October 7 – 9, 2022
This webpage provides a comprehensive summary of the Equestrian Tournament. There are several links to more detailed documents. You need to read all of this information even if you are already familiar with it because you are responsible for knowing it!
If you have questions about this info, if you need help during the event, if you get lost, if you are running late, whatever it might be – call us!
Andrea Stamm, SONC Staff, 919-818-4520
Julianna Pratt, SONC Staff, 408-506-1547 (for housing questions)
Please instruct your delegation members to contact you (as head of delegation) for all questions, and then you can reach out to SONC Staff for answers or clarification.
So much is new this year, it is hard to keep track! Be sure to check out more details about each of these items in the sections below.
- These Games were last held in fall of 2019, so, it feels like new!
- New venue! Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) Indoor Complex for competition and “barn.”
- New time for check-in! We have a number of delegations arriving early, so check-in will open at 11 a.m. on Thursday, and be open by 7 a.m. on Friday.
- New Coggins procedure! All horse trailers will be stopped at the main gate and Coggins will be checked for each horse. Please make sure have them readily available.
- New Opening Ceremony! Delegation march-in with decorated golf carts!
- New night for the dance! Dance party after Opening Ceremony on a rooftop deck!
- New Saturday night activity! Saturday Night Lights!
- New athletes! In addition to many familiar faces, we will have new athletes joining us as well! Additionally, we will be hosting a MedFest for athletes residing in counties surrounding the TIEC to get sports physicals and complete Athlete Participation Packets so they can get started training. We look forward to seeing them compete at the 2023 SONC Equestrian Tournament!
- New procedure for horse trailer parking! Plenty of volunteers will be on hand to assist with unloading tack, horses, etc., and to direct drivers to the new-to-us trailer parking!
- New competition staging procedure! A new venue forced us to change it up – for the better!
- New coach’s meetings! Yes, meetings plural! We will hold coach’s meetings on Thursday, Sept. 29 6 p.m. (online), Oct. 7 12 p.m. and a quick meeting at 6 p.m. during dinner. We know this is a new place with a lot of new things, so we want to make sure all coaches are well informed. Please plan on having (at minimum) the head coach attend all of these meetings. Remember – they are mandatory!
Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is proudly hosting the SONC Equestrian Tournament simultaneously with a United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), Hunter/Jumper competition, and Federation International Equestrian (FEI) 2* competition. We hope you enjoy the opportunity to interact with some Olympic-level athletes from all over the world. The entire venue is free and open to the public.
All of the SONC competitions will take place in the Indoor complex located on the west side of the property. The main property gates are located at 25 International Blvd, Mill Spring NC, 28756. This will be the address to use for all horse trailers, athletes, staff, volunteers, and spectators.
Concessions and Vendors
There is much to see and explore at Tryon International Equestrian Center. Over by Legends Plaza, there are many on-site dining options where you are bound to find something delicious. Tryon Resort also has many year-round and seasonal shops where you can find items for both horse and rider, including apparel, fashionable accessories, and even some delicious treats!
Special Olympics North Carolina themed souvenirs will be on sale Saturday and Sunday at the Indoor Complex. Be sure to check out our limited edition equestrian-themed t-shirt!
There will be a free shuttle running back and forth between the Indoor Complex and Legend’s Plaza throughout the weekend for your convenience. This is free and available for everyone!
Golf Cart Rentals
For Local programs who would like to reserve golf cart(s) for this event, you can do so by contacting the Tryon International Equestrian Center Lodging Office at (828) 863-1015.
We are here to help!
This is a new venue for everyone, and we know it will take some time to get used to the flow from the stalls to the show arena. Please know that all staff and volunteers are here to support your delegation! If you have questions or need some assistance, please ask a friendly volunteer! Games Management Team will be in long-sleeve GMT shirts, and volunteers will be wearing Special Olympics volunteer shirts.
We love spectators! Please refer to this great guide originally created by our 4-H volunteers years ago! Please, no flash photography is allowed. Instead of clapping, we ask that you employ the “silent cheer” of hand waiving in order to keep the horses calm for the competition.
SONC will provide all meals for delegations (registered athletes, coaches, chaperones, etc.) beginning with Friday dinner and ending with Sunday lunch. Family members are not included in these meals.
