10.30.18

State of the Games 2018 – Short Version – No 2022 Games

Posted in 2018 Games, 2022 Games, 2026, Tryon at 9:28 pm by Thomas

It’s been 8 years since Kentucky hosted the Games and the question I keep getting is will we get the Games again.  I am of course optimistic that we will though the clock is running because the longer we wait, we loose the benefits of previously hosting them.  When I say them most people figure I am talking the capital investments in that people feel for these kind of events you have to have brand new facilities. I disagree a bit with that assessment but the bigger loss is in personal capital, the people involved in planning the event and all those involved in the actual event, including an army of volunteers that was trained.  Certainly the loss of Dr. Lyons early this year was a blow in many ways but there are certainly other Kentuckians who can pick up that torch and carry it so I certainly don’t see his loss as something that should prevent us from ever hosting the Games again, and I am sure he would be disappointed in a number of us if that was ever to be the case.  I said this was going to be the short version, so let me get to where I see the Games since the Games at Tryon have completed.

I will say right off the bat that the Games at Tryon did not go as I had hoped.  It has always been important to me that the Games be successful no matter where they were held.  This has never been a competition between Lexington and any other host city, this has always been a hope that the next Games would build on the prior.  That Lexington learned from Aachen and then Normandy learned from Lexington and Tryon learned from Normandy and so on and so on.  In my mind that is a key component to how I judge the success of any particular set of Games.  In general I believe Aachen, Lexington and Normandy were a success in that the overall sentiment was positive and you had that sense of building something.  Now before everyone assumes I am going to say Tryon was not a success and that I am going to pile on to the negative press that did arise from these Games, I am not.  It serves no purpose in what I want to accomplish which is the continuation of the Games and the desire to bring the Games back to Kentucky.  With that said, let me layout where we are and where we need to go from here.

The first thing everyone needs to remember is that Tryon was not the original host and certainly to get into that would not make this the short version of what I wanted to provide.  The reason I bring that up is because if Tryon hadn’t stepped in there may of not been a Games at all but in doing so Tryon was taking on hosting a highly complex event in what was really too short of a time frame.  The leadership at Tryon had to be optimistic about what they were promising because to be realistic would of cost them the support to have probably pulled off what they did, which at some level was a bit of a miracle.  Now with that said, I will say there were some areas where I think the leadership may have believed their own optimistic PR and didn’t really plan with reality in mind.  In those cases I will say they over promised and under delivered and I will not excuse them of that.   I am actually going to stop there because my real interest is in where this leaves us going forward.

First I think the FEI needs to have a real hard look at itself and determine if they as an organization have the passion to provide the leadership that is needed for the WEG to continue.  Now I am sure a few of you that know me are saying, WTF, that I would suggest that the WEG is not viable because of the FEI, actually, I can’t and I am not saying that, only the FEI can make that determination and it has to on the basis of what is best for the individual sports and those involved.  The situation with Endurance is a clear example and there is no way to spin that, that doesn’t leave the sport of Endurance in a tough spot because of some real harm that was done to the sport and I think that will take some time and effort to repair.

As of now no host for the 2022 Games has been selected and this presents a significant challenge for a pair of reasons.  The obvious of course is the same problem Tryon found themselves in, lack of time.  When Kentucky won the Games early in December of 2005 that gave us a little less then 5 years to get everything done, but what a lot of people never realize is how much planning had already been done at the one of a kind facility that the Kentucky Horse Park already was.  The second reason is that who ever would host the 2022 Games has lost the chance to really get a behind the scenes look at the running of the actual event while its going on and you are actually able to take your initial plan and do some simulations against a real event in real time.

So where does that leave us, my recommendation would be that we take a break and not have the Games in 2022 with the intent to make the 2026 Games a true showcase of what Equestrian Sport is, a sport like no other, because no other sport involves the relationship of two life forces like that of a human and a horse.

