2014 World Games Credited With €102 (US$115) Million for Normandy, €368 ($414) Million for France

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World Equestrian Games teams of Germany (center) that won gold, Great Britain (left) silver and Netherlands (right). Dirk Caremans/hippofot-FEI
World Equestrian Games teams of Germany (center) that won gold, Great Britain (left) silver and Netherlands (right). Dirk Caremans/hippofoto-FEI

May 7, 2015

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

The 2014 World Equestrian Games were credited by title sponsor Alltech Thursday with providing €102 (US$114.8) million in value to Normandy and €368 ($414) million for France.

For every €1 spent on staging the two-week extravaganza of the seven international horse sports plus para-dressage the region received €3.6 in return, according to the study that was conducted by research professors from IFCE-INRA, the French national institute for agronomic research funded by the French Horse and Riding Institute.

The report said the economic value to France was “considerably higher” than the previous World Games in Lexington, Kentucky in 2010 though different methods were used to assess economic impact.

The economic impact of the 2010 WEG on Kentucky was estimated by a state government study at $201.5 million (€142 million at then exchange rates) in direct and indirect spending. The economic impact of the 2006 WEG in Aachen, Germany was about €100 ($128) million.

The study for Normandy made calculations that the Alltech report said were “based on the direct, indirect and derived effects of the event.”

The impact study was described as the “most complete ever” and used methods that the IFCE-INRA team had been developing since 2011 that “combines both sport economy and specialized knowledge of the equine sector.”

It said the study “takes into consideration the economic, social and environmental effects” of the event.

The WEG is held once every four years as the world championships of dressage. driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, reining and vaulting as well as para-dressage.

About 2,300 surveys were conducted with spectators, officials, athletes, employees, volunteers and residents of Normandy, said the report from Alltech that was the title sponsor of the Kentucky WEG as well as Normandy.

“The economic returns based on the event’s budget (€79/$89 million) were excellent,” the report quoted Céline Vial, an IFCE-INRA researcher.

“We have exceeded the threshold for breaking even on expenses, particularly in terms of public funding (€42.2/$47.5 million overall and (€4/$4.5 million for the territorial project).

“The Organizing Committee used existing facilities to reduce budget requirements while investing in long-term projects that would benefit the equine industry, such as improvements made at the Le Pin National Stud.”

Those surveyed, it said, also placed a monetary value of nearly €45/$50.6 million “on the social scope of the event–a figure that reflects spectators’ and local residents’ satisfaction with such criteria as enjoyment, reputation, appeal, benefits for the sector, etc.”

Those attending the Normandy event, the report said, “gave it a satisfaction rating of 7.8 out of 10.” The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) that owns the event was quoted by the report as assessing the economic impact at €368 million for France, “which is considerably higher than for the 2010 event.”

Normandy 2014 was labeled as “innovative” for local residents, the equine industry and the region.

“For the first time in the event’s history, the World Equestrian Games incorporated 18 medium- and long-term development projects,” it said.

Some of the projects include improvements made to the Le Pin National Stud, the Normandy Business Center in Saint-Lô with support from the Conseil des Chevaux de Normandie, investments in Hippolia in the Calvados area and a tourist-based boost to the industry in a region hoping to capitalize on the international scope of the Games. Improvements made to the Caen Exhibition Center and the Vallée de l’Orne will, it said, benefit everyone.

More than $100 million was spent rebuilding the Kentucky Horse Park, including a new main stadium and large indoor arena for the 2010 WEG. The Aachen show grounds underwent a major overhaul for the 2006 event, including rebuilding sections of its main stadium to accommodate almost 50,000 spectators and was the venue for both dressage and jumping.

The Alltech report said that over 15 months, 300 cultural, athletic and educational initiatives were held as part of the Elan des Jeux programme in hundreds of equestrian and leisure centers, as well as primary schools around the region. About 4,000 children were able to discover horse riding and related activities while there were 3,000 volunteers from around the world.

Laurent Beauvais, president of the Organizing Committee and president of the Region of Lower Normandy, said: “Normandy rose to the challenge of hosting the World Equestrian Games for the first time in France at some of its most emblematic sites. It took the risk of being innovative with a territorial project and has reaped the rewards. The general public–half of which were new to horse riding–welcomed the sport with open arms and wholeheartedly cheered on the participants during all of the events.

“We achieved our goal of making these Games a shared, accessible and popular event that showcased the best that Normandy has to offer.”

The public funding provided by local authorities and the state was put to good use–for every €1 in funding the region received €3.6 in return.

“We are elated to announce that the final budget results show profits between €1-€1.5 million. Our private sponsors helped us host a high-caliber event worthy of an international competition such as this and were rewarded by international media coverage that exceeded expectations.”

Ingmar DeVos, the FEI president, described the 2014 WEG as “a huge success.”

“We saw some absolutely incredible feats of athletic prowess,” he said. “This major event attracted a record number of athletes, nations and spectators, not just in the stands but watching from home and on smartphones and tablets.”

The report gave these figures:

984 athletes
1,243 horses
74 countries
7 competition sites in Caen, Le Pin National Stud and the Mont Saint-Michel Bay
28 world champion titles awarded
171 medals, including 57 gold medals
574,000 spectators
428,000 sport tickets
230,000 visitors to the Games Villages, including: 146,000 Village tickets, 84,000 entries with sport tickets
37% foreign visitors
40% spectators “novices” with no prior horse riding involvement
37% of tickets purchased abroad (7.3% in US, 5.5% in UK, 5.3% in Australia).

Spectators by discipline:
Jumping: 112,000 (5 days)
Eventing: 91,800 (4 days)
Dressage: 83,600 (4 days)
Vaulting: 34,300 (4 days)
Driving: 31,700 (4 days–marathon attended by 16,000 spectators)
Para-Dressage: 22,800 (4 days)
Opening ceremony: 18,000 spectators
Reining: 16,200 (4 days)
Endurance: 5300 (1 day)

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Great Britain Great Britain
7
6
2
15
2 Netherlands Netherlands
6
3
9
18
3 Germany Germany
5
7
3
15
4 United states United states
2
2
3
7
5 Belgium Belgium
2
1
3
6 France France
1
4
1
6
7 Austria Austria
1
2
1
4
8 Italy Italy
1
2
3
9 Australia Australia
1
1
9 Spain Spain
1
1
9 United arab emirates United arab emirates
1
1
12 Switzerland Switzerland
1
2
3
13 Canada Canada
1
1
2
14 Denmark Denmark
2
2
15 Hungary Hungary
1
1
15 Qatar Qatar
1
1
15 Singapore Singapore
1
1