Mark Bellissimo has promised to pull out all the stops at the 2018 World Equestrian Games at Tryon International Equestrian Center, with the inaugural World Equine Expo, WEQx Games and World Horse Day all set to run concurrently during WEG between Sept. 11-23.
“All of our countries were discovered on the back of a horse. The horse and other equines have been partners in humanity for over 4,000 years and remain a significant economic enabler in most developing countries with millions of equines supporting hundreds of millions of lives,” Mark said.
“These amazing animals continue to provide sustenance, transportation, security, entertainment, friendship, therapy, and sport throughout the world. The love of the horse is universal and profound. The opportunity is to better package the spirit of the horse and make it known and accessible to a broader audience.”
The collective event theme of “Celebrate the Horse, Celebrate the Sport,” intends to honor and highlight the unique connection between horses and humans across the world.
The World Equine Expo will be an annual event intended to create a platform to honor, celebrate, and promote horses and horsemanship through a trade fair; demonstrations; educational seminars; clinics; panel discussions; an equine art and film festival; and “conversations on topics critical to raising awareness, and strengthening, innovating and expanding global equestrianism.”
The expo will also include the WEQx Games, a spectator-driven series of exhibition competitions meant to highlight the “accessibility, diversity, athleticism and passion for horse sport for athletes of all ages with the ultimate goal of finding formats that promote personal, spectator, and commercial interests in equestrian sport.”
Tryon is working in collaboration with the FEI and USEF to “refine the formats” of the WEQx Games and will release more details shortly. In addition, World Horse Day will also take place on Thursday, Sept. 13, alongside a charity gala.