Excerpt from the September issue of Heels Down Magazine.
Every four years, the best two- and four-legged equestrian athletes in the world, hailing from over 70 nations, convene in one place to battle for medals in dressage, show jumping, eventing, para-dressage, reining, driving, endurance and vaulting.
The FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) isn’t just one of the most elite championships in equestrian sport, second perhaps only to the Olympic Games, it’s also one of the biggest events on the global sporting calendar. The 2018 WEG will be held on North American soil at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, N.C. from Sept. 11-23, 2018. There’s still a year to go, but preparations are in full swing for organizers, course designers, stewards, athletes, coaches, and the hundreds of staff required to produce one of the biggest and best horse shows on earth.
In 2016, the FEI Bureau unanimously agreed that the 2018 WEG should be held at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) after the host site contract with Bromont (CAN) was terminated due to financial issues with the original venue. This left only two years for the young TIEC, which held its grand opening ceremony in summer 2015, to make adaptations to accommodate the projected 50,000 spectators per day during the WEG.
Luckily Mark Bellissimo, developer of the Tryon venue and CEO of Wellington Equestrian Partners which owns the Winter Equestrian Festival, the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, and International Polo Club in Wellington, Fla., already had a good start on developing a facility that could host major equestrian championships.
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