Area should view hosting WEG as honor, not burden

Published 8:00 am Friday, April 13, 2018

In response to Milton Ready’s letter in the March 30 issue of the Bulletin, I do not think that it is fair to mark all of the people traveling to watch and compete in the Worl Equestrian Games in September as the “super rich.”

I have been involved in the equestrian community in Tryon since I was a little girl. I moved away from Tryon two years ago to attend college at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. I never would have imagined that 500,000 people from 70 countries would be flocking to my little town of Tryon, North Carolina.

As a horse-crazy girl who has been involved in Pony Club and the sport of eventing, I have dreamed of competing at Rolex or the World Equestrian Games. I looked up to riders like Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin and Karen O’Connor.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

It hurts me to know that the people of Tryon and surrounding communities think that this event is simply a huge party to flaunt “symbols of extreme 1 percentism.”

The same riders who compete at WEG are many of those who compete at the Olympics. Most of these riders have been working all of their lives to be the best riders in the world.

Yes, it is an expensive sport, but many of the riders have sponsors just like any other professional sport. They have the talented horses that they do because of their talent.

The equestrians competing in these games are not doing this as a pastime to spend their money. They are competing in some of the most dangerous, detailed and demanding sports in the world, and have been working for years to get to where they are as professional athletes.

As a local of Tryon and a fellow equestrian, I and most people that I know in the area consider hosting WEG to be an honor, and not a burden.

Samantha Haase