October 28 - Britain has withdrawn from the bidding process for the 2018 World Equestrian Games, saying as it has insufficient time to secure the necessary funding and identify a host venue.
In a letter to his opposite number at the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) - Ingmar De Vos, British Equestrian Federation chief executive Andrew Finding wrote of his "considerable regret" at pulling out of the race to host the showpiece event for the first time.
Despite submitting a formal expression of interest by the September 30 deadline, Britain says it is not able to fulfil the two critical elements - funding and host venue - of its formal bid application by the deadline of November 15, leaving the way open for the remaining bidders - Wellington and Kentucky in the United States and Bromont-Montreal in Canada.
A BEF spokesperson had confirmed to insidethegames earlier this month that any formal bid was dependent on ongoing discussions with the FEI regarding changes to the format that would help to reduce the cost of staging the event.
"While it is of course disappointing that the British Equestrian Federation has decided not to go ahead with a bid for the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018, we still have three strong candidates in the mix from Wellington, Kentucky and Bromont-Montreal and look forward to receiving their formal bid applications by 15 November," De Vos said.
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 athletes and their horses in the seven disciplines governed by the FEI - jumping, dressage and Para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, reining and vaulting.
The host city candidates are due to be named on December 2 this year before they make formal presentations to the FEI Bureau at its spring 2014 meeting.
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