The FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 Opens Without a Hitch

In spite of the weather forecast, WEG moves forward with fanfare & camaraderie.

The sun was shining and a gentle breeze was blowing as the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 kicked off the Opening Ceremony on Tuesday. Opened to the public in a gesture of appreciation for the surrounding foothills communities, the ceremony launched with a performance by rising country musician, Joe Lasher, presented a colorful parade of international flags and closed with a concert by Grammy-nominated Hunter Hayes.

Mark Bellissimo, co-founder and CEO of Tryon International Equestrian Center, welcomed the brimming crowd and thanked everyone for their support. He offered an interesting perspective on the unlikelihood of attracting an international event of this caliber to this sleepy North Carolina community.

Stockholm: population, 950,000. The Hague: population, 515,000. Rome: population, 2.8 million. Now, Tryon, N.C.: population, 2,000.

Bellissimo is determined to prove that Tryon has just as much to offer as the more posh metropolitan cities previously on the WEG docket. He says that he and his team will continue to build, continue to expand, continue to improve – and transform TIEC into a preeminent equestrian lifestyle destination, a regular host of prestigious, international equestrian competitions.

Check out our photo gallery below:

Spectators gather in the VIP section of the Legends Club.
Supporters of the Japanese team show their spirit with flags and bright smiles.
The representative of the Venezuelan team waves to the crowd.


Canada and Finland show off their team spirit.
American representative and Olympian medalist Laura Graves proudly waves the flag.
Crowds cheer on their home countries.
At the close of the national anthem, parachute performers land in the ring with gusto.

Get The Magazine

Never miss out on our newest stories that captivate and inspire.

Join the ELYSIAN Circle

Stay Connected