Lexington, Kentucky & Šamorín, Slovakia Announced As Official Candidate Cities for 2022 World Equestrian Games

3 years ago admin Comments Off on Lexington, Kentucky & Šamorín, Slovakia Announced As Official Candidate Cities for 2022 World Equestrian Games
Kentucky Horse Park Main Stadium that was the competition arena for dressage and jumping at the 2010 World Equestrian Games.
Kentucky Horse Park Main Stadium that was the competition arena for dressage and jumping at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Dec. 22, 2016

Lexington, Kentucky and Šamorín, Slovakia were named Thursday as candidate cities for the 2022 World Equestrian Games.

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) indicated in the announcement that the games will remain as the world championships of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, reining and vaulting as well as para-dressage although it said previously the format is being reviewed.

Lexington hosted the 2010 World Games while Šamorín was a candidate for the 2018 Games that were awarded to the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina after Bromont, Canada pulled out this summer. The Games are held once every four years.

Šamorín show grounds
Šamorín show grounds

“We are very happy to have two such strong official candidates for the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2022,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “Both the Kentucky and Samorin venues have the infrastructure in place already to host the Games, which is one of the biggest events on the global sporting calendar.

“The last edition in Normandy two years ago attracted more than half a million spectators and a worldwide television audience of 350 million, delivering a significant economic impact to the French economy.

“There’s no doubt that these Games are a huge undertaking, but we believe both Samorin and Kentucky have the capability to host spectacular Games and we look forward to working with them through the further stages of the bid process over the next year.”

FEI officials will visit the sites within the first four months of next year ahead of a deadline of June 2017 for submission of the cities to complete bids and signed host agreements. The candidates will make formal presentations to the FEI Evaluation Commission in the third quarter of 2017 and the final FEI Bureau decision and allocation of the WEG will be made in November 2017.

The WEG was first staged in Stockholm in 1990, followed by the Hague in 1994, Rome in 1998, Jerez, Spain in 2002, Aachen, Germany in 2006, Lexington in 2010 and Normandy, France in 2014

However, the number of sports and participation has grown.

Stockholm in 1990 had six sports–dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping and vaulting–with a total of 421 participants.

By the 2014 WEG in Normandy, reining and para-dressage had been added to the lineup and participation had grown to a total of 884 athletes and 1,243 horses.

Mixed fortunes of the WEG include being dropped by two cities well into preparations because of financial difficulties–Dublin bowed out and the 1998 Games were assigned to Rome and Bromont pulled out and the 2018 Games went to Tryon.

Stockholm as the inaugural event in 1990 and Aachen in 2006 were considered the most successful. The Hague had serious financial and organizational issues. Lexington in 2010 was denounced for what were widely described as extortionate hotel prices as well as financial problems of the organization.