OPENING OF THE FEI WORLD CUP FINAL. The festivities begin!

18th April - Following the draw for the World Cup Jumping Finals at the Lyon City Hall on Thursday evening and the draw for the World Cup Dressage Finals on Friday morning in the show's VIP area, Oliver Ginon, the Chairman of GL events, officially opened the event. In 2011, the FEI awarded the organisation of the Finals to the Equita Lyon team, which is in charge of organising the GL events Group's equestrian shows. The Group's Chairman and founder highlighted the company's extensive expertise in organising sports events. Already present at the Winter Olympic Games in Albertville in 1992, the Group will host 35% of the events for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 at its Riocentro venue. Olivier Ginon also thanked the Local Authorities for their support in organising these Finals, which bring together "the cream of the equestrian world".

Sylvie Robert expressed her pride and happiness at managing the project. She also pointed out that an event such as this has never been held in France before. While the Show Jumping and Dressage Finals were held respectively 27 and 22 years ago in France, this is the first time they have been organised at the same time. She spoke of her commitment to meeting this challenge for horse-riding fans around the world who have their eyes firmly focused on Lyon! Certain that the sport would be of the highest level, she added "may this event be the very best and place our friends the horses centre-stage".

Yann Cucherat, the City of Lyon's deputy for Sport, spoke on behalf of the mayor Gérard Collomb and saluted "the courage, self-sacrifice and rigour" required by riders to reach the top. He predicted that the Finals would be truly majestic and would contribute to raising Lyon's profile around the world. The Rhône-Alpes Region has 70,000 horse-riding licence holders and is proud to host such a major event. The FEI Public Relations Director concluded by expressing her delight at welcoming so many top athletes for an Easter weekend that promises to be full of thrills and excitement!

Timetable will be as follow:

1. Friday, 18 April, Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping – speed competition, 20.00 – 21.45 CEST (local time in France, GMT+2hours)

2. Saturday, 19 April, Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage – Grand Prix, 15.00 – 17.50 CEST

3. Saturday, 19 April, Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping – Competition 2, 20.15 – 22.45 CEST

4. Sunday, 20 April, Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage – Grand Prix Freestyle to Music, 13.30 – 16.45 CEST

5. Monday, 21 April, Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping – Competition 3 , 14.00 – 16.45 CEST