If you have requests for vegetarian or gluten-free meals, email those requests to Julianna Pratt, including the name(s) of the people needing the special lunches. A list of known dietary requests can be found here. All requests must be received by Friday, September 30 in order for arrangements to be made.
We are still finalizing the menu for this event, and menus will be updated as we get closer to this event.
5:30 -6:45 p.m. Dinner at Legends Back Deck at Tryon Arena – Pasta, salad, dessert and a drink
6 a.m. Breakfast at hotel
11 a.m. Lunch at International Pavilion – Hotdogs/hamburgers, fruit, cookie and a drink
4-6 p.m. Dinner at International Pavilion – BBQ Chicken, salad, dessert and a drink
6 a.m. Breakfast at hotel
11 a.m. Lunch at International Pavilion- Ham or turkey sandwich, fruit, chips, cookie and a drink
Hotel assignments will be sent out at the start of next week.
- RV Hook-ups are available at the facility. The cost is approximately $70 per night and can be booked online or by contacting Tryon International Equestrian Center.
- Delegations will be staying at the Holiday Inn Express Forest City and Hampton Inn Forest City.
- Any time after 3 p.m., the head of delegation can go to the hotel to receive all of the room keys which will be grouped by delegation.
- If you have any problems with housing during the event, please contact Julianna Pratt at 408-506-1547.
- Your specific room arrangements will be sent to you next week for you to review.
- All delegates should be respectful of others by remaining in their rooms after 11 p.m. each evening. Music and loud talking should not be heard outside the room from which it originates.
- All delegates should respect all facility property and regulations. Theft or intentional damage of property will not be tolerated.
- No person, including but not limited to athletes, chaperones, volunteers, coaches and staff, shall be permitted to swim at hotel pools for recreational purposes during any official Special Olympics North Carolina event. The intent of this policy is to prevent harm and/or injury that could result from recreational swimming in conjunction with Special Olympics events at any location. You can find more of our operating policies here.
Delegation check-in will open at 11 a.m. on Thursday at the main entrance of the indoor complex. As you pass the main gate, the indoor complex is the large building to your right.
- Only the Head of Delegation or head coach should come to the check-in area to prevent congestion. We recommend all horse trailers be pulled immediately to the back of the building and the HOD or head coach can walk or park a single car in the portico while checking in.
- Introduce yourself and your county to the volunteer.
- Use the report in your arrival packet envelope to record scratches/no-show’s and confirm athlete/horse pairings. Leave this with the volunteer.
- Pick up arrival envelope containing welcome information, rider numbers, class lists, and credentials for the delegation.
- Confirm that you have all credentials at that time. Also check to make sure wristbands for all certified coaches, leaders/side walkers are received.
- Receive final information on getting hotel keys upon arrival at the hotel.
- Meet your delegation at the barns to distribute wristbands.
This check-in area will be open by 7 a.m. for the remainder of the tournament.
Coach and Leader/Sidewalker Wristbands
- As is our practice, only coaches and leaders/sidewalkers that hold a Certified Coach, Certified Leader/Sidewalker, Certified Youth Coach or Leader/Sidewalker status may be in the warm-up area, staging, and show arena. We will continue to designate this with wristbands.
- The HOD or head coach must come to the check-in area by 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday morning to receive the new wristbands to be used for that day. These wristbands are non-transferrable and cannot be used for multiple people and/or multiple days. Please help us keep all our athletes – two and four-legged – safe for the whole weekend by enforcing this with your own delegation. Everyone is welcome at the barn!
- Coaches may be shared by several athletes but may not go into the ring when judging is in progress unless he/she is a leader or side walker (coaches are allowed to act as horse handlers (i.e. leaders) or side walkers for their own athletes while in the competition ring). This means no loitering in the staging area from anyone in the delegation, we need to keep this area clear and safe, and you will be asked to leave. Do not get angry at the volunteer for doing his/her job.
- Each athlete should have the number of support personnel that he/she needs to perform safely. If you are in need of additional leaders or sidewalkers, please notify the competition staff as soon as possible so we can help you find additional help.
