Shya’s Behind-the-Scenes WEG Journal

Equestrian artist Shya Beth shares her view on WEG!

The show jumping arena. All photos courtesy of Shya Beth.

When first driving into the Tryon International Equestrian Center, you see the areas that are still pushing through the construction phase, which has been a center of attention. But as you go through the parking and start to see the grandeur of the grounds, and the sheer volume of energy that has gone into creating the World Equestrian Games, you see that they have reached the main goal of WEG: hosting the best riders and horses in the world in eight disciplines, at the best of their ability.

Since arriving at the beginning of WEG and getting to see behind the scenes of how this impressive venue runs, it has both been an eye opening experience and a joy to be a part of. I am exhibiting my life size equine sculptures in the International Pavilion’s VIP Summit Club — here are my observations and tidbits from behind the scenes throughout the week!

What’s Up At WEG: Setting Up Sculptures & Eventing Team Medals (Monday, September 17)

Eventing winners during the awards ceremony

I am writing from the Summit Club, the third floor of the International Pavilion that over looks both of the main areas while watching the first round of the Nations Cup this morning. My mom and I set up my life size eventing sculpture last week, and I had a wonderful time hanging out with the Irish eventing team on Monday evening after they placed silver in team (with Padraig McCarthy also earning silver as an individual), ending their long wait to medal in the World Equestrian Games. Meeting their team and seeing how ecstatic and hard working they are to be here is just another reminder of how much work goes into the sport so that we can all enjoy the entertainment and rewards that come forth.

While chatting with the riders, they kindly signed my eventing sculpture on Monday. This sculpture is one of several here at WEG, with another coming soon to welcome guests in to the Summit Club. With a total of 18 life size sculptures (four that are here at WEG) that will be signed by riders and top equestrians before being auctioned off, WEG and the TIEC is a perfect place to be!

Shya’s original sculpture

What’s Up At WEG: Para Dressage Wonders, Setting up The Blue Jean Jumper (Tuesday, September 18)

On Tuesday, we watched the Para-Dressage and saw a marvelous ride and win by Denmark’s Stinna Tange Kaastrup, a 24 year old competitor who was born without legs. Nevertheless, she has persisted until she succeeded and is now the World Champion of her discipline.

Meeting Laura Kraut and her mother

View of the dressage arena

After the warm up for the jumpers and when things started to quiet down, it was time to set up my second sculpture, the Blue Jean Jumper. After working into the night to set everything up, we arrived early in the morning to watch the first round of the show jumping — my favorite discipline! Spending the day watching the best compete and meeting the riders was a fun time — and the air conditioning helped tremendously in this southern heat! In a nail-biting second to last round, Steve Guerdat came through and swept the win away from Pedro Veniss’ hold, and without a second to spare — it was quite an exciting 124 horse competition!

While here, I was excited to meet Emily Dulin, the American CEO of Brooke, an international equine charity that operates around the world, helping horses and donkeys in third world countries and a benefactor of my Blue Jean Horse Project.

It might have been off to a rocky start, but this has and will become an even more iconic venue that will undoubtedly host many more 5* shows and events and bring the world another location where horse sport will be discovered and cherished. Until then, stay tuned for more news about all things WEG!

16 year old Shya Beth is an equine artist and rider living in New Jersey. With a lifelong interest and passion of art and horses, Shya has combined her two loves through the form of art and writing. Creating life size sculptures of these marvelous steeds while writing about all things equine art on her blog, The Flying Shetlands, is the beginning of an epic adventure into the horse world.

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