The FEI has received signed host agreements from two of the Canadian and US cities bidding to host the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018. The bid teams from Bromont/Montreal (CAN) and Lexington, Kentucky (USA) have both confirmed their continued interest in hosting the Games in 2018.
Lexington, host city for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in 2010, returned the signed host agreement in advance of the deadline for receipt of the documentation, which expired at midnight CEST on 31 March 2014.
The Bromont/Montreal bid had previously submitted the required paperwork and did not need to resubmit, but Equine Canada’s new President, Al Patterson, has officially confirmed to the FEI that Bromont/Montreal will remain in the bid process.
Lexington, Bromont/Montreal, and Wellington, Florida (USA) had been declared as official candidate cities in December last year, and site visits of all three venues have recently been conducted by Tim Hadaway, FEI Director Games & Championships. However, Wellington withdrew from the bidding process just prior to the latest deadline in the bid process as Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) was unable to deliver the commercial requirements put in place by the FEI.
“It is unfortunate that Wellington is unable to deliver on the commercial requirements and has had to withdraw,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said, “but we are confident that both Bromont/Montreal and Lexington have very strong bids.
“Both venues are very impressive and there is no question that either of them would offer an excellent location and quality infrastructure for a really wonderful FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018. We are looking forward to the next stage in the process when the two candidates present their detailed bids to the FEI Bureau in June.”
Following submissions by the FEI’s Evaluation Commission to the FEI Bureau, the candidates will present their final bids to the Bureau at its in-person meeting in June 2014. The host city for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 will be announced after that meeting.
Kentucky hosted the World Equestrian Games in 2010 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, the first time the Games had been held outside Europe. Over two weeks, equestrian athletes from all over the world competed in seven disciplines: dressage and para-dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, reining and vaulting. To win those games, the state had to put up a $2.5 million financial guarantee that was later repaid by the non-profit group organized to run the 2010 Games. The state also was an active participant in negotiations and promotions for the bid.
Alltech, the giant animal-nutrition company based in Nicholasville, was the naming sponsor for the 2010 Games and is the title sponsor for this year's Games, to be held Aug. 23 to Sept. 7 in Normandy, France.
A study by the financial consulting firm Deloitte on behalf of the FEI found that the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington had an economic impact of $233 million, with $100 million in spectator spending, $11 million in team expenditures and $45 million for event management, sponsors, trade stands and the media.
The FEI World Equestrian Games are held every four years, in the same year as the Winter Olympics.
The inaugural games were held in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1990. They were then staged in The Hague, Netherlands, in 1994; Rome in 1998; Jerez, Spain, in 2002; and Aachen, Germany, in 2006.