Financial shortfall forces cancellation of Bromont World Equestrian Games

The international governing body for equestrian sports (FEI) confirmed Friday that the Bromont organizing committee was facing financial difficulties and can no longer host the games.

Organizing committee ran into trouble securing funding from private sector, federal government

Canada won its bid to host the World Equestrian Games in 2014. On Friday it was announced that Bromont, Que. would no longer play host. (Radio-Canada)

After weeks of turmoil, the international governing body for equestrian sports (FEI) confirmed Friday that Bromont, Que., will no longer be hosting the World Equestrian Games in 2018.

In a news release, the FEI said the organizing committee was facing financial difficulties and is no longer in a position to host the games.

"This is a very sad moment for equestrian sport, and possibly even for our reputation as a province or a country to hold major events," said Richard Mongeau, executive director of Cheval Quebec, a non-profit organization with 20,000 members in the province.

Bromont Mayor Pauline Quinlan said she is disappointed with the decision since the event would have pumped $350 million into the local economy.

She hopes there will be other ways to put the city of 7,600 people on the world equestrian map.

The World Equestrian Games is one of the most important events in the equestrian field, attracting riders and their horses from nearly 70 countries.

Mongeau said all Cheval Quebec members were excited about the games and planning to attend.

The province pledged to contribute $9 million to the event and the organizing committee was expecting the federal government to match that amount.

But last week, Ottawa announced it wouldn't be contributing, citing its concerns over the fact that the event hadn't secured any private funding apart from money that would kick in in case of a budget shortfall.

In April, five members of the organizing committee quit.

Bromont was expecting more than 550,000 visitors, with expected economic benefits of up to $350 million.

The two-week event is held every four years. Canada was selected back in 2014.

The FEI says it is possible another organizing committee could take over and host the event somewhere else.