LAUSANNE, Switzerland, June 22–Hungary has withdrawn the bid for Budapest to host the World Equestrian Games in 2018 throwing its weight behind Vienna in neighboring Austria which is one of four nations remaining as candidates, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) announced Friday.
Budapest had been named as one of the five 2018 bid cities earlier this month, but in a letter to FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos, the President of the Hungarian National Federation Vilmos Lázár confirmed the Hungarian bid was withdrawn.
The letter said the Hungarian federation made the decision as there were two candidates from the same region with Austria, Hungary’s immediate neighbor, also one of the official candidates.
Hungary said it hoped the withdrawal of its bid would enhance the chances of Austria staging the Games, held once every four years as the world championships of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, reining and vaulting as well as para-dressage. The 2014 WEG is scheduled for Normandy, France.
The four venues remaining as candidates for 2018 are Rabat, Morocco; Bromont, Canada; Vienna and Wellington, Florida.
Bidding teams from the four cities will meet at FEI headquarters in Lausanne July 11.
“Of course we are sad to lose the Hungarian bid for 2018,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said, “but we respect the National Federation’s decision and admire its generous support of the neighboring bid from Austria. We still have four very strong candidates in the mix and it will be a very exciting bidding process. We very much look forward to welcoming them all to FEI headquarters next month.”