In 1925, Carter P. Brown founded the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club to support equestrian activities in Polk County in Western North Carolina. During his lifetime, he promoted and produced equestrian events and activities while working with landowners to maintain hundreds of miles of riding trails. His idea was to build an organization, a club, to perpetuate a wholesome and productive role in the preservation and encouragement of the good life—with horses—in western North Carolina.
The Club was first incorporated in 1960 as a nonprofit organization . In 1985, its Articles of Incorporation were revised to update the three original purposes:
- To promote and conduct such horse activities which may include Horse Shows, Hunter Trials, Hunts, Steeplechase Racing, Polo and other activities such as Bird Dog Field Trials.
- To encourage and promote horseback riding.
- To promote Wildlife Sanctuaries and to cooperate with the State Department of Conservation in the promoting of wildlife protection.
Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club, the Town of Tryon and the surrounding countryside are recognized nationally for carrying forward the traditions of fine horsemanship. Tryon is known as one of the most prominent and historic equestrian centers in the Southeastern United States. Today TR&HC-sponsored events conducted by its volunteer committees attract thousands of people annually and influence many newcomers to settle here.
Yet the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Inc. is a unique organization in that the majority of its members do not own nor ride horses. Many of its members are horsemen, but others are farm and estate owners, businessmen and women, and members of the general public. This is an enthusiastic, congenial, community-minded cross-section of residents dedicated to promoting Polk County as an equestrian center.
Carter P. Brown died on Nov. 15, 1978, but his vision lives on through the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club. Thanks to his inspiration, the Club and its members have been able to carry on his purpose for western North Carolina as a destination and a home for equestrians, a fitting memorial to a man with big ideas.