Image used for illustration purposes only and does not reflect actual accommodation offered.
Uproar Over The World Equestrian Games Offering Grooms Dormitory Style Tents
As horses and their grooms arrive at The World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Tyron, they found that the accommodation promised comprised of dormitory-style tents, with rows of bunk-beds.
The founder, managing partner and chief executive officer of Equestrian Sport Productions, the company which runs the venue of the WEG this year, Mark Bellisimo, stated the demand was “underestimated”.
Bellisimo issued a statement as complaints were being founded about the dormitory accommodation, explaining that he has made a mistake, apologises and that everything will be done, within in their power, to rectify the situation.
Bellsimo continued to apologise for the over-sight;
Our organisations has always been committed to recognising the importance of groom. They are a critical component to the success and well-being of these athletes and we have the utmost respect for their daily work. We introduced and award three years ago across all of our venues recognising and honouring grooms during the prize giving ceremony supported by a monetary prize and we plan to do the same here at the FEI World Equestrian Games.”
“Without our grooms there would be no equestrian sport. You have my word that we will resolve all issues related to the groom’s accommodations.”
In the mean-time, multiple options regarding the grooms accommodation have been made available, offering; Residential Vehicle’s (RV’s), two-bed cabins with a toilet and a shower, and off-site accommodation at Rumbling Bald Resort, a 35-minute journey away. Those choosing to stay at the Rumbling Bald Resort have been offered transport as well, with multiple shuttle buses taking them to and from their duties.
Bellisimo assures that his team are continuing to work “around the clock to improve the situation and ensure that all accommodations and personal needs are met”. The team are aware that current measures are only temporary and are seeking urgent alternatives, current measures being un-viable in the long-term.
Financial compensation, to National Federations, is also being offered for any accommodation secured off-site.
Bellisimo and his team are working closely with National federations and the FEI, announcing that they will;
Ensure that our grooms are treated with the respect they deserve and given the opportunity to choose an environment that suits them and their horses best.”
It is understandable, given the poor weather that contributed to the delay of building works in Tryon, that various buildings were not prioritised”.
Although, Katan also states that she found it “troubling” that the groom’s accommodation “became an appeared afterthought”.
Katan expressed the need for grooms to be considered of equal importance to the horse’s they care for. Katan hopes that lessons have been learnt from this year’s WEG, and that greater efforts will be made for groom’s in the future.