Tryon International Equestrian Center
By Judy Heinrich
An exciting new chapter in our area’s nearly 100-year equestrian tradition is underway with the development of the world-class Tryon International Equestrian Center beginning in early 2014. “TIEC” is owned and managed by Tryon Equestrian Partners, who are also members of Wellington Equestrian Partners, owners and operators of the world’s most successful show circuit, the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Construction started in January 2014 and TIEC opened just six months later with five state-of-the-art 100-stall barns, four competition rings with world-class footing, an 80-space RV park with its own lodge, and six furnished three-bedroom cabins for rent. Added over summer 2014 were a Grand Prix ring with permanent seating for 4,500, one of the world’s largest covered arenas, and a hand-painted Venetian carousel.
More than 4,000 people attended the October 2014 dedication of the facility. Five show rings were named for renowned equestrians with Tryon ties, including the George H. Morris International Arena, which honors the Olympic medalist and coaching legend who participated in Tryon’s Olympic Team Trials in the 1950s.
More than 10,000 people were on hand for the June 2015 Grand Opening of TIEC, which included a $210,000 FEI CSI 4* Grand Prix Show Jumping competition televised by NBC Sports Network.
Crowds have also enjoyed the summer’s Saturday Night Lights events, combining equestrian sport with family entertainment, concerts, art, vintage cars, food and drink vendors, and more.
Additions to the showground between 2014 and 2015 included two new larger barns, making a total of 850 permanent stalls; International Rings 6 and 7; 1,500 additional seats for the George H. Morris International Arena; a Jumbotron with permanent stage below; and the Legends Club overlooking the stadium and arena.
Equestrian disciplines are expanding as well, with TIEC offering a number of FEI classes; its first series of dressage shows; and the announcement that TIEC will host the American Eventing Championships beginning in 2016. Grass derby fields, a cross-country course, and a raised viewing platform for the covered arena are under construction.
Other additions on the grounds include nine on-site dining options and 16 retail cabins with a variety of equestrian and other merchandise. Onsite lodging now includes 40 one-bedroom rental cabins; more than 120 RV sites; 13 three-bedroom and two five-bedroom rental cabins.
Still to come are two onsite hotels (one to be managed by Salamander Resorts), as well as a sports/fitness center and retail/dining complex.
Tryon International Equestrian Center Website with Event Calendar