Category Archives: World Equestrian Games

Kentucky Horse Park Withdraws from Consideration for Hosting 2022 World Equestrian Games

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) – The Kentucky Horse Park Commission voted today to withdraw from consideration for hosting the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2022.

A press release from Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage stated that commission members were concerned about the staging of the games and the potential conflict that hosting the games would create with the long-term goals of the Kentucky Horse Park. They say this includes limitations on potential Horse Park-generate and revenue opportunities.

“We are committed to being good stewards of the Kentucky Horse Park,” said Tandy Patrick, chair of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission.  “We do not think it would be economically feasible for the park to host the 2022 games.”

“We have had an open dialogue with the public through several visioning sessions and we’re hearing good ideas about long-term strategic growth at the park,” said Don Parkinson, secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.  “Additionally, a recent survey of the park’s assets found $12 million in deferred maintenance expenses, and we recognize the need for immediate and near-term investments in our facilities.”

© LEX18.com

FEI Announces Candidate Cities for FEI World Equestrian Games 2022

Lausanne (SUI), 22 December 2016 – Two cities have been announced as Official Candidates to host the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2022. Lexington, Kentucky (USA) and Samorin (SVK) have both been selected as potential hosts for the FEI flagship in six years’ time.

“We are very happy to have two such strong official candidates for the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2022,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “Both the Kentucky and Samorin venues have the infrastructure in place already to host the Games, which is one of the biggest events on the global sporting calendar.

“The last edition in Normandy two years ago attracted more than half a million spectators and a worldwide television audience of 350 million, delivering a significant economic impact to the French economy.

“There’s no doubt that these Games are a huge undertaking, but we believe both Samorin and Kentucky have the capability to host spectacular Games and we look forward to working with them through the further stages of the bid process over the next year.”

The next phase in the decision-making process for the 2022 Games will include site visits between January and May 2017, with a deadline of June 2017 for submission of the Candidates’ complete bid and signed host agreement. The Candidates will make formal presentations to the FEI Evaluation Commission in the third quarter of 2017, with the final FEI Bureau decision and allocation of the Games in November 2017.

The FEI World Equestrian Games™, held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle, combines eight World Championships at one event. The FEI disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining – are all included on the competition schedule.

The inaugural FEI World Equestrian Games™ were hosted 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, and Aachen (GER) in 2006. The first Games to be organised outside Europe were the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Lexington, Kentucky (USA) 2010. The Games came back to Europe for the 2014 edition, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy (FRA).

The 2014 Games in Normandy attracted more than 500,000 on-site spectators and a worldwide television audience of 350 million, as well as delivering an economic impact of €368 million to the French economy.

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 will be held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina (USA) from 10 to 23 September 2018. The 2018 Games were originally allocated to Bromont (CAN), but were switched to Tryon at the beginning of November following the withdrawal of Bromont (CAN) earlier this year.

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ History Hub can be viewed here.

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

Tryon International Equestrian Center Selected to Host FEI World Equestrian Games 2018

Photo ©MegBanks/TIEC.

Potential to be the largest sporting event in North Carolina history with over $400 million dollars of projected economic impact and 500,000 spectators over the 14-day September 2018 event

Mill Spring, NC – November 3, 2016 – Mark Bellissimo, managing Partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP), announced today that the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, Polk County, North Carolina has been selected as the host venue for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 (FEI WEG). The Games, which are administered by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the worldwide governing body of equestrian sport, is the major international championship event for the eight core equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining.

The FEI WEG is held every four years, halfway between the Summer Olympic Games cycle, and will occur from September 10 through 23, 2018.

Bellissimo commented, “We are honored to be selected by the FEI to be the steward of the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018. Next to the Olympic Games, the FEI WEG is the most important event on the world equestrian calendar. We are confident that our partnership and our operating team will create a memorable experience for all involved with the ultimate goal of significantly elevating horse sport in the U.S. beyond the 27 million people who ride a horse at least once a year.”

“We are very pleased to announce Tryon as the host of the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018,” FEI President Ingmar de Vos said. “The Tryon team submitted a really impressive bid and we have every confidence in the organising committee. It’s a truly spectacular venue and almost all the necessary infrastructure for our eight disciplines is already in place. We are looking forward to a fantastic celebration of top level sport as all the disciplines come together to crown their world champions at the Games in two years’ time.”

“We are thrilled with this news and thank the FEI Bureau for having faith in us and entrusting us with the honor of hosting this prestigious event,” Bellissimo said. “It’s a really great fit for the Carolinas’ equestrian heritage and we look forward to working closely with the FEI and with the USEF to produce a tremendous FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018.”

Equestrian enthusiasts from over 70 countries trek to WEG host cities every four years to cheer on athletes from their native countries, much like the Olympic Games. The Normandy FEI WEG had a local economic impact of $400 million, or 368 million euros, and an attendance of over 500,000 spectators during the 14-day event.

“We are excited about the impact this event will have on the economic health of the Blue Ridge Foothills region of the Carolinas,” said Sharon Decker, COO of Tryon Equestrian Partners, Carolinas’ Operations.

