Mark Bellissimo, managing Partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP), announced that the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, North Carolina, has been selected as the host venue for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 (WEG).
The Games, which are administered by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the worldwide governing body of equestrian sport, is the major international championship event for the eight core equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining.
The FEI WEG is held every four years, halfway between the Summer Olympic Games cycle and will occur from Sept. 10 through 23, 2018.
“We are honored to be selected by the FEI to be the steward of the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018,” Bellissimo said. “Next to the Olympic Games, the FEI WEG is the most important event on the world equestrian calendar. We are confident that our partnership and our operating team will create a memorable experience for all involved with the ultimate goal of significantly elevating horse sport in the U.S. beyond the 27 million people who ride a horse at least once a year.”
“We are very pleased to announce Tryon as the host of the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018”, FEI President Ingmar de Vos said. “The Tryon team submitted a really impressive bid and we have every confidence in the organizing committee. It’s a truly spectacular venue and almost all the necessary infrastructure for our eight disciplines is already in place. We are looking forward to a fantastic celebration of top level sport as all the disciplines come together to crown their world champions at the Games in two years’ time.”
“We are thrilled with this news and thank the FEI Bureau for having faith in us and entrusting us with the honor of hosting this prestigious event,” Bellissimo said.
Equestrian enthusiasts from more than 70 countries trek to WEG host cities every four years to cheer on athletes from their native countries. The Normandy FEI WEG had a local economic impact of $400 million, or 368 million euros, and an attendance of over 500,000 spectators during the 14-day event.
“We are so excited about the economic impact that this event will have on the economic health of the Blue Ridge Foothills region of the Carolinas,” said Sharon Decker, COO of Tryon Equestrian Partners, Carolinas’ Operations.
“We are delighted to welcome the FEI World Equestrian Games back to the United States and are delighted that the event will remain in North America,” said Vicki Lowell, [United States Equestrian Federation] senior vice president of marketing. “We would like to express our gratitude to Tryon Equestrian Partners for stepping up to host this event with such short notice. Tryon Equestrian Partners has proven their ability to execute complex, high-level events and we are confident in their ability to produce an event of this magnitude. As one of the true pinnacles of equestrian sport, hosting the World Equestrian Games provides a fantastic opportunity to elevate the sport in the United States.”
In 2014, Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP) broke ground on the 1,600-acre Tryon Resort, which resides in both Mill Spring and Tryon, N.C., which includes the Tryon International Equestrian Center. TEP has invested more than $125 million dollars over the last two years creating the Tryon Resort, which aspires to be the world’s premiere equestrian lifestyle destination. The design of the venue contemplated hosting the WEG, so a vast majority of the equestrian infrastructure is in place. Recent events accelerated the opportunity and the schedule. Today, TIEC is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the world’s premier equestrian venues complete with 12 riding arenas, more than 1,160 permanent stalls, a variety of onsite lodging, restaurants, shops and a year-round competition and events calendar.
WEG’s estimated $400 million impact will extend up to and beyond Charlotte, Asheville, Hickory in North Carolina and Greenville and Spartanburg in South Carolina. TEP estimates it will invest an additional $100 million dollars over the next two years during phase two of the development, which is primarily focused on lodging and hospitality elements.
“Our partnership built the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) to support all levels and disciplines of equestrian sport including international competitions and championships,” added Bellissimo. “Our partnership’s passion for equestrian sport is based on our belief that we can grow the sport in the Americas, and that this country needs a comprehensive high-profile, high-quality destination to showcase all equestrian disciplines to an expanding spectator base and to increase access to horse sport for all socio-economic groups.”
For more information or to log inquiries or questions for the 2018 FEI WEG, visit www.TryonWEG.com