Mark Bellissimo, managing partner and CEO of the International Equestrian Group and Tryon Equestrian Partners, announced on Feb. 22 the inaugural annual World Equine Expo that will include the WEQx Games and World Horse Day and will run concurrently with the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon, Sept. 11-23, 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 team, location of the 2018 WEG, released its #Together video highlighting this powerful connection.
The 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games is equestrian sport’s most significant event featuring the world championships for eight equestrian disciplines: jumping, dressage, para-dressage, eventing, driving, vaulting, reining and endurance.
The World Equine Expo—whose yearly event will run during the WEG—will be an annual event intended to create a platform to honor, celebrate and promote horses and horsemanship through a significant trade fair, demonstrations, educational seminars, clinics, panel discussions, an equine art and film festival, and conversations on topics critical to raising awareness and strengthening, innovating and expanding global equestrianism.
The Expo will include the WEQx Games, which are spectator-friendly derivatives of equine competitions highlighting the accessibility, diversity, athleticism and passion for horse sport for athletes of all ages with the ultimate goal of finding formats that promote personal, spectator and commercial interests in equestrian sport. More comprehensive details surrounding the competitions to be included in the WEQx Games will be introduced in the forthcoming weeks.
“All of our countries were discovered on the back of a horse,” Bellissimo said. “The horse and other equines (donkeys, mules) have been partners in humanity for over 4,000 years and remain a significant economic enabler in most developing countries with millions of equines supporting hundreds of millions of lives. These amazing animals continue to provide sustenance, transportation, security, entertainment, friendship, therapy and sport throughout the world. The love of the horse is universal and profound. The opportunity is to better package the spirit of the horse and make it known and accessible to a broader audience.”
The social media theme “#Together” highlights the convergence and shared interests of many dualities including the FEI World Equestrian Games and the World Equine Expo, east and west, horse and rider, equestrians and non-equestrians, athletes and spectators, and riders and grooms who all come together for the love and passion for horses. On the social media platform of Facebook alone, there are 250 million people that have horse-related interests.
In addition, on Sept. 13, the World Equine Expo will host and debut the inaugural World Horse Day, which will feature a charity gala.
“World Horse Day™ will be the ultimate celebration of the horse, an animal that has supported humans since the beginning of time,” said Bellissimo. “While often an unsung hero, this incredible animal is overdue for its turn in the spotlight. World Horse Day honors the horse and its unparalleled contribution to our world.”
More details will follow highlighting the details of the World Equine Expo, the WEQx Games and World Horse Day™, along with ongoing WEG announcements. Tryon is working in collaboration with the Fédération Equestre International and the U.S. Equestrian Federation to refine the formats of the WEQx Games competitions.
The World Equine Expo™ event media partner will be The Chronicle of the Horse, one of the U.S.’s oldest and most influential equestrian media companies, which dates back to 1937. The COTH website is the most visited website in the equestrian world (non-racing) with over nine million unique visitors on www.coth.com.
The World Equine Expo will occur over 13 days and have a curriculum within event segments that are presented in the form of one or more of the following: trade booths, displays, demonstrations, panel discussions, keynote speakers, educational seminars, clinics, and competitions. The event segments are:
- Global Trade Fair
- Horse Welfare
- Breed Festival
- Equine Therapeutics (Hippotherapy)
- Equine Art Festival
- Equine Film Festival
- Equine Entertainment
- Equine Health and Nutrition
- Equine Sports Medicine (Exercise Physiology)
- Equine Philanthropy
- Equine Industry Innovations and Technology
- Equine Land Preservation