Britain will not bid to host the 2014 World Equestrian Games (WEG) because it doesn’t have a suitable venue, according to the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) — despite at least £11.4million being spent on a temporary facility to host the equestrian disciplines during the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The BEF would be responsible for placing a bid for 2014 WEG and indicated last year an interest to do so (news, 16 August 2007). But its chief executive Andrew Finding has said a recent feasibility study, supported by UK Sport, ruled out bidding for WEG in 2014.
“The study concluded that we don’t have a venue with sufficient facilities to host a games,” said Mr Finding, adding: “but it’s not just a venue issue, we had to consider whether we could develop and run an effective bid given everything else that’s ongoing.”
Mr Finding cited the 2008 Junior European Eventing Championships at Thirlestane, the 2009 European Championships in dressage and show jumping at Windsor and London 2012 as some of the myriad projects underway with the BEF at present. To try to host a 2014 WEG in addition, he felt, would be too much.
The World Equestrian Games comprise eight disciplines — show jumping, dressage, eventing, endurance, vaulting, driving, western riding and, for the first time in 2010, para-equestrian — and are held every four years.
The last WEG took place at Aachen in Germany, one of Europe’s top equestrian venues — and cost €39.3m. Aachen has three arenas and two all-weather sand warm-up arenas on a venue set in 225,000sqm with a capacity for 60,000 spectators daily.
France is the only nation so far to have registered a formal interest to host the 2014 WEG, according to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI). FEI spokesman Malina Gueorguiev said Horse Sport Ireland was also looking at the feasibility of hosting the games there.
The BEF is, however, still considering hosting a bid for WEG in 2018.
Read this news story in full in the current issue of Horse & Hound (3 April, ’08)