FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon: Insider's Guide

FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018

September 11-23, 2018
One of the largest sporting events ever held in North Carolina is coming to the Asheville area! The Tryon International Equestrian Center will host the 14-day FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG). It's the "Olympics" for horses. In fact, WEG is held every four years, halfway between the Summer Olympic Games cycle. This is only the second time held in the United States. See the top riders and horses in the world!

The Games are administered by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the worldwide governing body of equestrian sport. It is the major international championship event for the eight core equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining. The recently opened Tryon International Equestrian Center has ambitious building plans for 2018 to create a premier world-class venue. 

In addition to the Games, the World Equine Expo will include demonstrations, seminars, clinics, panel discussions, equine art and film festival, and more with a focus on global equestrianism. The new WEQx Games brings spectator-friendly versions of equine competitions highlighting the accessibility, diversity, athleticism, and passion for horse sport. We love Gladiator Polo! On September 13, the inaugural World Horse Day features a charity gala. Concerts and other entertainment are being planned.

Equestrian enthusiasts from more than 70 countries will compete with 500,000+ spectators watching. The event has been held in an impressive list of major cities: Stockholm, Sweden (1990), The Hague, Netherlands (1994), Rome, Italy (1998), Jerez de la Frontera, Spain (2002), Aachen, Germany (2006), Lexington, Kentucky (2010), and Normandy, France (2014).

Go to the official Tryon 2018 website to buy tickets now. Find a big variety of options, ranging from individual events to series. Many events will sell-out well in advance. So buy tickets ASAP.

Heads up: Security at the Games will be similar to an airport. See more tips below!

WEG Driving Tryon

WEG Disciplines

  • Vaulting is gymnastics on horseback with team, individual, and freestyle on the back of a cantering horse, traveling in a circle. (photo at very top of page)
  • Driving is a high-octane sport involving a carriage pulled by four horses. (photo above)
  • Eventing, one of the three Olympic equestrian disciplines, the triathlon of the equestrian world: combination of dressage, cross-country, and jumping done over three days.
  • Dressage is often compared to ballet with scoring similar to ice skating. It's the ultimate expression of communication and elegance.
  • Para-Equestrian Dressage is a Paralympic sport with riders in competition grades based on functional abilities.
  • Jumping, also known as show jumping, is another equestrian Olympic sports. It will be held in the 20,000-seat arena due to its popularity, a mix of courage, control and technical ability.
  • Reining is one of the most thrilling equestrian sports and the only western discipline - with fast circles, flying lead changes, 360 degree spins and sliding stops.
  • Endurance is a long-distance race using pace and navigational skills on undulating terrains of the 100-mile cross country course.

WEG Jumping Tryon

World Equestrian Games Schedule (Subject to change)

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11: Opening Ceremony Evening


  • Endurance: 7:00–20:30 Team/Individual Competition
  • Reining: 8:30–13:30, 16:00–21:00 Team Medals/Individual Qualifier
  • Dressage: 8:45–18:00 Team Competition/ Individual Qualifier (Grand Prix)


  • Dressage: 8:45–18:00 Team Medals/ Individual Qualifier (Grand Prix)
  • Eventing: 9:00–16:30 Team/Individual Competition (Dressage)
  • Reining: 14:00–16:15 Individual 2nd Qualifier
  • Endurance: 14:00 Medals


  • Eventing: 9:00–16:30 Team/Individual Competition (Dressage)
  • Dressage: 10:30–17:30 Individual Competition Medals (Grand Prix Special)


  • Eventing: 11:00–17:00 Team/Individual Competition (Cross-Country)
  • Reining: 18:00–20:15 Individual Medals


  • Dressage: 8:30–11:40 Individual Competition Medals (Grand Prix Freestyle)
  • Eventing: 15:15–17:45 Team/Individual Medals (Jumping)

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17: Community Day, 11 AM-4 PM with free admission and parking. Demonstrations, no competitions.


  • Para-Dressage: 8:30–17:30 Individual Medals
  • Vaulting: 9:30–19:00 Individual/Squad Compulsories


  • Para-Dressage: 8:30–17:30 Individual Medals
  • Vaulting: 9:30–20:00 Nations Cup Team Freestyle Medals, Individual and Pas de Deux Freestyle
  • Jumping: 9:00–17:15 Team Competition/Individual Round 1


  • Para-Dressage: 9:00–16:00 Team Competition
  • Jumping: 9:00–17:15 Team Competition/ Individual Qualifier
  • Vaulting: 12:00–20:00 Pas de Deux Freestyle Medals, Squad Freestyle (Non-Nations Cup Teams), Individual Technical


  • Para-Dressage: 9:00–16:00 Team Medals
  • Driving: 11:00–16:45 Team/Individual Competition (Dressage)
  • Jumping: 13:30–16:45 Team Medals


  • Para-Dressage: 9:00–17:45 Individual Freestyle Medals
  • Driving: 11:00–15:15 Team/Individual Competition (Marathon)
  • Vaulting: 12:00–20:00 Individual/Squad Medals


  • Driving: 9:30–11:30 Team/Individual Medals (Cones)
  • Jumping: 10:00–13:30 Individual Medals
  • Closing Ceremony

Ticket Highlights

  • Go to the official Tryon 2018 website to buy tickets now. Find a big variety of options, ranging from individual events to series. Many events will sell-out well in advance. So buy tickets ASAP.
  • Venue admission is included in all tickets and grants access to vendors, exhibitions, entertainment, dining and the World Equine Expo.
  • All Session Full Games Pass for all sessions September 11-23. $1,380
  • The All Games Pass Week 1 grants access to all competition sessions during Tuesday, September 11, through Sunday, September 16. $750
  • The All Games Pass Week 2 grants access to all competition Tuesday, September 18, through Sunday, September 23. $675
  • All Day Passes start at $100 (many are already sold out)
  • Full Discipline passes $82-$375
  • Opening & Closing Ceremony tickets
  • Day passes for $20 will be available for access to the grounds, practice rings and expo. These will not include access to any competition sessions.

