From a historical, cultural and sociological point of view, Normandy most definitely deserves its “Land of the horse” reputation. The region has much to offer with regard to its countryside, infrastructures, internationally-renowned expertise, and highly-developed research and innovation. All of these make Normandy one of the leading equestrian regions in terms of its worldwide reputation. Given its economic clout and potential for development, the local decision-makers have long adopted policies to firmly support this sector.
In a bid to continue this policy, and because they were convinced that hosting a large-scale equestrian event would boost development, the important public decision-makers and the industry’s economic and institutional stakeholders drew up a bid to host the World Equestrian Games.
WHAT IS EXACTLY THE GAMES' "TERRITORIAL PROJECT" ?
Public stakeholders decided to use the event to give social, touristic, ecological and economic initiatives a substantial boost. The event and its subsequent impact have been incorporated into an overall strategy for regional development: the “Territorial Project” called “L’Elan des Jeux”. The main goals for this project are as follows:
- Promote Norman excellence;
- Foster a sense of belonging among the entire population, stakeholders and local inhabitants who are not necessarily familiar with the equestrian world; encourage them all to be a part of the World Equestrian Games and generally popularise equestrianism as a whole;
- Organise an eco-responsible and innovative event.
Consequently, more than 350 non-profit making initiatives that respect these three goals have been selected as part of a programme of officially endorsed projects, called “L’Elan des Jeux”.
These projects are organised into three distinct phases, with the aim of further enriching the event and stimulating the creation of a long-lasting heritage:
- 15 months of mobilisation
- 15 days of festivities
- 15-year legacy
For more information about the Territorial Project, please visit the “L’Elan des Jeux” website: www.elandesjeux.fr
15 months of mobilisation
From July 2013 to August 2014, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy will be a unique opportunity to mobilise the entire region and put Normandy firmly into the spotlight.
Thanks to the event, we have been able to get all of the Norman stakeholders involved for an exceptional welcome. The Games have the power to give any sporting, touristic, social, economic or sustainable development project a real boost. With this in mind, three different tools have been put into place:
1. THE CALL FOR INITIATIVES : COORDINATING THE DIFFERENT PROJECTS
15 months before the start of the World Equestrian Games, the local authorities and the Organising Committee wish to create a real dynamic by supporting a variety of non-profit making initiatives, some which are already in place and some which have been created especially for the event, in order to popularise the Games, encourage people to take up horse-riding, and promote Norman excellence.
In February 2013, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy and the local authorities launched a call for initiatives. More than 250 promotional projects related to horses and Normandy were received.
Competitions, horse treks, shows, demonstrations, exhibitions, introductions to horse-related professions, school trips and after-school activities…a wide range of different projects were approved, all of which show the passion and commitment that the Norman people feel towards the Games.
The project organisers are provided with promotional tools to help spread the word about their events, which can be organised any time between 1st July 2013 and 30th September 2014.
The Organising Committee has also allocated a total of 10,000 invitations (also allowing access to the Games village) to the leaders of the approved projects, as prizes for any competitions run during these events.
2. EDUCATION AND EQUESTRIANISM
In parallel to the call for initiatives, important work is being carried out to set up educational and training programmes. Education professionals are working to make youngsters aware of the importance of the Games and encourage them to get involved. Numerous partners of the Local Education Authority, the University of Caen Lower Normandy, the Department of Agriculture, the territorial authorities, and the Regional Equestrian Committee are putting forward around thirty projects.
These projects span from elementary school right up to higher education level and cover a variety of topics including horse-riding, cultural and international openness, production and the services of the equine industry. This teaching is carried out in the form of projects, training and career counselling.
See a list of the projects at: www.ac-caen.fr/jem2014
3. AN AMBITIOUS ECONOMIS VISION
In addition to the call for initiatives and the educational and training aspect, the local authorities are looking to set up economic projects connected to the Games.
They form part of the following economic strategy:
- To render the local Norman economy more coherent and appealing: creating a selection of documents that can be used in the long term and adapted to suit all projects that have the aim of developing the regional economy,
- To drive international promotion and prospection projects
- To develop activities about and around the Games by setting up projects in collaboration with economic stakeholders, network leaders and businesses.
15 days of festivities
The Organising Committee has a whole series of specific initiatives that tie in with the organisation of the event and are wholly consistent with the size and goals of the Territorial Project. Some of these initiatives are shown below:
- Involvement of local economic players in the launch of the event: collaboration with businesses, suppliers and the regional agribusiness sector;
- Involvement of institutional, educational and associative stakeholders in the organisation of the event;
- Inclusion of social clauses in certain public contracts;
- Development of a “Volunteer” programme – open to all ages and abilities;
- Promotion of the region and the equine sector in the Games Village : The “Norman Excellence” Pavilion & The Working Horse Village
- Organisation of cultural entertainment and activities that are both popular and out of the ordinary, based on the theme of “Around the world in 80 horses”;
- Establishment of an accessible pricing policy;
- Allocation of 10,000 tickets to be used as competition prizes in L’Elan des Jeux-approved projects;
- Special reception for a section of the social and educational public;
- Display of some of the projects from the “15 months” phase in the Games’ Village.
A 15-year legacy
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy, by virtue of their scale and size, should provide a long-lasting legacy. This formidable event should also breathe new life into the region and encourage the development of a positive and dynamic image of Normandy. To do this, 18 different strategic projects linked to the Games, their partners and the equine sector have been put in place:
INFRASTRUCTURES / LOCAL TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING
1. Large-scale project at Le Pin National Stud
2. Improvements to Le Pin Stud and St-Lô Livestock Breeding Centre
3. Renovation and restructuring work at the Exhibition Park/Orne Valley
4. Creation of a special planning district dedicated to the equine industry in Goustranville
5. Support for the diversity of the region’s equestrian centres
6. Establishment of a programme to reinforce the major equestrian competitions held in Normandy
7. A plan to develop and promote the regional network of bridle paths
8. Plans to enhance “horse-based tourism” product offers
9. A plan to professionalise the equine tourism industry
10. Promotion and marketing of new horse-based tourism products or services
RESEARCH : PROMOTE NORMAN AND FRENCH EXCELLENCE IN TERMS OF EQUINE RESEARCH
11. The Hippolia Foundation
MEMBERS OF PROFESSIONAL BODIES
12. International development plan for the equine sector
13. The “Equures” eco-classification
14. Creation of a national centre for resources called "Cheval Energie" (Horse Energy)
15. Enhancement of professional training and career counselling programmes for the equine sector
16. Implementation of a long-term regional database about the local economy
17. Promotion of local businesses (new technology, agribusiness, new materials, etc.)
18. Creation of a business club designed for the WEG and other major events
Now is the time to identify values that the Norman people can be proud of. The ambassadors of this truly magnificent region of France are looking to the future. After all, this exceptional event is the perfect opportunity to create a new sense of togetherness – one that can be shared today and in the years to come.