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.
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This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).