The decision came down Monday after a two-day meeting of the bureau in charge of the games.
It was between Lexington and Bromont but the FEI Bureau unanimously approved Bromont/Montreal as host city for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games.
The FEI said both Lexington and Bromont’s bids were impressive but Bromont was the stronger of the two.
The Kentucky Governor’s office said friction over watch sponsors prevented Lexington from getting the bid.
The Kentucky Horse Park hosted the games in 2010.
The Kentucky Governor’s Office released this statement:
“We are obviously disappointed Kentucky’s bid to host the 2018 World Equestrian Games was not accepted by the FEI. Every effort was made to bring the 2018 Games to Kentucky but, in the end, we were not able to overcome a commercial conflict between Longines Watch Co., a significant sponsor of the FEI, and Rolex, a long-time and current sponsor of the Kentucky Horse Park. We are very proud of our bid and feel that, with our storied equine tradition and unmatched facilities at the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington and Kentucky would have been the perfect hosts for the 2018 Games. We wish Bromont/Montreal, Canada the best as the 2018 Organizer and hope their games are as successful as ours were in 2010,” said Jamie Link, Deputy Chief of Staff for Gov. Steve Beshear, and Alston Kerr, Chair, Kentucky Horse Park Commission.
Alltech attached its names to the games in 2010.
Its president, Pearse Lyons, said having the games in Canada is still a win for the Bluegrass because it is a sign the sport is growing.
This is only the second time the WEG has been held outside of Europe.
He said the 2010 games in Kentucky proved it was possible and now it is being done again.
“There was tremendous amount of people saying gosh this is a European event and what Alltech was able to demonstrate, what Kentucky was able to demonstrate, what the Horse Park was able to demonstrate was that one we could do it and two it’s a global event,” said Lyons.
The 2014 Games will be held in Normandy, France.