It’s almost as if the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics are incapable of learning anything from anyone.
Earlier this month, the gaze of the equestrian world was focussed on the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Kentucky USA.
The WEG is the World Cup of all equestrian disciplines. Like other World Cup competitions, the WEG is held every four years; the venue changes on a ‘bid’ basis, this is also like other World Cup competitions.
In terms of competition ‘difficulty’, the WEG is a CCI**** (four star) competition, this is the highest degree of difficulty in the equestrian world.
The only other four star competitions in the normal *annual* Eventing calendar are:
Lexington (US), April
Badminton (GB), March
Luhmuhlen (DE), June
Burghley (GB), Sep
Pau (FR), November
Adelaide (AUS), November
To this list we have to add the two four star events that occur on a periodic basis:
WEG (US), October 2010
Olympics (GB), July 2012
Let’s add, to the list of *annual* four star events some additional information:
Lexington (US), April US$50 (incl car parking) – £31
Badminton (GB), March £101 (incl car parking) – £101
Luhmuhlen (DE), June €80 (incl car parking) – £70
Burghley (GB), Sep £70 (incl car parking) – £70
Pau (FR), November €51 (for VIP pass incl car parking) – £45
Adelaide (AUS), November A$80 (incl car parking) – £50
This tells us that, for those of us in Europe, amongst the annual four star competitions, Badminton Horse Trials is exceptionally poor value.
Elsewhere in Europe, Pau, Luhmuhlen and Burghley all seem to be more or less in the same financial ballpark.
So we have a market.
Let’s add to the marketplace, the prices for this year’s WEG in Ketucky: £200 (incl car parking).
Fucking… ouch!! That’s painful.
OK, so now let’s add the final ingredient, the prices for the London 2012 Eventing competition: £275 (*not* incl car parking).
Fucking, fucking, fucking OUCH!!!
A point of clarification: the prices for four star Eventing competitions are not set by the local/national discipline. Oh no.
The prices for four star Events are set by the sport’s international governing body, the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI).
Unfortunately, the organisers of this year’s WEG have taken a financial hammering. According to today’s Sunday Telegraph, the FEI managed to sell just 52% of their tickets.
I can’t help wondering how many of the £275 tickets the FEI reckon they’re going to sell.
I’m seriously pissed off with the FEI, they seem to be guilty of what the Americans call ‘price gouging’.
The prices the FEI charged for the CIC*** (three star) competition at this year’s Gatcombe Horse Trials were absolutely criminal.
What is it with sport governing bodies that seems the make them see the punters as nothing more than cash cows?