The Interscholastic Equestrian Association ("IEA") will celebrate its 10th anniversary during the 2011-2012 season. Formally established in the spring of 2002, the IEA held its first annual national championship event the following year in Willoughby, Ohio. A non-profit organization, the IEA has grown both geometrically and geographically each year. Beginning with just 200 student-riders and 62 finalists participating in the first Nationals, the IEA now has over 5,000 student-riders on hundreds of teams across North America. Over 500 of the competitors qualified for the National Finals in 2011. The IEA has 12 zones across North America, Alaska and Hawaii.
The IEA members compete with a team or on an individual basis in Hunt Seat, Western and Saddle Seat disciplines. There is no need for any rider to own a horse.
The MISSION of IEA is to introduce students in private and public middle and secondary schools to equestrian sports and to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction.
The IEA PURPOSE is to set minimum standards for competition, provide information concerning the creation and development of school associated equestrian sport programs, promote the common interests of safe riding instruction and competition and education on matters related to equestrian sport at the middle and secondary school levels (primarily ages 11 through 19).
To fulfill its purpose, the IEA offers guidance regarding the creation and development of school and/or barn associated equestrian programs. IEA coaches aim to develop understanding and appreciation of equestrian sports through organized student competitions and additional equine educational opportunities.
Through the IEA, students have the opportunity to earn scholarships towards their college education through awards in competition and through sportsmanship activities.
IEA Competition Format
The unique aspect of these competitions, both at the local and national level, is that none of the riders will supply their own horses or tack. Instead, the horses, saddle and other tack are provided to the students at the show. The host team arranges for the horses and equipment. Some of the equipment may be borrowed from various training barns and facilities. Though the rider and horse have a short opportunity at orientation in the over fences classes, essentially, the horse is new to the rider, and the scores are based upon horsemanship and equitation, not the horse. The competitions involve six classes jumping over fences no greater than three feet and numerous flat equitation classes. Western riders show in horsemanship and reining, and saddle seat riders show in both rail and individual workout classes. All disciplines offer a variety of ability levels from beginner through advanced.
The IEA is an affiliate of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) and the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).
Wayne Ackerer, Roxane Lawrence, Myron Leff, Tim J. Boone and Ollie Griffith founded the IEA. The current directors of IEA are Wayne Ackerer, Gwen Arrigon, Timothy J. Boone, Mary Beth Cornelius, Ollie Griffith, Myron Leff, Elizabeth Mahoney, Tracey Powers, Lauren Holmes Prisuta, Kathryn Quinlan, Carol Sterrett, Jennifer Mitchell-Wuornos and Emily Zientek. Sue Wentzel is the National Steward. IEA Staff Members are Roxane Lawrence-Executive Director, and Kathryn Quinlan-Membership Office Manager. Membership Office staff includes Barbara Buggy, Mira Clark, Jennifer Eaton, Carolyn Licata and Michelle Maure. Myron Leff is the Communications Director for the IEA.
The IEA business office is located at 2721 Scarborough Rd., Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 44106. The IEA membership office is located at 414 Main St. Suite C, Melrose, Massachusetts, 02176. IEA's telephone number is 877-RIDE-IEA (877-743-3432) email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and the website address is : www.rideiea.org. The IEA can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The objectives of IEA are:
- To promote the equestrian as an athlete
- To provide students with organized competitive opportunities
- To introduce new riders to equine sports
- To promote the IEA among middle and secondary schools
- To provide students with opportunities for further education equine sports and other equine-related matters
- To encourage liaison with other equestrian groups
- To provide information concerning the creation and development of school associated mounted and non-mounted equestrian programs
- To establish and enforce IEA rules, standards and policies
- To evolve with the continuing progress of equestrian sports
- To generally promote the common interests of safe riding instruction and competition and education on matters related to the horse industry and all segments thereof.