Tryon International Equestrian Center in USA was selected as venue for 2018 World Equestrian Games.
Tryon International Equestrian Center is one of the world’s premier equestrian lifestyle destinations and competition venues, and is located in Mill Spring, North Carolina.
This new facility opened in June 2014 with sanctioned horse shows and initial supporting amenities, and now boasts 12 riding arenas, more than 1,200 permanent stalls, and a variety of restaurants, shops, and lodging options, plus a sporting clay course and a golf and sports club. Future expansion includes a 180-room resort hotel, condos and apartments, additional mixed-used retail, visitor center, and sports complex.
On 26-28 April, the Endurance Test Event was held here.
All recent WEGs (including Tryon) have the common problem with their Endurance test events.
The organizers of recent WEGs conducted test event for 120 km.
The meaning of the test event is to check whether everything is prepared and ready for the Main Event. The track is the crucial element of the competition, so all loops of the Test Event must be as close to the Main Event as possible.
Instead of this simple rule, we got an entirely different distance – hence, another set of loops.
Even the new update of Endurance Rules to be effective since 2019, has the new article mentioning this issue.
Therefore, such 120-km Test Event cannot be counted to get qualification for 4* Championship because the current Endurance rules Art. 816.3.16 clearly says:
So, athletes are required to find another event with distance of 160 km to complete it in combination with the nominated horse to get qualified for WEG.
This situation shows that WEG organizers are not preparing properly for Endurance competition.
And this is a common problem of all WEGs.
Оrganizers spend the main efforts on the preparation of the three Olympic disciplines (Jumping, Dressage, Eventing) and do not pay due attention to other (Non-Olympic) disciplines.
The same situation was at previous WEGs in 2014 in France and in 2010 in Lexington, KY – the organizers conducted the test events with the distance of 120 km.
Endurance discipline is like an unloved youngest child in a large family of the FEI disciplines.
However, when we are talking about single Championships for Endurance, there are no problems with test events – organizers conducted the test events with distances matching to Championships.
2017 European Championship in Brussels – had Test Event of 160 km in August 2016.
2016 World Championship in Samorin – had 4 previous events of 160 km in 2016
2015 European Championship in Samorin – had 4 previous events of 160 km in 2015.
2013 European Championship in Most – had previous event of 160 km in September 2012.
2012 World Championship in Euston Park – had 4 events of 160 km in 2011 as well as 4 events of 160 km in 2012.
2011 European Championship in Florac – had previous event of 160 km in September 2010.
And, if you still think that Endurance Event during WEG is not World Championship but something another and special thing, please see p. 83 of the Official Schedule:
The code of the event is CH-M-E which means World Endurance Championship, and the title of the event is confirming that this is World Championship.
So, all above-mentioned notes about requirements for the Test Event to match the Championship should be applied to WEG Test Event too.
Because on 12th September riders will meet completely other loops, different from those that were on the test event. If so, what is the point to conduct the Test Event?
The technically challenging tracks were established through the picturesque hills and lakes around the Tryon Equestrian Center.
There were 73 participants, and only 24 riders accomplished the mission to cross the finish line.
Riders from UAE have dominated on the podium.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, won the ride on horse Upedro with average speed of 16.3 km/h.
Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum on Barg finsihed second, while Sheikh Hamed Dalmook Al Maktoum on S’teem De Lacam took the third place.
Two-time World Champion Maria Alvarez Ponton from Spain was on 5th place with average speed of 15.7 km/h.
Current World Champion Jaume Punti Dachs from Spain was retiring after first loop.
Best of luck to all participants of forthcoming World Championship in North Carolina and to the organizing committee of Tryon to hold the best Endurance championship ever.
Images © Tryon International Equestrian Center