WEG 2018 BROMONT, A TOUGH MARATHON. The IJRC congratulates Canada for this important achievement!

12 June - It’s official: after a complex discussion and a fluctuating bidding process, Canada will be the venue for the most important equestrian sport event of 2018. For the second time in their history, the World Equestrian Games will be held outside of Europe, after 2010, staged in Lexington, Kentucky. The Olympic Parc of Bromont, where the Montréal Olympics Games took place in 1976, should be the scenery for the 8th edition, following Normandy this year.
After the FEI Evaluation Commission’s report, the FEI Bureau unanimously approved Bromont-Montreal as host city for the FEI’s flagship event. “We are really delighted to award the 2018 Games to Bromont-Montreal – said FEI President HRH Princess Haya – The Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park is an exceptional and proven venue, and will be the ideal location”.
At less then 70 days from the opening ceremony in France, the expectations for the next four years are about to raise, with even larger audiences on the ground thanks to the media and global growth of equestrian sports.
Scheduled every four years, in the middle of the Olympic cycle, the FEI World Equestrian Games run since 1990, when they first were inaugurated in Stockholm, Sweden. From then on, the Games took place in The Hague, Netherland, in 1994, in Rome, Italy, in 1998, in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, in 2002, in Aachen, Germany, in 2006, and in Lexington, Kentucky USA, in 2010, where for the first time para-dressage was included, bringing the total number up to eight disciplines.
In 2010, during the Kentucky Weg, while France was promoting its venue, even if 2018 seemed so far, candidates were already expressing interest to host the event.
In June 2012, five countries came forward and officially applied: Morocco, USA, Hungary, Austria and Canada. Among them, the British Equestrian Federation submitted an “expression of interest” to the FEI, but never really put in a formal bid.
The road to Bromont has been a marathon affair, with the reopening of the FEI’s bidding process last July, when the Canadian bid team for Bromont-Montreal was unable to provide the full public financial support required, and it was rejected.
In fact, all the other candidate cities, Rabat, Budapest, Vienna and Wellington, had withdrawn from the bid process, leaving Bromont as the only standing for it. Canada appeared to have easily won the hosting but the FEI expressed negatively, reopening the entire bidding process and inviting Bromont to remain part of it.
“We are of course extremely disappointed by today’s decision not to allocate the 2018 Games to Canada – Bromont Bid Committee President Paul Côté said last summer – We will continue our efforts to secure the financial backing we need. We now need to redouble our efforts with our federal and provincial government partners. We have a very strong bid and we are confident that we can stage a wonderful FEI World Equestrian Games in Bromont”.
With the re-opening, applicants bidding to host the Games had until the 15th of November 2013 to return signed bid documentation and the two US cities, Wellington and Lexington, which had both submitted, met the deadline, joining the Canadian bid.
On the 2nd of December the official candidates were announced by the FEI Headquarters, with Bromont, Wellington and Lexington in the run. The site visits by the Evaluation Commission would have followed, before presentations by the bidders to the Commission and to the FEI Bureau.
“We are delighted that we have Wellington, Kentucky and Bromont-Montreal in the bidding process for our flagship event – FEI Secretary General Ingmar de Vos said – All three locations have strong equestrian traditions”.
The deadline to submit the completed and signed Host Agreements was the 31th of March 2014, but, earlier this year, Wellington had to renounce to its bid, due to a sponsor conflict, leaving the two remaining venues, Lexington and Bromont to battle it out.
As scheduled, on June 2014 the two candidates presented their final bids to the FEI Bureau meeting, in which the announcement would have been pronounced.
In its statement the FEI declared that the bids by both Lexington and Bromont-Montreal were both impressive, but that Bromont-Montreal was the stronger of the two.
The Canadian committee honoured its declarations by securing substantial government backing, the crucial element in the FEI’s decision, and now it is sure that Bromont will be the hub for the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018.

Barbara Leoni

Waiting for the WEG 2018, good luck and best wishes to Canada from the IJRC!