All 78 Dressage Horses from 31 Nations at Tryon for World Equestrian Games, Grand Prix Starts Wednesday

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TRYON, North Carolina, Sept. 7, 2018–All 78 dressage horses from 31 nations were at the Tryon International Equestrian Center Friday ahead of the start of World Equestrian Games competition next Wednesday.

Fifteen teams each of four riders and horses and 18 individual combinations representing 16 countries were in the stables, having been checked in by The Dutta Corp. and Peden Bloodstock that is handling logistics of getting horses from around the world for the championships of eight international equestrian disciplines held once every four years.

Canada and the United States were the last teams to arrive at the show grounds, with most pairs from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland arriving earlier this week.

Combinations were able to start famiiarizing themselves with the arenas Friday, including the main competition stadium that can seat up to 17,000 spectators.

The mandatory horse inspection is scheduled for Tuesday morning followed by the draw for the order of go for two days of Grand Prix . The Grand Prix with $70,000 in prize money for teams and will decide team medals and qualify the top six teams for the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020. Another $35,000 will be awarded for individual placings. The Grand Prix Special for individual medals and $85,000 in prize money is scheduled for Friday and the Freestyle with $115,500 in prize money on Sunday morning.

The ground jury of seven judges comprises Anne Gribbons of the United States as president, Mariette Sanders-van Gansewinkel of the Netherlands, Andrew Gardner of Great Britain, Katrina Wüst of Germany, Annette Fransen Iacobaeus of Sweden, Hans-Christian Matthiesen of Denmark and Susan Hoevenaars of Australia.

In a gesture of gratitude to the local communities surrounding the Tryon show grounds, the Opening Ceremony concert featuring country artist Hunter Hayes on Tuesday will be free of charge with tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners that owns the show grounds, said the gesture was to dedicate the Opening Ceremony to the people “who truly stepped up to make this event happen.”
“We are delivering these Games in less than 18 months, a third of the usual planning time, and that would not have happened without the dozens of contractor teams and close to 1,000 of their staff, as well as collective efforts of the local government, community, and our staff, so we wanted to honor them all with an event that they could all attend with their families,” he said.
While admission to the opening ceremony starting at 6 p.m. is free, attendees must sign up for a ticket online at under the “Tickets” link. Parking is $20 per car load and attendees will be shuttled to the main venue from the parking lot at 6985 S Highway 9, Columbus, North Carolina. Refunds will be made to people who had already bought grounds passes for Sept. 11.