We’re just one month away from one of our sport’s most exciting events—the 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final. For those of us in the U.S., the anticipation is heightened by the fact that the final has returned to Las Vegas after six years.
This year’s event marks the 30th anniversary of the dressage finals and we’ve included a bit about its history in this special flip-book issue. To learn more about how it got its start, we spoke with some of the key folks behind the event, including its founder Joep Bartels. In “Still Going Strong,” Bartels recalls the very moment that the World Cup Final took shape in his mind. A year later, the first World Cup season was launched, and the inaugural final took place in 1986 in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, near Bartels’ home in southern Holland.
We also hear from this year’s World Cup organizer, president of Las Vegas Events, Pat Christenson, who says that spectators have a lot to look forward to next month. You can read the full story on p. F8 of our special bonus section.
Continuing our lead up to the World Cup, we bring you the third and final article in our freestyle series. This month, three World Cup competitors—Guenter Seidel, Adelinde Cornelissen and Jacqueline Brooks—give us a closer look at how they go about creating an international-quality musical freestyle and tell us why competing in the World Cup has its own special feel. Perhaps Brooks sums it up best saying, “Even spectators who have never seen dressage tell me that they were moved to tears to see a horse dance so perfectly to music.” Read “Dancing in the Spotlight” on p. 38.
Our training feature this month comes from German Olympian Hubertus Schmidt. In “The Half Halt Simplified,” Schmidt shares with us the four rein aids that all German dressage students learn and how each is important. The article emphasizes how effective half halts balance the horse and put him in the correct frame—one that is not too high, too low, too long or too short. Learn more about the dynamics of the half halt on p. 30.
Finally, our special section includes a glimpse into the off-camera lives of three actresses from the Daytime-Emmy-award-winning hit, “The Young and The Restless.” One-on-one interviews with each of these leading ladies reveal what they’re truly passionate about: dressage. Read “From Daytime to Barn Time” on p. F2.
We hope this issue will help tide you over as we all await next month’s big event. You can also check out DT’s World Cup microsite (DressageToday.com/world-cup) to stay up to date with articles, news, photos and more.
Until next time,
Jennifer Mellace, Editor