The event has been held in an impressive list of major cities: Stockholm, Sweden (1990), The Hague, Netherlands (1994), Rome, Italy (1998), Jerez de la Frontera, Spain (2002), Aachen, Germany (2006), Lexington, Kentucky (2010), and Normandy, France (2014).

“We are delighted to welcome the FEI World Equestrian Games back to the United States and are delighted that the event will remain in North America,” said Vicki Lowell, USEF Senior Vice President of Marketing. “We would like to express our gratitude to Tryon Equestrian Partners for stepping up to host this event with such short notice. Tryon Equestrian Partners has proven their ability to execute complex, high-level events and we are confident in their ability to produce an event of this magnitude. As one of the true pinnacles of equestrian sport, hosting the World Equestrian Games provides a fantastic opportunity to elevate the sport in the United States.”

In 2014, Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP) broke ground on the 1,600-acre Tryon Resort, which expands into both Mill Spring and Tryon, NC and includes the Tryon International Equestrian Center. TEP has invested over $125 million dollars over the last two years creating the Tryon Resort, which aspires to be the world’s premiere equestrian lifestyle destination. The design of the venue contemplated hosting the WEG, so a vast majority of the equestrian infrastructure is in place. Recent events accelerated the opportunity and the schedule. Today, TIEC is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the world’s premier equestrian venues complete with 12 riding arenas, over 1,160 permanent stalls, a variety of onsite lodging, restaurants, shops, and a year-round competition and events calendar. TIEC has already hosted several national equestrian competitions including the 2016 American Eventing Championships and the 2016 U.S. Pony Club Championships East. To see a recent video overview of the Tryon International Equestrian Center, please click on the following link: http://bit.ly/2ffVehA.

Mark Bellissimo is also the managing partner and largest shareholder of Equestrian Sport Productions, an organization with more than 150 full-time staff and 1,000 part-time staff, that is the largest show organizer in the US and operates more FEI competitions than any other event organizer in the world with 38 weeks of CDI and CSI events through four venues in the following states: Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, and Central Park, New York. The Bellissimo Family is also the owner and publisher of The Chronicle of the Horse, the US most respected and widely distributed horse sport magazine and online media property (www.coth.com). The Chronicle of the Horse’s online media attracts over 8.3 million unique visitors annually.  Together Bellissimo and his partners have invested nearly $500 million in equestrian related assets and properties in Florida, North Carolina, and Colorado which includes the recent $72 million dollar purchase of the International Polo Club in Palm Beach in the spring of 2016.

TIEC is already a welcomed economic engine for the region, having created hundreds of jobs, and is employing thousands in construction efforts over the last two years. WEG’s estimated $400 million impact will extend up to and beyond Charlotte, Asheville, Hickory in North Carolina and Greenville and Spartanburg in South Carolina. TEP estimates it will invest an additional $100 million dollars over the next two years during phase two of the development which is primarily focused on resort amenities including lodging and hospitality elements.

“Our partnership built the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) to support all levels and disciplines of equestrian sport including international competitions and championships,” added Bellissimo. “Our partnership’s passion for equestrian sport is based on our belief that we can grow the sport in the Americas, and that this country needs a comprehensive high-profile, high-quality destination to showcase all equestrian disciplines to an expanding spectator base and to increase access to horse sport for all socio-economic groups.”

For more information or to log inquiries or questions for the 2018 FEI WEG, please visit www.TryonWEG.com.

For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.

Tryon Equestrian Partners Announce Pursuit of 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games

Saturday Nights Lights events at the main International Arena at TIEC have attracted a large following.

USEF strongly endorses Tryon bid to FEI. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley both support initiative.

MILL SPRING, N.C. (AUGUST 2, 2016): Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners, confirmed today that the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, N.C. is working with United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to ensure that the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) remain in North America and USEF has communicated its support of the initiative to the FEI for the 2018 WEG.

The WEG, which is administered by the Fédération Equestre International (FEI), the worldwide governing body of equestrian sport, occurs every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle and is the major international championship event for Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.  The Bromont venue, located in Canada, which had been awarded the 2018 games, announced last week that they were withdrawing from their hosting arrangement with the FEI.

The United States Equestrian Federation has communicated via letter to the FEI their strong support of the bid to host the 2018 Games in North Carolina.  William Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of USEF, commented, “While it is unfortunate the games will not be able to take place at Bromont, the USEF believes it is critical that the WEG remain in North America as intended so that the globalization of the sport can continue.” USEF President, Chrystine Tauber, added, “Mark Bellissimo and Tryon Equestrian Partners have a brand new venue, deep experience and sufficient resources to make this happen. They have the USEF’s full endorsement.”

Both N.C. and S.C. state and local governments have expressed support of the bid. The last WEG in North America was held in Lexington, Kentucky in 2010. The games had an economic impact of $201.5 million over the event’s 14 days according to a financial study commissioned by the state.

