A Taste of Tryon

A Taste of Tryon

A surprise bonus of this weekend was being able to stop by the brand new Tryon Equestrian Center in western North Carolina. I stayed with family in the NC foothills on Thursday evening, and when my aunt suggested we stroll over to the horse show in the morning I certainly did not argue!

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Having been to WEF many times, I wasn’t sure what I would think of Tryon. It’s built by the exact same people and those familiar with PBIEC will notice similarities, but the overall vibe of Tryon is so different than WEF. If I had to sum up the overall feeling I got from Tryon compared to WEF, I’d say that Tryon felt like a show where I would consider taking my horse to. WEF has never felt within my grasp, but Tryon seems like a lovely place to enjoy a nice facility among friends. Maybe it’s the North Carolina vibe versus South Florida, but I started spinning my wheels about how I could show there one day instead of thinking “Well it must nice to be rich!”

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Right off the bat, there are similarities. There are touches to bring the general public in like a large carousel at the entrance and I’m told “Saturday Night Light” classes have the usual flair that makes this seems like more than an ordinary horse show. Tryon itself and the towns surrounding it are not large, so my aunt tells me all the restaurants on the show grounds have left local non-horse people pretty happy. We had lunch in a 50’s theme diner, and there were more locals dining than horse show patrons.

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I was there for one of the first days of spring circuit (and an unrated week), so things were pretty quiet. While the George Morris international ring had the same tunnel to the warmup area that PBIEC has, it sat empty while we walked around on Friday morning.

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It seems like everything is under construction at Tryon. I saw a giant covered that looked like it was awaiting footing, plus several other areas that seemed destined by be some kind of ring. While there were people there, it certainly wasn’t busy. I also noticed way more trailer-in’s than I’ve ever seen at WEF, but that could also be that I never walked over to the trailer area at WEF in the past.

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One of my former co-workers at SmartPak happened to be showing there, and I chatted with her a bit. She invited us back to the barns, and raved about how friendly these showgrounds are to horse showers. There are rampant complains right now about WEF being over crowded with footing problems, and Tryon seems like the exact opposite. I can’t speak for the footing, but the barns are lovely.

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Each barn is outfitted with a real tack room that locks. There are hoses in the aisles, proper crossties and the 12′ x 12′ stalls are as nice as any you’d find in a Grand Prix village barn. Tryon is nicer than any place I’ve ever boarded, let alone horse showed at.

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Probably my favorite thing about Tryon is how well all the buildings are themed. With natural wood and hunter green accents, the show grounds look like they fit in my native state. They even have different lodging options where you can rent tiny cabins that are right on the show grounds. I’m pretty sure that’s the hunterland version of camping!

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I’m not sure if I’ll ever actually show here, but I hope to go back during a busier week to take some pictures with my real camera and enjoy the show.

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It’s a mix of horse paradise and people comforts that make me think it will be a very successful show venue in the long run.

30 thoughts on “A Taste of Tryon

  1. Love Tryon! Hoping to go back and watch the American Eventing Championships later this year. Did you see any hint of a cross country course? There wasn’t one even started in August when I was last there!

    1. The cross country is apparently the gigantic red clay area at the back of the property. The flat red clay area is suppose to be the derby field and the red clay with terrain is 4ish miles of cross country. We’ll see what happens!!! They’re suppose to have the derby field finished for Pony Club Champs bc Polocross is being played on the derby field!!! And apparently the cross country jumps were being stored in the covered? I haven’t been there since Feb but it’s always changing!!!

  2. If you have the chance to show at Tryon, DO IT!!! I love love love showing there!!! Also, the on grounds lodging is really nice!