I appreciate all of you who took the time to read my short version.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

09.11.18

2018 World Equestrian Games Open at Tryon

Posted in 2018 Games, Tryon at 7:55 pm by Thomas

The 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon #Tryon2018 , North Carolina are officially open.  Of course on this the 17th anniversary of 9/11 plus the impending disaster that is Hurricane Florence the Games are not making the cut for the news networks beyond the local talk of the potential impacts of Hurricane Florence on the Games, which based on the latest forecast has the potential to be significant and I could see it causing postponements of some events this weekend.  At the moment though everything is still on schedule with Endurance kicking things off at 6:30 AM followed by Dressage at 8:45 AM and Reining at 9 AM tomorrow.

The one negative I have heard and seen posted has to do with the Grooms Housing, but as of tonight it is being reported that additional RV’s and other accommodations have been made for any of the Grooms who want out of what has been referred to as the “Shambles” or on par with military barracks out in the field.  If you want additional background on this story check out what the British Grooms Association had to say on the matter, Grooms Accommodation at WEG.

We will of course be keeping up with all the news coming out of Tryon and will be praying everyone, human and horse alike stays safe, has an incredible time and that the Games themselves are a great success.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

09.01.18

We Want You As A WEG Volunteer!

Posted in 2018 Games, Tryon, Volunteer at 7:23 pm by EPR

We Want You As A WEG Volunteer!

Free Community Day Presented By Mars, Incorporated Set For September 17 During World Equine Expo™ And FEI World Equestrian Games™

Posted in 2018 Games, Tryon at 7:14 pm by EPR

Free Community Day Presented By Mars, Incorporated Set For September 17 During World Equine Expo™ And FEI World Equestrian Games™
The Organizing Committee is proud to announce that Monday, September 17, 2018 will be Community Day presented by Mars, Incorporated. Open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., both parking and admission to the World Equine Expo™ will be free as a thank you to the regional North Carolina and South Carolina communities that have supported Tryon International Equestrian Center’s efforts to host the WEG this September 11-23. Click here to register to attend now!

06.30.18

Plan Your Trip to FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 with the Official WEG Destination Guide!

Posted in 2018 Games, Tryon at 12:16 pm by EPR

Download our official FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) Destination Guide to plan your stay in North Carolina this September! Everything you need to know about visiting the Carolinas is there: what to do, where to explore, how to find the best food, and so much more!
 
 

 

05.20.18

World Equine Expo™ Announces Nonprofit Vendor Program

Posted in 2018 Games, Tryon at 10:26 am by EPR

Tryon, NC USA – May 10, 2018 – The World Equine Expo™ featured at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) alongside the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG)September 11-23 has announced a Nonprofit Vendor Program with applications now available. “Nonprofit Row” will be clearly marked for high visibility and consist of 9’x10′ booths shared by two non-profit organizations at a 20% discount.
Each booth includes:
  • (2) 4’x2′ tables (one for each nonprofit organization)
  • (2) chairs (one for each nonprofit organization)
  • (2) waste baskets (one for each nonprofit organization)
Booths will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. An initial inventory of ten booths has been set aside for a total of twenty available spots, but more inventory may be added to suit demand, and organizations can select a full-sized booth as well.
Nonprofits will be responsible for providing their own table coverings that reach the floor, brochures and marketing materials, banners, and signage.
Nonprofits are required to apply as a vendor using the online Vendor Application, agree to terms and conditions, and provide a valid credit card. Booths are not assigned until payments have been received in full. All applicants must provide a copy of their IRS determination letter designating 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
 
Application Process and Pricing
  1. Visit https://vendors.tryon2018.com and click “Vendor Application”
  2. Login if you have an account, or click “Register” to create a new account. Follow the online instructions. 
  3. Once your account has been created, you will receive an invitation to apply as a vendor. Click the link, login, and begin completing the Online Vendor Application.

