November 20, 2011–A study commissioned by the F?d?ration ?questre Internationale, the world governing body of horse sports, found that the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games had a total economic impact of $373 million to $396 million, well above the $201 million that a state-financed study estimated.
The FEI said the Deloitte study showed a direct economic impact of $233 million. The FEI would not release the full study publicly and did not respond immediately to questions about the difference.
FEI released the numbers Wednesday as it announced a record seven countries have bid for the 2018 Games: Australia, Canada, Hungary, Morocco, Russia, Sweden and the United States (Wellington, Fla.).
According to the FEI, the 2010 Games were attended by 507,000, with more than 40,000 spectators on four days.
A survey of spectators found that 96 percent of local visitors agreed that hosting the event was beneficial to Kentucky and 74 percent of international visitors said they would be more likely to return to Kentucky as a result of the Games.
The 2010 Games had a wider TV audience than ever before: According to the FEI, 66 channels across the world aired 474 hours of coverage, up 32 percent from the 2006 Games. More than 38 hours were aired in the United States, the largest block of equestrian programming ever in this country, according to the FEI.