After months of speculation (and, we can only assume, a fair amount of nail-biting) the FEI Bureau today unanimously agreed that the 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG) should be awarded to the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina following the withdrawal of Bromont (CAN) earlier this year. The event will be held September 10-23, 2018.
Though originally slated to run August 12-26 at Tryon, the dates have been changed following two scientific studies commissioned by the FEI which stated that climatic conditions would be significantly more favorable in North Carolina during September, particularly from a horse welfare perspective. The FEI also looked at date clashes with other fixtures on the FEI Calendar to ensure the optimum timeslot for the 2018 Games.
“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.”
The Tryon International Equestrian Center, created by Mark Bellissimo in Mill Spring, North Carolina is situated on a 1,600-acre site at the foothills of the Blue Mountains. The venue has 1,200 permanent stables, 12 arenas including a floodlit international arena with potential spectator seating for up to 12,000 and VIP seating for up to 1,500, a covered arena with 5,000 seats, and a world-class cross-country course that will be used for both Eventing and Driving. The venue is also surrounded by hundreds of miles of equestrian trails for Endurance.
Tryon contains excellent restaurants, accommodations, and other amenities for athletes and spectators, alike, as well as an on-site state-of-the-art veterinary facility, which is currently under construction.
“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,” Mark Bellissimo said. “It’s a really great fit for The Carolinas Equestrian heritage and we look forward to working closely with the FEI and with the USEF to produce fabulous FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018.”
The FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 were previously awarded to Bromont (CAN), but a lack of secure funding led to a mutual agreement between the FEI and the Canadian Comité organisateur des Jeux Équestres Mondiaux 2018 (COJEM) to terminate the host contract in July of this year.
Following the withdrawal of Bromont, the FEI Bureau mandated the President to find a solution and, after a thorough assessment of a number of options, the President proposed that the Bureau allocate the Games to Tryon. In light of the timeframe, with the Games in less than two years, existing infrastructure was a crucial factor in the evaluation process.
“The FEI is 100% committed to the FEI World Equestrian Games concept and we are extremely grateful to all those that showed interest in hosting the 2018 Games,” Ingmar de Vos said. “Their enthusiasm demonstrates the importance of the event across the equestrian community.”