The cities that will host the major equestrian events in the next few years have been announced by the FEI — and there are some surprises.

A shock bid winner was the Polish venue of Strzegom, which won over established site Fontainebleau for the 2017 eventing Europeans. It will be the first time that Strzegom has hosted the senior championships.

The British team won gold at the junior eventing Europeans at the site in 2012. However, in 2011 at the European Pony Championship in Jaszkowo, Poland, despite team GBR returning with medals the venue was criticised for its unfinished arenas.

“Strzegom has organised many important eventing competitions over the years, including the FEI world cup events and final, FEI Nations Cup eventing series, FEI European eventing championships for juniors and next year the FEI European eventing championships for young riders, which have marked important stepping stones in the careers of many current stars of eventing,” Catrin Norinder, FEI director of eventing told H&H.

“The organiser is very experienced, the facilities are excellent and we are very much looking forward to seeing more and more nations hosting major FEI events over the coming years.”

Gothenburg will host the Europeans for showjumping, dressage, para dressage and driving in 2017 (22-27 August).

There will also be a joint World Cup jumping and dressage final in 2017 after the FEI awarded the event to Omaha, Nebraska. The city was the sole bidder for the joint final, but ’s-Hertogenbosch aimed for dressage and Hong Kong had bid for jumping.

There was surprise there was no established European venue in the running to host the combined 2017 finals. The O2 Arena put a bid forward for London but pulled out in May  due to planned construction on the site. The UK bid team said it will now “focus its efforts on hosting future double finals”.

“We had some fantastic bids,” said the FEI’s Ingmar De Vos. “The FEI always welcomes new venues so it’s good to see some different cities included.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (26 June, 2014)