An estimated 500,000 spectators expected for 14 days as the best-of-the-best compete in equestrian sport
by US Equestrian Communications Department | Sep 12, 2017, 3:02 PM EST
Lexington, Ky. – The FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG), which take place Sept. 11-23, 2018, at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, N.C., US Equestrian, in conjunction with the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) and TIEC, are beginning to prepare spectators and athletes alike for the phenomenon that is the WEG.
Since 1990, the WEG has been held every four years, halfway between the Summer Olympic Games cycle, and brings together the world’s elite equestrian athletes from eight FEI equestrian disciplines – including the Olympic disciplines of dressage, eventing, and jumping.
The FEI serves as the worldwide governing body of equestrian sport, while US Equestrian is the national governing body for equestrian sport in the United States. With the WEG hosted on home soil, US Equestrian will be instrumental in preparing and coordinating with the athletes that are selected to represent the United States in Tryon in 2018.
“We are thrilled that the WEG is being hosted in the U.S.,” says US Equestrian President Murray Kessler. “[WEG] gives US Equestrian a great opportunity to celebrate the joy of horse sports with millions of Americans in a way that will help grow engagement and participation in all equestrian sports in this country.”
Expected to be one of the largest sports-related spectator events in the U.S. in 2018, the WEG is expected to draw nearly 500,000 people during the 11 days of competition, with 40,000-50,000 spectators each day. The 2014 Games in Normandy brought an estimated economic impact of over $14 million and attracted almost 1,000 athletes, over 1,000 horses, 74 nations, 1,900 credentialed media from 52 countries, and approximately 575,000 spectators to the event. Similar statistics are projected for the Tryon 2018 Games.
The WEG returns to U.S. soil following the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky., in 2010. The Tryon 2018 Games will be only the second on U.S. soil. The full history of the WEG is available on the FEI’s website.
Team and individual gold, silver, and bronze medals will be at stake in eight FEI disciplines during the Games. Following are the FEI descriptions of each discipline represented:
- Jumping: a spectacular mix of courage, control, and technical ability that make it easy to see why it is one of the three equestrian Olympic sports
- Dressage: the ultimate expression of horse training and elegance. Often compared to a ballet, dressage features an intense connection between both human and equine athlete that is a thing of beauty to behold
- Para-equestrian dressage: para, meaning ‘parallel,’ is dressage for athletes with disabilities and is evidence of the incredible bond, trust, and communication between horse and rider; a regular fixture at the Paralympic Games
- Eventing: a formidable combination of cross-country, jumping, and dressage; known as the triathlon of the equestrian world. A truly complete sport that tests both the horse and rider in all aspects of horsemanship
- Driving: also known as combined driving, is three days of competition (dressage, marathon, and cones), and an incredible display of fitness and stamina for both horse and driver
- Endurance: an ultra-marathon with horses on a 160-km course in one day, endurance racing is the ultimate test of stamina for both horse and rider
- Vaulting: simply described as gymnastics on horseback, vaulting is a harmonious bond between horse and athlete that creates awe-inspiring acrobatic displays of skill and precision
- Reining: with a history based on the skills that ranching horses would have needed, including large, fast circles, flying lead changes, 360-degree spins, and sliding stops, reining is one of the most exciting, thrilling, and breathtaking equestrian sports to witness
Opening ceremonies will take place Tuesday, September 11, with competition beginning on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. A competition schedule is currently available online, and tickets are expected to go on sale later this month via tryon2018.com.
Media credentials for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 can be applied for online.
U.S. dressage rider and Olympic bronze medalist, Laura Graves and Verdades, fifth-place finishers at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Photo by SusanJStickle.com