Wellington, Fla., has withdrawn its bid to host the 2018 World Equestrian Games, according to the Fédération Equestre Internationale.
Equestrian Sport Productions President Michael Stone expressed his regret that Wellington was withdrawing from the bid process after a change in the makeup of the local city government this spring.
"We are fully aware of the massively positive economic impact the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 had on Kentucky," he said in a statement, "but we have a responsibility to the local community, equestrian sport, and the FEI World Equestrian Games not to waste the time, effort and resources of all parties involved in the international selection process."
A study by Deloitte a financial consulting firm, paid for by the FEI, found that the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington had an economic impact of $233 million, with $100 million in spectator spending, $11 million in team expenditures and $45 million for event management, sponsors, trade stands and the media.
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Stone said Monday that several wealthy landowners in Florida oppose additional growth that could come with more equestrian facilities.
"They're not in favor of development of equestrian sports," Stone said. "They're fine with what we have, but they don't want any more."
Three cities remain in the running for the 2018 Games: Rabat, Morocco; Vienna, Austria; and Bromont, Quebec. Bidding teams will meet Wednesday at FEI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The 2014 games, which again will be sponsored by Nicholasville-based feed supplement giant Alltech, will be in Normandy, France.