From August 23rd through September 7th, top equestrians and their equine partners will descend on Normandy, France to compete at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Participation in the World Equestrian Games is an accomplishment in itself, since horses and riders must prove themselves to be among the best in their country if they are to be selected to represent their nation.

The World Equestrian Games first began in 1990 as a way to bring together the World Championship event of each separate International Federation for Equestrian Sports (the Fédération Équestre Internationale, or FEI) discipline. Before the creation of the World Equestrian Games, each discipline’s World Championship was held separately. This often resulted in championships taking place in different countries. Thanks to the Games, the championships are now unified, allowing a country’s competitors and fans to support one another during the competition.

The first World Equestrian Games was held in Stockholm, Sweden in 1990. Since then, the Games have been held every four years, and are held on years that alternate with the Olympics. The first five sessions of the World Equestrian Games were held in European venues, including Rome, Italy; and Aachen, Germany. In 2010 the Games were held in at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, leaving Europe for the first time. In 2014 the Games will return to Europe, taking place in Normandy, France.

Since the 1990 Games, the World Equestrian Games has grown as an event. The 1990 Games featured competitions in dressage, jumping, eventing, driving, endurance, and vaulting. The 2014 World Equestrian Games will offer competitions in those same disciplines, but with the addition of reining and para-dressage. Additionally, the Games will feature exhibitions of polo and horse-ball.

With every event, the World Equestrian Games continue to grow in popularity, having become the destination for horse enthusiasts and those new to horses, alike. The 2014 Games are expected to be attended by an audience of 500,000 and will be broadcast for 500 million TV viewers. Held within seven different equestrian venues, 1,000 competitors and 1,000 horses from 76 different nations will compete during the fifteen-day Games.

Aside from the Olympics, there is no other event where you’ll be able to see the top caliber of horses and riders that will be competing at the World Equestrian Games under one roof. The World Equestrian Games offer something for every equine enthusiast, no matter what discipline you ride. If you’d like to learn more about the Games, visit the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games’ website.

Image Source: flickr.com/photos/australianshepherds/4072261966

Original Source: The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

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