“North Carolina’s infrastructure and natural beauty make our state a natural fit to host the 2018 World Equestrian Games,” said Governor McCrory. “We will support efforts to host the Games in our state which will provide not only a positive experience to all those attending, but a significant boost to North Carolina’s rapidly growing economy.”

S.C. Governor Haley echoed support for the WEG. “We have a long and rich history in equestrian competition, and welcome the opportunity to showcase our state’s world-renowned hospitality and tourism assets to the attendees and participants of this prestigious event.”

Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP) has invested over $125 million dollars over the last two years developing 1,500 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to create what they believe to be the premier equestrian lifestyle destination and resort in the world.  The Tryon International Equestrian Center is the centerpiece of that effort. This venue includes 1,200 permanent stalls, 12 competition arenas, a lighted international arena that seats 6,000 (expandable to 12,000) with multiple VIP areas, a large covered/indoor arena that seats 5,000, as well a world-class cross country course which will support both Eventing and Driving.  TIEC is nestled within North Carolina horse country which is accessible to hundreds of miles of equestrian trails to support Endurance.  Click here to view Tryon Venue Slideshow – http://bit.ly/2a8YmKp.

Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is strategically located between Charlotte, NC, Asheville NC, and Greenville/Spartanburg SC.  Asheville and Greenville GSP airports are within 35 minutes from the venue and Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is approximately one hour from the venue.

Mark Bellissimo, TEP managing partner, commented, “Our partnership built the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) to support all levels and disciplines of equestrian sport including international competitions and championships.  Our partnership’s passion for equestrian sport is based on our belief that we can grow the sport in the Americas, and that this country needs a comprehensive high-profile, high-quality destination to showcase all equestrian disciplines to an expanding spectator base.”

Bellissimo presides over an organization, with over 150 full-time staff and 1,000 part-time staff, that operates more FEI competitions than any other organizer in the world with 38 weeks of CDI and CSI events through four venues (Wellington, Tryon, Colorado, and Central Park) that includes 6 CSI 5*, 1 CSIO 4*, 1 CDIO 4*, 4 CDI W’s, 1 CDI 5*, 2 CPEDI, as well as the multi-discipline North American Junior Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC).  The collective organizations own and operate three of the largest facilities and some of the most prominent events in the world: The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Fla., which hosts the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Global Dressage Festival, which in their peak week will have more than 3,500 horses competing within the 12-week winter circuit; The Colorado Horse Park, which just hosted the NAJYRC; and the Tryon International Equestrian Center venue, which hosts 10 FEI weeks. The TIEC venue will be hosting the American Eventing Championships in September 2016 which will have over 600 entries.

On the commercial side, Bellissimo believes its portfolio of 130 sponsors is one of the strongest in the industry. Many sponsors have already expressed encouragement and interest in the WEG event since Bromont’s withdrawal as host of the 2018 games. In addition to Bellissimo, the organizing committee would include Michael Stone, President of Equestrian Sport Productions and former Secretary General of the FEI, who has been involved in the WEG process for all events since the inaugural games in 1990 (with the exception of the 2014 Normandy WEG games); Sharon Decker, Chief Operating Officer of Tryon International Equestrian Center and former Secretary of Commerce for the State of North Carolina would lead the efforts on behalf of the TIEC facility, and Jim Wolf, former USEF Chef de Mission, whose 20-year tenure with USEF provided various experiences and responsibilities in U.S. WEG and Olympic team efforts.

Bellissimo further commented, “The WEG is a very challenging and complicated event.  With the exception of Aachen, Germany, most venues are forced to spend many years and tens of millions of dollars investing and developing the venue infrastructure, developing the personnel, attracting sponsors, and managing logistics for the WEG. This takes a financial and operational toll by consuming scarce resources on the venue construction and team building efforts for a one-time event. We have a fully functional equestrian venue, the management team and operational staff, and the sponsor pipeline in place, so the bulk of our energy will be on operational execution and showcasing the event and the sport to the world.”

Bellissimo added, “We are uniquely and immediately positioned to hold all eight disciplines within a central venue.  Further, our integrated approach to existing on-site lodging, restaurants, permanent VIP hospitality venues, and abundance of on-site and local area family activities would be attractive for vendors, sponsors, competitors, horse owners, and spectators.  In addition, there are 60,000 hotel beds within 60 miles of the venue. We are confident that these elements would create a very successful games and re-energize the WEG product.”

For more information please click on the following links.

Tryon Venue Slideshow – http://bit.ly/2a8YmKp
Tryon – www.tryon.com
Saturday Night Lights Video – http://bit.ly/2airvhS
Opening Ceremonies Video – http://bit.ly/1IscKVz

To keep informed, please “Like” both the Chronicle of the Horse Facebook and the Tryon International Equestrian Center and join our email newsletters.

For further information, please contact:

Equestrian: Jennifer Wood – Jennifer@Jenniferwoodmedia.com, 803-240-7488
TIEC: Carly Weilminster – cweilminster@tryon.com, 410-245-7441

About The FEI World Equestrian Games.  The modern WEG runs over two weeks and, like the Olympics, the location rotates to different parts of the world. At the 2010 Games, 57 countries were represented by 800 people and their horses. The inaugural FEI World Equestrian Games™ were hosted 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, and Aachen (GER) in 2006. The first Games to be organized outside Europe were the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky (USA) 2010. The Games came back to Europe for the 2014 edition of the FEI World Equestrian Games™, which was held in Normandy (FRA).

