A total of 20 countries on four different continents – Europe, North and South America, and Asia – have submitted expressions of interest to host the FEI World Championships 2022, with representatives from over 30 different venues attending a workshop for potential host cities in Lausanne (SUI) today.
Participants at the interactive workshop, which is a first for the FEI, were briefed on the benefits of hosting FEI World Championships, including the economic impact on the host city and country, operational requirements, commercial opportunities, broadcast media rights and event promotion, support from the FEI’s team of experts across key functional areas, and the bidding process itself.
“It is extremely encouraging to have received so many expressions of interest to host the FEI World Championships 2022 and to have had the opportunity to welcome potential bidders to Lausanne for today’s workshop,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “We hope that this new collaborative approach, in line with the IOC’s New Norm and based on transparency, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability, will result in solid formal bids, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating!"
“Our sport has grown so much that an all-discipline FEI World Equestrian Games has become too big for many venues to host. By opening up the bidding process for 2022 to single and multi-discipline bids, and not excluding a full Games, we believe that we have created a more enticing formula and the high level of expressions of interest suggests that we are on the right track.”
Following today’s workshop, which was attended by more than 70 delegates, the process now enters the Candidate Phase, with a June 7, 2019 deadline for the submission of formal bids. A shortlist of candidates will then be drawn up by the end of June, with a draft host agreement provided to each of the shortlisted candidates.
Deadline for receipt of host agreements signed by both the candidate and relevant National Federation is mid-September, with candidates potentially being asked to present their bids to the FEI Evaluation Commission over the following month. Final evaluation of all shortlisted bids will be completed by the end of October, with recommendations provided to the FEI Board prior to allocation at the in-person Board meeting in Moscow (RUS) in mid-November 2019.
History of FEI World Championships
The FEI World Championships have a long heritage, dating back to 1953 when the first Jumping Championships were held in Paris (FRA). The inaugural World Championships in dressage and eventing were both staged in 1966, with dressage in Bern (SUI) and eventing at Burghley (GBR). Other FEI-governed disciplines followed, with the first Driving World Championships held in Münster (GER) in 1972, vaulting in Bulle (SUI) in 1986 and endurance at Pratoni del Vivaro (ITA) in 1986. Reining crowned its first world champions as part of the 2002 edition of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2002 in Jerez de la Frontera (ESP). Four years later, Para Driving World Championships were hosted in Hellendoorn (NED), with Hartpury (GBR) staging the first Para Dressage World Championships in 2007.
In 1990, world championships in each of the FEI disciplines were combined and the FEI World Equestrian Games™ were born in Stockholm (SWE) in 1990. Since then the Games have been staged in The Hague (NED) in 1994, Rome (ITA) in 1998, Jerez (ESP) in 2002, Aachen (GER) in 2006, Kentucky (USA) in 2010, Normandy (FRA) in 2014 and in Tryon, North Carolina (USA) last year.
Despite having two previous bidding rounds for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2022, no realistic bids were received and, as a result, the FEI Board last November unanimously approved the opening of a bidding process for individual world championships in all disciplines for 2022, with preference being given to multi-discipline bids. It was agreed that world championships for dressage and para dressage should ideally be combined, and bids to host the full seven-discipline FEI World Equestrian Games™ will also be considered. The world championships 2022 in the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines will serve as qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Games.
About Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI)
The FEI is the world governing body for horse sport recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and was founded in 1921. Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic movement since the 1912 Games in Stockholm.
The FEI is the sole controlling authority for all international events in the Olympic sports of jumping, dressage, and eventing, as well as driving, endurance, vaulting, and reining.
The FEI became one of the first international sports governing bodies to govern and regulate global para sport alongside its seven able-bodied disciplines when para dressage joined its ranks in 2006. The FEI now governs all international competitions for para dressage and para driving.
All the major contenders passed the eventing final horse inspection at the Tokyo Olympics and will carry on to contest the show jumping phase in a few hours’ time.
The ground jury (Nick Burton, GBR, Christina Klingspor, SWE, and the U.S.A.’s Jane Hamlin) and vets only failed to accept one horse - Fantastic Frieda, ridden by Poland’s Joanna Pawlak, who had completed the cross-country in 41st place with a refusal and 25.2 time-faults.
The FEI has announced that the Swiss horse Jet Set, ridden by Robin Godel has had to be euthanized after pulling up extremely lame on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course during Equestrian Eventing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on August 1, 2021.
In 2002, at the age of 15, I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Maine while Tremaine Cooper was there building some cross-country jumps. I helped him build a trakehner, not realizing that this day would set the course for my future. A few weeks later he called asking if I could help him at Millbrook Horse Trials. From there I helped Tremaine during most of my school vacations and throughout the summers. After graduating high school I kept at it never looking back. I lived the gypsy lifestyle for about six years going from coast to coast and event to event. In 2013 my wife Kathryn and I settled down in Lexington, Kentucky. These days I spend roughly 60-75 percent of my time on the road preparing events or building private schooling areas. I’ve had the privilege of being involved with some really great events around the states and have cultivated many friendships all over the country. In 2019 I was asked to be a part of Team Evans Olympic cross-country building crew. As I write this I am on my third trip to Tokyo. Here’s a day in Tokyo . . .
The British team cemented their gold medal position at the Tokyo Olympics with three magnificent cross-country performances, all clear inside the time. Added to that, their first rider, Oliver Townend, holds pole position individually after the dressage leader, Germany’s Michael Jung, picked up 11 penalties for triggering a frangible device.