The city of Tryon, North Carolina is widely regarded to be the region’s equine capital — a fact that is further cemented by the recent development of Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort — a sprawling $100 million luxury resort and 1,400-acre equestrian center in Polk County.
The Center, which is slated to host the prestigious World Equestrian Games in 2018, features 10 riding arenas, stadium seating for 6,000 people, 1,000 permanent horse stalls, multiple viewing decks, and a covered riding facility. In addition to equestrian facilities, there is also a health club, pool, tennis and basketball courts, climbing walls, a mountain bike park, and other luxury health and fitness amenities.
As part of Dickens Mitchener’s “Born in North Carolina” series, let’s learn more about how the city of Tryon became one of the nation’s most important equine sporting destinations.
The horsey history of Tryon, North Carolina
Named after William Tryon, the eighth Governor of North Carolina, the city of Tryon is renowned for its active equestrian community, which dates back to the early 20th century with the founding of the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club, Block House Steeplechase, and the Tryon Horse Show.
One of the most iconic testaments to the city’s love of equine creatures is Morris, a large horse toy statue that stands at the city center. First built in 1928 by Tryon Toymakers and Woodcarvers, Morris has undergone several replacements and refurbishments over the years — most recently in 2012.
In addition to the brand new Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort, the city is also home to the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center, which offers a series of nature trails for riding and hiking as well as space for hosting equestrian events.
From elite Olympic athletes to hobbyist equestrians, Tryon is a must-visit location for anyone who is passionate about equestrian culture and history.