IN scenes reminiscent of Ireland’s doomed attempt to stage the World Equestrian Games in 1998, the Canadian equestrian community was in shock yesterday after the Government of Canada informed the event’s Organising Committee that it won’t support the games, due to be held in Bromont in 2018.

According to the Horse Canada website a statement from the office of the country’s Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities read:

“On July 11, 2016 the 2018 World Equestrian Games Organising Committee was informed that the Government of Canada will not be providing federal funds to support the hosting of the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

“Through Sport Canada, the federal government is not in a position to support the hosting of the 2018 World Equestrian Games given the financial viability of this project. The event has an estimated budget of $100 million, of which approximately $66.6 million of overall revenue sources must be raised from the private sector. As of today, no private sector funds have been confirmed, nor has a deficit guarantor.

“Federal funding was never committed for this event, we have continued to be clear of our requirements and expectations in our discussions with the 2018 WEG Organizing Committee.”

Although the cancellation is not yet official, Horse Canada reports, it seems as though the monster event was doomed from the beginning, with an unrealistic budget, no support from the federal government, logistical problems surrounding traffic and accommodations, and a revolving door of CEOs and other top management that pointed to the turmoil within the organising committee, COJEM.

Italy took over the staging of the 1998 games, following Ireland’s then Minister for Tourism and Trade Enda Kenny’s declaration that no Government funding would be available to hold the event, after the organising company, World Equestrian Games Ireland Ltd, declared outstanding debts of £200,000.

Ireland’s original plan for the six discipline games involved staging the show jumping, dressage and vaulting in the RDS and the three day event, carriage driving and endurance riding at Punchestown.

The full story about Canada’s attempt to stage the 2018 games may be read on Horse Canada at this link.