Governor McCrory Announces North Carolina Chosen to Host 2018 World Equestrian Games
Governor Pat McCrory joined state and local economic development leaders today to celebrate a major economic development announcement that North Carolina was unanimously chosen to host the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring. Administered by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the WEG occurs every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle and is the major international championship event for equestrian sport.
“I am confident that North Carolina will host the best games yet before the eyes of the world,” said Governor McCrory. “With the potential to be the largest sporting event in our state’s history, we look forward to welcoming competitors and spectators from around the world. This announcement will be a significant boost to North Carolina’s rapidly growing economy.”
wo years ago, the Games were hosted by Normandy, France. The 14-day event had an economic impact of $414 million and attracted more than 500,000 spectators from over 70 countries.
FEI attributed their decision to North Carolina’s infrastructure and the state-of-the-art facilities at Tryon International Equestrian Center.
The Tryon Equestrian Partners has invested over $125 million over the last two years developing 1,500 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to create an equestrian lifestyle destination and resort. The Tryon International Equestrian Center is the centerpiece of that effort. This venue includes 1,200 permanent stalls, 12 competition arenas, a lighted international arena that seats 6,000 to 12,000 with multiple VIP areas, a large covered/indoor arena that seats 5,000, as well as a world-class cross country course which support both Eventing and Driving. The site is located in North Carolina horse country which is accessible to hundreds of miles of equestrian trails to support Endurance.
“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,” said Mark Bellissimo, founder of Tryon Equestrian Center. “It’s a really great fit for North Carolina’s 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.”
About The FEI World Equestrian Games
The Games are the major international championships for equestrianism administered by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI). The FEI disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining – are all included on the competition schedule. The Games have been held every four years, in the middle of the Olympic cycle, since 1990. The modern WEG runs over two weeks and, like the Olympics, the location rotates to different parts of the world. The inaugural FEI World Equestrian Games were hosted in Sweden in 1990. Since then, the Games were staged in The Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Germany. The first Games to be organized outside Europe were the FEI 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, where 57 countries were represented by 800 people and their horses. The Games returned to Europe for the 2014 edition of the FEI World Equestrian Games, which were held in France.