Sunday 07 September 2014 - 19h40
After a second week of top-flight sport and a final weekend boasting exceptional crowds in Caen, the 7th edition of the World Equestrian Games drew to a close in a festive, Olympic village atmosphere. Over 565,000 spectators attended the Games, which the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) confirms is a biggest audience since the creation of the event in 1990. A record number of 1,750 journalists from some 52 countries were accredited for the Games, testifying to the global appeal of this major equestrian sport meeting. This augurs well for the next edition in 2018, as the FEI hands on the torch to Canada during this evening’s closing ceremony.
Record edition with 565,000 spectators © PSV Photos
For the Normandie 2014 Organising Committee, their mission is virtually complete. The past two weeks have seen moments of great satisfaction and fantastic surprises, as well as difficulties overcome and a few moments of sadness. A full evaluation of the Games will be made in th coming weeks to measure its impact on the region. The first elements (notably the hotel occupancy ratio and consumption by spectators, half of whom were French) show that the public has been out in force at the Normandy meeting, continuing the momentum initiated by the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings, and have also followed the event on television around the world.
Laurent Beauvais, President of the Normandie 2014 Organising Committee, “We were very proud to organise this event with and for the Normans in the way we have and we include the whole equestrian family in our endeavours.”
HRH Princess Haya, President of the FEI, “Its incredible success on the social networks made these World Equestrian Games the most connected in history. It was also the loudest (laughs): the athletes all say that they’ve never received so much applause and support”.
Pearce Lyons, President of Alltech, “The World Equestrian Games have changed my life and my company. We’ve seen our brand do a tour of the globe! We are very happy with these Games in Normandy, not to mention the delicious French cuisine! (laughs).”
Fabien Grobon, Director of the Normandie 2014 Organising Committee, “The sporting excellence, the popular success and Normandy’s equine network all made their presence felt at these Games!” »
International level equestrian sport offered to the public
It is one of the major aims of any sporting event, to ensure the athletes have the best possible conditions with which to fully express themselves in their performances. In Normandy, across 7 different and largely unique venues, some 27 titles have crowned the top riders in 8 world championships. Their comments and their feedback for the delegation officials have been positive, as much in terms of the welcome (horses and teams), as the organisation of the competitions and the atmosphere in the stadiums. The proximity to the public, which has been a priority since the initial preparation of the events by the Organising Committee, has brought the multitude of sporting highlights to life. Spectators delighted in the achievements of the top riders from their ringside seats in venues fitted out especially for the event with giant screens and spirited commentary.
A celebration of the world’s equestrian cultures
Over 200,000 people have graced the Games Village, some coming along to continue their emotionally-charged day of sport, others simply wishing to benefit from the ‘Olympic’ atmosphere or the Alltech Music Festival concerts. The opening ceremony itself, a sensitive creation and a genuine work of art, which won public acclaim, played to a full house (21,000 spectators). Enjoying the close-knit relationship, which has always existed, men and women and their horses, spectators, athletes and organisers have come together to open and close the page of the Games’ story in Normandy.
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