Eventful year concludes with two candidates to host 2022 World Equestrian Games
An eventful year for the World Equestrian Games concluded with an announcement by the FEI, equestrianism’s world governing body, that two cities have been approved as official candidates to host the 2022 edition of the games: Lexington in Kentucky, USA; and Samorin in Slovakia.
Lexington previously hosted the games in 2010, the first edition to be held outside Europe, while Samorin has never staged them.
USA also came to the aid of the FEI last month when Mill Spring in North Carolina was named as host of the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
The games were set to take place in Bromont in Canada, only for the city to terminate its hosting contract in July, citing financial issues, leaving the FEI with only two years to find a new host for a festival widely regarded as being highly expensive to organise.
However, a financial study conducted by the state of Kentucky found that the 2010 edition had an economic impact of $201.5 million over 14 days.
The 2014 edition took place in Normandy, France.
Ingmar De Vos, the FEI’s president, said of the announcement: “We are very happy to have two such strong official candidates for the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2022. Both the Kentucky and Samorin venues have the infrastructure in place already to host the Games, which is one of the biggest events on the global sporting calendar.
“The last edition in Normandy two years ago attracted more than half a million spectators and a worldwide television audience of 350 million, delivering a significant economic impact to the French economy.
“There’s no doubt that these Games are a huge undertaking, but we believe both Samorin and Kentucky have the capability to host spectacular Games and we look forward to working with them through the further stages of the bid process over the next year.”
Site visits to the two candidate cities are due to be made between January and May 2017, with a deadline of June 2017 for submission of complete bids and signed host agreements.
The candidates will make formal presentations to the FEI evaluation commission in the third quarter of 2017, with the ruling FEI Bureau to make a final decision and allocate the games in November next year.