Two North American cities remain in the hunt for hosting the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018.
Lexington, Kentucky, which hosted the Games in 2010, and Bromont/Montreal, Canada, have each formally confirmed their continued interest in hosting the Games, the FEI said.
The news comes just a day after Equestrian Sport Productions announced it was withdrawing its bid to host WEG in Wellington, Florida, over a sponsorship conflict.
The FEI said Lexington had returned the signed host agreement in advance of the March 31 deadline.
The Bromont/Montreal bid had previously submitted the required paperwork and did not need to resubmit it.
Equine Canada’s new president, Al Patterson, officially confirmed to the FEI that Bromont/Montreal would remain in the bid process.
“It is unfortunate that Wellington is unable to deliver on the commercial requirements and has had to withdraw,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said, “but we are confident that both Bromont/Montreal and Lexington have very strong bids.
“Both venues are very impressive and there is no question that either of them would offer an excellent location and quality infrastructure for a really wonderful FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018.
“We are looking forward to the next stage in the process when the two candidates present their detailed bids to the FEI Bureau in June.”
Following submissions by the FEI’s Evaluation Commission to the FEI Bureau, the candidates will present their final bids to the Bureau at its in-person meeting in June 2014.
The host city for the 2018 Games will be announced after that meeting.
It has been a long and difficult road in finding a host for the 2018 Games, with the FEI Bureau reopening the bidding process in the middle of last year after the final remaining potential host at the time, Bromont/Montreal, was unable to provide the full public sector financial support required.