The United States is no longer in the running to host the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, following the withdrawal of the bid centred on Wellington, Florida.
The FEI confirmed on Monday that Wellington, which had been confirmed as an official candidate to stage the Games, had withdrawn from the bidding process.
Equestrian Sport Productions, the company that had put together the US bid for 2018, told the FEI that it was officially withdrawing from the process due to a change in local government.
Plans for the Games in Florida revolved around the building of a commercial equestrian complex, but local government councillors were worried over whether the town had the infrastructure to support such a major facility.
Equestrian Sport Productions president Michael Stone expressed his regret that Wellington was withdrawing.
“We are fully aware of the massively positive economic impact the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 had on Kentucky,” he said, “but we have a responsibility to the local community, equestrian sport, and the FEI World Equestrian Games not to waste the time, effort and resources of all parties involved in the international selection process.”
The three cities still in the running to host the Games in 2018 are Rabat, Morocco; Bromont, Canada; and Vienna, Austria.
Bid representatives from the three official candidate cities will visit the FEI’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, for a meeting on July 11.
FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said: “We are sorry Wellington will not be pursuing their bid, but we have three other candidates that have all put in very strong bids for 2018, so there is still plenty of excitement about the bidding process, and that excitement will certainly be increased when the bid teams come to FEI HQ this week.”