The three-page application process is easy and straightforward, and includes:

  1. Organization information
  2. Booth selection
  3. Payment and submission
Pricing:
9’x10′ Full Booth – Non-Profit Organization: $6,084
9’x10′ Shared Booth – Non-Profit Organization: $3,042
Additional benefits for Nonprofit Row vendors includes a listing in the World Equine Expo™ Online Marketplace as well as a directory in the World Equine Expo™ program.
Advertising is also available in the World Equine Expo™ Program and the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Commemorative Program. For more information, visit https://tryon2018.com/page/advertise or email advertise@coth.com.
Like the @Tryon2018 Facebook page to stay informed on the most recent news.
To start planning a trip to the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, visit www.Tryon2018.com.
Media Inquiries
For media inquiries about the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, please contact one of the following press officers:
National Press Officer – Carly Weilminster at cweilminster@tryonweg.com or +1 (828) 863-1144
International Press Officer – Niki McEwen at niki@revolutionsports.co.uk or 0044(0) 203 176 0355
For more information from the FEI, please contact Shannon Gibbons at shannon.gibbons@fei.org or 0041-78-750-6146.
About Tryon International Equestrian Center
Tryon International Equestrian Center at Tryon Resort, host of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, is one of the world’s premier equestrian lifestyle destinations. From carousel to competition, the mission of Tryon Resort is to celebrate the magic of the horse, grow equestrian sport, and increase access to this majestic animal. With first-class facilities for hunter/jumper, dressage, and eventing competitions, the facility will soon accommodate all eight equestrian disciplines. Tryon Resort is a spring, summer and fall haven for equestrian competitors and enthusiasts, and a year-round destination for connoisseurs of diverse cuisine and shopping, lodging getaways, and family entertainment. Learn more at www.Tryon.com.
About the FEI World Equestrian Games
The FEI World Equestrian Games™, held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle, is the property of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body for horse sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It is one of the biggest events on the global sporting calendar, combining World Championships in the Olympic disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing, the Paralympic discipline of Para-Equestrian Dressage, as well as Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.
 
The inaugural FEI World Equestrian Games™ were hosted in Stockholm (SWE) in 1990. Since then the Games have been staged in The Hague (NED) in 1994, Rome (ITA) in 1998, Jerez (ESP) in 2002, and Aachen (GER) in 2006. The first Games to be organised outside Europe were the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky (USA) 2010. The Games came back to Europe for the 2014 edition, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy (FRA), which attracted more than 500,000 on-site spectators and a worldwide television audience of 350 million, as well as delivering an economic impact of €368 million to the French economy.
 
The FEI World Equestrian Games™ History Hub can be viewed here:
 
For more information, visit www.Tryon2018.com and http://www.fei.org/tryon-2018.

02.28.18

Mark Bellissimo Launches Inaugural Global Equestrian Trifecta of World Equine Expo™, WEQx Games™ and World Horse Day™ to Run Concurrently Within FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018

Posted in 2018 Games, Tryon at 9:00 pm by EPR

Mill Spring, NC – February 22, 2018 – Mark Bellissimo, Managing Partner and CEO of the International Equestrian Group and Tryon Equestrian Partners, announced today the inaugural annual World Equine Expo™ that will include the WEQx Games™ and World Horse Day™ and will run concurrent with the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) between September 11-23rd, 2018.The collective event theme is “Celebrate the Horse, Celebrate the Sport,” which honors and highlights the unique connection between horses and humans across the world. The Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) team, location of the 2018 WEG, will release its #Together video highlighting this powerful connection between the World Equine Expo and the FEI World Equestrian Games™.

Read the full article here.

01.01.18

Happy New Year 2018!