WEG Tips, Parking & What to Bring

  • Venue admission is included in all tickets and grants access to vendors, exhibitions, entertainment, dining and the World Equine Expo.
  • Weekend finals competitions will be ticketed separately in order to keep costs down and ensure as many people as possible can attend.
  • NO pets of any kind will be allowed on property during WEG.
  • While you are in the area, explore the surrounding Tryon Foothills Wine Country with several nearby wineries.
  • Parking: Spectator parking lot is five miles away at 6985 S NC Hwy 9, Columbus, NC. Shuttles from the Hwy 9 lot run continuously, starting 2.5 hours prior to competition and ending 2.5 hours after the last competition ends. Includes handicapped parking. Parking Passes available on site, $20/day per car and $50/day for oversized vehicles. The parking fee includes your shuttle rides to and from the venue.
  • Drop Off Options: Be dropped off by Ubers, friends, etc. at a parking lot on the northside of US 74 free of charge. This lot is reserved for those needing wheelchair accessibility as well. Shuttles will be available from this location into the venue.
  • Clear Bag Policy: Non-clear bags that are 6”x 6”x 6” are allowed – (approximately the size of your hand.) Larger bags needs to be clear. Exceptions for those with medical equipment. Strollers and diaper bags will be inspected at a designated security checkpoint and be tagged, but are permissible.
  • Suncreen and lotion must be 3 oz or less. 
  • One sealed bottled water is allowed, one pint-size plastic bag of snacks allowed. Water refill stations available. No other outside food and drink allowed. 
  • Chairs are not allowed on-site, except for the Eventing Cross-Country and Driving Marathon competitions. 
  • No umbrellas.

Tryon International Equestrian Center is a 48-mile easy drive from Asheville via a freeway (I-26 and US 74). It's about 13 miles east of the town of Tryon in the community of Mill Spring. Columbus is just eight miles west and Rutherfordton / Forest City are 12 miles east. Lake Lure is 16 miles north and Hendersonville is 29 miles west. Charlotte International Airport is 70 miles east. Go to remote parking first: 6985 S NC Hwy 9, Columbus, NC

Go to the official Tryon 2018 website for the latest details.

Tryon International Equestrian Center World Games

More about Tryon International Equestrian Center
In 2014, Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP) broke ground on the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). TEP has invested over $125 million dollars over the last two years creating the one of the world’s premier equestrian venues complete with 12 riding arenas, 1,160 permanent stalls, onsite lodging, restaurants and shops, and a year-round competition calendar. Currently, you can attend Saturday Night Lights on most weekends during the Spring, Summer and Fall to watch competitions and enjoy many activities - all with free admission and parking! Read more!

Lodging: All of the accommodations at TIEC will be used by competitors and others assisting with the games. In addition to a variety of places to stay in Polk and Rutherford Counties, TIEC is an easy drive from Asheville, Charlotte and Greenville SC airports and hotels. See our top places to stay in the Asheville area: Bed & Breakfasts | Hotels | Cabin Rentals

Competition photos courtesy of FEI.

Places To Stay & Things to Do

Cabin Rental Polk County
Cabin & Cottage Rentals: Tryon, Saluda & Columbus
Find log cabin, condo or cottage vacation rentals by ponds or with mountain views in the First Peak of the Blue Ridge - many options near the Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Inns in Tryon
B&Bs & Inns: Tryon, Saluda & Columbus
Find a great vareity of historic B&Bs and inns in the towns of Tryon, Saluda and Columbus, the First Peak of the Blue Ridge. Includes award-winning Pine Crest Inn and Orchard Inn with exquisite dining.
Rutherford County NC Lodging
Rutherford County B&Bs, Cabins & Hotels
Find plenty of unique inns, bed and breakfasts, local boutique hotels, cabins and campgrounds near all the things to do in Lake Lure, Chimney Rock, Rutherfordton and Forest City.
Columbus, NC
Located in the foothills in wine and horse country, this tiny town (population 999) has a quaint historic downtown with a park and mountain views, scenic drive, wineries and Tryon Equestrian Center. 
Home to an impressive arts community, with galleries and an arts center downtown. Also boasts a big equestrian community, with many horse-related events, including a Steeplechase each spring. The amazing Tryon International Equestrian Center attracts horse lovers and riders from all over the world. Near Saluda.
Lake Lure Guide
Lake Lure & Rutherford County Guide
Order a free copy of the award-winning travel guide to the Rutherford County foothills that includes Lake Lure, Chimney Rock, Rutherfordton, Forest City and much more!
Tryon Foothills Wine Country, NC
Tryon Foothills Wine Country
Visit five wineries in the prime isothermal wine growing area in the beautiful foothills near Columbus and Tryon: Parker-Binns Vineyard, Overmountain Vineyards, Russian Chapel Hills Winery, Mountain Brook Vineyard and Green Creek Winery. It's an easy 45-mile drive from Asheville via I-26 East (near SC line).
Explore one of the oldest towns in Western North Carolina, with historic antebellum homes and a downtown filled with shops, restaurants and one of the best children's museums in the state. And it's the site of the first minted gold coins in the USA!

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