By Emily Goddard

Bromont olympic signJuly 1 - The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has been forced to re-open the bidding process for the 2018 World Equestrian Games after sole bidder Canada failed to provide the necessary financial support to host the showpiece event, although Bromont/Montreal will remain a part of that process.

The FEI's ruling Bureau had expected to allocate the Games to the Canadian cities, host of the 1976 Olympic equestrian events, at its meeting in Lausanne after the other four competing cities - Rabat, Morocco; Budapest, Hungary; Vienna, Austria; and Wellington, United States - failed to submit a signed host agreement on time, however the bid team was unable to provide the full public sector financial support required.

"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, but unfortunately, without the necessary financial support, the FEI and the organisers would be exposed to an unacceptable financial risk," FEI President Princess Haya said.

"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."

An FEI statement added that all the nation's that had submitted expressions of interest before the November 2011 deadline were warned "that solid financial support to cover the cost of staging the event was a key requirement".

If the Bromont/Montreal bid team can go on to secure the required financial support it will be evaluated in the same way as other applicants that come forward by the new deadline of September 30. 

The Bromont bid team led by President Paul Côté fourth from left at the FEI Headquarters in Lausanne1The Bromont bid team, led by Paul Côté (fourth from left), at the
FEI Headquarters in Lausanne

"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," said bid President Paul Côté, who led the delegation that presented the official Bromont and Montreal bid book.

"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 World Equestrian Games are held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle and feature competition in the seven disciplines of jumping, dressage and Para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining.

The next edition is scheduled to be held in Normandy, France in 2014.

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