FEI Evaluating World Games Possible Hosts Tryon, North Carolina & Šamorín, Slovakia

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Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Tryon International Equestrian Center.

Sept. 7, 2018

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Expressions of interest from Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina and Šamorín, Slovakia “are currently being evaluated” to host the World Equestrian Games in 2018, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) confirmed Wednesday.

The evaluation, sources report, includes an inspection of the Tryon show grounds next week by Tim Hadaway, FEI director of games & championships, with less than two years to go before the world championships of the seven international horse sports plus para equestrian.

The FEI Bureau, the decision-making body of the international horse sport governing entity, will likely decide at a meeting Sept. 20 whether to go ahead with the 2018 World Games, split the championships between different nations or skip the championships until the next cycle in 2022.

The FEI has sought to find a replacement city after Bromont that was awarded the 2018 WEG in June 2014 pulled out in July, unable to raise money to stage the championships of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, reining and vaulting that were to be held Sept. 11-28. They have been held once every four years since creation of the multi discipline event in 1990.

As part of a program to heighten interest and cut costs, if the WEG is held in 2018 the championships are expected to be scheduled over 10 days instead of the 18 allocated for Bromont.

“The FEI confirms the received expressions of interest are currently being evaluated and will be in a position to provide more details shortly,” a FEI spokesperson said.

The bid by Tryon, a 1,600-acre (650Ha) show grounds on which about $100 million has been spent over the past two years, was backed by the U.S. Equestrian Federation that made it clear it believed the championships should remain in North America. Except for Lexington, Kentucky in 2010 the previous six championships have been held in Europe.

Tryon last week staged the American Eventing Championships of almost 700 horses on a cross country course newly created by Mark Phillips, hosts its second CDI3* of the year this week and four weeks of CSI summer series have filled the 1,200 permanent horse stalls.

Management of Tryon in the eastern foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains is the same for the 12 weeks of the Winter Equestrian Festival of jumping and Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida, the Colorado Horse Park and the Central Park Horse Show in New York.

Šamorín, Slovakia horse park.
Šamorín, Slovakia horse park.

, also newly built on 225 acres (90Ha) around a race track about 30 minutes from Bratislava and an hour from Vienna and designed by Arno Gego of the Aachen, Germany, School of Art & Design. The organizers planned to bid for the 2022 WEG but the FEI confirmed to dressage-news.com that they expressed interest for 2018.

The world championships of endurance, a passion of owner Mario Hoffmann, will be staged there next week. In addition to endurance competitions, four CSI jumping events and a CDI3* dressage show have been held there this year. The venue includes three grass and two sand arenas, an all-weather race track, 600 permanent horse stalls, plus two hotels and a conference and education center.