10 venues vie to host 2022 world championships: two bids for full Games

Ten countries have entered formal bids to host FEI World Championship events in 2022, following a move by the FEI to offer to break up the traditional World Equestrian Games (WEG) format and also invite interest in hosting single or combined disciplines, in addition to the eight-strong sporting event.

Two venues — Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Rome in Italy — have put in bids to host all eight equestrian events, meaning the combined format familiar since Stockholm 1990 could still survive.

Bidding countries for one or more disciplines are Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and the United States of America. Great Britain has not put forward a bid.

Bids for individual world championships include one from Millstreet in Ireland (eventing) and another from the National Stud of Szilvásvárad, Hungary (driving;) while Herning in Denmark has put forward to host a combined jumping, dressage and para-dressage championship.

Endurance has attracted three countries to step forward with single discipline bids: Jazdecký Klub Napoli, Samorin (SVK), Stichting Endurancesport, Ermelo (NED) and Padise Equestrian Centre (EST).

Hosting a full eight-disciplines WEG has become expensive and challenging for host nations, leading to a history of venues withdrawing from the process.

The Kentucky Horse Park in the United States and Samorin in Slovakia both expressed an interest in hosting the 2022 event but pulled-out, prompting the FEI to re-open bidding last year.

At the FEI general assembly in Bahrain in November 2018, the governing body announced that despite launching the bidding process twice, there had not been any “realistic” offers for 2022.

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As the 2022 World Championships are a qualifying event for the Paris 2024 Olympics, the FEI has been under pressure to find viable hosts for the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines. This led it to consider various options for the games’ future and announce it would open up the process to bids for individual championships.

“The number of formal bids that we’ve received for single and multi-discipline FEI World Championships and full games is an excellent indication that the interest in the world championships is as strong, if not stronger than ever”, said FEI President Ingmar De Vos.

“We knew that some of the countries that put in expressions of interest back in February were just dipping their toes in the water, but these formal bids are a great validation of the new bidding process and show that we have a really strong product.”

While the FEI has said that multi-discipline hosts will be given priority, it believes the new bid process has allowed for “sustainable and cost-effective use of existing equestrian sports facilities” and encouraged interest from national federations that “may have hesitated to put forward multi-discipline bids in the past”.

All bids are to be fully evaluated over the summer and the allocation of FEI World Championships for 2022 will be made at the in-person board meeting during the FEI general assembly in Moscow (RUS) in November.

A full break down of bids is as follows:

All disciplines (World Equestrian Games):

  • Pratoni del Vivaro (Rome), Elementa (Rome) and Isola della Scala (Verona) (ITA)
  • Saudi Equestrian Federation, Riyadh (KSA)

Multi-discipline:

  • Dubai Equestrian Club (UAE) — showjumping and endurance
  • Herning (DEN) — showjumping, dressage, para dressage
  • WestWorld of Scottsdale, Arizona (USA) — reining and vaulting

Endurance only:

  • Jazdecký Klub Napoli, Samorin (SVK)
  • Stichting Endurancesport, Ermelo (NED)
  • Padise Equestrian Centre (EST)

Driving only:

  • National Stud of Szilvásvárad (HUN)

Eventing only:

Millstreet Equestrian Services, Millstreet (IRL)

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