Big issues concerning the World Endurance Championship 2016 subsided not so long ago. And now next FEI Championships face the problems.
Horse-Canada.com reported that “the World Equestrian Games set for August 11-26, 2018, at the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park are going to be cancelled after the Government of Canada informed the Organizing Committee that it won’t support the games.”
A statement from the office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities read:
“On July 11, 2016 the 2018 World Equestrian Games Organizing Committee was informed that the Government of Canada will not be providing federal funds to support the hosting of the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
Through Sport Canada, the federal government is not in a position to support the hosting of the 2018 World Equestrian Games given the financial viability of this project. The event has an estimated budget of $100 million, of which approximately $66.6 million of overall revenue sources must be raised from the private sector. As of today, no private sector funds have been confirmed, nor has a deficit guarantor.
Federal funding was never committed for this event, we have continued to be clear of our requirements and expectations in our discussions with the 2018 WEG Organizing Committee.”
Although the cancellation is not yet official, it seems as though the monster event was doomed from the beginning, with an unrealistic budget, no support from the federal government, logistical problems surrounding traffic and accommodations, and a revolving door of CEOs and other top management that pointed to the turmoil within the organizing committee, COJEM.
Read full article on website horse-canada.com here: http://www.horse-canada.com/horse-news/bromont-weg-the-death-throes/
Horse-Canada.com called the WEG 2018 “epic failure” and “a problem from the start”.
The main points of the article are as follows:
- Rather than concede the difficulties in hosting the flagship event bearing its name were insurmountable, the FEI changed their criteria so that it simply required “substantial government backing” rather than specifying federal support and awarded the event with the troubled financial past to the organization with the questionable budget.
- Since the cancellation isn’t yet official, there is a very (VERY) faint glimmer of hope.
- There are a few venues which have the existing facilities and could quickly become a replacement site for these 2018 Games: Aachen Soers, Wellington Equestrian Park, and Kentucky Horse Park. The FEI, however, has been deftly out-maneuvered by its previous primary sponsor, Rolex, which now sponsors each of these venues. As a result of the conflict between the watch companies, the FEI doesn’t have any obvious options for an alternate venue.
- Is the behemoth known as the World Equestrian Games even viable anymore? Although it is a true utopia having that much equestrian sport all in one place, even the FEI may have to finally admit that changes must be made.
- Crushing budgets, accommodation and transportation problems, epic traffic snarls, even the simple logistics of feeding half a million spectators are making it increasingly difficult to attract host cities.
- Perhaps now the FEI will concede that it is time to return to the individual world championships that are easier to manage, host, and get sponsorship for.
But, anyway, WEG 2018 is the question of not so distant future.
Meanwhile, there is another more imminent question: European Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors in Rio Frio, Portugal.
Only 6 weeks left before the date of this Championship, and currently:
- there is no official schedule on the FEI website,
- there is no official event website,
- there is no information at all.
Maybe, the FEI decided to change the venue in the last minute – again?
How can the riders prepare to this Championship being in complete uncertainty?
Surprisingly, the FEI Endurance Director is from Portugal.
Within one year of his tenure we have the sudden change of WEC, now Junior Championship is in possible trouble. What next?
What do we know about his expertise in Endurance Sport, if he is from Show Jumping?
Do we have to suffer because of some individuals?
Dear readers, please make your views and judgment!
UPDATE of 22 July 2016:
Сoincidence or not, but today, just 2 days after our article was published, there are some news on the FEI website:
Firstly, there is statement of the FEI regarding to WEG 2018 in Bromont: http://fei.org/news/fei-reviews-alternatives-fei-world-equestrian-games%E2%84%A2-2018-after-agreeing-part-company-bromont
Secondly, the schedule for Junior’s Championship in Portugal is published: https://data.fei.org/Calendar/EventDetail.aspx?p=DF5FB3B84FC40B17A428973BCC4E5EDC
Date of approval of schedule is 19.07.2016, with date of entries in principal is 20.07.2016, and really this schedule was published only today, 22.07.2016.