Canada’s Bromont/Montreal Gets 2018 World Equestrian Games

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The 1976 Olympic dressage venue at Bromont.
The 1976 Olympic dressage venue at Bromont.

June 9, 2014

Canada’s Bromont/Montreal was awarded the 2018 World Equestrian Games by a unanimous decision of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Bureau Monday.

The Canadian bid for the showcase event of international horse sports beat out a proposal by Lexington, Kentucky that hosted the 2010 event.

The long campaign to host the world championships of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, reining, vaulting and para-dressage held once every four years overcame issues over government-backed financing.

The unanimous approval of Bromont/Montreal as host city for the FEI’s flagship event came after the Evaluation Commission’s report was presented at the start of the bureau’s two-day meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland Monday.

The Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park, venue for the Montreal 1976 Olympic equestrian events, will be the hub for the Games that will be only the second time the WEG has been held outside Europe–the 2010 event in Lexington the first since the WEG was first staged in 1990.

Lexington was the only other remaining bidder for the 2018 Games after a long list of cities around the world considered bidding but dropped out.

“We are really delighted to award the 2018 Games to Bromont/Montreal,” FEI President Princess Haya said. “The Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park is an exceptional and proven venue, and will be the ideal location for the eighth edition of the FEI World Equestrian Games, our most global equestrian event.

“We are now just 75 days from the opening ceremony of the 2014 Games in the heart of Normandy, when over 500,000 spectators and millions of TV viewers will watch the best equine and human athletes compete for world titles over two weeks of absolutely top equestrian sport.

“And four years from now, the Games will be heading to Canada, where we expect even larger audiences on the ground and on television as equestrian sport continues its global growth.”

“This is an exciting announcement and a great opportunity for equestrian sport, and will make an outstanding economic impact on Bromont, the province of Quebec and the horse industry in Canada,” said Al Patterson, president of Equine Canada.

“On behalf of the Equine Canada Board of Directors and members, I would like to thank the WEG Bid Committee for their tireless work and efforts in raising the funds needed to secure the 2018 Bid.”

The FEI had reopened the bidding process for the 2018 WEG in July, 2013 when the Canadian bid team for Bromont/Montreal was the only candidate but was unable to provide the full “public sector financial support”–taxpayer money–the FEI required. Confirmation that the Canadian bid committee subsequently secured substantial government backing, the FEI said, was a crucial element in Monday’s decision.

In an effort to create competition from bidders, London and Wellington, Florida as well as Lexington expressed interest. London and Wellington dropped out and Kentucky did not announce an organizing committee to manage the process.

The inaugural Games were hosted in Stockholm in 1990 and since then have been staged in The Hague, Netherlands in 1994, Rome in 1998, Jerez, Spain in 2000, Aachen, Germany in 2006 and Lexington, Kentucky in 2010.

Several of the events have been marked by serious financial and organizational issues. The 2006 WEG in Aachen was considered the most successful from the perspective of finances, organization and attendance.

Canada will host the Pan American Games which includes the three Olympic disciplines of dressage, eventing and jumping in Toronto in the summer of 2015.