  3. I want to want to go back, but my first horse show experience there was really bad. They were overcrowded and everything was under major construction, so we got thrown in the far far FEI barn which was ridiculously far from the hunter show rings. Since they were still under construction, the power kept going off in our barn and they gave us porta potties which ran out of TP the second day (which they never replenished despite us asking). The wash stalls back there also didn’t have hot water. I’m sure if I had been in a closer barn, it would have been a different experience, but since everything was so over priced it’s hard to make myself want to go back. Also, if you want to rent those cabins on the showgrounds, you have to fill out a form before they will even give you the price….which is bizarre to me and makes me think they hold them for “preferred” people. The food at the diner was really good, but when I went they were understaffed so you had to wait over an hour (not an exaggeration) for anything. It is a really beautiful facility, but I really wish they hadn’t “overbooked” for that one show. They didn’t have enough staff to handle the amount they let in. I would have rather been told they didn’t have room or something before going and spending a fortune on the experience I had.

    1. I forgot to mention that lately they have been scheduling shows at all the same dates as the other shows around NC and SC this year, which makes me feel like they are really trying to close the door on the smaller show venues. not cool!

    2. You really did get the short end of the stick! Later on the put temporary stalls up in the covered arena bc they had so many people showing there last year. they definitely have a few major kinks to smooth out before it’s super fancy. And as for the weekends- do you think they figured they have a different clientele than the other shows around NC/SC and that’s why they booked the same weekends? I

  4. So jealous! It looks like such a nice place. I wanted to stop in on our way home from Florida last July but we didn’t leave ourselves any extra time for detours.

  5. I was at this show, and I was pretty happy with it since it was the smaller B show to kick off the spring season. Since it was so low attended, the rings had only 50-80 trips a day. Because of this, the in gate didn’t push for people to get in the ring quick and it ran very very very slow. Maybe it was me getting back into showing after a few months off and I forgot how slow some rings can run.

    The lockable tack rooms was probably my favorite part of the barn area, along with already installed hardware for hanging buckets and feed pans. Also, walking out of the barn and being 20 yards from a show ring was AMAZING!

    This weekend the wind was terrible, it took them 2 days to put up sandbags to keep the jumps and schooling area dividers up. I saw a lot of people getting carted off by the medical staff, unfortunately. I have major wind burn on my face.

    Legend’s was by far my favorite place to eat dinner, and the sandwich shop was excellent for lunch!

  6. I’m so excited I’ll only be 30 or so minutes from Tryon once I move in May. It’s so beautiful. If anyone is showing or going, please let me know, I’d love to meet up!

  7. I loved the previous place the shows were held (FENCE) so I was apprehensive to show here. It’s spectacular! The barn and stalls are fantastic. It is such a great place for non horsey family and friends to come watch too. The town is fun and there is so much to do. 4th of July is a blast to show there! Pops gave it 2 hooves up too 🙂

  8. I’m going to the AEC later this year also, I would love to meet some of you fellow bloggers out there. Maybe we can plan a meet up? I was gonna do a post on it as the date got closer, but I don’t have a lot of traffic on my page so I didn’t know if anyone else going would see it and respond. Please, please let me know!!

  9. Do come back when it really gets going! I’d be curious on your take comparing it to WEF when the fancier show people arrive!

  10. So glad you got to visit Tryon! All the pictures look so beautiful, and like you I’ve already dreamed about showing there one day.

  11. Wow! It looks gorgeous! I have heard great things about the facility, but hadn’t seen any media. So thanks for sharing! I hope you go back, especially if you can bring Simon or a hunter unicorn (or both)…
    WEF doesn’t allow ship ins anymore, so that is why you would not have seen people shipping in. You HAVE to get stalls. Even if you only take the horses over for an hour or two for your classes, then back to the barn. It’s kind of ridiculous. But they sold off a lot of the land so there’s no room for trailers. Plus they make more money that way. Greedy!

  12. I live only about an 1 1/2 hrs from TIEC and went once for the Grand Prix where they dedicated it to George Morris in October 2014. Though it was under construction at that time, it was already so nice and convenient for both those showing and spectating. They’re supposed to be hosting the AECs this year, in addition to the Pony Club Championships, but so far the xc course hasn’t been built. I’d be nervous to run on footing that’s been in place for less than 3 months, but maybe that’s just me. I’m going to try for the AECs the 2nd year they host it and sit this year out.

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