The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has announced the selection of the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and the Colorado Horse Park as the host sites of the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) for a three-year term, beginning in 2016.
Following a successful three-year term at the Texas Rose Horse Park in Tyler, Texas, which ends this September, the AEC will take place at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, North Carolina, in late summer of 2016. This world-class facility will have every amenity a competitor could want for the national championships of Eventing.
TIEC boasts 10 rings with all weather footing, a covered arena, over 850 permanent stalls, restaurants, on-site lodging, elevated viewing decks, climate-controlled pavilions for horses and riders, an on-site sports complex with a swimming pool for friends and family, and ample RV hookups for visitors who prefer to camp on-site. Settled on 1,400 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, there is ample space for top-class, Championship-caliber cross country courses at each level, from Beginner Novice to Advanced. The impressive facilities and polished accommodations at Tryon will create a true Championship atmosphere and experience for AEC competitors.
“We are thrilled and honored to be chosen as the site of the AEC,” said managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners, Mark Bellissimo. “When we built TIEC, we envisioned bringing championships and major events for multiple disciplines to Tryon, and we are excited to host the sport of Eventing. The Colorado Horse Park has a history of running fantastic Eventing competitions, and hosting the AEC there will be a great way for more eventers to experience top sport in Colorado.”
USEA Board Member Doug Payne and his wife, Jessica, have become very familiar with the Tryon International Equestrian Center. “We have visited this facility regularly since its opening week, and it is quickly becoming a premier facility in North America. They are going to raise the bar for Eventing, and hosting the AEC at this facility will positively impact all competitions across the country,” stated Doug.
Jessica added, “This facility is an Eventer’s dream, and everything you could hope to see at a top-tier competition, you will see at Tryon.”
Historically, the AEC has partnered with a new host site every three years. In order to facilitate participation and accessibility on both sides of the country, the AEC will also move to the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado, for one of the three years. While it is yet to be determined whether this will take place in 2017 or 2018, competitors can plan to enjoy two years (including 2016) at Tryon, and one year in Colorado, for the next three-year term of the AEC.
“Since the creation of the AEC, the USEA has strived to develop a true ‘American Championship’ for Eventing and a worthy celebration of our sport. This partnership will enable us to continue to achieve our goals, and ensure that the AEC is accessible to Eventers of every level across the country,” said USEA President, Diane Pitts. “By selecting Tryon, we can build upon the success we have enjoyed at the Texas Rose Horse Park. The folks at Texas Rose have become true partners and friends of our sport and our partnership with them over the past few years has been such a positive experience. We are grateful to the Brunson family for all they have done.”
The goal of the AEC is to offer a “festival of Eventing” experience in which all types of participants in the sport (grooms, riders, volunteers, spectators, etc.) can celebrate a love of the sport, as well as a chance for riders at each level to compete with the best of the best. The USEA would like to thank Tryon Equestrian Partners, LLC for its partnership and support in showcasing the sport of Eventing and offering competitors a chance to attain Championship status at each level of the sport.
USEA Chief Operations Officer Rob Burk also noted that, “AEC competitors from Beginner Novice through Advanced will now be able compete at a world-class facility that may be capable of someday hosting a World Equestrian Games.”
In order to keep the AEC accessible to as many qualified riders as possible, the USEA is equally excited to announce that these developments will not impact the costs for competitors. Additionally, the AEC will continue to boast over $100,000 in prize money.
“One of the most exciting things about our agreement is that we have explicitly agreed not to increase competition costs for the competitor,” Burk explained. “Since the beginning of this process, Tryon Equestrian Partners, LLC has made it clear that they do not want the success of Eventing to rest on the pocket books of our competitors. Their focus is on introducing new streams of revenue into equestrian sport and to make Eventing more accessible to the public.”