Equestrian Sport Productions’s Mark Bellissimo said a “sponsor conflict” is the reason the group pulled its bid. “While I believe we had a very strong technical bid and I am confident we could have run a very exciting, unique, and successful WEG, the marketing conditions would have precluded us from honoring our commitments to a valued sponsor. I would like to wish the remaining candidates the best of luck for this important championship.”
“It is unfortunate that Wellington is unable to deliver on the commercial requirements and has had to withdraw,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said, “but we are confident that both Bromont/Montreal and Lexington have very strong bids.”
The states have an additional chance of hosting the Games with Lexington, Kentucky. It is involved in the process currently. Lexington hosted the first Games outside Europe with mixed reviews.
Canada submitted its bid for the Bromont Montreal area. Our northern neighbor was expected to get the nod until financial troubles led to the reopening of the bid process.
“Both venues are very impressive and there is no question that either of them would offer an excellent location and quality infrastructure for a really wonderful FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018. We are looking forward to the next stage in the process when the two candidates present their detailed bids to the FEI Bureau in June.”
The FEI will announce candidate cities for 2018 on December 2.
The World Equestrian Games are held every four years, in the middle of the Olympic cycle. Seven disciplines including jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining are included.
The 1990 inaugural games were hosted in Stockholm, Sweden.
The 2014 WEG will be held in Normandy, France from August 23 to September 7.