Monday, September 10, 2018
Mark Bellissimo Responds to Public Outrage Over WEG Groom Housing
Temporary groom housing at WEG. Photo via Facebook.
By Leslie Threlkeld on Sep 9, 2018
As the athletes and their teams began to arrive and settle in at the Tryon International Equestrian Center for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games last week, there was an immediate concern regarding inadequate accommodations for the grooms who traveled with them.
It was expected that on-site, permanent housing would be available for grooms, but instead grooms were offered bunk beds in temporary tents. With Hurricane Florence expected to bring heavy rain to the Mill Spring, North Carolina area later this week, concerns have also been raised over the safety of the tents.
Following negative feedback on social media, Mark Bellissimo, co-founder and CEO of Tryon International Equestrian Center, released a statement today.
“I made a personal commitment to housing grooms on-site and I underestimated the demand. I was too optimistic. I made a mistake and I apologize. We are doing everything we can to rectify the situation,” Mark said. “Our organization has always been committed to recognizing the importance of grooms. They are a critical component to the success and well-being of these equine athletes and we have the utmost respect for their daily work...”
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