by Zjan Shirinian
April 2, 2014 (ISN) – Canada and the United States will go head-to-head for the right to stage the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) World Equestrian Games 2018, after both bids signed host agreements.
It signals the continued interest of Bromont/Montreal in Canada and Lexington in the US state of Kentucky in hosting the event.
Lexington, which hosted the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010, returned the signed host agreement ahead of yesterday’s deadline.
The Bromont/Montreal bid had already submitted the required paperwork and did not need to resubmit, said a spokesman for the FEI.
But Equine Canada’s President Al Patterson officially confirmed to the governing body that it was staying in the bid process.
As reported on insidethegames yesterday, Wellington in the US state of Florida withdrew its bid just before the deadline.
The FEI said Equestrian Sport Productions was unable to deliver its commercial requirements as part of the bid.
“It is unfortunate that Wellington is unable to deliver on the commercial requirements and has had to withdraw,” said FEI secretary general Ingmar De Vos.
“But we are confident that both Bromont/Montreal and Lexington have very strong bids.
“Both venues are very impressive and there is no question that either of them would offer an excellent location and quality infrastructure for a really wonderful FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018.
“We are looking forward to the next stage in the process when the two candidates present their detailed bids to the FEI Bureau in June.”
Tim Hadaway, FEI Director Games and Championships, has visited the bidding cities, which were declared candidate cities in December.
After submissions by the FEI’s Evaluation Commission to the FEI Bureau, the candidates are due present their final bids in Lausanne, Switzerland on June 9.
The host for the World Equestrian Games 2018 will be chosen by the Bureau the following day.
Bromont/Montreal was set to be awarded the Games last July, but the Bureau reopened the process because the bid team was unable to provide the full public sector financial support required.
Normandy in France is scheduled to stage the seventh edition of the Games from August 23 to September 7.
Before Lexington in 2010, the Games were held in Aachen in Germany, Jerez in Spain, Rome in Italy, The Hague in the Netherlands and Stockholm in Sweden.
The seven FEI disciplines – jumping, dressage and Para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining – are all included on the competition schedule.