About the TEP Partnership:

The TEP Partnership is comprised of six equestrian families who are all committed to the long term development and growth of equestrian sport: Mark and Katherine Bellissimo, Roger and Jennifer Smith, Lisa Lourie, Jenji and Diana Mercer, Howard and Gwen Dvorkin, and Joe and Cindy Mitchell.

FEI Reviews Alternatives for World Equestrian Games 2018 after Parting Company with Bromont

Lausanne (SUI), 22 July 2016 – The FEI has announced that it is working on alternatives for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 following mutual agreement between the FEI and Canadian Comité organisateur des Jeux Équestres Mondiaux 2018 (COJEM), the organising committee for the Games in Bromont, to terminate the contract to host the Games due to ongoing financial issues.

“We are sad that the Bromont organising committee is no longer in a position to host the Games in 2018,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “We have been working very closely with the COJEM Board and all levels of the organisation since the Games were allocated to Canada in mid-2014 and have known for some time that the Bromont team was facing major financial difficulties.

“We have done everything possible to offer support during these tough times, but sadly the COJEM Board was unable to put in place a realistic funding and sponsorship strategy and, despite their best efforts, we have been left with no choice but to agree between us that the contract should be terminated. We believe Bromont is a really special venue and equestrian sport plays a key role in the local community. We hope that they will be able to host other major equestrian events in the future.”

“This has been a very difficult decision to come to terms with,” Rosaire Houde, Chair of the COJEM Board, said. “Since the new Board took over, we have left no stone unturned in our quest to find solid funding to support the Games, but sadly this has not been forthcoming. We are extremely grateful to the FEI for their support throughout the entire process, but it has been mutually agreed that we should terminate the contract. It is something I personally bitterly regret but it was the only responsible course of action.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in the Games project and who had faith in it from the outset. It was so dear to the hearts of so many people in Bromont and Quebec and we are devastated that we have been unable to deliver this great event.”

The 2018 Games were allocated to Canada by the FEI Bureau in June 2014 after the bid committee provided confirmation to the FEI that it had substantial government backing. This was at local government level, but the financial plan for the Games included sourcing Federal Government funding; however, Carla Qualtrough, the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, last week confirmed that no funding would be forthcoming from the Canadian Federal Government.

The FEI made regular visits to Bromont to assist COJEM with planning and to address financial issues, and both the FEI President and the FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez were in Canada in recent months to work directly with the COJEM Board.

“While the FEI of course wanted to ensure the success of the Games in Canada and gave every possible support, we also have a responsibility to our community and to the future of our flagship events,” Ingmar De Vos said. “We are now looking at possible alternatives for 2018 and we are hopeful that we will be in a position to make an announcement shortly.

“Of course it isn’t easy for any organising committee to put on an event of this magnitude in a two-year timeframe, but it is not unprecedented and the Italians hosted a brilliant World Equestrian Games in Rome in 1998 after Ireland pulled out less than two years before the Games, so we are confident that a workable solution will be found.”

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ are held every four years, in the middle of the Olympic cycle. The FEI disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining – are all included on the competition schedule.

The inaugural FEI World Equestrian Games™ were hosted 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, and Aachen (GER) in 2006. The first Games to be organised outside Europe were the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky (USA) 2010. The Games came back to Europe for the 2014 edition of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, which was held in Normandy (FRA).

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ History Hub can be viewed here.

Media contacts:

FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Canadian Comité organisateur des Jeux Équestres Mondiaux 2018 (COJEM):

Andrée Corriveau
Vice-president, Communications, Marketing and Corporate Services
acorriveau@cojem2018.com
+1450 (534) 0003

FEI Launches Bid Process for FEI World Equestrian Games 2022

Lausanne (SUI), 31 March 2016 – The FEI has today launched the bid process for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2022, with the announcement of the successful bid city to be made at the FEI General Assembly in Montevideo (URU) in November 2017.

The FEI World Equestrian Games™, which take place every four years in the middle of the summer Olympic cycle, feature all of the FEI disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.

“The FEI World Equestrian Games is one of the major events on the global sporting calendar and we are looking for host cities that can deliver an exceptional experience for both athletes and spectators,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said.

“The FEI World Equestrian Games represents the greatest gathering of top-level equestrian athletes with eight World Championships in one event, uniting our disciplines, our community and our fans. The 2014 Games in Normandy attracted more than 500,000 on-site spectators and a worldwide television audience of 350 million, as well as delivering an economic impact of €368 million to the French economy.

“As with all events of this scale, we have been carefully analysing every aspect of our flagship event to make sure it continues to appeal to large audiences and attract media and television viewers. On the basis of this, we have been engaged in a lengthy consultation process with the greater equestrian community and global media representatives to make the FEI World Equestrian Games format more cost effective, more universal and ensure it continues to appeal to new fans.”

