Four other equestrian families were also honored, the Reynolds Family, Gordon Wright, Jarrett Schmid, and Carter P. Brown.
Tryon, NC - Legendary horseman George H, Morris was honored on Saturday with the dedication of the main International Arena at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). The dedication occurred prior to Amanda Flint of Long Valley, NJ victory in the $100,000 Salamander Resort and Spa Grand Prix at TIEC in Tryon, North Carolina.
Preceding the Grand Prix was a series of dedications. The first was the TIEC facility that was dedicated to the 650 workers from 67 companies who worked diligently over the last 7 months to create the facility that some are already calling one of the world's top facilities. Mark Bellissimo, Managing Partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners, commented on the amazing transformation. "Our partnership had a vision to transform this property into one of the world's great equestrian centers that would pay tribute to all those individuals that love horses, horsemanship, and the equestrian lifestyle. Many people's expectation was that it would take four to five years, however in about 7 months, I believe we have laid the foundation for a great facility as well as a place that will draw an unprecedented level of new riders, spectators, and sponsors into the sport." Bellissimo added, "This is a great example of how a private company, a community, and local and state governments can work together to create a robust opportunity during challenging financial times. I am confident that this facility will become a major economic engine and generate tens of millions of dollars of economic impact into the local economy as well as create thousands of jobs in the Carolinas over the next 3-5 years. This level of cooperation inspires entrepreneurship, innovation, and further investment."
Chris Kappler, Gold and Silver medalist from the 2004 Athens Olympics, introduced the ring dedication to George Morris commenting, "There are thousands of reasons as to why I consider George to be the greatest horseman in the world, but the most important is his incredible understanding and fantastic respect for the horse. That is why George is particularly proud to be dedicated to this ring because that is what this facility is going to represent, the ultimate understanding and respect for the horse, so much thought has gone into all of this...It is going to be the facility of the future and I think you will see many world championships and other fantastic international events here." George Morris, commented during the dedication of the International Ring, "I can tell you, this is world class. Due to my age, I have been to every horse show in the world and I can compare this to the great horse shows of Europe and Calgary, this is of that class, and will only get better and better."
Finally, a hand painted Venetian Carousel was installed in the public plaza at the spectator entrance where hundreds of children took turns riding the carousel. Mark Bellissimo, added, "The carousel is dedicated to the children of the community who may get their first opportunity to experience the beauty and majesty of the horse whether the experience is a memorable ride on a carousel or their first ride on their way to Olympic level competition. Every dream begins somewhere." The first carousel rider was Rebecca Lawlor, daughter of Fate Lawlor, one of the Project Managers for Clary Hood who was instrumental in the construction of the facility. She was joined on the carousel by the legendary George Morris.
About Tryon International Equestrian Center
Owned and managed by Tryon Equestrian Partners whose partners include Mark and Katherine Bellissimo, Roger and Jennifer Smith, Lisa Lourie, Jenji and Diana Mercer, Howard and Gwen Dvorkin, and Joe and Cindy Mitchell. The Tryon International Equestrian Center is part of the new Tryon Resort which is only an hour west of Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and 40 minutes from the highly acclaimed Cities of Asheville, N.C and Greenville, SC. The equestrian facility includes five riding arenas with world-class footing and 500 permanent stables. When fully completed, the equestrian facility will feature up to 10 riding arenas (including one with stadium seating for 6,000), 1,000 permanent stalls, elevated and shaded viewing decks, a large covered riding facility and the Tryon Sports Complex. For more information, visit www.TryonHorseShows.com.