Mark Bellissimo and Tryon Equestrian Partners Announce Pursuit of 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games at Tryon International Equestrian Center
Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP), confirmed today that the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, N.C. is working with United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to ensure that the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) remain in North America, and USEF has communicated its support of the initiative to the FEI for the 2018 WEG.
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Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina is pursuing a bid to host the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), which could have an economic impact of more than $200 million to both North and South Carolina. (Photo: Erik Olsen Pictures)
The WEG, which is administered by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the worldwide governing body of equestrian sport, occurs every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle and is the major international championship event for Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining. The Bromont venue, located in Canada, which had been awarded the 2018 games, announced last week that they were withdrawing from their hosting arrangement with the FEI.
The USEF has communicated via letter to the FEI their strong support of the bid to host the 2018 Games in North Carolina. William Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of USEF, commented, “While it is unfortunate the games will not be able to take place at Bromont, the USEF believes it is critical that the WEG remain in North America as intended so that the globalization of the sport can continue.” USEF President Chrystine Tauber added, “Mark Bellissimo and Tryon Equestrian Partners have a brand new venue, deep experience and sufficient resources to make this happen. They have the USEF’s full endorsement.”
Bellissimo commented, “We are uniquely and immediately positioned to hold all eight disciplines within a central venue. Further, our integrated approach to existing on-site lodging, restaurants, permanent VIP hospitality venues, and abundance of on-site and local area family activities would be attractive for vendors, sponsors, competitors, horse owners, and spectators. In addition, there are 60,000 hotel beds within 60 miles of the venue. We are confident that these elements would create a very successful games and re-energize the WEG product.”
Both N.C. and S.C. state and local governments have expressed support of the bid. The last WEG in North America was held in Lexington, Ky. in 2010. The games had an economic impact of $201.5 million over the event’s 14 days.
TEP has invested more than $125 million dollars over the last two years developing the 1,500-acre TIEC. On the commercial side, Bellissimo believes its portfolio of 130 sponsors is one of the strongest in the industry.
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