Fayette County

Quebec backs out of 2018 WEG; could Lexington replace it?

Bromont, Quebec lacked the financial resources and sponsor backing necessary to stage the World Equestrian Games, according to the Federation Equestre International.
Bromont, Quebec lacked the financial resources and sponsor backing necessary to stage the World Equestrian Games, according to the Federation Equestre International. Federation Equestre International

The 2018 World Equestrian Games are without a home after an agreement was terminated with Bromont, Quebec.

Bromont lacked the financial resources and sponsor backing necessary to stage the games, which will be held in August 2018, according to Fédération Équestre Internationale, the organization behind WEG.

The games were given to Canada by FEI in June 2014. Lexington, which had hosted the games in 2010, made an unsuccessful bid. The termination was a mutual decision between FEI and the Bromont committee.

“We are now looking at possible alternatives for 2018 and we are hopeful that we will be in a position to make an announcement shortly,” said Ingmar De Vos, president of FEI, in a release.

De Vos said this isn’t the first time the games will be pulled together in a new site within two years. He said that WEG in Rome in 1998 was a success after Ireland pulled out.

Readers responding on Eventing Nation online were overwhelmingly in favor of returning the games to Lexington, saying everything was already in place at the Kentucky Horse Park.

The FEI disciplines include jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining.

The first games were hosted in Stockholm in 1990 and subsequently were held in The Hague, Netherlands; Rome; Jerez, Spain; and Aachen, Germany. In 2010 they were held in Lexington, and in 2014 in Normandy, France.

A state study said that the 2010 games generated more than $200 million in economic impact for Kentucky.

Kentucky’s bid for the 2018 games might have been hampered by dueling sponsorships from Swiss luxury watchmakers.

Longines Watch Co. is a sponsor of FEI and Rolex is a sponsor of the Kentucky Horse Park.

Cheryl Truman: 859-231-3202, @CherylTruman

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