Emily Daignault-Salvaggio and Lorraine Jackson contributed to this story.
During the FEI World Cup in Omaha Friday, The World Equestrian Games officials from both the FEI and the Tryon International Equestrian Center were on hand to update the media on the state of planning, release a tentative schedule, and also introduced their new logo to fans. Sandwiched in with that news were also some of the difficulties and what fans should expect in order to make the trek to North Carolina in September, 2018.
New Logo Unveiled
“We put together a new branding concept in advance of a marketing program,” Said head of Tryon International Equestrian Center Mark Bellissimo. “The logo incorporates the essence of horse sport and the FEI’s #TwoHearts campaign – we worked with the FEI to develop something that really captures the horse and rider interaction.”
Sport Facility Construction Update
For the performance venues, Mark says that they are on schedule to have all of the competition rings and cross country tracks completed before the end of 2017.
“We feel very comfortable here that the most important element – having the venue and the facility ready for the sports themselves – we feel very confident that we’ll have all of that covered by October of this year. So there’s no risk from a sport perspective.”
What About the Fans?
Hospitality, traffic and parking, and accommodations are of utmost concerns to the committee, and they admit they’re having to think creatively and make certain concessions.
US Precision Construction LLC, a subsidiary of Tryon Equestrian Partners that specializes in fully fabricated multi-use structures, has been put to work designing and building a sort of “mini-Olympic village” on-site for athletes in the style of modular cabin already found at Tryon.
They’ve hired a traffic directing/parking company which will manage the massive influx of spectators expected for the two week event and shuttle systems are also part of the game plan. Thanks to eager local officials, Tryon also anticipates adding a handful of new freeway exits off of I-74 to handle those headed to the event.
The concessions? Due to the mass numbers needed to put on an event of this magnitude, officials say they’ve already booked 2,000+ rooms in nearby towns for their staff, and spectators should prepare themselves (and plan ahead) for a trek from as far out as Charlotte: a 75 mile drive.
“It’s certainly a more rural setting – the middle of nowhere but the center of everything,” said Mark. He noted Spartanville, Charlotte, and Asheville as the nearest large scale choices with maximum accommodation. (We’re leaning toward Asheville, a 45 mile drive, which Mark noted is the “craft beer capital of the world.”)
Finally, the committee also unveiled a tentative schedule of events, and noted that they wanted to spread things out a bit more to ensure events didn’t unnecessarily overlap.
The schedule is as follows:
September 11 – Opening Ceremonies
September 12 – Endurance, Reining, Dressage
September 13- Dressage, Eventing Dressage, Reining
September 14 – Eventing Dressage, Dressage
September 15 – Eventing (XC), Reining
September 16 “Super Sunday” – Dressage, Eventing Stadium Jumping
September 17 – Rest Day
September 18 – ParaDressage, Vaulting
September 19 – ParaDressage, Vaulting, Show Jumping
September 20 – ParaDressage, Show Jumping, Vaulting
September 21 – ParaDressage, Driving, Show Jumping
September 22 – ParaDressage, Driving, Vaulting
September 23 – Driving, Show Jumping, Closing Ceremonies
You can watch the full press conference below, and more information will become available on the WEG 2018 Website.