Organizers offer tips for making the most of your visit
While regular-season shows and events at Tryon International Equestrian Center are free and open to the public, the games will require a ticket. Tickets sales for the competitions began in October 2017, and, according to Mark Bellissimo, 100,000 were sold within the first 10 days.
Passes are sold by day, by week, per individual event, or for the entire games. An All Session Day Pass, for example, costs up to $175 depending on the date and provides access to all competitions on a specific day, as well as admission to venues, exhibitions, dining, and the World Equine Expo. An All Session event specific ticket, such as a Dressage Pass, grants entrance to every dressage competition at the games across multiple days.
While an All Games Pass costs $1,380 and a VIP package is priced up to $40,000 for a group of six, you don’t necessarily have to splurge to experience the games. The most affordable route is to purchase a general grounds day pass that includes access to TIEC rather than a specific event or competition. “It’s a great way to get behind the scenes and see world-class riders practicing and preparing,” says Tryon spokesperson Kim Beaudoin.
But don’t hesitate to make plans. Beaudoin says they are expecting roughly 50,000 guests to flock to the games per day and anticipating that some events and passes will sell out.
To plan ahead and purchase tickets, visit tryon2018.com
❶ There will be limited on-site parking. Spectators are encouraged to utilize shuttle stops from numerous sites in North and South Carolina. Satellite parking locations and shuttle stops are posted at Tryon2018.com
➋ Grounds passes will be available online and in-person. Tryon spokesperson Kim Beaudoin strongly recommends purchasing a pass in advance. The grounds pass includes access to the grounds, the World Equine Expo, dining, shopping and entertainment, although it does not include access to events.
➌ Prepare for any weather. Pack sunscreen, a raincoat, a warm layer and comfy shoes.
❹ Eat up. TIEC has a variety of on-site food and dining options, including The General Store, Legends Grille and Mane St. Coffee.
❺ Get in the know. If you love horses, you’ll be in good company at the games, but you don’t have to be an expert to attend. Take the opportunity to read up on equine sports and the history of horses before you go, or prepare to learn on the spot.
❻ See the expo. The games will coincide with the first ever World Equine Expo and the inaugural equine “x” games. The expo will be an annual event that celebrates horses and horsemanship and will include a trade fair, demonstrations, clinics and an art and film festival. The first WEQx games showcase equine sports for all ages and abilities.
❼ Can’t make the games? The Olympic Channel, NBC and NBCSN will offer more than 50 hours of combined airtime.
❽ Love horses? Consider launching a career in the industry. Isothermal Community College in Spindale offers courses in equine sciences to prepare students for certifications and jobs, as well as a two-year associate degree in agribusiness technology with an equine business pathway.
Photographs courtesy of FEI/Jump in action and FEIKit Houghton