“Love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage”. The words of the Frank Sinatra 1956 Emmy-winning song still ring true today, and as equestrian sports fans and athletes all know, “you can’t have one without the other”.
A symbolic horse wedding in Las Vegas at the most romantic time of the year marks two months to the prestigious Finals for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage, when the world’s best athletes will battle it out from 15-19 April in the entertainment capital of the world.
“With this carrot I thee wed”
The horses – beautiful red-headed bride Romy and her chestnut bridegroom Rocky – are besotted with each other in real life. The pair were married by the King himself at The Little Church of the West in Las Vegas, setting for more celebrity marriages than any other wedding chapel in the world, boasting Betty Grable, Judy Garland, Dudley Moore, Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere among its celebrity celebrants. Even Elvis got hitched at The Little Church of the West when he and Ann-Margret recited their vows in the 1964 movie Viva Las Vegas.
The Little Church of the West has now gone into the history books by marrying its first equine couple, and the newlyweds are looking forward to watching their equine idols compete for FEI World Cup™ honours in their home town!
Carats are a girl’s best friend
Las Vegas, as the first venue to combine Jumping and Dressage Finals in 2005, is this year celebrating its 10th anniversary of hosting the joint Finals, and like many modern couples marking this major milestone with diamonds, the city will be celebrating the marriage of love for Jumping and Dressage in glittering fashion at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Las Vegas has produced some of the most electrifying finishes in the 36-year history of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping and 30 years of FEI World Cup™ Dressage. Now, after a 5-year break, the Finals are back with a bang in Las Vegas, where the world’s best Jumping and Dressage athletes will compete for the titles at the Thomas & Mack Center in mid-April.
American athletes dominated the FEI World Cup™ Jumping in the early years, winning 7 of the first 9 Finals, but there was a 24-year drought before Olympians Rich Fellers and Beezie Madden scored back-to-back US wins in 2012 and 2013.
When the 2015 Finals open in Las Vegas, the home side won’t just be looking for a Jumping victory, they’ll be bidding for the first FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final win on home soil since Steffen Peters and his legendary Ravel stole the show in 2009.
World’s best at Thomas & Mack
The Thomas & Mack Center, opened by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Diana Ross in 1983, has since hosted nearly 15 million fans of global superstars such as Bruce Springsteen Elton John, U2 and Mariah Carey, as well as major shows including Disney on Ice, High School Musical, American Idol and Dancing With The Stars.
The venue has a long history, including hosting NBA All-Stars and the National Finals Rodeo, and has earned a reputation for sold-out and high-grossing events. Back in Vegas for the first time since 2009, the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals are expected to attract more than 85,000 spectators over 5 days of edge-of-your-seat competition (tickets can be booked here or visit Priority Travel to book your trip). You can’t have one without the other!
Photos: Liz Gregg/FEI