The World Equestrian Games

Here They Come Ready or Not

The 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games will be held in Mill Spring, NC, U.S. at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, (TIEC) from September 11 to September 23, 2018.
This will be the eighth edition of the World Equestrian Games, which are held every four years and run by the (FEI) International Federation for Equestrian Sports. This will be the second time that North America hosts the Games, the previous time being in Lexington, KY in 2010, making the USA the first nation to host the Games twice.
The initial bidding process for the 2018 edition of the World Equestrian Games started in 2011. Eight countries expressed their interest, however only five of them became official candidates in 2012. Australia, Russia and Sweden withdrew before the official candidature phase. By 2013, four of the official candidates dropped out, leaving only Bromont in the running. However, instead of awarding the Games to Canada, FEI decided to re-open the bidding process on July 1, 2013, as the Bromont bid was lacking financial support. Bromont remained in the running and was joined by two USA candidates (Wellington and Lexington) as well as Great Britain. Great Britain and Wellington dropped out, leaving only Bromont and Lexington in contention. Bromont was finally awarded the hosting rights on June 9, 2014. Bromont withdrew from hosting in 2016, as the financial support was not secured.
Following Bromont’s withdrawal, Tryon, North Carolina expressed their interest in hosting the event. Tryon was awarded the Games on November 3, 2016.  Click here
The Tryon International Equestrian Center, created by Mark Bellissimo, attracted the Games in
large part because of its world-class facilities. The 1,600-acre venue features 1,200 permanent
stables and 12 arenas. The arenas include a floodlit international arena capable of
accommodating up to 12,000 spectators, with VIP seating for up to 1,500, and a covered arena
that has another 5,000 seats. In addition, the International Equestrian Center has a top-notch
cross country course used for Eventing and Driving, and it is surrounded by hundreds of miles of
equestrian trails for Endurance.

Under the leadership of Bellissimo, the Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP) have invested more than $125 million to turn the area into the “world’s premiere equestrian lifestyle destination,” and investing another $100 million leading up the Games. In summary, TIEC has taken on this amazing project to keep the World Equestrian Games sustainable, with less than 2 years to prepare, while most venues have 4 years to plan. According to Sharon Decker, (Operations for TIEC), TIEC is expecting ½ million people for this event, estimating 50 – 60,000 spectators per day, with 1400 horses from 72 countries to compete in 8 disciplines, and will require 3600 volunteers. A stall barn is being built on the premises that will become a permanent USDA quarantine, allowing horses to fly into Spartanburg, and shipped directly to TIEC. There will be specified “shuttle locations” within an hour away, to assist with the heavy traffic.

PLEASE BE PATIENT as all of these procedures are put into place. For those who are interested in Volunteering for WEG, there will be a specific procedure posted in March on their website: Meanwhile, rest assured, The World Equestrian Games will happen, right in our back yard, so stand-by, check their website for updates and check for more information to stay in “the know” of the  WHAT, WHERE & WHEN of the WEG 2018.
(to be continued)

Nancy B Smith

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