Cross Country Day at Tryon WEG: A Spectator Survival Guide

Team NZ’s Tim Price being counted down at the start of 2014 WEG cross country. Four years later, Tim currently sits 11th after dressage with Cekatinka. Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Eventing cross country is WEG’s #1 attraction, and big crowds are expected for tomorrow’s big day. Here’s what you need to know to get there, get around, and have a grand time!

Getting parked: As we cautioned in our “Real-Talk Spectator Guide,” DON’T tell Siri you want to go Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). Spectator parking is at Lot F (6881 S. NC Hwy 9, Columbus, NC), the new steeplechase course behind the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club office on Route 9, about 20 minutes away. Parking is $20 and they accept cash and cards. Click here for additional parking info.

There’s no telling what traffic will look like tomorrow; consider downloading a live traffic navigation app like Waze. The parking and shuttle situation continues to vacillate between fast and efficient and  “a nightmare,” as one reader told us today. Our advice — you never know, so get there early! Shuttles start 2.5 hours prior to competition and end 2.5 hours after the last competition ends each day.

Getting to cross country: Cross country is held on the White Oak Course adjacent to TIEC. Shuttles will be running continuously from spectator parking to both TIEC and White Oak, with all three points connected. I imagine that there will be signage on each bus indicating where it is headed; if not, ask your driver. Your options:

  • Get dropped off at TIEC and walk over to cross country. If you have some time to kill before cross country starts, a visit to the vendor village is an easy way to fix that. The course finishes in the main U.S. Trust Arena, so you can follow the numbers backwards from there down to the busier section of the course (about a 20 minute walk).
  • Get dropped off at TIEC and take shuttle from TIEC to White Oak. There’s a shuttle pickup at the far end of the Vendor Village, past the food truck court.
  • Get dropped off at White Oak. There looks to be a couple different places to get dropped off or picked up along the course.

We couldn’t find a full venue map online so here’s a photo of a hard copy — zoom in to see shuttle routes and venue layout.

Getting in: You can print a copy of your tickets to show upon arrival or you can add them to your Apple wallet.

Getting around cross country: Course maps and orders of go will be available at the information booths at TIEC (see red “i” icons on map); we don’t know what the situation will be at White Oak. In the meantime, here’s another ghetto photo:

Thanks, Cheryl and Pat Bagnal for the hook-up!

Two fences, 23A and 24B, have been removed from the course. To view all the individual jumps, check out EN’s cross country course preview here.

Schedule: The start time is 11 a.m. EST with the final horse heading out on course at 3:03 p.m. The entries will now run at three minute intervals, shorted from four minutes on account of incoming weather. The order of go is the same as it was for dressage, with Team Canada’s Colleen Loach and Qorry Blue d’Argouges as our trailblazers. Order-of-go sheets will be available tomorrow at info booths.

See cross country start times here.

Team USA
11:09 a.m. – Will Coleman & Tight Lines
12:09 p.m. – Boyd Martin & Tsetserleg
1:00 p.m. – Lauren Kieffer & Vermiculus
1:27 p.m. – Lynn Symansky & Donner
2:30 p.m. – Phillip Dutton & Z

Team Canada
11 a.m. – Colleen Loach & Qorry Blue d’Argouges
12 p.m. – Lisa Marie Fergusson & Honor Me
12:51 p.m. – Hawley Bennett-Awad & Jollybo
1:21 p.m. – Jessica Phoenix & Pavarotti
2:21 p.m. – Selena O’Hanlon & Foxwood High

Schedule update: Show Jumping for Eventing at WEG Postponed Until Monday

What to wear: EN showed up to cross country day at the 2014 WEG in Normandy wearing an Uncle Sam costume (Jenni) and an American flag bikini (me), and they invited us back this year so pretty much anything goes. Go ahead and wave that flag — the more team spirited, the better! It’s fun to see everybody walking around with their nationalities on their sleeves.

Can you spot the EN photographer in this 2014 WEG pic? Photo by Leslie Wylie.

As of 9:30 a.m. the National Weather Service’s forecast for Mill Spring was as follows: “Showers, mainly after 1 p.m. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 78. North northeast wind around 18 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.”

Our amateur meteorological analysis is that it looks like the slow-moving, rotating storm is going to creep up on us and it’s going to start raining between noon and 1 p.m. but we’re going to be mostly on the edge of it during cross country. Pack your rain gear and keep your fingers crossed.

Radar at 9:30 a.m. via

What to bring: Think a wet cross country day at Kentucky — rain boots, rain gear, hand sanitizer, water container, etc. If you have a lightweight folding chair, that seems pretty posh. If you find yourself in dire need of something, don’t panic — the TIEC General Store probably has it.

Have a glance at this list of allowed/not allowed stuff, most of which is common sense. Officially there is a clear bag requirement, but security doesn’t seem to care much about enforcing it — they just check non-clear bags more carefully.

Eating/drinking: There are tents set up out on course which we expect will be dispensing of food and beverage tomorrow. If all else fails, you could catch the shuttle back to TIEC as the stop spits you out at the Vendor Village food truck court.

See you out there! Go Eventing.

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