Wellington, Florida, has withdrawn its bid to host the 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG) due to a sponsor conflict.
The main sponsor of Wellington is Rolex, which agreed a 10-year deal in December 2013. A $1million (£610,000) Rolex bonus was dropped earlier this year due to conflicting shows.
Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP), which put forward the bid on behalf of the centre, met with the FEI before announcing its withdrawal.
Mark Bellissimo of ESP said: “While I believe we had a very strong technical bid, and I am confident we could have run a exciting, unique and successful WEG, the marketing conditions would have precluded us from honouring our commitments to a valued sponsor.”
Only 2 candidates remain in the bidding process — Bromont in Quebec and Lexington in Kentucky, which hosted WEG in 2010.
This article was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (3 April 2014)