Bromont Appears to Win 2018 World Equestrian Games by Default
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The Canadian city of Bromont appears to have won the right by default to host the World Equestrian Games in 2018 after Vienna, the last competing city for the world championships of seven international horse sports, failed to submit a signed host agreement on time.
Bromont, host of the 1976 Montreal Olympic equestrian events, is the last remaining candidate city for WEG that once every four years showcases dressage, driving, endurance, eventing jumping, reining and vaulting.
If the application is approved by the FEI, this would be the second major equestrian championship for Toronto in three years. Toronto will host the 2015 Pan American Games, the world’s second largest multidiscipline sports event that includes the Olympic disciplines of dressage, eventing and jumping.
The FEI confirmed that “no signed host agreement had been received from the Austrians before the December, 2012 deadline, meaning that Vienna is no longer in the running to host the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018.”
“It is of course disappointing to have lost Vienna as one of our bid cities for the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018,” said FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos, “but we are very much looking forward to seeing the presentation from Bromont when the Canadians come to FEI Headquarters in Lausanne at the end of next month to present their bid book to the FEI Evaluation Commission.”
Since WEG was inaugurated in 1990, the event was held in Europe until Lexington, Kentucky in 2010 and after it returns to Europe in 2014 at Normandy, France, it seems the Games will return to North America for a second time.
No reason was given for Vienna failing to meet the filing deadline as the city was considered the favorite to host the 2018 WEG, especially after Hungary withdrew its bid in June last year to smooth the way for the Austrian capital.
Then, the bid by Wellington, Florida, was withdrawn because of opposition by the local government to development of equestrian facilities that raised doubts timetables could be met.
The Bromont facility, about 50 miles (80km) east of Montreal, was founded in 1965, upgraded for the 1976 Montral Games then upgraded again in recent years to restore it to a top world class venue.
The Canadian five-member bid team for the 2018 WEG will make their presententation to the FEI Evaluation Commission at the FEI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland Feb. 26-27. The bid committee is expected to include the Mayor of Bromont, Pauline Quinlan, and Equine Canada President Mike Gallagher.
The process was described “as part of the bid process prior to a final decision on the host city in June.”
Following the Bromont presentation, the FEI Evaluation Commission will produce a report for the FEI Bureau, the equivalent of a board of directors. The Bromont bid team will then return to Lausanne for an in-person Bureau meeting in June to make a formal presentation prior to the Bureau vote that will decide the allocation of the 2018 WEG.
The World Equestrian Games have experienced extremes of fortune since the first event in Sweden in 1990.
The WEG at the Hague in 1994 was a financial calamity, 1998 was in jeopardy after Ireland pulled out when its major sponsor withdrew and Rome came to rescue to pull off a successful WEG, Jerez in Spain in 2002 left the area saddled with debt from construction while Lexington in 2010 suffered serious financial and logistical problems.
Aachen, Germany in 2006 was the standout success, attracting the largest number of paying spectators of more than 500,000, providing permanent improvements that enabled the World Equestrian Festival to add eventing and vaulting to its annual program of dressage, driving and jumping. This in turn has created increased demand resulting in plans to expand the permanent Deutsche Bank Stadium for dressage by 2015.
France has built a management team and infrastructure in an effort to avoid the pitfalls of the previous WEGs.