The FEI has reopened the bidding process for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in a bitter blow to the Canadian bid, which was the only one still in the reckoning.
It was expected that the FEI Bureau would allocate the 2018 Games to Bromont/Montreal, following its strong presentation to the bureau.
However, the FEI re-opened the bidding process following Monday’s bureau meeting at FEI headquarters in Lausanne after the Canadian delegation was unable to provide the full public sector financial support that was required before an allocation could be made.
As a result, the bureau is to re-open the bidding process for the 2018 Games, but with the clear intent that Bromont/Montreal remains in the mix.
“The Bromont/Montreal bid was very impressive on all technical aspects and it is hugely disappointing, both for the bid team and for the FEI, that the bureau was unable to allocate the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018 today,” FEI President Princess Haya said.
“But, unfortunately, without the necessary financial support, the FEI and the organisers would be exposed to an unacceptable financial risk.
“In these circumstances, re-opening the bidding process was clearly the only option open to us, but we are very hopeful that Bromont/Montreal will be a part of that new bidding process.”
All national federations that submitted signed Expression of Interest documents before the November 2011 deadline for the first phase of the bidding process were informed that solid financial support to cover the cost of staging the event was a key requirement.
The FEI Bureau will now re-open the bidding process and the Bromont/Montreal bid team has confirmed it will be re-bidding for the 2018 Games.
Provided the Bromont/Montreal bid team can secure the required financial support, the Canadian bid will be evaluated in the same way as other applicants that come forward.
The delegation that presented the official Bromont and Montreal bid book to the FEI Bureau on Monday was led by Paul Côté, president of the Bromont Bid Committee. The team also included Equine Canada President Mike Gallagher, Equine Canada CEO Jean Christophe Gandubert, President of Bromont International Roger Deslauriers, technical advisor Leopoldo Palacios, Bromont Bid Director Benoit Girardin and Rene Perreault, representing the Bromont property developers.
“We are, of course, extremely disappointed by today’s decision by the FEI Bureau not to allocate the 2018 Games to Canada, but despite our best efforts, we were unable to put the full financial support in place in time,” Bromont Bid Committee President Paul Côté said.
“We obviously respect the FEI Bureau’s decision completely, and 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.”
The FEI Bureau is in the process of establishing the procedure and timelines for the re-bidding process for the FEI World Equestrian Games, held every four years.
Originally, five countries threw their helmets into the arena in a bid host the 2018 Games.
Rabat (Morocco), Bromont (Quebec, Canada), Budapest (Hungary), Vienna (Austria), and Wellington (Florida, US) had reached Official Candidate status.
Eight expressions of interest were received in November 2011, but Australian, Russian and Swedish applications were withdrawn before the start of the official Candidate Phase.
Hungary withdrew in June 2012, its national federation doing so in the hope that it would enhance the chances of nearby Austria staging the Games.
The Florida bid was withdrawn the following month following a change in local government. Plans for the Games in Wellington, a popular equestrian center, 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.
The withdrawal was a result of what officials described as a clash of visions.
Morocco’s withdrawal, in October last year, was spurred by the death of Princess Lalla Amina. She had been president of the Fédération Royale Marocaine des Sports Equestres since 1999.
“The sad passing of HRH Princess Lalla Amina has meant that the Moroccans have lost the driving force behind their bid to stage the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said.
Canada remained the last bid standing following the withdrawal of Austria in January this year.
The failure of Vienna to meet the December 2012 deadline to deliver a signed host agreement meant the Austrian city fell out of contention.