Officials from Bromont in Quebec, Canada have made their presentation to the FEI, the international governing body for equestrian sports, to host the 2018 World Equestrian Games, which looks a formality for the city after it became the only candidate to last the distance since the bid process began 15 months ago.
A delegation led by Paul Côté, president of the Bromont bid committee, made an in-depth presentation to the FEI evaluation commission at its headquarters in Lausanne, covering a range of topics including horse welfare and anti-doping, the financial plan and revenue generation strategy, and the legacies to Canadian equestrian sport, should the games be awarded to Bromont.
The Bromont bid committee said it plans to use the Montreal 1976 Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony, and the Bromont Equestrian Park, which staged the equestrian events in the 1976 Olympic Games, is the proposed venue for all seven disciplines at the 2018 games.
The games comprise world championships in seven disciplines - jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining – and are the most prestigious equestrian event outside the Olympic Games.
The FEI evaluation commission will now produce a full report for the FEI Bureau. Once reviewed, the Bromont bid team will return to Lausanne for the in-person Bureau meeting at FEI headquarters on July 1 and 2, after which the host city will be officially announced.
Following yesterday's presentation, Côté said: “The [Bromont] committee now better understands the expectations and requirements for the FEI World Equestrian Games and we feel confident that we can organise and manage the games in 2018. We are looking forward to presenting to the FEI Bureau in July and hearing the final decision. Getting the 2018 games could change the sport forever in our country.”
It emerged last month that Bromont's only other remaining challenger for 2018, Vienna, dropped out of the race after the Austrian Equestrian Federation failed to sign and return the host city contract to the FEI by the year-end 2012 deadline. Originally, Bromont faced competition from seven other cities and/or national equestrian federations wanting to host the event.
Rabat in Morocco dropped out towards the end of last year, saying its candidacy had "lost its driving force" following the death of HRH Princess Lalla Amina, chair of the Royal Moroccan Federation for Equestrian Sports.
Wellington in the US state of Florida withdrew its bid last July, citing a change in the local government. Equestrian Sport Productions, the company that was leading the Wellington bid, claimed that wealthy landowners in the Palm Beach County area were opposed to the work that would be required to upgrade facilities for the quadrennial games.
A month earlier, the Hungarian Equestrian Federation had withdrawn the candidacy of the country’s capital Budapest, vowing to support the Vienna bid instead.
Applications from Sweden, Australia and Russia, all of which submitted formal expressions of interest to the FEI when the bid process began in November 2011, were withdrawn earlier in the year.