The bid process opens today and interested parties are invited to submit the Expression of Interest form by 15 May 2016 to bidding@fei.org.

Following this, the bid process then enters the Applicant phase and Candidate phase.

Phase 1 APPLICANT PHASE

May 2016: Bid Applications & Questionnaire and Bid Guide available to download by interested parties on www.fei.org

August 2016: Deadline for applicants to submit Bid Applications & Questionnaire

Phase 2 CANDIDATE PHASE

December 2016: Candidates announced and Host Agreement provided to all Candidates

January – May 2017: Site visits and Q&A regarding Candidate bids

June 2017: Deadline for submission of completed Bid and signed Host Agreement

June – October 2017: FEI evaluation of Bids, including Bid presentations to FEI Evaluation Commission

November 2017: Final Candidate’s presentations to FEI Bureau and appointment of 2022 FEI World Equestrian Games™ host city

Earlier this month the FEI also launched the bid process for the FEI European Championships 2019 and the FEI World Cup™ Finals in four disciplines for 2019 through to 2021.

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ are held every four years, in the middle of the Olympic cycle. The FEI disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining – are all included on the competition schedule.

The inaugural FEI World Equestrian Games™ were hosted 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, and Aachen (GER) in 2006. The first Games to be organised outside Europe were the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky (USA) 2010. The Games came back to Europe for the 2014 edition of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, which was held in Normandy (FRA), but return to North America for the eighth edition of the FEI’s flagship event, which will be held in Bromont/Montreal (CAN) in 2018.

FEI Media Contacts:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

FEI Tribunal Issues Final Decision on Maxime Livio (FRA) Case

Lausanne (SUI), 8 May 2015 – The FEI Tribunal has issued its final decision in the case involving the athlete Maxime Livio (FRA) and horse Qalao des Mers at the Eventing competition of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014, following a positive finding for a Controlled Medication Substance.

The FEI Tribunal has imposed a six-month suspension on Livio, effective immediately from yesterday (7 May), in accordance with Article 169 of the FEI’s General Regulations and Article 10.2 of the Equine Controlled Medication Rules.

Livio has also been fined CHF 2,500, and will have to cover the B Sample analysis costs and contribute towards the costs of the judicial procedure.

Samples taken on 29 August 2014 from the horse Qalao des Mers (FEI ID 103MQ19) returned positive for Hydroxyethylpromazine sulfoxide, a metabolite of the sedative Acepromazine. Acepromazine is a Controlled Medication Substance on the FEI Prohibited Substances List. Controlled Medications are substances that are regularly used to treat horses, but which are not allowed in competition in order to maintain a level playing field.

The FEI Tribunal last month disqualified Livio and the French Eventing team from their placings at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014. Livio finished fifth in the individual competition and was also a member of the fourth-placed French team. As a result of the team disqualification, France has lost its Rio 2016 Olympic slot.

The FEI Tribunal ruled on the disqualification of Livio and the French Eventing team in last month’s partial decision following a request from the FEI that the Tribunal rule separately on this element of the case due to the consequences regarding Olympic qualification (see press release here).

View the FEI Tribunal’s final decision on this case here.

Rio 2016 qualifications: following the disqualification of the French team, the Canadian Eventing team, which finished seventh at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014, has moved up one place and is now qualified for Rio 2016.

The nations so far qualified for the Eventing competition at the 2016 Olympic Games are Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands. Brazil, as host nation, earns automatic team qualification for Rio 2016, although as with all other nations, individual team members must achieve the minimum eligibility requirements.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

FEI Sports Forum 2015 Opens with Discussion on Future of World Equestrian Games

Tim Hadaway, FEI Director of Games and Championships, addressing the FEI Sports Forum 2016 held at the IMD business school in Lausanne. Photo: FEI/Germain Arias-Schreiber.

Lausanne (SUI), 27 April 2015 – The FEI President Ingmar De Vos welcomed 270 delegates representing the International Olympic Committee (IOC), National Federations (NFs), riders’, trainers’, and organisers’ clubs, sponsors, experts, media, guests and FEI staff to the fourth FEI Sports Forum which opened this morning at the prestigious business school IMD in Lausanne (SUI).

“We are all here because we care about our sport,” De Vos said in his opening address. “We need to be open and honest about the challenges we are facing as a sport but more than that we need to be proactive and brave enough to consider changes that will address these challenges. I remember a quote from IOC President Thomas Bach who said ‘change or be changed.’

“So it is absolutely not about change for the sake of change and by no means is there any desire to lose or replace the values and traditions of our sport. But we need to be open-minded to look at changes that can improve our sport and its legacy for the generations to come. What should be changed and how is why we are here today and I am grateful to each and everyone one of you for taking the time to participate in this Sports Forum,” he said.

