By Stephanie Keough for the Interscholastic Equestrian Association. Photos by Carly Nasznic
Columbus, Ohio – September 22, 2015 —The 2016 Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) National Finals will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky April 20-24, 2016. After four years apart, the IEA Hunt Seat and Western disciplines will be reunited for the Finals competition.
It is expected that over 600 youth equestrians will qualify to compete at the National Finals. These young riders will have won in their regions and zones across the United States after competing against more than 12,000 other riders to make it to the Finals. The national Individual Champions will be presented throughout the competition and national Team Champions will be pinned on the final day of the competitions.
The event will be held in the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena. Riders, their families and friends, vendors and spectators should expect five days of showing from Wednesday through Sunday, an educational symposium with speakers Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“It is important for our members to join together for a combined Hunt Seat and Western IEA National Finals event every few years so that everyone gets the opportunity to learn new skills, techniques, and appreciation for other disciplines. A good horseman will put every possible tool in his or her “back-pocket” of knowledge because there is always more to learn! The opportunity to bring both disciplines together in the heart of horse country − Lexington, Kentucky − is the perfect setting for us to provide exciting educational opportunities through our partners and sponsors,” stated IEA Executive Director, Roxane Lawrence.
Founded in 2002, the IEA has more than 12,000 middle and high school student-riders across the United States. The 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. 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. For more information, please view the IEA website at: www.rideiea.org.