June 10, 2014(ISN) – The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) today announced that Bromont/Montreal in Canada has been chosen as the host for the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
The Canadian bid was chosen ahead of Lexington in Kentucky, host of the 2010 Games, after both signed host agreements in April following the withdrawal of Wellington in Florida just before the deadline.
The final two candidates presented their bids to the FEI Bureau in Lausanne today followed by the presentation of a report by the world governing body’s Evaluation Commission.
The Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park, a venue for the Montreal 1976 Olympis, is set to be the hub for the 2018 Games.
They will represent only the second time the Games will have been staged outside Europe following on from Lexington.
“We are really delighted to award the 2018 Games to Bromont/Montreal,” said FEI President Princess Haya.
“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.”
Bromont/Montreal will be only the second non-European host of the World Equestrian Games in the event’s history ©AFP/Getty Images
The Bromont/Montreal bid had been rejected by the FEI Bureau in July last year, even though they had been the only bidders up until that point, as organisers were unable to provide the world governing body with the required financial guarantees and full public sector backing.
The bid process was reopened and with renewed Government support, the Canadian bid was joined by Lexington and Wellington from the United States, while a British bid was briefly toyed with before being pulled in October last year.
Back in November 2011, the FEI had originally revealed a record eight bidders had expressed an interest in hosting the Games with Australia, Austria, Hungary, Morocco, Russia and Sweden joining Canada and the US.
They all subsequently dropped out leaving the race between the two North American neighbours.
The World Equestrian Games is the biggest event on the sport’s calendar and at the last event in Lexington, 57 countries were represented by 800 people and their horses in eight of the 10 disciplines governed by the FEI – combined driving, dressage, endurance riding, eventing, Para-equestrianism, reining, show jumping and vaulting.
This year’s event in Normandy is due to take place from August 23 to September 7 and is set to feature competitors from a record 72 countries.
Prior to 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, which hosted the inaugural event in 1990.