Canadian Government Announces No Financial Support for 2018 World Games

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The planned site of the 2018 World Equestrian Games where horse sports were staged at the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976.
The planned site of the 2018 World Equestrian Games where horse sports were staged at the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976.

July 15, 2016

The Canadian government has officially informed the World Equestrian Games organizing committee that it will not provide any financial support for the global event of international horse sports that is planned for Bromont, Quebec in 2018.

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) that owns the Games had no immediate comment.

The statement from the office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, first reported by Horse Canada, said:

“On July 11, 2016 the 2018 World Equestrian Games Organizing Committee was informed that the Government of Canada will not be providing federal funds to support the hosting of the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

“Through Sport Canada, the federal government is not in a position to support the hosting of the 2018 World Equestrian Games given the financial viability of this project.

“The event has an estimated budget of $100 million (US$77.5/€69.6 million), of which approximately $66.6 million of overall revenue sources must be raised from the private sector. As of today, no private sector funds have been confirmed, nor has a deficit guarantor.

“Federal funding was never committed for this event, we have continued to be clear of our requirements and expectations in our discussions with the 2018 WEG Organizing Committee.”

The WEG that was planned for the 1976 Olympic equestrian venue an hour from Montreal was awarded to Canada in a second round of bidding after the organizers failed in their first attempt because of a lack of financial support.

In awarding the event, the FEI said the organizing committee had provided assurances of support for the Games that have been held once every four years since 1990 and have grown to include dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, reining and vaulting as well as para-equestrian.

The Bromont bid has been fraught with major difficulties from the start–a lack of infrastructure at Bromont, few hotels within reasonable distance and no private financing to fund development of facilities.

Just two months ago, five members of the board of directors and the chief executive officer quit in frustration over the lack of money and planning.

Ingmar de Vos, president of the FEI said at the time he was confident that problems surrounding WEG would be solved but said the Lausanne, Switzerland-based organization was looking “at all options.”

A major issue that prevented some of the best facilities in the world out of consideration is that the World Games are sponsored by Longines. Aaachen, Germany, site of the 2006 Games, Wellington, Florida, and Lexington, Kentucky host of the 2010 Games are Rolex venues.

The new Tryon, North Carolina, show grounds that is perhaps one of the most championship ready facilities in the world is also Rolex.