Pictured Above: Farriers Sandy Johnson (left) of Wellington, Fla., and Robbie Shuler of Robbinsville, N.C., replace a lost shoe at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, N.C.

The future of the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in its current form is in doubt after the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) Organizing Committee agreed Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2018, to accept site bids for individual discipline championships, according to the FEI.

FEI has hosted world championships for all disciplines at one location since its inaugural event in 1990. However, since two of eight WEGs — in 1998 and 2018 — required site changes due to funding problems, as well as no realistic bids for the 2022 games, FEI has changed its focus. Despite the willingness to accept individual discipline bids, preference will be given to multi-discipline bids.

“This does not necessarily mean the end of the FEI World Equestrian Games, and bids to host all-discipline Games will still be considered,” Sabrina Ibáñez, FEI secretary general, said at the General Assembly in Manama, Bahrain.

WEG’s 2018 event at the Tryon Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, N.C., was plagued with a number of problems — late delivery of the site, cancellation of the endurance race, Hurricane Florence and lower attendance than expected.

The late delivery began after Bromont, Quebec, withdrew as the host site in 2016. Tryon was awarded the games Nov. 3, 2016 — less than 2 years before the Sept. 11, 2018, opening ceremony.

“Without [Tryon], we would have had no WEG 2018,” Ibáñez says.

The Independent Equestrian Community Integrity Unit has been investigating the events surrounding the 2018 WEG, which, in part, led to the need for change. The goal is to provide clearer communication, accountability and plans for delivery of the games.

Look for extensive coverage of the hoof care at the World Equestrian Games in the December 2018 issue of American Farriers Journal.