TIEC now accepting applications for Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas

Published 9:42 pm Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is now accepting applications for the inaugural Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas (GCC) annual fundraiser. Fourteen charities will be randomly selected during the $210K Tryon Grand Prix on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at TIEC from 5-9 p.m. Those 14 finalists will each be paired with an equestrian team that will compete for a minimum purse of $250,000 during an October competition.
Based on the founding event held annually in Wellington, Fla., The Great Charity Challenge of the Carolinas is a relay style equestrian jumping competition with teams consisting of two junior/amateur riders combined with one Olympic or world-class rider. There will be 24 rider teams randomly paired with 24 charities.


Some features of the event are that 100 percent of all proceeds go straight to benefit charities. The charity represented by the winning team of riders will be awarded a minimum of $50,000. There will be a sliding scale of winnings with every charity ensured a minimum award of $5,000. If not selected on June 6 for the challenge, don’t worry. In addition to the selected 14 charities, TIEC will be holding random drawings and award grants to deserving charities up to the event date.

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Prize money for these lucky charities will range from $50,000 to $5,000 depending on the final rank of their team rider in the Grand Prix competition to be held in October. With no funding going toward administrative or overhead costs, the Great Charity Challenge event ensures that all funds raised are donated back into the communities and every charity chosen walks away with prize money.


The Great Charity Challenge at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, founded in 2010 by Mark and Katherine Bellissimo of Equestrian Sport Productions and their daughter, Paige, has distributed more than $8 million from the equestrian community to more than 100 nonprofits in Palm Beach County over the last six years.


Nonprofit organizations can visit www.tryon.com to apply and select the “Great Charity Challenge” from the main menu or visit http://tryon.coth.com/directory/Add/Charities.


Applications must be submitted online only by Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 5 p.m. and at least one representative from the charity must be present at the event on June 6 in order to be eligible for selection.


Charities must also have federal 501(c)3 status, two years of IRS federal tax filings and a $50,000 minimum operating budget. Only nonprofit organizations in Polk, Rutherford, Henderson and Buncombe Counties in North Carolina, and Spartanburg and Greenville Counties in South Carolina may apply. All participating charities are required to utilize 75 percent of their funds in the county they serve, so these donations directly impact the community.


Of the 24 available spots, Polk County Schools is guaranteed annual placement in the Great Charity Challenge as part of TIEC’s commitment of giving back to its home county. Another spot is being reserved for a second county school system from the remaining five counties. Additional school systems can still make the final list in the random drawing.


TIEC reserves the right to choose a fixed percentage of nonprofit organizations from each county. Two wildcard charities will be chosen on the day of The Great Charity Challenge Grand Prix competition.


For more information on TIEC and a schedule of current events, please visit www.tryon.com.


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The Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is destined to become one of the premier centers in the equestrian world. This new facility opened in June 2014 with sanctioned horse shows and initial supporting amenities including 10 riding arenas, 850 permanent stalls, a covered riding facility and fitness center. Future expansion includes a sports complex, two hotels, sporting clay course, and an 18-hole golf course plus a full calendar of equestrian competitions and activities. It is a spring, summer and fall haven for eastern and northeastern American equestrian competitors and enthusiasts. For more information, call 828-863-1000 or visit www.tryon.com.