One day before the start of the World Championships in eight equestrian disciplines, the competition site in Tryon still resembled a construction site(Photo: dpa)
Thursday, September 13, 2018
The chaos in the distance ride brings the World Equestrian Games in the US an inglorious prelude. And yet that's just a breakdown in Tryon. The organizers are overwhelmed, the athletes horrified by disrespect. We are talking about tumultuous protests.
Bernhard Dornsiepen was pissed off. "This is a slap in the face for the entire sport," mewed the 50-year-old about the catastrophically organized distance competition at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon. Lack of plan to start, then a controversial restart and finally the demolition – the chaos in the long-stretchers was the temporary negative highlight of the Pannen World Cup in North Carolina.
When the unworthy spectacle was canceled on Wednesday evening local time weather-related, Dornsiepen was "more than close to tears." The demolition was still the most logical action of the entire competition, drew the World Federation FEI but due to the "potentially highly dangerous combination of heat and moisture" the final stroke. The Sauerland brought to the palm everything that had happened before.
So the 131 riders had arrived at 6.30 in the morning for the mass start. It just stupid that no one knew exactly where this start was ever – not even the organizers. And so it happened that the race started in two places. "At the time, no one really understood who rode in which direction, because it was still dark," said team boss Annette Kaiser. Her protégé Dornsiepen said: "For me they would have had to break it already."
"That is disrespectful"
Instead, all participants were called back after a few hours, a restart and the reduction of the distance of 160 to 120 kilometers followed. There should have been "turmoil-like protests" among the team leaders, Kaiser said. Even Dornsiepen did not keep up with his annoyance. "We athletes are preparing for a World Cup all year, to this climax, that's such a shit!" He said: "That is disrespectful to us riders, us athletes and, above all, our horses." Not even the route was allowed to visit the riders in advance, because the course of the course is owned by 70 private individuals. "From the beginning it was clear that the track is only opened for this one day," said Kaiser. A nonsense, says Dornsiepen: "If that is not possible in this area, then you can not let something happen here."
But not only in the distance ride, the organizers were in Tryon so far overtaxed. Everywhere wacker is still drilled and dredged, heavy construction machinery roll even after the World Cup start over the area. Toilets can only be used in certain buildings. And also the spectators stay out. On the first day of the competition on the ranks in the dressage stadium there was a gaping void, only slightly better in the Reining-Halle.
Add to that the problem with the accommodations. Three hotels were built on the site, it was only for the foundations. Many carers live in tents, tiny wooden huts and hastily procured caravans. Organization boss Mark Bellisimo was already forced to an apology.
Although Tryon did not step in at short notice until 2016 for the Canadian Bromont. But it is not the first time that an organizer has been overwhelmed with the World Equestrian Games, consisting of all eight FEI disciplines. An organizer for the Games 2022 does not exist yet – Tryon is likely to be a deterrent.