Coming to America: 2018 World Equestrian Games Preview

A fast-growing equestrian epicenter in a North Carolina hamlet prepares to host the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
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Coming to America: 2018 World Equestrian Games Preview
The 2018 World Equestrian Games will take place at the Tryon International Equestrian Center Sept. 11-23. | Photo: Photo: Courtesy Tryon2018

A fast-growing equestrian epicenter in a North Carolina hamlet prepares to host the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

Just two years ago, the future of the 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG)  was uncertain. The original host city, Bromont, Canada, had backed out, citing financial reasons, and the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) had to scramble to find a new venue on short notice. Within four months, the bid went to a burgeoning equestrian center in the quiet horse community of Tryon, North Carolina. Since then, organizers have literally moved mountains to create a world-class facility and experience. Now, they’re prepared to accommodate the world’s best equine ­athletes this summer.

More than 1,200 horses participated in the 2014 WEG in Normandy, France, with similar numbers expected to descend on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) Sept. 11-23 for the 2018 edition of the quadrennial championships. Of those, fewer than 100 will be competing for Team USA, ­meaning most will be flying in from abroad.

If you think air travel is a hassle, what with doffing your shoes and cramming liquids into quart-sized bags, then you’ve never seen what’s involved in transporting horses to a WEG. It makes catching the 8:15 flight to Dallas look like calling an Uber. Here’s what’s in store for the Tryon-bound horses, all in the name of horse health, equine welfare, and a safe and equitable field of play

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Written by:

Jennifer O. Bryant is editor-at-large of the U.S. Dressage Federation’s magazine, USDF Connection. An independent writer and editor, Bryant contributes to many equestrian publications, has edited numerous books, and authored Olympic Equestrian. More information about Jennifer can be found on her site, www.jenniferbryant.net.

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