Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Tryon International Equestrian Center and the Organizing Committee of the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, announced Sept. 2 that Helgstrand Dressage is the official discipline sponsor of dressage at the WEG and will have a significant expanded presence at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (Florida), the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (Florida) and Tryon International Equestrian Center (North Carolina).
The WEG has the potential to be the largest sporting event in North Carolina history with over $400 million dollars of projected economic impact over the 13-day event in September and is slated to be one of the largest sporting events in the United States in 2018. TIEC and PBIEC are two of the largest operating equestrian facilities in the world and host international and national dressage competition in both locations.
“We are incredibly honored to present Helgstrand Dressage as title discipline sponsor for dressage at the FEI World Equestrian Games and announce a landmark partnership with their brand and business at our other venues, which will be a huge commercial advance for the sport of dressage,” said Bellissimo. “Their involvement in the sport has been impactful, playing a significant role in solidifying the future and continued expansion of the discipline, and we are thrilled to have their support at this iconic global event. We look forward to evolving our partnership with Helgstrand Dressage as they continue to grow on this side of the Atlantic and around the world.”
“I had talked with Mark Bellissimo, and we need to back up what he does; it’s fantastic, whether at WEF, AGDF, and now at Tryon,” said Andreas Helgstrand, founder and CEO of Helgstrand Dressage. “The whole industry is so big; these are true markets where you can develop a lot we think; therefore we would like to be a part of that.”
Athletes from 33 different countries have been named to the FEI nominated dressage entries list, set to compete at WEG, and 10 horses currently selected have strong ties to Helgstrand Dressage, securing their status as a global leader in the production and sale of quality dressage horses. Helgstrand will also be attending the WEG to train two of those horses.
“Of course we want to expand our business in the U.S.,” said Helgstrand. “We believe in the market there; it has a great future. We want to give something back; we’ve been in this for 10 years now, selling a lot of horses going [to WEG]. A lot of those horses have been at my barn.”
The discipline will take place in U.S. Trust Arena over the course of four days, from Sept. 12-16. The schedule includes Grand Prix team and individual competition on Wednesday, Sept. 12 and Thursday, Sept. 13. The Grand Prix Special will be held on Friday, Sept. 14, and will conclude with the spectacular Grand Prix freestyle on Sunday, Sept. 16, which will air live on the Olympic Channel, part of NBC Sports Group.
“We are proud that Helgstrand Dressage has been named title sponsor of the dressage discipline at the FEI World Equestrian Games, and we are excited to have made a significant contribution to the list of participating horses at this grand event as well,” said Helgstrand. “The equestrian scene as such and the dressage discipline in particular are constantly evolving, and it is our ambition to support the development by continuously supplying world-class horses for the athletes.”
Helgstrand Dressage employs 70 employees with operations in Germany, Denmark, and now the United States. Helgstrand Dressage has become a name synonymous with success in the breeding and competition industry, producing more than 350 top horses over the last decade. Now, the company has its eye set on giving back to the dressage community, expanding into North America with aspirations of becoming the “supplier of the future” for world-class dressage athletes.
The partnership with Helgstrand Dressage will expand beyond the WEG, with presence at the major equestrian venues operated by Tryon Equestrian Partners and the Wellington Equestrian Partners. Helgstrand Dressage launched their North American-based business venture this past season in Wellington, Florida, which saw incredible success and a massive introduction of top dressage sport horses to the North American market.
“It’s important that we all work together for the industry,” Helgstrand said. “A lot of people have their own barn and do a fantastic job to develop riders and horses but don’t work so well together [as part of giving back to the whole industry], so I would like to see if we could open it up and be together around this.”