The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) has given up its plans to stage the 2010 World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Britain, citing a lack of resources and too many other commitments.
Andrew Finding, chief executive of the BEF, explains: “We concluded with UK Sport that we still needed to undertake a feasibility study, and UK Sport’s view was that it would need a high-level consultant to do that.
“An event of this type would also have had to involve the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. In the light of this, and with the huge amount of work we have got to do elsewhere, we have decided to put it to one side for the moment.”
Andrew cites the Athens Olympics, preparing for the 2005 European Eventing Championships at Blenheim, developing an industry strategy, overhauling the structure of the BEF and implementing the Stratford proposal as particular pressures on BEF time and resources this year.
A feasibility study would primarily have explored at which venues the sports would have taken place, assessed financial viability and looked at the legacy benefits of staging WEG.
John Scott, director of major events at UK Sport, says: “It is vital that a detailed feasibility study is conducted to establish what long-term benefits the UK could gain from staging WEG. We don’t commit to a bid without first fully understanding the requirements that would be placed upon us.
“The UK has developed a formidable reputation for delivering world-class equestrian events. The 2005 European Eventing Championships at Blenheim will mean that during the past six years the UK has hosted a European Championships in each of equestrianism’s three Olympic disciplines.”
The closing date to register an interest with the FEI to stage WEG 2010 is 15 July, and a detailed bid would have had to be submitted by 15 October. The last WEG was held in Jerez, Spain and the 2006 fixture will be at Aachen, Germany.
The BEF may, however, submit a bid to the FEI to hold the 2007 World Paralympic Dressage Championships at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.