- Please check this list (updated Sept. 23 at 12 p.m.) to see a list of certified coaches/leaders/sidewalkers. If someone is missing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you enter the property, the TIEC security team will meet you at the guard house as you drive in. Please have your horse’s negative Coggins available to present to the attendant at the guard house. Afterward, security will direct you to continue straight through the 4-way stop, on the road to the left of the Indoor Complex. Follow the signs to the rear of the building to the Trailer Unloading Zone. Horse check-in will be located at the entrance to the staling area on the south side of the Indoor Complex.
All stalls come equipped with mats, fans, and 4 bags of shavings. Additional shavings and hay are available for purchase in the TIEC show office. Each delegation has been allowed an additional stall for every four horses to store tack, feed, etc. The TIEC overnight security will monitor the stabling area. Upon arrival to your stall, complete the required contact information for each horse so we may reach you, if necessary.
Barn and Stall Assignments and Rules
Upon arrival, please find your delegation stall door signs. One tack stall for every four horses has been accounted for each delegation. Please
Stall Assignments (updated 9.29) – Chart that lays out the stalls to which your delegation has been assigned for the weekend. Please only use your assigned stalls. These assignments include your tack stalls.
Riding and Schooling Times and Areas
There are no grazing pastures on the property. Horses may be hand-walked to the grass area adjacent to Outside Ring 1. All riders must wear an ATSM approved helmet when mounted (this is both a TIEC rule and a Special Olympics rule). Helmeted riders may also walk horses along the bridle path that semi-circles the property around the outdoor rings. Please be courteous to other riders as this will be a full weekend.
Non-athletes may school horses in the indoor complex until 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6, and Friday morning starting at 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.
Please note that the only area rings to be used for riding time (other than the bridle path) is the Indoor Complex. Do not use any outdoor rings, even if they are empty.
Horse trailers must be parked overnight in Horse Trailer parking, directly across the street from the venue. All sleeping quarter horse trailers must go through the Lodging office at https://tryon.com/bookings/new-booking or 828.863.1015 to reserve an RV space.
All dogs must follow the TIEC policy. Dogs must be leashed at all times. Dogs are not allowed past the barn into the indoor arena/warm-up area.
Sport Rules & Tests
Sport rules, including Special Olympics Inc., rules and the SONC modifications to those rules, are located under the Equestrian Sport Rules section of the Coach and Sport Resources page. Tests to be used have not changed from 2019, and are found in the Equestrian Tests section of the Coach and Sport Resources page.
Mandatory Coaches’ Meetings
At least one representative and/or the head coach from each local program must attend each coach’s meeting.
- Thurs., Sept. 29 6 p.m. Please click here to watch the recording of the coach’s meeting. You must watch the recording to take the appropriate steps are taken in order to get credit for this meeting.
- Fri., Oct. 7 12 p.m. Coach’s meeting in the awards presentation area of the indoor arena. Last minute updates and reminders will be presented and any coach/delegation questions answered.
- Fri., Oct. 7 6 p.m. Coach’s meeting at Legend’s Grille. This will give coaches class updates and changes for the remainder of the weekend.
We want fun facts!
Help us highlight the many athletes who will be with us for the weekend. We would love for you to provide our announcer with some fun facts about each athlete to share throughout the day using this online form.
Equestrian Tournament Program (updated 10.5.2022)- This program contains all classes for athletes for the Equestrian Tournament. Subject to change due to Friday Divisioning and any unforeseen circumstances.
Athlete Class List by Delegation (updated 10.5.2022)- This is a comprehensive list of your athletes and the events they are competing in.
Overview of the Show Schedule
- 12 p.m. Coach’s meeting
- 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Divisioning. Classes D01 – D03 will start staging at 1 p.m. All Western classes will go, followed by English. Level CI will start, followed by CS, BI, BS, and then A. One ring will be used.
Saturday – 9 a.m. competition start
- Showmanship – one ring will be used. First A classes, then B, followed by C.
- Trails – two rings. Western will show in both rings starting with C level through A. Then English starting with C level through B. There are no English A classes.
- Barrel Racing – one ring and one set of barrels.
- Pole Bending – one ring and two sets of poles to go at the same time.
Sunday – 9 a.m. competition start
- Dressage – one ring. First Western classes, followed by English.
- Equitation – one ring. All Western classes will go, followed by English. Level CI will start, followed by CS, BI, BS, and then A.
