Paris, Je T’aime: 2018 FEI World Cup Kicks Off Today

Featuring show jumping and dressage!

The top-ranked riders in the world in the disciplines of show jumping and dressage have honed in on Paris, France this week for the 2018 FEI World Cup, one of the most prestigious titles to be earned by an individual rider. It’s been a long road to get here: ten months of qualifiers held all over the world ensured that the cream rose to the top, with only the best 18 dressage riders and best 40 show jumpers invited to compete at the final.


Isabel Werth of Germany is expected to put in a strong showing to defend her title, which she won at last year’s final held in Omaha, Nebraska. USA’s Laura Graves is also expected to be a tough competitor, with her Verdades just getting better and better with each performance.

Isabell Werth (GER)
Photo Liz Gregg/FEI

In the World Cup format, all competitors will perform the Grand Prix, a mandatory test of set maneuvers under seven judges. Only the top riders from the Grand Prix will be eligible to go on to the Freestyle, which is performed to music. While there are mandatory maneuvers required, the freestyle test is up to the individual choreography of each rider.

Dressage schedule:

  • FEI World Cup Grand Prix on Friday, April 13, 3:30 PM (local)
  • FEI World Cup Freestyle on Saturday, April 14, 4:00 PM (local)

Show Jumping

McLain Ward of USA captured the FEI World Cup title last year in Omaha, ending a decades-long drought for an American rider to earn the title and Ward’s first ever World Cup win in 17 attempts. He’s back on his winning partner HH Azur to defend that title, but with 39 of the world’s best show jumpers also gunning for the win, he’ll certainly have his work cut out for him. Can he go four rounds double-clear like he did in 2017?

McLain Ward (USA) & HH Azur
Photo Liz Gregg/FEI

Show jumpers compete in three finals, with the last segment in two rounds for a total of four rounds of jumping. An opener also took place on Wednesday to allow horses to acclimate to the arena. The World Cup format follows a variety of tests, which are outlined in the schedule below.

Show jumping schedule:

  • FEI World Cup Final I: Table C format with faults transformed into time penalties, on Thursday, April 12 at 8:30 PM (local)
  • FEI World Cup Final II: class with jump-off for clear rounds, on Friday, April 13 at 8:30 PM (local)
  • FEI World Cup Final III: only the best 30 riders from Final I and II qualify
    • First round class with jump-off for clear rounds with 20 best going on to second round
    • Second round class with jump-off

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