Tryon Equestrian Partners wins bid to host 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games


The world’s top equestrian competition could have an unbridled economic impact on the Upstate and Western North Carolina.

Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP) on Thursday announced it has secured the bid to host the Fédération Equestre Internationale’s (FEI) 2018 World Equestrian Games at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, N.C.

TEP submitted its bid in August after a lack of funding forced the withdrawal of Bromont, Quebec, as the host venue.

FEI said the world championships could attract 1,200 riders from 70 countries and 500,000 spectators, and have a more than $400 million impact.

“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, managing partner of TEP, in a statement. “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 event will be held Sept. 10 through 23, 2018, at TEIC, a 1,600-acre venue that boasts 1,200 permanent stables and 12 arenas, including floodlit international arena with seating capacity of up to 12,000 and VIP seating for 1,500.

“We are very pleased to announce Tryon as the host of the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018,” said FEI’s President Ingmar de Vos, in a statement. “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.”

Officials will disclose more details about the competition during a press event at 10 a.m. Friday at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said he believes the world championships will have a far-reaching positive impact on the Carolinas generated by hotel stays, shopping and dining by the event’s competitors and spectators.

He said Tryon could face challenges that typically come with large crowds, especially heavy traffic on roadways. Peoples hopes to receive support from county and state officials.

“This is going to be a positive,” he said. “This event will draw in thousands of people… There will be some negatives, but we’ll manage and work through it.”

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