The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has awarded hosting rights to its World Championship events in 2022 to Herning, Denmark, and Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy, as part of a new strategy for the world governing body.
World Championships in the four disciplines of jumping, dressage, para-dressage and vaulting will be staged in Herning in August 2022. The Danish city, which runs a qualifier for the Dressage World Cup annually, previously hosted a multi-discipline equestrian event in 2013 when it staged the European Championships for jumping, dressage and para-dressage.
Pratoni del Vivaro, venue for the eventing discipline at the Rome 1960 summer Olympic Games, will host World Championships for eventing and driving in September 2022. The venue, located 35 kilometres south of Rome, was the site for the cross country competition at the 1998 World Equestrian Games and hosted the World Driving Championships for Singles in 2006 and 2010.
The 2022 World Championships in the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines of jumping, eventing, dressage and para-dressage, will serve as qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In June, the FEI announced that 10 countries submitted bids to host World Championship events in 2022, with Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and the Italian capital of Rome having put forward proposals to host the multi-discipline World Equestrian Games. Other bids were submitted by Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Slovakia, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
The FEI last year initiated a bidding process for individual World Championships in 2022 across all disciplines. Crucially, though, the FEI Board decided that multi-discipline bids would be given preference, with dressage and para dressage events to be combined. The FEI Board awarded the 2022 World Championships hosting rights at its in-person meeting in the Russian capital Moscow on Saturday. The decisions mean the concept of a multi-discipline World Equestrian Games in one location is set to be shelved for 2022.
The FEI has said the new bid process allows for the sustainable and cost-effective use of existing facilities. In November 2017, the FEI was forced to reopen the bidding process for the 2022 World Equestrian Games after sole candidate Samorin elected to withdraw its bid. Samorin had seemingly been poised to land the 2022 Games after rival bidder, the US city of Lexington, exited the race earlier in the year.
Last year’s World Equestrian Games were held in Tryon, North Carolina. Tryon itself was a replacement host, having stepped in to replace Bromont in Canada.
“When we opened the process for the FEI World Championships 2022 to single and multi-discipline bids, our intention was to have events that were more manageable and sustainable at proven venues,” FEI secretary general Sabrina Ibáñez said.
“By allocating these multi-discipline Championships to Herning and Pratoni del Vivaro we’re working with hosts that already have the necessary experience and required infrastructure in place to organise world-class equestrian championships.
“We received some truly excellent bids and unfortunately we don’t have enough FEI World Championships to allocate to everyone, but we very much hope that these excellent organisers will bid again in the future to host championships at their venues.”
The FEI Board also allocated World Cup Finals for 2022 to 2024, with Leipzig once again hosting four events under one roof from April 6-10, 2022. The German city previously hosted the same four disciplines – jumping, dressage, driving and vaulting – in 2011.
The World Cup Finals for jumping and dressage will return to Omaha (USA) in 2023 from April 12-16, and the 2024 Finals for jumping and dressage were allocated to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The French city of Bordeaux will host the Driving World Cup Finals in both 2023 and 2024.
The FEI has elected to reopen the bidding process for the 2023 and 2024 Vaulting World Cup Finals.