WEG: Our first look at the arenas

Accreditation taken care of, now it's time to get familiar with the WEG venue, and catch up with some fellow Kiwis!

Media accreditation sorted!

A foggy start to the morning, and a cooler day here in North Carolina, and time to get to work. Media accreditation for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games passed without a hitch, and once I was issued with my pass, it was down the hill from the carpark to the venue.

Not slippery at all, yet…

“Work in progress” is probably the best expression that comes to mind. It certainly is still very much a construction area, but there are people working furiously in all sorts of places to get things finished. Those who have been at the venue for a few days are amazed at how much progress has been made in such a short time. Dirt roads were miraculously sealed overnight, grandstands and seating have sprouted, and tradestands are getting sorted. I think there is a quiet confidence that it will all work out; certainly there’s a lot of support for the organisers to overcome the challenges of putting on such a huge show with such a short lead-up.

The media centre isn’t yet finished, so we got to use the Legends Restaurant today as a makeshift centre, as work continues in what looks to be a great space. It was lovely to see some familiar faces among the media; from the press team at the Rio Olympics to international photographers and the one-and-only Peter Morris, who has done a great job at Burghley and Badminton running the press conferences and mixed zone for what seems like forever.

Just as I arrived to this new centre, the Kiwi eventing team came out for a quick lap of the main arena on a loose rein, and stopped for hellos and a photo.

Jonelle, Sir Mark and Dan
Dan, Blyth and Tim
According to EquiRatings, the average age of the New Zealand eventing team is 48.4, compared to Australia at 45 and Germany 41.8. Of course these three have influenced that! #oldbutgood

Our photographer Libby Law arrived later in the day, so we will have proper photos and I can focus on getting the stories!

Some teams seem to use their opportunity in the main arena for more concentrated work, while others did their workouts in the practice arenas a short distance away.

Shane Rose and Virgil out for a jump in one of the other arenas

There were loads of golf carts and buggies flying around the place, and you had to be alert so you didn’t get run over. The health and safety standards seem a little looser than what we are used to in New Zealand, but I didn’t see any accidents, nor get run over, so hopefully that continues!

The Spanish team had to move out of the way for the crane..
Don’t text and drive!

As I had a walk around the venue trying to sort out where things were, I caught up with lots of New Zealanders out and about. Most of them tolerated having a photo taken.

Tony Parsons (Taupo) is on the Veterinary Commission for Endurance
Susan O’Brien is one of the stewards, today looking after the lungeing and in-hand arena
The dressage crew! Helen Hughes-Keen, Wendy Hamerton and Andrea Raves
Team meeting

As to that hurricane, officials are keeping a close eye on the forecasts. This morning, we were advised that “the currently forecasted track of Florence keeps the WEG site well west of the circulation centre.”  Residents on the coast of North Carolina are starting to be evacuated. Currently, it is sunny and hot but thunderstorms are predicted later this afternoon.

Tomorrow the trot-ups start, and the latest schedule is detailed below. Let’s hope it doesn’t have to change because of adverse weather. The draws will be out after the horse inspections so we will have more of an idea of where we have to be and when. It is going to be a juggle those first few days, so bear with us!

Go the Kiwis!

Current schedule for first week (Tryon time)

First horse inspections Tuesday 11 September:

  • Dressage:  8.30am (12.30am NZT)
  • Reining: 11am
  • Endurance: 1500

Tuesday, September 11th


Opening Ceremony

U.S. Trust Arena

Wednesday, September 12th


Endurance Team & Individual Ride

TIEC and Surrounding Farmland


Reining Team Competition & 1st Individual Qualifying Competition Session 1

Covered Arena


Dressage Team & Individual Grand Prix Session 1

U.S. Trust Arena


Dressage Team & Individual Grand Prix Session 2

U.S. Trust Arena





Reining Team Competition & 1st Individual Qualifying Competition Session 2

Eventing horse inspection

Covered Arena




Thursday, September 13th

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Dressage Team & Individual Grand Prix Session 3


U.S. Trust Arena



Eventing Dressage Test Session 1

Tryon Stadium


Endurance Best Condition Judging

Vet Gate


Endurance Medals


Tryon Stadium


Eventing Dressage Test Session 2


Tryon Stadium


Dressage Team & Individual Grand Prix Session 4


U.S. Trust Arena



Reining 2nd Individual Qualifying Competition

Covered Arena


Friday, September 14th



Eventing Dressage Test Session 3

Tryon Stadium


Dressage Individual Grand Prix Special Session 1

U.S. Trust Arena



Eventing Dressage Test Session 4

Tryon Stadium


Dressage Individual Grand Prix Special Session 2

U.S. Trust Arena

58 Version 4– August 2018

FEI World Equestrian GamesTM Tryon 2018

Saturday, September 15th


Eventing Cross-Country Test

White Oak Course


Reining Individual Final Competition

Covered Arena

Sunday, September 16th


Dressage Individual Grand Prix Freestyle

U.S. Trust Arena


Eventing Jumping Test

U.S. Trust Arena