Italy has become the first and only country to publicly declare a “non-binding expression of interest” in staging the majority of the FEI World Championships 2022, with the FEI’s bid deadline (February 28th) just days away.
FISE, the Italian Equestrian Sports Federation, has outlined plans to host everything except driving and endurance. Main hub would be the Tenuta Santa Barbara di Bracciano venue, north-west of Rome, which has been vastly expanded since it hosted the reining and vaulting for the 1998 World Equestrian Games.
The FEI invited bids for single or multi-sport world championship following the logistical and organisational problems at the 2018 WEG in Tryon, and there being no remaining bidders for a full WEG in 2022.
Italy would stage dressage, para dressage, jumping, reining and vaulting at Santa Barbara di Bracciano, a purpose-build spanning 180 hectares with five arenas and three outdoors arenas, a polo field, 300 stables with capacity for 1,000 during shows, retail outlets, restaurants and chalet accommodation. The eventing competition would be at Pratoni del Vivaro, the principal Italian CCI*** venue south of Rome, which has hosted previous FEI championships including the 1998 WEG event.
FISE President, Marco Di Paola emphasised this is only a “first step” and must not be a burden on state subsidy. The Italian bid would make “sustainable and economic use of existing equestrian sport facilities.”
All championship candidates will attend a workshop in Lausanne on March 26th, after which they can decide whether to take their bid forward.
In 1998, Rome stepped in with under a year to go when Ireland dropped out of hosting the third-ever WEG. Rome did not, though, take on the endurance, which was re-allocated as a stand-alone championship to Dubai. FISE has not explained why it is excluding endurance and driving from its 2022 proposals.
Meanwhile, endurance social media remains aggrieved that no officials or members of the Tryon WEG organising committee have been disciplined over the unfinished facility and the chaos on race-day.
The endurance was cancelled after a false start, re-start and concern by vets about horse failure to cope with heat and humidity. This week there has, though, been confirmation that Spanish chef d’equipe Ignasi Casas Vaque will face the FEI Tribunal to answer accusations of incorrect behaviour. Footage of Casas Vaque went viral, showing him arguing with the ground jury president J-P Allegret after the ride was called off with Spain in gold medal position.