Professor James Henderson, Dean of Programmes and Innovation at IMD, welcomed participants to the renowned school. “It is a great honour to host you at the wonderful institution that is the IMD,” he said. He outlined the school’s mission of educating the world’s leaders to lead transformation journeys in times of turbulence and support others to embrace change in a spirit of dialogue, openness and transparency. Professor Henderson emphasised the importance of innovation and change and wished the delegates open, inspired and pioneering discussion.

FEI World Equestrian Games™ take centre stage

The Forum’s first session was dedicated to the FEI World Equestrian Games™, with the objective of turning the microscope on the FEI’s flagship event and outlining potential changes to the FEI disciplines and competition formats in order to increase the interest of future bid cities, the public, media and broadcasters.

Tim Hadaway, FEI Director of Games and Championships, highlighted the magnitude of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy which were the biggest in the event’s 25-year history, with 74 nations represented, a record 28% increase on previous editions. Over 25,000 individuals including 900-plus athletes, 3,000 volunteers, 1,750 media and 250 officials were accredited and more than 1,000 horses competed at five venues spread across the Normandy region of France.

Highlighting the economic impact on the region, Hadaway detailed that 46,300 hotel nights had been booked through the Organising Committee and 103,500 meals were served to the accredited population. The event had also enjoyed record ticket sales with almost 575,000 tickets sold.

The event had also achieved substantial media coverage with more than 24,000 media mentions in France, 3,173 hours of global broadcast coverage, a total television audience of 330 million, and 5.5 million views on the FEI YouTube channel reached during the Games. The Games were also hugely successful on social media.

The total budget for the Games was €79.6 million, with an economic impact in Normandy estimated at €190 million and €368 million for France. The Organising Committee is expected to announce what Hadaway termed “a significant surplus” shortly.

Despite these positive developments, which had made the Games successful overall, the FEI acknowledged that some aspects of the event did not go well.

A thorough debriefing process involving numerous stakeholders had identified that holding the Games over multiple venues had resulted in complex logistics and had led to increased cost. Other problems included delays in publication of key information and issues with IT systems, transport, security, and delays in issuing of ministry paperwork on departure of horses. Insufficient amenities and services, along with cross country day traffic problems, had resulted in a level of frustration for some spectators.

The FEI has acknowledged that the FEI World Equestrian Games™ had evolved into a huge logistical and financial challenge and that, despite the many positives, the excellent sport and enjoyable atmosphere, the multiple venues had amplified complexity and stretched financial and human resources, occasionally resulting in the loss of the original concept of uniting the equestrian family.

The thorough debriefing conducted after the Games has resulted in many detailed operational recommendations, knowledge transfer programmes and increased levels of liaison between the Organising Committee and the FEI throughout the planning stages of the event. A greater definition of requirements and technical specifications is underway in order to achieve a successful and sustainable event which is attractive for future bidders.

Appetite for change

Matthew Wilson from The Sports Consultancy (TSC) presented the outcome of a detailed strategic review of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ put in place by the FEI prior to Normandy. The TSC had conducted a proactive review to understand how this flagship event could be re-aligned to meet its original objectives and to help equestrian sport continue to grow.

The outcome of this consultation process was clear: 97% of consultees were in agreement that the Games should remain as the pinnacle of the equestrian calendar, and 83% of consultees wanted to maintain all eight disciplines at the Games. It had become clear, however, that there was a strong appetite for change. The FEI’s main challenge was to ensure that the event could be delivered sustainably and continue to thrive.

A key finding of the TSC study was that the budget of the 2014 edition was considered by many as exceptionally large, and required extensive investment from the public sector. Only very few nations could afford to host such an expensive and complex event.

The following key conclusions from the TSC study were highlighted:

  • Reduction in the size of the competitor field.
  • Reduction in length of the event, nine to 10 days including two weekends was deemed the optimal length. The current format was deemed too long to sustain media and spectator interest.
  • Re-design of the competition formats and schedule to encourage a more compact foot print.
  • Development and implementation of industry leading sport presentation concepts that deliver to the non-equestrian fan needs.

Wilson concluded by outlining the clear strategic objectives the FEI should use as guidance through the proposed changes. The Games must remain differentiated from other FEI events and remain a pinnacle of the equestrian calendar; it must help grow the sport and assist with delivering the global appeal required for Olympic status; the budget for hosting the Games needs to be as attractive as possible to hosts and carry a lower financial and delivery risk; the public sector investment must be achievable for a greater number of prospective hosts through delivery of a significantly improved return on investment; the Games must be commercially effective for the FEI; and the Games must be accessible for and attractive to spectators both on venue and via broadcast to increase the stakeholder experience.

Ratings are king

Stefan Kürten from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), a professional association working on behalf of European public service broadcasters, addressed the Forum. The FEI and EBU have been partners since 1989 and the cooperation was recently extended through to 2022.

Kürten spoke about the challenges currently faced by sports in public broadcasting, including fierce competition between sports events, less airtime for sport on generalist channels, strong fragmentation of the TV market, increasing calendar conflicts, and the duration of sport events versus entertainment programmes. Sport was expensive compared to other programmes but remained strong when there was emotion, national interest and when it was broadcast live. The number of thematic channels was exploding, resulting in less sport on generalist channels, but ratings are always king, Kürten said.

