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Many months ago, the idea of attending the Longines FEI World Cup Final was brought up. As a student immersed in my final practicum placement I was quite certain that I could not go, and therefore sadly put the thought out of my mind. Sad not to go, but thrilled Amy was able to apply and hopefully gain acceptance in order to rock coverage for HJU. Well, coming down to the wire I found out that there was a possibility that I could make things work, so the forms were quickly filled out, and fingers were crossed.

Well, since I’ve been yelling it from the rooftops for a little while now it’s not exactly a big secret, but…. not only did Amy get accredited, but I did as well; we will be on the ground in Vegas bringing you all the action from the 2015 World Cup Finals!!!!!!!!!!!! I honestly still can’t believe it, and with it less than a week away, I’m both nervous and super excited!

After celebrating and telling everyone I knew, I began to panic a little bit about covering something so big and, worst of all, indoors. Therefore, I asked for a little bit of help with figuring out how to better utilize my camera (dumb luck has done me well so far, but that’s outdoors where light isn’t an issue generally) and also on how to use Lightroom. It seems to have gone alright, but I still almost feel like a little kid branching out from home (Spruce Meadows) for the first time. It is incredible though, and I couldn’t be happier to go and experience it all. Although I have been to Vegas before, add in horses and we might just be talking perfection.

So, before we actually land in Nevada and hit the ground running, it’s probably a good idea to have a look at what the whole thing is…

One of my favourites, Rich Fellers and Flexible at the salute. -Photo by Keara

Rich Fellers and Flexible will be there to defend their 2012 title. -Photo by Keara

Firstly, and this is what scares me the most, this is both the finals for show jumping and dressage. I won’t lie, I’m not a dressage person and have certainly never shot it. I’m going to have to learn fast! With that said, although it may seem like it sometimes, I don’t live under a rock and therefore am pretty pumped to see some of the dressage superstars strut their stuff. Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro? Yes please!

With both disciplines running, the schedule is pretty packed throughout the five days, here it is:

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Shifting focus to the pairs that are competing: although I don’t want to go deep into my “picks” within this post (for the jumping that is, the dressage you had best ask someone else), things will undoubtedly be exciting. Returning to defend his title, Daniel Deusser will be a big one to watch as he also just topped the rankings in the latest release, bumping Scott Brash down into second. There is also an incredibly strong American contingent that should have the energy level going through the roof! Since I’m Canadian, I will also mention that the red and white will be represented by Chris Sorensen and Bobby, a pair that has really begun to shine for Canada over the past little while; of course, I’ll be rooting for them.  For the full list of competitors you can head over to the website by clicking here.

On the dressage side, of course we have the defending champions Charlotte and Valegro, but from what I hear and know a touch about, the overall line-up is pretty great as well. Personally, I’m really looking forward to seeing Laura Graves and Verdades strut their stuff around the Thomas and Mack, but I’m sure that just witnessing upper level dressage in person for the fist time will be an eye-opening experience in general. You can find the full list of dressage competitors here.

Chris Sorensen and Bobby. -Photo by Keara

Chris Sorensen and Bobby. -Photo by Keara

 I think I’ll leave it there for now, but this is just the first time you’re hearing from me…..

Viva Las Vegas!!!