Britain out of running due to lack of funding

Great Britain has withdrawn from the bidding process to host the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018.

The International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) confirmed it had been notified by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) that it would not be submitting a formal bid.

BEF secretary general Andrew Finding admitted his “considerable regret” at the withdrawal in a letter to his counterpart at the FEI Ingmar De Vos, explaining there was not enough time to secure the necessary funding and identify a host venue by November 15, the deadline for formal bids to be made.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Those bids are now set to come from Wellington and Kentucky in the United States and Bromont/Montreal in Canada.

“While it is, of course, disappointing that the British Equestrian Federation has decided not to go ahead with a bid for the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018, we still have three strong candidates in the mix from Wellington, Kentucky and Bromont/Montreal and look forward to receiving their formal bid applications by 15 November,” said De Vos.

Host city candidates will be announced on December 2.

British star William Fox-Pitt defied a back complaint to win the Pau international event in France at the weekend.

However, the world No 2 could not make eventing history at elite four-star level after holding the top three places following Saturday’s cross-country phase.

No rider has ever accomplished a clean sweep and Fox-Pitt’s hopes disappeared when he had five show-jumping fences down on Neuf des Coeurs, dropping from third overnight to 15th.

But Fox-Pitt still held his nerve to land the £30,000 top prize on Seacookie TSF, the horse’s first four-star success after finishing second at Burghley in 2010 and Kentucky earlier this year.

He also finished third with Cool Mountain.