• Live music
• An exclusive entrance to the venue for VIPs only
• Large screen TVs so no one has to miss any action
• Complimentary World Cup Souvenir Program
• Complimentary Day Sheets
Further information on the 2020 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, and the chance to join the World Cup Club, is available at the event's official website at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.
About the FEI World Cup™ Finals
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).
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).
About Las Vegas Events
Founded in 1983, Las Vegas Events is a private, not-for-profit organization funded by hotel room tax. Through its Signature Event initiative, LVE has created a model to integrate all elements of special events and formally improve communication between event producers and Las Vegas’ hotel properties and sponsors. Since 1991, Las Vegas Events has produced, presented or supported more than 750 events. Further information is available at www.lasvegasevents.com.