... were the two main topics on Tuesday in Tryon and the rest of the equine sporting world. The good news first: the World Equestrian Games have been declared open!
However the size and pomp of the opening ceremony probably didn’t really fulfill the normal criteria of the American hosts and was kept fairly plain and simple. Only one athlete from each country, for Germany it was Ingrid Klimke were allowed to march in with the flag, there were a few speeches and also just a few spectators. To be honest the spectators were really only the representatives and the competitors from the 68 nations taking part.
The reason behind the relatively small ceremony was actually the fact that building work was still going on. This wasn’t a surprise to anyone who has been watching what has been going on during the last days and weeks on the show ground in Tryon, what was surprising was that the official reason given was the bad weather they had been having leading up to the event and that the facility wasn’t just being built for WEG but for the future of the facility. Hooray – at least the arenas provide very good conditions for the horses and riders.
There is a big question mark regarding the weather in Tryon, which lies pretty much on the border between South and North Carolina. Hurricane Florence is on her way and the emergency alarm is in place. Luckily Tryon won’t be directly involved as it is not on the coast but is still likely to be hit by heavy rain and storms.
Enough reason for a press conference to be held in which the current situation was described by the WEG spokeswoman Sharon Decker. The hurricane is expected to hit the coast on Friday morning about 500 kilometers away from Tryon. That means they are outside the critical zone and similar previously storms have not caused a lot of damage to the area. However Tryon is certain to get a large amount of rain. The question is how will the competition arenas and also the cross country course, which still needs to be properly prepared, be affected by this. However the most important thing is the safety of the teams and their horses. Sharon Decker assured everyone the buildings comply with the highest safety standards and can withstand a bad storm.
The situation remains worrying, we cross our fingers for the days to come and hope that the World Equestrian Games are the only thing that provides excitement and that hurricane Florence doesn’t hit the USA too hard!
Translation: Heather Reimer