As the Carolinas brace for the onset of Hurricane Florence, the World Equestrian Games continue the best they can. The weather that caused the cancellation of yesterday’s endurance event was unrelated to the hurricane.
Earlier today, the National Weather Service, which is stationed at WEG venue, the Tryon International Equestrian Center, said Hurricane Florence was expected to make landfall near the North and South Carolina coastal border on Friday night.
“The projected weather pattern here at TIEC will be heavy rain on Sunday evening into Monday and possibly Tuesday, with winds peaking on Sunday evening at 30mph with gusts of up to 40mph,” the federal government agency said.
The good news is that the horses should be safe. Last year, TIEC was used as a refuge for horses from five states ahead of Hurricane Irma. There are 1,288 permanent stalls onsite and all barns are built in conformance with the International Building Code to withstand winds up to 90mph (144kph).
Still fear of the weather has kept at least one horse away from the games. According to Horse & Hound, the owners of Irish showjumper EFS Top Contender, a 12-year-old stallion ridden by Michael Duffy, have withdrawn their horse from the championships due to the severe weather forecast.
In a post on the horse’s Facebook page, Owners Graham and Ben Dalton said they are “not prepared to send our horse halfway across the world into a potentially catastrophic hurricane”. The horse was the “fifth man” on the Irish Team.Horse & Hound