Bromont: one minute to midnight for the Equestrian Games

jeux-equestres-mondiaux-doivent-etreJumping. Vaulting. These two events at the World Equestrian Games program aptly describe the challenge is harnessed these days the organizing committee of the event to be held in Bromont in 2018.

Experienced in recent months by a wave of resignations and temporary layoff of some of its staff, the organizing committee of the World Equestrian Games 2018 (COJEM) must find no less than 25 million in sponsorships within days and convince the federal government to pay a subsidy of nearly 9 million.

A scenario for the less optimistic. “Maybe I dream in color, but I hope we have a 95% chance of getting there. If I have to make the decision not to hold the Games, it will be the worst decision I could take, “said La Presse acting president of the board of COJEM, Rosaire Houde, which provides for” developments ” at the end of next week.

The World Equestrian Games are held every four years, in the middle of the Olympic cycle, and include eight disciplines within the framework of competitions that last for two weeks. The arrival of this prestigious competition in Bromont in 2018 would mark his second spell in North America, eight years after the Games Lexington, Kentucky.

The International Equestrian Federation has entrusted the 2018 Games in Bromont it two years ago. Since then, the organizing committee is treading water, recognizes Mr. Houde, who headed the board of directors after the general manager of COJEM and three directors resigned at the end of April. “We spent energies where they should not have and we waited too long to do what we had to do, he said. The board should have its own brew before cage. ”


So far, the only private sponsor Bromont 2018 Longines, a sponsor of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI). But the 3.5 million pledged by the Swiss watchmaker is only a fraction of the needs of COJEM, who is seeking $ 40 million in sponsorships for its budget of 80 million.

Thereupon 25 million must be found immediately, FEI has set a deadline to July 15, says Houde, a lawyer who has chaired the Quebec Equestrian Federation (now Horse Quebec). In addition, it could remove the event in Bromont.

Sponsorship solicitation was given to Susan Burkman, a resident of Bromont, which has a long track record in the financial sector. “If someone is able to do that, she said the Agriculture Minister, Pierre Paradis, whose riding of Brome-Missisquoi includes Bromont. It is a specialist financial packages and does not turn corners. ”

Impossible mission?

Still, André Richelieu, a professor at the School of UQAM’s management and sports marketing specialist, the challenge facing the COJEM is “titanic”, if not “impossible” to “a event in a marginal sport in Quebec aimed reduced clientele and offers a relatively limited visibility. ” (Organizers say to them that previous games have attracted up to 500 000 spectators.)

Defending playing misfortune birds, Mr. Richelieu notes that the sports sponsorship market is not what it was there 10 or 20 years, as competition with other sports is fierce and the context global economic is particularly unfavorable. Potential sponsors may also, according to him, be cooled by the negative image that surrounded the COJEM in the last month.

Quebec has pledged 8.75 million in Bromont COJEM and contribute $ 2 million in goods and services. But Ottawa, which the organizers ask aid equal to the provincial government more collaboration unencrypted concerning customs, immigration and agriculture is still considering the case. It’s a bit chicken and egg “Federal said that it would help to make a decision if the private sailed, and the private said it would help if the federal embarked,” says Mr. Houde.

The federal Liberal MP for Brome-Missisquoi, Denis Paradis, nothing better than its government provide its share.

“I pushed very hard, says Mr. Paradis. Quebec already has almost 10 million. We are the host country, we must do our part we! ”

The COJEM, which had to suspend some of its staff in mid-June because of financial difficulties, hoped for an answer before today, but it will most probably wait a little. “We are aware that the due date [July 15] is coming and there will be a decision by then,” said Ashley Michnowski Wednesday, Press Secretary of the Minister of Sports Carla Qualtrough.

Memories of 2005

The woes of the Equestrian Games are reminiscent of those of the FINA World Championships in 2005. At six months of the event, the International Swimming Federation had cut ties with Montreal, the host city. Sponsorship research was then stalled. It took the mayor Gérald Tremblay promises to mop up any shortfall (which was finally resulted in nearly 5 million) for the FINA agreed to restore the championships in Montreal. “The City of Bromont is impeccable, says Rosaire Houde, the COJEM. But it is a town of 8000 people, not Montreal or Quebec who can tell “. You Worry not, we’ll put that on the line of credit” ”

“Chasing its tail”

Pierre Paradis, if were to lose Bromont Equestrian Games, the Quebec “would look like the dog chasing its tail.” “We just lost the Firefighters Games to Montreal, Sherbrooke escaped the Francophonie Games 2021 [Editor’s note: Moncton’s bid was preferred]. At some point, we have to succeed. “The risk that would pose successive failures is real, according to André Richelieu, UQAM. “A repeat of failures or rescues catastrophe would be extremely damaging to the community but also for the province and the country, whose reputation and credibility would be exposed.”

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