USA’s Tryon International Equestrian Center Officially Opened In $100 Million Private Venture

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The George Morris main stadium at the formal opening of the Tryon International Equestrian Center. © 2015 Thierry Billet/Sportfot
The George Morris main stadium at the formal opening of the Tryon International Equestrian Center. © 2015 Thierry Billet/Sportfot

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

MILL SPRING, North Carolina, June 6, 2015–The Tryon International Equestrian Center was formally opened Saturday as one of the most ambitious horse show developments in the world that could end up costing $100 million in private funding by the time it is finished to provide at least 20 weeks of national and international competitons.

The show grounds in the foothills of the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains already boasts more than 800 permanent stalls, Olympic quality footing, a vendor village in permanent wood pavilions, dozens of homes built specially with up to five bedrooms has been spearheaded by Mark Bellissimo, who operates the Winter Dressage Festival and the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington. Florida.

More than 7,000 people, most of them locals but including the governor of the state, showed up for the opening that was more like a county fair than a traditional horse show but the crowds lingered long into the night to party on following the inaugural $210,000 Governor’s Cup under lights. Ireland’s Richie Moloney and Carrabis Z won the event.

Begun just a year ago, the facility is already attracting more than 1,000 jumpers for each week’s show.

Dressage begins this week with a national show in what organizers hope could grow to include several CDIs next summer.

The dressage arenas with the iconic coral colored footing that distinguishes the dozens of arenas at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center has been completed but future CDI Grand Prix will be staged in the main George Morris 5,000-seat stadium. The 160-stall permanent barn next to the dressage grounds–enough to easily accommodate five full size arenas–is 200 yards/meters from the main stadium ingate.

Final regulatory approval has been given for a resort hotel built into the side of a hill overlooking the show grounds and a second budget hotel is being considered.

Dressage-news.com will post an extensive series of photos from the Tryon show grounds along with reports on the status of both Tryon and the Global Dressage Festival complex that is part of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center that is threatened by a lawsuit from a family that wants it torn down.