By Gary Anderson

October 3 - Action from the freestyle vaulting  competition at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington KentuckyBritain and the United States have joined Canada in sending formal expressions of interest in hosting the 2018 World Equestrian Games, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) announced today.

Canada, which has never hosted the Championships, confirmed its initial bid to host the 2018 event in Bromont near Montreal, earlier this year, but at a meeting of the FEI Bureau in July, the world governing body decided not to allocate the event to them, even though they were the only bidders, as it did not provide the necessary financial guarantees.

The bidding process was reopened and Canada was told by the FEI that a re-submitted bid would be evaluated in the same way as other applicants.

In the meantime, the US has indicated its intention to bid for the Championships, proposing Wellington in Florida and Lexington in Kentucky as potential host cities.

Lexington has already hosted the World Championships in 2010, the first time the event had been held in America.

Lexington hosted the 2010 World Equestrian Games and is among the two cities proposed by the United States in their bid for 2018Lexington hosted the 2010 World Equestrian Games and is among the two cities proposed by the United States in their bid for 2018

The US were among the record eight bidders originally revealed by the FEI in November 2011 but later dropped out, along with Australia, Austria, Hungary, Morocco, Russia and Sweden.

Britain has also launched a bid as it seeks to stage the Championships for the first time, but as of yet the British Equestrian Foundation (BEF) has not disclosed where it would host the event.

A BEF spokesperson confirmed to insidethegames that that they are interested in bidding for the Championships but that any formal bid would be dependent on ongoing discussions with the FEI regarding changes to the format that would help to reduce the cost of staging the event.

"The BEF can confirm that an expression of interest regarding the hosting of the 2018 World Equestrian Games has been lodged with the FEI," head of marketing and communications at the BEF, Claire Shand told insidethegames.

"An expression of interest carries no liability in terms of whether a formal bid is or is not submitted next year.

"To date, the BEF have carried out a high level scoping exercise in discussion with the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) and UK Sport.

"No commitments have been requested from the DCMS or UK Sport but all are agreed that we should look further at whether it is practical to host a WEG (World Equestrian Games) in the UK in 2018.

"The BEF have confirmed to the FEI that a formal bid may depend on the BEF and FEI being able to agree changes to the WEG format that reduce the cost of hosting the Games.

"At this stage the BEF is not in a position to discuss potential venues, budgets or funding streams; this is an expression of interest and at this stage in the process such speculation would be of little benefit."

The last major international equestrian event in Great Britain took place at Greenwich Park during London 2012The last major international equestrian event in Great Britain took place at Greenwich Park during London 2012

The World Equestrian Games is the biggest event on the sport's calendar and at the last event in Lexington 57 countries were represented by 800 people and their horses in eight of the ten disciplines governed by the FEI, including combined driving, dressage, endurance riding, eventing, Paraequestrianism, reining, show jumping and vaulting.

The BEF did not confirm what the exact nature of the changes to the World Championship format it is seeking from the FEI are, but along with the US and Canada, it has until November 15 to lodge an official Bid Applicant Questionnaire with the FEI.

The Bid Applicant Questionnaires will be reviewed by the FEI Evaluation Commission before the host city candidates are announced on December 2.

Candidates will then formerly present their bids to the FEI Bureau at its spring 2014 meeting, after which the host city for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games will be announced.

"The FEI World Equestrian Games is our flagship event, appealing to huge global audiences of equestrian enthusiasts and sports fans, and these expressions of interest by Great Britain and the USA alongside Canada are testament to the power of these Games", said FEI secretary general Ingmar de Vos.

"We are now looking forward to receiving the Bid Applicant Questionnaires next month, to naming the candidates in December and ultimately of course to announcing the host city for the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018 next year".

The 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games are due to take place in Normandy in France from August 23 to September 7.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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