What is the World Equestrian Games?
What is the WEG?
The World Equestrian Games have become the ‘equestrian only’ version of the Olympic Games. Having now established itself, it has grown into a prestigious international event. The Games are governed by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).
When is it held and where?
Prior to 1990 each discipline held their own world championships at different times, in different places around the world. However since 1990, most of the disciplines have been consolidated in to a single event that is held every four years halfway between the Summer Olympics. It runs over two weeks and, like the Olympics, the location rotates to different parts of the world. The first one was held in Stockholm, Sweden. This year it’s in Normandy, France. It starts with a grand opening ceremony on Saturday 23rd August. After all the delegates parade, around 300 artists, including 100 riders, will perform 30 scenes divided in three acts that show that all horse paths lead to in Normandy. In 2018 it will be held in Quebec, Canada.
In the first WEG, thirty seven countries participated. However at the last WEG in 2010 in Kentucky, USA the number of countries participating had increased significantly to fifty seven with eight hundred people in total representing their country with their horses.
Competing riders and horses have to go through a rigorous selection process from the best athletes from each country. They are their countries ‘best’ in the respective discipline.
What disciplines are included?
The WEG now encompasses eight of the ten disciplines of the sport including dressage, eventing, show jumping, combined driving, endurance riding, vaulting, reining and para-dressage. Horseball and tent pegging still conduct independent championships.
Look out for Kim’s next blog that explains a bit about what the disciplines are…
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