07.28.16

Third Time’s a Charm, WEG 2018

Posted in 2018 Games, World Equestrian Games at 8:24 pm by Thomas

So by now I figure most everyone has heard the news that Bromont has pulled out of hosting the 2018 Games.  Of course by now that is old news and in some ways didn’t come as a surprise because as much as I wanted Bromont to be successful I had yet to see any indication that they had ever gotten the financial needs worked out and it seems the expectation had been that the Canadian Federal Government would bail them out.  That of course didn’t happen and worst then that the Feds let them know in no uncertain terms that that wasn’t going to happen and at the same time investigations had started into some of the promises made by the Mayor of Bromont.

All and All not a good situation and even though it puts Kentucky back in the running to host the Games in 2018, it does real damage to the future of the Games.  Now with all that said there is only one thing to do, fight to get the Games back in Kentucky and make them successful both to benefit Kentucky and to shore up the future of the Games.  Of course there has been a number of people saying negative things about the success of the Games in 2010, personally I think it is a fairly easy argument to make that the Games were successful.  I know some people point to some raw numbers and say we spent more then we made but I think when you look out the amount spent on the Horse Park as a long term investment and consider what kind of Signature Event the Games were for Kentucky I can’t think of anything else that could bring that kind of long term value to the state.  Only this week the USEF signed a 40 year lease and plans on building a new 3 story headquarters at the Horse Park not sure how that is anything but a positive outcome from the Games.

So back to the 2018 Games, I still haven’t heard what deal is going to be worked out between Rolex and Longines but something will have to because even the other 2 venues, Wellington and Aachen that might be up to pulling off the Games in 2 years have the same issue that the Horse Park has in regards to the contract the Longines has with the FEI which is the only thing that knocked us out of getting the Games last year.  My hope of course is that Rolex and Longines understand the benefits of the Games and that it is in neither of their interest for the Games to fail to go on in 2018.  Personally I still have real doubts that Wellington could host the Games and certainly not with less then 2 years to go to be ready.  Aachen is in a better place from the stand point of capability but and I am afraid this is a big but, the security situation in Europe is much more unstable then they let on and I see no reason to expect that to be better in 2 years, in fact I expect it to be worse.  So again this really leaves only 1 option, the Kentucky Horse Park and I think the FEI is acutely aware that if Kentucky bids for it again and gets the snub that even I would say we make no further plans to bid for it again and that we come up with our own event with or without FEI sanction.  Now with that said, I don’t think it will come to that, I really believe third time is the charm and that the FEI has not choice because there is no way to host the Games in a venue that hasn’t previously and recently held the Games because of the time crunch they are under.

So I ask, and a lot of you I am going to ask personally to enthusiastically support Kentucky bidding and hosting the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games.  This means for those who know any elected officially get them on board, even if that is your county sheriff because you will be surprised how important local law enforcement is to this kind of event to provide the man power and support needed for security.  Those of you in business, let people know that you believe this event is good for your business either by the direct publicity it brings your business or by the new business it generates in the state.  Those of you who volunteered for the 2010 Games let people know you would do it again, I volunteered for 12 of the 16 days and know I would do it again because it was a great experience.

I still have the one year to go poster hanging on my wall that says, “GET YOUR GAMES FACE ON.”, its time to do it again Kentucky.  The Games were a success the first time around, and they will be an even bigger success the second time because we have the experience and the passion.  My slogan this time is going to be “Y’ALL COME BACK NOW”, because people did come back to Kentucky after the Games last time so we should certainly invite them to come back after the second time.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®