There will be three gate calls for a division/class. That means if the athlete does not arrive after the third time his/her division/class has been called, athletes not reported to the warm-up ring will be scratched from that event and he/she will not be able to compete in that event.
Awards will be presented in the west concourse in the indoor arena as each division is completed and scores are tabulated. Athletes will be escorted to the awards area by volunteers; please do not remove them from their class before awards are presented.
Filing a Competition Protest
It is the right of certified and advanced certified coaches to file a protest if they believe there has been a misinterpretation or misapplication of the rules. Please refer to the documents below to understand what can be protested and a link to file the protest.
Protest Procedure Infographic – please review this flowchart before filing a protest. Additional criteria for protest eligibility is found in the protest submission form below.
Submit a Competition Protest – use this online form to submit the protest. Information such as specific rule or procedure is needed to complete this form. Please notify the competition manager of your intention to file this protest so they are aware.
Additionally, the judges’ final decision cannot be protested. Coaches are more than welcome to inquire about the judges decision. Please see Perry at the announcer’s booth to either ask a question, or file a formal protest. In order to file a protest:
- Must be a representative at the coaches meetings for that program,
- Must be a certified equestrian coach,
- Must be within 30 minutes of the incident/infraction.
If a coach files a protest, the sport rules committee will discuss and rule on the protest. On this committee are the competition mangers, sport development team, judge, SONC staff, and a coach representative.
Special Olympics North Carolina kicks off the 2022 Equestrian Tournament at Tryon Stadium on Friday, October 7 at 7 p.m. Athletes, volunteers and spectators are invited to attend the Opening Ceremony for special welcome messages, entertainment and the presentation of the Flame of Hope by Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics North Carolina mounted units.
Athletes and coaches should line up with their delegations behind the large jumbotron. Volunteers will be onsite to assist in this process. Please be in parade line-up with assigned golf carts at the front of your delegation by 6:50 p.m. so Opening Ceremony can begin promptly at 7 p.m. Delegations are encouraged to decorate their golf carts, using materials that can easily be removed! An award will be presented to the golf cart with the most spirit!
There will be a dance party following Opening Ceremony on the viewing deck for credentialed attendees.
Opening Ceremony is the time where your entire delegation is recognized for its hard work leading up to this event. Please make your group look sharp by tucking in shirts and tying shoes. The entire delegation should dress similarly. A good way to do this is wear a t-shirt identifying the local program. As always, make sure everyone is dressed appropriately for the weather. Please also make sure your programs’ attire is adhering to Section 5.08 of the Special Olympics General Rules for the Display of Commercial Messages at Games and Prohibition of the Display of National Flags as well as the SONC logo guidelines. If you have any questions, please contact your community resources director.
Saturday Night Lights
On Saturday night, Oct. 8, following a full day of equestrian competition, TIEC will feature their signature Saturday Night Lights (SNL) event in the Tryon Stadium and Legends Plaza. This event is free and open to the public with highlights including Dressage demonstrations, pony rides, a carousel, live music, and the FEI 2* $75k John Deere Grand Prix. Free events start at 5 p.m. and competition at 7 p.m. Special Olympics athletes will be allowed to walk the Grand Prix course at 5:30 p.m. and the SONC Equestrian Tournament and representatives will be recognized and highlighted right before the Grand Prix competition starts at 7 p.m.!
Equestrian stall & horse awards will be presented on Sunday afternoon between the Western and English Equitation events. These categories are judged by a secret panel of experts!
- Most Creative Tack Stall: Express your program’s style! This award will go to the program with the most creative decorations and/or use of their tack stall and surrounding area. The panel will be judging based on decorations and presentation.
- Cleanest Tack Stall: Keep your tack stall and surrounding area neat and tidy! This award will go to the program with the cleanest and tidiest stall area for the entire weekend.
- Horse of the Year: Horse of the Year will be chosen based on manners, grooming, soundness and suitability. Be ready! You never know when the judges are looking!
This resource information is shared for every SONC event
Head of Delegation Responsibilities
Local Program Preparation Checklist
Sample Equestrian Packing List
General Policies & Procedures
Competition Policies & Procedures
Sport Nutrition Tips