Plan for the FEI World Cup Finals

Here’s what you need to know to attend the 2023 edition of the finals in Omaha, Nebraska, April 4–8.

While Omaha, Nebraska, may not be considered the first stop in international equestrian event competition, the city hosted the highly successful FEI World Cup™ Finals in 2017. Since then, more improvements to the area have been made. These include the addition of quality hotels and restaurants within walking distance of the finals’ host, the CHI Health Center Omaha.

Omaha, Nebraska, will be the backdrop for the 2023 FEI World Cup™ Finals.
Courtesy, Visit Omaha

“You can’t beat the level of sport you’re going to get to experience,” said Julie Boilesen, CEO of the Omaha Equestrian Foundation, a nonprofit organization holding the event in conjunction with the FEI. “We love showing off our city. I’m very proud of this downtown area. We so often go somewhere to an event like this, and we’re on the outskirts, not necessarily in the center. Here you’re right in the best part of town for hotels and restaurants. And then this is an awesome facility [the CHI Health Center Omaha].”

Lisa Roskens, CEO of Burlington Capital Group, LLC and the force behind bringing the FEI World Cup™ to Omaha, shares similar feelings about the city. “There’s lots of local shops and restaurants [within walking distance of the venue.] We have very good museums and cultural experiences. We have a Western heritage museum [the Durham Museum] that gives you a great regional experience, and our zoo really goes head-to-head with San Diego every year for the top zoo in the country. What I would say is come for the horse show, but make sure you make time to enjoy what else is going on.”

Germany’s Isabell Werth stood atop the FEI World Cup™ Final dressage podium in Omaha in 2017. Laura Graves from the United States was second and Great Britain’s Carl Hester was third.
© Amy K. Dragoo

Tickets on Sale Now

All-session tickets mean you purchase a package of tickets for a discipline (dressage, show jumping or vaulting). All-session general and VIP tickets, hospitality lounge passes and fully catered tables for two, four, six and eight are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com.

If you want to buy tickets per session, say dressage on Tuesday and show jumping on Wednesday, you will be selecting single session tickets. Single session general and VIP tickets, hospitality lounge passes and fully catered tables for two, four, six and eight are on sale via Ticketmaster.com as well.

VIP tickets are sections of prime seating. In addition to a great viewing experience, a VIP Lounge Pass can be added to eligible VIP ticket purchases while supplies last. The VIP Lounge is located on the second floor of the CHI Health Center Omaha and can be reached by escalator or elevator. You’ll enjoy live music, heavy hors d’oeuvres and unlimited complimentary cocktails and beverages. You can also chat with your show friends or make new acquaintances from around the globe. The VIP Lounge opens one hour before a ticketed event and closes 30 minutes prior to the event ending.

Hotel Information

Get the best rates on hotel rooms with the official Omaha Equestrian Foundation FEI World Cup™ Finals discount. Each sport will be hosted at its own headquarters hotel within easy walking distance of the venue.

Jumping: Hilton–Omaha Downtown

Dressage: Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District

Vaulting: Courtyard by Marriott Downtown

For the special rate, go to omahaequestrian.org/fei-world-cup and click “book today” to make your reservation. 

For the first time in Omaha, the FEI Vaulting World Cup™ Final will be held in conjunction with the dressage and jumping finals. The vaulting competition will be Thursday, April 6, and Saturday, April 8. The first vaulting competition at the venue was held at the 2022 International Omaha event.
© Stephanie J. Ruff

An Important Partnership

McClain Ward, who rode HH Azur, won the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in front of the home crowd in Omaha. Romain Duguet (left) from Switzerland was second and Henrik von Eckermann (right) from Sweden finished third.
© Amy K. Dragoo

The finals are designed in partnership with the Bluebird Cultural Initiative. The initiative’s goal is to celebrate the traditions and powerful history of the great horse tribes of the plains and honor their cultural heritage. 

The initiative is a nonprofit organization that provides programming to the community. These programs enrich the understanding of the history and cultural traditions of Native American peoples of the Great Plains. The group strives to revitalize the past through the arts and culture to energize the future for their youth. 

“We are focusing on our hearts, our heritage, the year 1723 and what was really happening [in that year] on this piece of land where we’re going to host the World Cup,” Boilesen said. “What was happening about 40 years after horses really made their way back to the plains? What was the advent of horse nation in tribes like the Omaha and the Winnebago and the Lakota? How did the horse change their way of life? 

“It is just such an opportunity to talk about horses in a different way, other than this very elevated sport,” Boilesen continued. “It’s about how horses were such an instrumental part of who [the tribes] were in the culture. We’re really just interested in creating a platform for our friends at Bluebird and a lot of the area tribes to be able to tell their own story.”

Read more at bluebirdculturalinitiative.org/media.

Volunteer Opportunities

The 2017 event had about 500 volunteers from all 50 states and five countries. The upcoming finals will be no different. It will take an army of people to help the event run smoothly. Consider this opportunity to rub elbows with some of the best riders in the world. Interested in helping? Fill out the “contact us” form at omahaequestrian.org.

Spectators cheer on their favorites at the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Omaha, Nebraska.
© Amy K. Dragoo

Stay Tuned

Visit the event’s official website omahafoundation.org for more information on the finals and the latest news. In addition, Practical Horseman and Dressage Today will update fans regularly and be on the grounds covering the event. 

Dressage Today Podcast

Listen to Dressage Today’s podcast interview with Omaha Equestrian Foundation’s Lisa Roskens (Season 3, Episode 22). She’s the CEO of Burlington Capital Group, LLC and key to bringing the FEI World Cup™ to Omaha.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of Practical Horseman.

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