The bids of all three North American applicants to host the 2018 World Equestrian Games have been accepted, the FEI confirmed this week.
Wellington (USA), Lexington (USA), and Bromont/Montreal (CAN) have all been accepted as Official Candidates, following the assessment of their Bid Questionnaires by the FEI Evaluation Commission.
Site visits by the Evaluation Commission will precede presentations by the bidders to the Commission and to the FEI Bureau.
It has been a rocky road to this point. In June 2012 the FEI announced that five bids had reached “Official Candidate” status: Rabat (Morocco), Bromont (Quebec, Canada); Budapest (Hungary); Vienna (Austria) and Wellington (Florida, USA). The FEI had received eight expressions of interest by November 2011, but Australian, Russian and Swedish applications were withdrawn before the start of the official Candidate Phase in 2012.
The FEI Bureau threw open the bidding process for a second time at the start of July after the last candidate standing in the first round, Bromont, had been unable to provide the full public sector financial support the FEI required before granting the hosting rights. Britain joined Bromont and the two US cities as possible hosts, but withdrew late in October.
In the final stage of the bidding process, the Candidates will formally present their bids to the FEI Bureau at its spring 2014 meeting, after which the host city for the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018 will be announced.