Britain could bid to stage the 2010 World Equestrian Games (WEG) — providing the European Dressage Championships, taking place at Hickstead this week, are successful.
UK Sport, the organisation responsible for co-ordinating major events on home soil, which funded the ED championships to the tune of £180,000 via the Lottery, is planning to undertake a feasibility study into staging WEG.
“Britain has an extremely proud tradition in the sport of equestrianism and a number of exceptional venues,” explains John Scott, director of major events at UK Sport.
“In 1999, the UK successfully hosted the European Show Jumping Championships and we are looking forward to seeing our reputation for staging sport’s biggest events enhanced even further at the European Dressage Championships.
“Britain is also to stage the 2005 European Eventing Championships at Blenheim, so in the space of six years we will have hosted European Championships in each of the three Olympic disciplines.
“It’s logical for us now to harness the expertise and experience gained in bidding for and staging these events and consider going for the showpiece event in the sport’s calendar.”
The World Equestrian Games, first staged in Sweden in 1990, are held every four years. Last year’s event in Jerez, Spain, attracted entries from 54 nations, with around 2,000 horses competing across seven disciplines — show jumping, dressage, eventing, endurance riding, driving, vaulting and reining. The next WEG will take place in Aachen, Germany in 2006.
Lexington, Kentucky, has already announced its intention to bid for the event, having lost out to Aachen for 2006. Given that WEG has never been held outside Europe and the increasing dominance of the USA in many of the disciplines, Kentucky must be in with a strong chance. Bids for the 2010 Games must be received by the FEI by 2006.
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