To provide optimum course conditions for horses and jockeys, the National Steeplechase Association (NSA) and Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) have decided to reschedule the 73rd Tryon Block House Races from Saturday, April 13, to Saturday, October 5, 2019.
“Horse safety is always our first priority, and, although the races could be run this spring, it is in the best interest of the horse and rider to reschedule,” said Toby Edwards, race director for the Tryon Block House Races. “The course is developing very nicely, and I appreciate the commitment of Tryon to utilize this additional time to continue to create a world-class steeplechase facility for our sport.”
National Steeplechase Association President Guy J. Torsilieri supported the decision of Tryon officials to reschedule the races.
“Tryon International Equestrian Center is to be commended for making a difficult but ultimately wise decision to reschedule this year’s races,” he said. “Safety is the number-one priority for the NSA, and Tryon has acted in the best interests of the sport. By making the decision now, Tryon has provided sufficient notice so our horsemen can adjust their schedules accordingly.”
The 73rd Tryon Block House Races are rescheduled for October 5. Tryon’s Green Creek Race Course has been undergoing extensive improvements since the 2018 running, but excess rain in western North Carolina over the winter led to the rescheduling. Daniel Fradley, Tryon International Equestrian Center’s turf superintendent, said the area has experienced 53 days of rain from November 2018 to present. The average rainfall historically for this period is 18.74 inches, and this winter the region has received 35.4 inches. More rain is anticipated in the next few weeks, making it even more challenging to provide a top-quality racing surface.
Tryon will make additional enhancements, including the installation of a permanent irrigation system, between now and October to assure the course will ride at a premier level this fall and for future events.
“In preparation for the October event, in addition to the enhancements that already have been made, we will continue cultivating the racing surface with superior turf management,” said Sharon Decker, chief operating officer of Tryon Equestrian Partners.
R. Reynolds Cowles, D.V.M., chairman of the NSA’s Safety Committee, endorsed the decision to reschedule in the interest of safety. “The NSA Safety Committee appreciates Tryon’s proactive decision. The renovations to their turf course are to be applauded and will result in a much-improved racing surface in the future. Their decision to postpone is in the best interest of our equine athletes and safety,” he said.
The October date will allow attendees to experience the Green Creek Race Course in the fall, which is a part of Tryon International Equestrian Center’s master plan for the track.
“It has always been our goal to host two races a year-one in the spring and one in the fall-at the Green Creek Race Course, and we continue to have that plan,” Decker said. “We look forward to hosting the 73rd annual Tryon Block House Races this October and to our ongoing partnership with the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club.”
The 74th annual Tryon Block House event will return to the spring date in 2020. All tickets for the April steeplechase events, including the pre-race kickoff, are transferrable to the October 5 date or will be honored for the spring 2020 race. If ticket holders want to transfer their tickets to the fall date, then no further action is necessary and the tickets will automatically be transferred. If a ticket holder wants to transfer their tickets to the spring 2020 date or have other questions, please contact