The FEI has called for bids for single-discipline world championships in 2022, further signalling the end of the World Equestrian Games format following the logistical and construction issues at Tryon.
National federations have until the end of February – just three and a half months – to make an expression of interest. Preference will be given to multi-discipline bids, and the FEI has agreed that world championships for dressage and para dressage should be combined.
The decision was made in bureau meetings during the FEI General Assembly, which is currently underway in Bahrain.
President Ingmar de Vos that this does not necessarily mean the end of WEG, and that bids to host a full WEG in both 2022 and 2026 will be considered. However, he made it clear that securing world championships for 2022 in the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines was crucial, as these serve as qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Games.
In further moves which indicate the FEI will offer greater support to major event organisers than before, there will then be workshops with the world championship bidders to understand their expectations and constraints, before allocation at the FEI General Assembly in November 2019. In what appears to be another move to give organisers a longer lead-time, the 2021 European Championships will be allocated in April 2019, as will be the Europeans for 2023, and the FEI World Cup™ Finals for 2022, 2023 and 2024.
Meanwhile, the FEI’s Olympic department will produce a guidelines document to assist organisers with planning and delivery of future multi-sports events, while the FEI Games Operations Director provided a detailed report on Tryon, to be incorporated into transfer of knowledge documentation.
The FEI has twice unsuccessfully re-opened bidding for WEG 2022. Samorin in Slovakia, another lifestyle equestrian centre owned by a billionaire, Mario Hoffman, was the last remaining candidate. It dropped out at the end of 2017 after declining to sign the host’s agreement with the FEI.
The Equestrian Community Integrity Unit’s findings into events surrounding the Tryon endurance ride, particularly the false start, re-start and cancellation, will be presented at the General Assembly on Tuesday (20 November), proceedings from which can be followed on livestream here.