Record eight countries declare interest in hosting Games

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Equine insurance customers might be interested to learn that a record eight countries have applied for the right to host the 2018 Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Equestrian Games.

Australia, Austria, Canada, Hungary, Morocco, Russia, Sweden and the US are all in the running for the championships, with Britain ruling out a bid, citing no room on the busy calendar as a reason.

FEI secretary general Ingmar de Vos said he thought the record number of applicants have been encouraged because of the revised "competitive and transparent bid process", Horse and Hound reports.

Former FEI secretary general and head of the US bidding team Michael Stone added: "We have a team who know how to organise big events. The Winter Equestrian Festival held here alone brings in $120m (£76.6m) and 5,000 horses."

The 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games were held in Kentucky throughout September and October. It managed to attract over half a million visitors to the three-week event.

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