Monday, April 02, 2018

The First WEG: A New Endeavor, To The Tunes Of ABBA - Full Article

By: Beth Rasin
Mar 29, 2018 - 3:05 PM
Sponsored by the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina

If you’re a fan of the award-winning Netflix series “The Crown,” you probably think of HRH Prince Philip as, at best, merely tolerating the horses so adored by his wife Queen Elizabeth. But in reality, the Duke of Edinburgh, a rider and carriage driver, presided over the Fédération Equestre Internationale from 1964-1986 and is credited with developing the concept of a World Equestrian Games in 1982. In 1984, the FEI General Assembly chose Stockholm to host that first WEG, which would take place in 1990.

It’s fitting that the idea came from royalty, as nothing like it had been attempted before.

“The organization of World Championships in six disciplines within the span of two weeks in a small country like Sweden is more than a major undertaking,” said Princess Anne, FEI president from 1986-1994, according to the Chronicle report in 1990. “It is an unprecedented endeavor.”

The Swedish Equestrian Federation established a staff of 30 people who worked for five years in preparation for the Games, and they were aided by more than 2,500 volunteers, many of whom were set up to guard the horses. The event was deemed the “Horse Festival of the Century,” and a huge clock pillar in Stockholm counted down the days until the Games.

With the exception of parts of the endurance, the entire event was held within city limits...

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