June 2019 - Interscholastic Equestrian Association Finals
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 03:32
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association news

West Coast teams maintain their growing profile at middle and high school competition finals back East.

The Interscholastic Equestrian Association hosted its National Hunt Seat finals with over 350 young riders in grades 6-12 at the iconic Holland Arena in Harrisburg, PA – home to the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. From April 26-28, riders from across the United States showed outstanding poise, professionalism, sportsmanship and equestrian ability as they competed in both individual and team classes over fences and on the flat to determine the winners.

These riders, made up from 10 Zones across the country, vied for national titles and to be among the top eight riders in their classes. The finalists represented 191 teams from a total of 10,567 eligible hunt seat riders and 1,382 teams. Individuals and teams participated in multiple competitions during regular season shows, regional finals and zone finals to qualify for the National Finals competition.

The IEA utilizes a draw-based format that requires riders to compete in unfamiliar tack on unfamiliar mounts: therefore, they draw their horses the day of competition and enter the arena after a brief, if any, warm-up.

The IEA began on the East Coast and is a relatively new addition to the hunter/jumper scene out West. Participation in Zone 10 (California, Hawaii and Nevada) has swelled steadily for the last several years and the region’s team and individual riders have increasingly made their presence known at Nationals.

This year was no exception. Three teams had class champions: North Peak Equestrian of Walnut Creek; Bridges Equestrian of San Juan Capistrano; and BFF of Clovis, and the Chestnut Hills team, in San Diego County’s Bonsall, had a reserve champion. And, BFF (Black Fence Farm) had four riders in the top eight of their divisions and finished fifth in the overall Middle School standings.

Kudos to all for qualifying, making that trip back East and representing our region so well!

On April 13-14 in Ohio, a three-year IEA dressage pilot program culminated in a final in Ohio, marking the discipline’s attainment of full IEA status going forward.

Now approaching its 18th year, the IEA has nearly 14,000 members across the United States riding and coaching hunt seat, western and dressage. The non-profit (501(c)3) IEA was organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle and secondary school students and is open to public and private schools and barn teams. There is no need for a rider to own a horse because the IEA supplies a mount and tack to each equestrian for competitions. Its purpose is to set minimum standards for competition, provide information concerning the creation and development of school associated equestrian sport programs, to generally promote the common interests of safe riding instruction and competition and education on matters related to equestrian competition at the middle and secondary school levels.

Congratulations to these teams and riders for their good finishes at the IEA National Hunt Seat Finals

USHJA Future Intermediate Over Fences 2’ - Individual
•    Reserve Champion Noah Kai Nelson, Chestnut Hills
USHJA Junior Varsity Novice on the Flat - Individual
•    6th Chandler Clark, Toni Venza Training
USHJA Junior Varsity Beginner on the Flat - Individual
•    3rd Charlie Thompson, White Rock
Varsity Open Championship Class
•    8th Ryley Ferguson, BFF Equestrian Team
USHJA Future Intermediate on the Flat - Individual
•    Champion Presley Orzen, North Peak Equestrian Team
USHJA Future Novice on the Flat - Individual
•    7th Hudson Slaughter, White Rock
USHJA Future Beginner on the Flat - Individual
•    Champion Lillian Muzzy, Bridges Equestrian
USHJA Varsity Intermediate on the Flat - Team
•    Reserve Champion Samantha Zagha, Woodside Team
USHJA Future Novice on the Flat - Team
•    5th Madison Bigham, BFF Equestrian Team
USHJA Junior Varsity Beginner on the Flat - Team
•    5th Lillian Kann, Woodside Team
USHJA Future Beginner on the Flat - Team
•    Champion Maddie Morgan, BFF Equestrian Team
Middle School Team Award
•    5th BFF Equestrian Team, Katie Flanigan
Middle School Written Horsemanship Test
•    2nd McKenzie Morgan, BFF Equestrian Team

For information on the IEA, visit www.rideiea.org.

Noah Kai Nelson celebrates his reserve champion finish in the USHJA Future Intermediate Over Fences 2’ Individual division, with his mom and trainer Leslie Pinkerton Nelson, left, and Shayne Wireman, head of the Chestnut Hills IEA team.

Presley Orzen celebrates her top finish in the USHJA Future Intermediate on the Flat - Individual, with her North Peak Equestrian team coach Reagan Hayes and her mom Courtney