Mark Bellissimo and the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) announced today that athlete inquiries are now open for the first annual 2018 WEQx Games™. In the inaugural year, the competition intends to have nine spectator-friendly equine competitions that highlight the accessibility, diversity, athleticism, and passion for horses and horse sport for athletes of all ages.
The goal over time is to expand the WEQx Games™ to include a broad range of diverse competitions each year. The 2018 WEQx Games™ will be held alongside the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) this September 11-23, which is also being hosted by TIEC. Athletes are invited to compete to become the inaugural 2018 WEQx Games™ and/or U.S. Open champion.
The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has approved the WEQx Games™ concept as a further enhancement for spectators attending the WEG and to generally promote interest in equestrian sport. The U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) is working with the organizer to ensure that all aspects of the WEQx Games™ meet the FEI and USEF requirements and following the response to this expression of interest, the organizer will submit the full details of the WEQX Games™ to the USEF Board of Directors for approval.
Gladiator Polo™ is one of the nine competitions planned for the inaugural WEGx Games™ to be held this September at Tryon International Equestrian Center. ©TIEC
Organizer will assess the final competition schedule and qualifying information based on interest from exhibitors. All Jumping competitions are national classes and as such, entries are restricted by the provisions of FEI General Regulations Article 101 (maximum of four National Federations and/or a maximum of 15 foreign athletes). Entry fees will vary based on prize money of competitions and will not exceed all inclusive $1,250.
Proposed competitions and prize money are as follows:
U-25 U.S. Open Championship™ – The two class competition over two days during the 2018 WEG and will highlight the Show Jumping world’s up and coming riders under 25 years of age. Total prize money over the two days will be $50,000. The U-25 U.S. Open Champion™ will be crowned.
U.S. Open Speed Horse™ – A 1.40m, two-team relay featuring 32 two-person teams will navigate an Alan Wade course to compete for $100,000. Riders can create their own 2-person teams. Qualifying course and the final course will be the same and will be available for practice.
DERBYx™ – A derivative Hunter competition will be open to 24 competitors that will compete for a $100,000 prize. The optimum time competition will have 15 jumps and be objectively scored based on a set criteria.
Battle of the Sexes – A three-event jumping competition featuring a 1.30m match race, speed class and relay with 10 men versus 10 women from the U.S. Ranking List among non-WEG participants or non-WEG reserves. The competition will highlight the only Olympic sport where men compete with women as equals. The teams will compete for $75,000 in prize money.
Match Race – A 1.30m competition where two riders face off in the ring over a mirrored course. Standard FEI rules to apply – two second faults converted, open to 24 competitors. Riders compete for a $50,000 prize.
Puissance – A horse and rider’s ability to clear a single fence that increases in height after each round – to as much as seven feet and is limited to four rounds. Riders compete for a $50,000 prize.
Six Bar – A challenge where the horse and rider jump a series of six vertical fences placed in a straight line with two strides between each fence. The six fences are progressively higher from fence one through six and are all raised after each round. Riders will compete for a $50,000 prize.
Pony Jumpers – A competition where the top children of the sport compete for a $10,000 prize.
Gladiator Polo™ – A professional three-on-three arena polo match with modified rules that keep the play fast. The event is played in a ring with all-weather footing that is approximately 310-feet x 250-feet, which is one-tenth the size of a typical grass polo field. Four international teams will compete for $100,000 in prize money.
The WEQx Games™ concept and competitions have been approved by the FEI and the USEF Board of Directors with the intent to grow interest in horse sport.
To register an interest to participate, riders or trainers must send an email to WEQXGAMES@tryonweg.com
by May 15, 2018.
About the WEQx Games™
The WEQx Games™ is a series of nine spectator-friendly derivatives of equine competitions that highlight the accessibility, diversity, athleticism, and passion for horse sport for athletes of all ages. Competitions featured in the WEQx Games™ includes U-25 U.S. Open Championship™, U.S. Open Speed Horse™, Battle of the Sexes, DERBYx, Match Race, Puissance, Six Bar, Pony Jumpers, and Gladiator Polo™.