The 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games are making their way to the Tryon International Equestrian Center (just about an hour from Asheville) next week. From Sept. 11 to Sept. 23, 500,000 people will be descending to WNC. You’ve likely heard of WEG over the last year. But you might also be wondering what the hype is all about. Hold your horses – we’re about to give you all the mane points.
Administered by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the World Equestrian Games are the major international championships for equestrianism (the sport of horse riding). The games are held every four years (between the Summer Olympic Games) and last about two weeks while riders + their horses compete in a series of eight disciplines. Bonus: This year is also the inaugural World Equine Expo.
Having started in 1990, this year marks the 8th FEI World Equestrian Games. In previous years the games have been held in Stockholm, Sweden (1990), The Hague, Netherlands (1994), Rome, Italy (1998), Jerez de la Frontera, Spain (2002), Aachen, Germany (2006), Lexington, Kentucky (2010), and Normandy, France (2014). For each championship, venues from all around the world bid to host the games. The Tryon International Equestrian Center had only 23 months to prepare for the world championship after the original bidder bowed out due to lack of funding.
This year’s championship is said to bring over 1,000 athletes, hundreds of horses, and about 500,000 spectators from over 41 countries + 50 states to the Foothills of WNC making the Tryon Games the highest attended sporting event in the U.S. in 2018 and the fourth in the world (following the Winter Olympic Games, World Cup + Tour de France). DYK: The 2010 games in Kentucky sold 507,000 tickets and brought in about $400 million into the state’s economy.
Now that you know the basics, we bring you the full schedule, where to buy tickets, how to volunteer, where to watch on TV + more here. ⬇
What do you call a show horse from another country? A globe-trotter. 🐎
🐎It’s all about location, location, location
The World Equestrian Games (WEG) will be held at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) – 4066 Pea Ridge Rd., Mill Spring, N.C.
Why Tryon? The initial bidding process for the 2018 games began in 2011 with an application process in which eight countries expressed interest and only five became official candidates (Rabat, Morocco; Bromont, Canada; Budapest, Hungary; Vienna, Budapest + Wellington, Florida).
In 2013, four of the candidates dropped out and Bromont was left in the running, so the FEI re-opened the bid and USA candidates Wellington, F.L. + Lexington, K.Y. joined in addition to Great Britain. Wellington and Great Britain dropped out and the FEI awarded the games to Bromont in 2014.
After a lack of financial support, Bromont withdrew from hosting. Tryon, N.C. and Samorin, Slovakia then expressed interest after Bromont’s withdrawal and Tryon was awarded the games in November of 2016.
🐎How to attend (or watch): Schedule + tickets
WEG will last for a total of 13 days. Beginning the 11th and ending on the 23rd, here is the full schedule for each day.
Riders + their horses compete in a series of eight disciplines (specific competitions) which include:
Even though All Games Passes are sold out, you can purchase specific game passes here.
DYK: TIEC’s George H. Morris arena can hold 15,000 seats.
*Can’t make it to the games? You can watch over 50 hours of live coverage on the Olympic Channel, NBC + NBCSN.
🐎Here’s how to get involved (for free)
Tryon 2018 is still looking for volunteers to work on site as well as volunteer hosts. Right now they are searching for 3,500 to 4,000 volunteers to cover about 9,000 positions over three weeks working 2-3 shifts per day.
Click here for the Volunteer Portal.
Additionally, Tryon 2018 is seeking members of the community who would be willing to hosts volunteers in their homes.
Click here for the Community Hosting Initiative Host Application.
🐎What to expect when you arrive
Spectator parking holds 10,000 vehicles. There will be continuous shuttles from 6881 S. NC Hwy 9, Columbus, N.C. beginning 2.5 hours before and ending 2.5 hours after the competitions each day. You can purchase a parking pass for $20-50 per day. There is only one entrance/exit in the entire complex.
With that being said, the security is very tight. Only one non-glass 24 oz (or less) water bottle is allowed per person, and bags larger than 6”x6”x6” need to be clear. Food + drinks will be available to purchase at various dining options. No dogs allowed. Read more rules + restrictions here.
Full map of the venue here.
As a child all I ever wanted was to be a jockey and race horses.🏇 Seriously, my room was covered in horse (and unicorn) apparel.
While we’ll try to make it to games, you best bet that I will be tuning into NBC to watch the Vaulting discipline Sept. 18-20 either way. Come on – freestyle, acrobatic gymnastics on horses? How cool is that?!
Will you be attending? What are you looking forward to most for FEI WEG 2018? Reply to this email + let us know.