Britain withdraws from WEG bid process

  • Britain has withdrawn from the bid process to host the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

    The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) announced earlier this month that it had put in an “expression of interest” to host the games.

    However, the BEF has now informed the FEI that it will not put in a formal application before the deadline next month (15 November).

    A spokesman for the BEF said: “It was felt that the timescale to consider a revised format, to put in place a viable budget and to secure an appropriate host venue was too short.”

    There remain 3 interested parties — Wellington and Kentucky in the USA and a bid from the 1976 Olympic site of Bromont in Canada.

    FEI secretary general Ingmar De Vos said: “While it is of course disappointing that the BEF has decided not to go ahead with a bid for the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018, we still have 3 strong candidates and look forward to receiving their formal bid applications.”

    WEG requires large scale-facilities to host, as all 8 of the FEI disciplines need to be catered for. It also normally makes a financial loss —which is why the BEF’s expression of interest was met with some apprehension (see editor’s comment, 10 October).

    The 2010 WEG in Kentucky was expected to be the first championship to make money but it still fell shy of that mark —despite last-minute help from sponsor Pearse Lyons and FEI’s president Princess Haya.

    The final host city candidates will be announced on 2 December. They will then make formal presentations next spring before the chosen city is announced.

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