London has pulled out of the bid to host the FEI World Cup Jumping and Dressage Finals in 2017.
The original bid was from London’s O2 Arena, put forward by AEG, the O2 owner. Olympia and Royal Windsor organiser Simon Brooks-Ward offered technical advice.
But due to planned construction on the site of the proposed British venue, the bid team is now to “focus their efforts on hosting future double finals”.
“The 02 arena is one of the largest state-of-the-art concert venues in Europe, and staged the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games basketball and gymnastics events,” said Ingmar De Vos, FEI secretary general.
“It is a perfect venue for our sport, and we are looking forward to seeing London in the running again for the FEI World Cup finals.”
However, it is surprising that there is no established European venue in
the running to host the combined 2017 finals.
Simon told H&H that the O2’s withdrawal was a financial and spacing decision.
“The O2 is being developed to maximise revenue, which closes down a lot of the space needed for stables and lorry parking. It would have been problematic for a horse show, and is an expensive thing to run,” he said.
Omaha, Nebraska, in the USA, is now the sole bidder to host the combined World Cup dressage and jumping.
Hong Kong seeks to host the jumping only and ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, dressage.
This article was first published in Horse and Hound on 8 May 2014