Posted in 2018 Games, Tryon at 12:01 am by Thomas

Happy New Year everyone, 2018 is here and it looks to be an exciting and great year with Tryon hosting the 2018 Games, ticket sales opened 2 weeks ago and with the 2022 Games back up for bidding hoping to see Kentucky back in the hunt for those.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

09.17.17

One Year Until FEI World Equestrian Games™ Comes to North Carolina, USA

Posted in 2018 Games, Tryon at 6:25 pm by EPR

Tryon, NC, USA – September 12, 2017 – The one year to go countdown to the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018  (WEG) was launched today. With more than 500,000 people expected to attend the 2018 Games, the 12-day spectacle of equestrian champions is one of the biggest events on the global sporting calendar and will be the largest equestrian event in North Carolina’s history. Mark Bellissimo, CEO of host venue Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Tryon, NC, announced today that tickets will go on sale to the public on Monday, October 16, 2017. Competition action at WEG 2018 runs from September 12 through September 23, 2018, with the Opening Ceremony scheduled for September 11.

A variety of ticketing types and prices will be offered such as an All Games Pass for each week of competition or both weeks, an All Session Day Pass, All Session Discipline Pass, as well as individual event tickets, and opening and closing ceremonies. Ticket prices vary, but include an inexpensive Day Pass that gives attendees access to event grounds and expo only. A complete list of ticketing options will be available online at www.tryon2018.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

In addition to announcing ticket sales, TIEC has today released a “Destination Tryon” video to showcase the region where the 2018 Games will be held. Prior to winning the bid to host WEG 2018, Polk County, North Carolina dwelt as a hidden gem, tucked away in the bucolic Blue Ridge Foothills, bordering South Carolina. Surrounded by bold mountains and scenic foothills, the area is conveniently located within an hour of top cities including Asheville and Charlotte in North Carolina and Greenville in South Carolina. The rural community now joins the league of iconic destinations around the world – like Normandy, Stockholm, Rome and Aachen – to host equestrian sport’s most distinguished championships.

 Click here to watch the Destination Tryon video as part of the one year countdown to the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018!

 

For WEG 2018, Bellissimo is focusing on the love of horses to bring added attention to equestrian sport and touch a broader audience of horse enthusiasts globally, highlighting the important role horses have played throughout history.

“All of our nations were discovered on the back of a horse and these amazing animals continue to provide livelihood, transportation, security, entertainment, friendship, therapy, and sport around the world. The love of the horse is universal and profound. The Games is an incredible stage to show the world how important and valuable this creature is and celebrate our relationship with them,” said Bellissimo.

Fédération Equestre Internationale President Ingmar De Vos shared his excitement about the forthcoming Games at TIEC.

“Marking one year to go to the FEI World Equestrian Games is always a very exciting time and we’re really looking forward to the spectacular event that Tryon will bring,” Ingmar De Vos said. “The Games are the greatest gathering of the best athletes and horses from across the globe and hundreds of thousands of people will have the opportunity to enjoy the magic of equestrian sport as world champions are crowned across the eight FEI disciplines. The USA is renowned as a country of horse lovers and is also hugely successful in the sport so we are delighted to have this, the FEI’s flagship event, back in America once again.”

United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) President Murray Kessler is pleased that the WEG is coming back to the United States for 2018 and will be hosted all at one venue at TIEC.

“We are confident that Mark Bellissimo and his team at Tryon will host an exceptional World Equestrian Games next year. Having the Games in the U.S. gives us an opportunity to celebrate the joy of horse sports with millions of Americans in a way that will help grow engagement and participation in all equestrian sports in this country.” said Murray Kessler, President U.S. Equestrian.

The Games are expected to have tremendous economic impact to both Western North Carolina and the South Carolina Upstate. The previous WEG held in Normandy (FRA) in 2014 had an estimated economic impact of $400 million and attracted 575,000 spectators. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper praised the organizers’ success in bringing the Games to the Carolinas.

“The World Equestrian Games are an incredible opportunity for North Carolina, and we are pleased to host this event in our state,” said Governor Cooper. “We applaud the efforts of Mark Bellissimo and the organizers at Tryon International Equestrian Center to bring this global event to North Carolina and stimulate tremendous economic growth for our state as a result.”

Held every four years alternating with the Olympic Games, the FEI World Equestrian GamesTM combines the world championships for jumping, dressage and para-dressage, eventing, driving, reining, vaulting and endurance into one massive 12-day event.

Click here to watch the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 promo video!

ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodations for the 2018 WEG are being managed by Connections Housing, a full-service sourcing, housing and event management company. With 30 years of experience serving events in a range of industries, Connections has two full-service, fully-owned call centers and will oversee all aspects of the housing process from contracting and room block management to reservations and post-event analysis. Accommodations will be open to the public on Monday, September 18. For more information about accommodations, please visit www.tryon2018.com.

MEDIA INQUIRIES

For media inquiries, please visit www.tryon2018.com or contact one of the following press officers:

National Media – Carly Weilminster at cweilminster@tryonweg.com  or at (828) 863-1144.

International Media – Niki McEwen at niki@revolutionsports.co.uk or at 0044(0)203 176 0355.

For more information from the FEI, please contact Leanne Williams leanne.williams@fei.org or at 0041-21-310-4747.

ABOUT THE TRYON INTERNATIONAL EQUESTRIAN CENTER

Tryon International Equestrian Center at Tryon Resort, host of the FEI World Equestrian 

Games 

Tryon 2018, is one of the world’s premier equestrian lifestyle destinations. From carousel to competition, the mission of Tryon Resort is to celebrate the magic of the horse, grow equestrian sport, and increase access to this majestic animal. With first-class facilities for hunter/jumper, dressage, and eventing competitions, the facility will soon accommodate all eight equestrian disciplines. Tryon Resort is a spring, summer and fall haven for equestrian competitors and enthusiasts, and a year-round destination for connoisseurs of diverse cuisine and shopping, lodging getaways, and family entertainment. Learn more at www.tryon.com.

ABOUT THE FEI WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES™

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG), which are administered by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the worldwide governing body of equestrian sport, is the major international championship event for the eight core equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining. For more information, visit  www.tryon2018.com and www.fei.org/tryon-2018

07.30.17

Recycling at WEG 2018 Encouraged

Posted in 2018 Games, Tryon, World Equestrian Games at 10:10 am by Thomas

Some news on plans to promote recycling for the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon.  As with any large public event waste management is always one of the big things that never seems to get the attention it needs, primarily because we don’t want to think about how much waste we generate.  In this case the local Polk County Government is making plans to address the issue.

Following is the resolution approved by commissioners and the recycling advisory board:

Resolution endorsing solid waste management and recycling efforts during the 2018 World Equestrian Games

WHEREAS, the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Equestrian Games 2018 will be held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Polk County, North Carolina (USA) September 2018; and

WHEREAS, the FEI World Equestrian Games, held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle, is one of the biggest events on the global sporting calendar, combining eight World Championships at one event; and

WHEREAS, equestrian enthusiasts from more than 70 countries will compete with 500,000 plus spectators watching; and

WHEREAS, it is a priority of this community to protect human health and the environment through safe and effective management of solid waste; and

WHEREAS, it is a goal of the community to maintain its physical appearance and to reduce the adverse effects of large crowds and the compilation of refuse; and

WHEREAS, Polk County recognizes its role in the encouragement of proper disposal and recycling; and

WHEREAS, involvement of the Tryon International Equestrian Center is critical to the establishment of an effective solid waste and recycling program for an event of this magnitude.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Polk County Board of Commissioners and the Polk County Recycling Advisory Board to hereby support and encourage the development and implementation of practices and policies by Tryon International Equestrian Center to further the aims of waste reduction and recycling during the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games.

 

Full Article from the Tryon Daily Bulletin

06.29.17

Tryon 2018: 438 Days and Looking Good!

Posted in 2018 Games, Tryon at 8:49 pm by Thomas

Wanted to say that I like what Tryon has done for their title logo for the Games, simplistic but catchy, so far that is the vibe I get from the information I am seeing.  That gives me a good feeling about how these Games are going to go because its easy for these kind of events to get complicated in ways they don’t need to be and nothing good comes from that but Tryon looks to have a good plan and is executing that plan effectively.

03.01.17

2018 World Equestrian Games: Volunteers Requested

Posted in 2018 Games, Tryon, Volunteer, Volunteerism at 9:16 pm by Thomas

The request has went out for volunteers for the 2018 World Equestrian Games at Tryon, North Carolina.  The Games are scheduled to start September 10, 2018 and go through the 23rd, though as a volunteer you are not expected to do every day of the Games.  For the 2010 Games I did 12 of the 16 days and I was being a bit of an over achiever.  If you are like most people and you can spare a week though I recommend doing at least 4 or 5 days  as a volunteer and this will leave you some time for travel and a day or two to be a spectator while you are there, this is probably what I will end up doing.  The hope with an event like this is to have no more then 3 distinct sets of volunteers which means you need them to average 4 or 5 days and to have some overlap.  I hope many of you will sign up, my experience at the 2010 World Equestrian Games is something I will always remember and cherish.

Volunteer Sign-Up Form

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

12.01.16

Tryon International Equestrian Center decked out for the Holidays.

Posted in 2018 Games, Tryon at 9:43 pm by Thomas

There looks to be lots going on in the month of December at the Tryon International Equestrian Center and they have the place all decked out for the Holidays.  We continue to hear good things about the plans for the 2018 World Equestrian Games with only 648 days until the start on September 10, 2018.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond

KyWEGO®

11.03.16

Tyron wins bid to host the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

Posted in 2018 Games, Tryon at 7:54 pm by EPR

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 will be held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina (USA) from 10 to 23 September 2018. The FEI Bureau today unanimously agreed that the Games should be awarded to Tryon, meaning that the FEI’s flagship event remains in North America, following the withdrawal of Bromont (CAN) earlier this year.

The original dates for the Games (12-26 August) have been changed following two scientific studies commissioned by the FEI which stated that climatic conditions would be significantly more favourable in North Carolina during September, particularly from a horse welfare perspective. The FEI also looked at date clashes with other fixtures on the FEI Calendar to ensure the optimum timeslot for the 2018 Games.

“We are very pleased to announce Tryon as the host of the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018”, FEI President Ingmar de Vos said. “The Tryon team submitted a really impressive bid and we have every confidence in the organising committee. It’s a truly spectacular venue and almost all the necessary infrastructure for our eight disciplines is already in place. We are looking forward to a fantastic celebration of top level sport as all the disciplines come together to crown their world champions at the Games in two years’ time.”

The Tryon International Equestrian Center, created by Mark Bellissimo in Mill Spring, North Carolina, is situated on a 1,600 acre site at the foothills of the Blue Mountains. The venue has 1,200 permanent stables, 12 arenas including a floodlit international arena with a potential spectator seating capacity of up to 12,000 and VIP seating for up to 1,500, a covered arena with 5,000 seats, and has a world-class cross country course that will be used for both Eventing and Driving. The venue is surrounded by hundreds of miles of equestrian trails for Endurance. The venue contains excellent facilities for athletes and spectators including restaurants, hospitality, accommodation, retail and resort amenities. An on-site state-of-the-art veterinary facility is currently under construction.

“We are thrilled with this news and thank the FEI Bureau for having faith in us and entrusting us with the honour of hosting this prestigious event”, Mark Bellissimo said. “It’s a really great fit for North Carolina’s equestrian heritage and we look forward to working closely with the FEI and with the USEF to produce fabulous FEI World Equestrian Games in 2018.”

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 were previously awarded to Bromont (CAN), but a lack of secure funding led to mutual agreement between the FEI and the Canadian Comité organisateur des Jeux Équestres Mondiaux 2018 (COJEM) to terminate the host contract in July of this year.

Following the withdrawal of Bromont, the FEI Bureau mandated the President to find a solution and, after a thorough assessment of a number of options, the President proposed that the Bureau allocate the Games to Tryon. In light of the timeframe, with the Games in less than two years, existing infrastructure was a crucial factor in the evaluation process.

The Bureau met by teleconference today (3 November) to agree the allocation and were unanimous in their support of the Tryon bid.

“The FEI is 100% committed to the FEI World Equestrian Games concept and we are extremely grateful to all those that showed interest in hosting the 2018 Games”, Ingmar de Vos said. “Their enthusiasm demonstrates the importance of the event across the equestrian community.”

08.31.16

WEG Roller Coaster

Posted in 2018 Games, My Thoughts, Tryon at 10:02 pm by Thomas

First, let me apologize for not having posted earlier in the month as the news was breaking in regards to Lexington and the 2018 Games.  In reality its been a busy couple of months and I knew I would need some time to put my thoughts together in a coherent way.  Obviously I was disappointed(again) when the news came out that Kentucky would be passing on making another bid for the 2018 Games.  In some ways I can’t blame that State, we made a legitimate bid last year when things initially fell through for Bromont and the FEI still went back and gave the Games to Bromont anyway.  Yes, the clean venue clause that Longines has with FEI was the reason given for us not getting the Games and on face value that was a hurdle and everyone just excepted that, but in reality I think if the FEI had wanted to clear that hurdle it could of been cleared, certainly the FEI knew of that hurdle before Lexington made its bid, so why even have Lexington make the bid in that case.  Ultimately I do not know the answers to that and even though I have my theories, to speculate on that in a public forum doesn’t serve any good purpose and my ultimately goal remains the success of the Games overall as well as their return to Kentucky.

Now some of my disappointment is self inflicted in that I believe you have to keep a positive attitude about things if you want them to succeed.  Sometimes I am accused of being overly positive, which is funny because I fancy myself a very logical person who prides himself on being able to look at a scenario from all sides.  So in reality I was disappointed but not surprised because there is a lot of competing things going on in the Commonwealth and for the powers that be, there probably isn’t an upside for them to us hosting the Games, certainly not as much upside as potential downside for them.

All of what I have just written is the past now, I have had an excellent summer even with the disappointment of us not getting WEG for 2018 which when you think about it means my life is pretty great and I am very blessed so I continue to move forward with the purpose to improve the lives of those around me and of this great Commonwealth.

Now what I did find to be a happy surprise was the announcement of the bid by the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, North Carolina to host the 2018 Games.  The Tryon International Equestrian Center is a very new facility that only first opened the summer before the last Games occurred in Normandy and apparently there is some chatter that the developers plans were to bid for the 2022 Games which makes really good sense.  Here is the Google Maps view of the Center , if you compare it to the Kentucky Horse Park it looks about half the overall size but its actually listed at 1,500 acres compared to the Horse Park’s 1224 acres.  Of course a large portion of the Tryon acreage is wooded, almost like somebody was trying to hide the fact that they were building a world class Equestrian Park, I am only half joking as it would seem they didn’t want to get the word until the had the park completed though they have been hosting events there, almost as test runs as they build out the rest of the park.  Now I do not know Mark Bellissimo who heads up the Tryon Equestrian Partners, but I will say at this point my hat is off to them for this endeavor and not only do I wish them much success, I will support them anyway I can.

Now for most people who know me, I probably don’t need to make this next statement, but for those who do not and think I am doing a dis-service to the Kentucky Horse Park by saying I will support Tryon with all the resources I can muster, understand my first responsibility is to the horses themselves because there is no place I am happier then being around horses and events like WEG put horses in front of people who might not otherwise know the majesty of the horse.  As the population of the world has grown and technology has taken us away from nature the percentage of people who know horses has dropped significantly and I do fear for a world that one day has no horses.  On that note I probably need to close this post before I get too philosophical and end with what is probably my favorite quote;

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man!

I will be back sooner then later with more on the Tryon Center, our plans of support and the other potential contenders for the 2018 Games.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

07.28.16

Third Time’s a Charm, WEG 2018

Posted in 2018 Games, World Equestrian Games at 8:24 pm by Thomas

So by now I figure most everyone has heard the news that Bromont has pulled out of hosting the 2018 Games.  Of course by now that is old news and in some ways didn’t come as a surprise because as much as I wanted Bromont to be successful I had yet to see any indication that they had ever gotten the financial needs worked out and it seems the expectation had been that the Canadian Federal Government would bail them out.  That of course didn’t happen and worst then that the Feds let them know in no uncertain terms that that wasn’t going to happen and at the same time investigations had started into some of the promises made by the Mayor of Bromont.

All and All not a good situation and even though it puts Kentucky back in the running to host the Games in 2018, it does real damage to the future of the Games.  Now with all that said there is only one thing to do, fight to get the Games back in Kentucky and make them successful both to benefit Kentucky and to shore up the future of the Games.  Of course there has been a number of people saying negative things about the success of the Games in 2010, personally I think it is a fairly easy argument to make that the Games were successful.  I know some people point to some raw numbers and say we spent more then we made but I think when you look out the amount spent on the Horse Park as a long term investment and consider what kind of Signature Event the Games were for Kentucky I can’t think of anything else that could bring that kind of long term value to the state.  Only this week the USEF signed a 40 year lease and plans on building a new 3 story headquarters at the Horse Park not sure how that is anything but a positive outcome from the Games.

So back to the 2018 Games, I still haven’t heard what deal is going to be worked out between Rolex and Longines but something will have to because even the other 2 venues, Wellington and Aachen that might be up to pulling off the Games in 2 years have the same issue that the Horse Park has in regards to the contract the Longines has with the FEI which is the only thing that knocked us out of getting the Games last year.  My hope of course is that Rolex and Longines understand the benefits of the Games and that it is in neither of their interest for the Games to fail to go on in 2018.  Personally I still have real doubts that Wellington could host the Games and certainly not with less then 2 years to go to be ready.  Aachen is in a better place from the stand point of capability but and I am afraid this is a big but, the security situation in Europe is much more unstable then they let on and I see no reason to expect that to be better in 2 years, in fact I expect it to be worse.  So again this really leaves only 1 option, the Kentucky Horse Park and I think the FEI is acutely aware that if Kentucky bids for it again and gets the snub that even I would say we make no further plans to bid for it again and that we come up with our own event with or without FEI sanction.  Now with that said, I don’t think it will come to that, I really believe third time is the charm and that the FEI has not choice because there is no way to host the Games in a venue that hasn’t previously and recently held the Games because of the time crunch they are under.

So I ask, and a lot of you I am going to ask personally to enthusiastically support Kentucky bidding and hosting the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games.  This means for those who know any elected officially get them on board, even if that is your county sheriff because you will be surprised how important local law enforcement is to this kind of event to provide the man power and support needed for security.  Those of you in business, let people know that you believe this event is good for your business either by the direct publicity it brings your business or by the new business it generates in the state.  Those of you who volunteered for the 2010 Games let people know you would do it again, I volunteered for 12 of the 16 days and know I would do it again because it was a great experience.

I still have the one year to go poster hanging on my wall that says, “GET YOUR GAMES FACE ON.”, its time to do it again Kentucky.  The Games were a success the first time around, and they will be an even bigger success the second time because we have the experience and the passion.  My slogan this time is going to be “Y’ALL COME BACK NOW”, because people did come back to Kentucky after the Games last time so we should certainly invite them to come back after the second time.

Kentucky Colonel
Thomas P. Demond
KyWEGO®

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