The key to increased airtime on public television, which was an essential component of a successful sponsor package, was a high quality television production, telling stories, meeting the broadcasters’ needs, and a requirement for strict timetable discipline and focus.

These points were also emphasised by Uli Lacher, Owner & Founder Lacher Consulting; and Welf Konieczny and Gert Hermann representing the German public broadcasters, WDR and ARD/ZDF

Question time

In the following question and answer session between the panel and delegates, there was input from the Danish, New Zealand, United States, Australian, Austrian, British, and French Equestrian Federations and the riders’ representatives, with discussion on ticket sales, opening and closing ceremonies, compulsory qualifying elements, live television coverage and the optimum number of athletes and the optimal duration for the event.

FEI Director of Games and Championships Tim Hadaway concluded the session by explaining that the fruitful discussion had set the scene for the remainder of the Forum. All the proposals made at the Forum would be looked at closely, further consultation work would be conducted and the finalised proposals would be submitted to the vote of the General Assembly in November.

The FEI online platform is open for continued discussions on all topics raised at the FEI Sports Forum here.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Press Relations
malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 33

Horse Radio Network Recaps Para-Dressage at WEG with Sydney Collier and Wes Dunham

Willi Wesley trots to a top finish in the Grade Ib team test with rider Sydney Collier. Photo copyright SusanJStickle.com.

Jupiter, FL – September 26, 2014 – Horse Radio Network’s once-a-month Para-Equestrian Show featured U.S. World Equestrian Games (WEG) Athlete Sydney Collier and her WEG coach Wes Dunham.

Lindsay McCall from the United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) hosted the show with co-host Regina Cristo. To listen to episode #278, please visit: http://dressageradio.horseradionetwork.com/2014/09/25/dressage-radio-episode-278-para-dressage-wraps-2014-weg-with-sydney-collier-and-coach-wes/.

About Sydney Collier:

Sydney Collier of Ann Arbor, Michigan represented Grade Ib for the USA at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. This was her first World Equestrian Games at the young age of 16. Collier rode Victoria Dugan’s Willi Wesley, a 2000 Warmblood gelding. At age seven Sydney was diagnosed with Wyburn-Mason Syndrome after she began having blurry vision. Wyburn-Mason Syndrome is a rare, congenital disorder characterized by arteriovenous malformations in the central nervous system and retina. It affects only .14% of the world’s population and can cause brain hemorrhaging, stroke, paralysis, or death. In 2010 at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY, Sydney and her family ran across young para-equestrian Jonathan Wentz. Wentz introduced Collier to trainer Kai Handt and veteran Paralympian Hope Hand who is President of the United States Para-Equestrian Association. Not long after the 2010 World Equestrian Games Collier began training as a Para-Dressage rider eventually pairing up with Paralympic Dressage coach Wes Dunham of Millbrook, NY. In 2012, young rider Collier had not yet reached her 16th birthday before the 2012 Paralympic Selection Trials but she did earn the opportunity to compete at the 2012 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships. The valuable experience of showing at the National Championships that year gave her the verification she needed to know that she was ready to aim for the 2014 WEG. Collier and her coach Wes Dunham have been working together over the past two years creating the perfect partnerships with multiple mounts. Collier began riding Wentworth (owned previously by Amy McIlwham) in 2013 and competed internationally with her horse that same year. In 2014 Collier added two new mounts to her line-up scoring top rankings in Grade Ib. Collier earned a spot on the U.S. WEG Team in June 2014 with horses NTEC Cuplee and Willi Wesley. Collier and Willi Wesley were successful at the 2014 Games. The WEG was Collier’s first overseas trip for Para-Dressage and a dream come true for the young athlete.

Wes Dunham and Willi Wesley at the 2014 CPEDI3* in Wellington, FL. Photo by Lindsay McCall
Wes Dunham and Willi Wesley at the 2014 CPEDI3* in Wellington, FL. Photo by Lindsay McCall

About Wes Dunham:

Born and raised in western New York, FEI rider and trainer Wes Dunham began his life-long love of horses at the age of 6. He competed in Western Pleasure classes before turning his attention to Eventing, Show Jumping and ultimately Dressage which he currently coaches and trains. While completing his Master’s in Education, Wes dedicated himself full-time to a career in the sport. Wes has been awarded his USDF Bronze and Silver medals, and is currently working towards his Gold. Most recently, he coached an FEI para-equestrian athlete and student on his own mare “Western Rose,” helping the pair to earn a spot on the U.S. Paralympic Team competing at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Wes has been working with multiple Para-Dressage athletes including WEG U.S. Team member Sydney Collier and hunter/jumper rider Elizabeth Traband. As an FEI coach Wes has trained at the 2012 Paralympics and the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. Wes trains in Millbrook, New York, at Woodstock Stables.

