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A $100 Million Equestrian Center?

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Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Tryon International Equestrian Center sits in the quiet and bucolic region of Mill Springs, North Carolina. Grooms lead exhausted horses to barns while smartly dressed riders in navy blue jackets sit astride their steeds, eyes focused on the show ring in front of them.

The hustle and bustle of the center is punctuated by trainers shouting to be heard as loudspeakers blare announcements and rumbling water trucks wet down competition rings. “It’s exciting to have a facility of this caliber,” show secretary Jen Hicks said. “It’s a big boost to the community.”

The economic boost from the $100 million center and resort when completed is expected to send economic ripples throughout the Upstate.

“(The) big impact will be the hospitality industry, and food is part of that,” said Dr. David Hughes, assistant director of Clemson University’s Institute for Economic & Community Development. “Then you get these specialized suppliers of equine goods and services, and so you might see some regrowth in the retail of those services.”



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