Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Looking past the ‘chaos in Tryon’ - Full Article

By Ted Yoakum
Published 3:42 pm Monday, September 24, 2018

Despite WEG setbacks, TIEC leaders pushing forward with vision

MILL SPRING — While taking responsibility for the setbacks that have made headlines over the past several weeks, Tryon International Equestrian Center’s Mark Bellissimo is hoping that people will remember the 2018 World Equestrian Games for its positives, rather than its negatives.

A few days before the international sporting event’s final day of competition on Sunday at the Mill Spring facility, Bellissimo, the managing partner with Tryon Equestrian Partners, fielded questions from the press during a special media cocktail hour Friday evening. The equestrian business mogul addressed the issues that have surrounded WEG and TIEC over the past several weeks, while also expressing optimism for the future of the facility and its planned residential expansion project.

WEG — organized by TIEC and international equestrian sport governing body Fédération Equestre Internationale — ran from Sept. 11 to Sunday at TIEC. The event drew equestrian athletes and horses from nearly 70 nations — who competed in eight different disciplines for both team and individual awards — as well as thousands of international spectators to the rural community.

The event was rife with setbacks from the beginning, however, including issues with inadequate housing for grooms (attendants responsible for the care of horses), the cancelation of the endurance race and the freestyle dressage competition, and the death of two horses following competitions. Adverse weather stemming from Hurricane Florence also caused a dip in attendance, Bellissimo said...

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