Once a month, the Dressage Radio Show becomes the Para-Equestrian Show Hosted by Lindsay McCall, of the United States Para-Equestrian Association, focusing on international FEI discipline Para-Dressage. Although Para-Dressage is the main event, listeners have the opportunity to learn more about the skillful U.S. Para-Driving Team, the Para-Reining discipline, Para-Vaulting, and the future of Para-Jumping. The para-equestrian dressage show will feature a line-up of guests including Olympians, Paralympians, trainers, coaches, professionals, amateur riders, young riders, and equine enthusiasts. The intention of the radio show is to educate, inform, and entertain listeners on the para-equestrian Dressage discipline.

To learn more about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or e-mail President Hope Hand at hope@uspea.org. You may also e-mail the host of the para-equestrian segment Lindsay McCall at Lindsay@uspea.org.

To learn more about the Horse Radio Network, visit www.horseradionetwork.com; to contact Glenn the Geek, go to http://www.horseradionetwork.com/contact/ or leave a voicemail at 270-803-0025.

About the Horse Radio Network:

The Horse Radio Network is the voice of the horse world with listeners in over 40 countries. Eight different entertaining shows cover all aspects of the horse world and you can listen any time on your computer, MP3 player or smart phone.

We believe that people own horses for fun and entertainment. Why else would you put up with the early morning feedings, stall cleaning, vet bills, long trips to shows, empty bank accounts and everything else that goes with being a horse owner?

Our goal with these shows is to help your chores go a little faster and to put a smile on your face! Learn more at www.horseradionetwork.com.

HORSES IN THE MORNING live M-F at 9am Eastern at www.horsesinthemorning.com.

To view an online version of this press release, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: Wheeler966@aol.com or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Sara Morganti Voted Paralympic Athlete of the Month

Italy’s Sara Morganti has been voted the International Paralympic Committee’s best female Allianz Athlete of the Month for August following her incredible performance at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA) – she is pictured at these Games with her mare Royal Delight. (FEI/David Sinclair)

Lausanne (SUI), 18 September 2014 – Italy’s Sara Morganti has been voted the International Paralympic Committee’s best female Allianz Athlete of the Month for August following her incredible performance at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA).

The Tuscany-born Para-Equestrian Dressage rider scored an outstanding Freestyle Grade 1a gold medal with her mare Royal Delight ahead of British Paralympic and reigning world champion Sophie Christiansen and Singapore’s most-decorated Paralympic athlete Laurentia Tan.

Morganti, who also won Individual Grade 1a silver at the Games in Normandy, beat five champions to the top spot in the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) poll from the worlds of canoeing, athletics, swimming and sailing following a bumper month of global para-sport.

Since her international début at the first FEI European Para-Dressage Championships in 2009 in Kristiansand (NOR), where she won Freestyle bronze with chestnut stallion Dollaro de Villanova, Morganti has gone on with Royal Delight to secure Freestyle bronze at both the 2011 Championships in Moorsele (BEL) and the JYSK FEI European Para-Dressage Championships 2013 in Herning (DEN). Since coming fourth at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in Greenwich Park, where her cherished nine-year-old mare was the youngest horse to compete, she has been trying to edge past her highly experienced rivals.

With over 40 per cent of the votes, Morganti said: “I’m so happy that so many have voted for me – it’s incredible. The support of all these people will be an additional reason to focus on doing the best I can every single day. Before the Games in Normandy my dream was to qualify for Rio 2016, but after winning two medals there my dream is now to win a Paralympic medal. Obviously Royal Delight will have an extra portion of carrots for this new fantastic achievement!”

Pole position

Great Britain’s Jeannette Chippington (GBR), second in the IPC poll, was crowned a seven-time para-canoe world champion with two more titles at the 2014 ICF Canoe World Championships in Moscow (RUS), despite only taking up canoeing in 2012.

Teresa Perales (ESP), voted third, won a staggering four gold medals at the 2014 IPC Swimming Championships in Eindhoven (NED), with Manuela Schaer (SUI) and Margarita Goncharova (RUS), coming fourth and fifth after each achieving four golds at the 2014 IPC Athletics European Championships in Swansea (GBR). Liesl Tesch (AUS) placed sixth in the IPC poll after scoring her first-ever world title with her partner Daniel Fitzgibbon at the 2014 IFDS Combined Sailing World Championships in Halifax (CAN).

Lee Pearson, the ten-time Paralympic Games gold medallist in Grade 1b, who scored triple gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA), and helped to secure Great Britain’s team spot at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, was shortlisted for the best male Allianz Athlete of the Month for August, but was pipped to the post by the Ukraine’s Yevheniy Bohodayko who won seven gold medals at the 2014 IPC Swimming European Championships.

The nominations for the Allianz Athlete of the Month are compiled from submissions by National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) and International Federations (IFs), with voting open to the public. The Best Youngster category for the Allianz Athlete of the Month for August will soon be live at www.paralympic.org.

About the International Paralympic Committee

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions. The IPC is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to develop sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality.

Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA) on 23 August-7 September brings together 967 athletes and 1,113 horses from 74 nations for 15 days of world-class competition in Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.

Media contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Press Relations
malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 33