World Equestrian Games pick N.C. for $400 million event

Tryon International Equestrian Center​—Tryon International Equestrian Center​
The Tryon International Equestrian Center was chosen for the World Equestrian Games

The 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games will be held in Polk County, N.C. The announcement came Friday from Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners, who said that the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring will host the event September 10-23, 2018. The World Equestrian Games event is the major international championship administered by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the governing body of equestrian sport.”We are honored to be selected by the FEI to be the steward of the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018. Next to the Olympic Games, the FEI World Equestrian Games is the most important event on the world equestrian calendar,” said Bellissimo. “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.”Equestrian enthusiasts from over 70 countries trek to the World Equestrian Games every four years, halfway between summer Olympic games cycles, to cheer on athletes from their native countries. In 2014 it was held in Normandy, France where it brought $400 million to the local economy and drew over 500,000 spectators during the 14-day event.”We are excited about the impact 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.In 2014, Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP) broke ground on the 1,600-acre, $125 million Tryon Resort, which expands into both Mill Spring and Tryon, N.C. TEP estimates it will invest an additional $100 million dollars over the next two years, focusing on resort amenities including lodging and hospitality.”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,” said FEI President Ingmar de Vos. “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.”In the games, riders will compete in the eight core equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining.