Mill Spring, N.C.—April 6
In just five months, the equestrian world will turn its attention to the FEI World Equestrian Games at the Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Hosting eight disciplines is quite a feat, but construction has been moving along night and day in preparation. The hum of construction equipment can be heard this weekend at The Fork CIC*** and Horse Trials, which is also serving as the WEG test event. Tryon is concurrently hosting the test event for vaulting in their covered arena.
The Fork is running in the traditional format with show jumping last and two formal horse inspections.
Driving into the venue off the highway, road crews are busy at work making a new underpass for a satellite parking lot, and the roadways and entrances around the equestrian center are being updated to help the flow of traffic and people.
A three-star hotel and an athletes’ village made up of six modular buildings will be constructed near the covered arena where vaulting and reining will take place, and those disciplines will have their own stabling and attached covered warm-up.
The main parking lot at Tryon will transform into a vendor village, and the framework of a huge three-story building has gone up overlooking the 5,000-seat George Morris Arena. It will house media, a dedicated media kitchen, and hospitality, including the Summit Club, a VIP area on the top floor with views of both the George Morris Arena and a new 20,000-seat semi-temporary stadium to be built on what is now the 12-acre grass derby field. Construction on that stadium begins in July.
Eventers this weekend get a chance to do their dressage and show jumping in the George Morris arena, which will host them in September.
Construction workers were busy today on the edge of the derby field, which host combined driving. A pathway up the hillside at the end of the derby field will lead eventers at the WEG into the main stadium to finish their cross-country in front of a huge crowd.
Cross-country course designer Capt. Mark Phillips hasn’t given riders many new hints this weekend as to what the final track will look like on the adjacent White Oak property. The course follows a similar flow to The Fork CIC*** last year, as well as the USEA American Eventing Championships advanced course that was held there in September.
Some driving marathon obstacles have popped up at White Oak in preparation for their test event in a few weeks, but the rest of the 18-hole golf course hasn’t been opened up for use yet.
There will no doubt be changes to Tryon every week up until the WEG, but for now, here’s a look at what’s changed so far.