For the second time, the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) held an art contest for the design of the National Finals program cover. The contest was open to all student-riders ranging from ages 11-19. This year, only one art contest was held because IEA is running one national finals combining the hunt seat and western disciplines – this stiffened the competition among the young artists. The riders were asked to depict the unique blend of disciplines competing at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Receiving nearly 100 entries, several IEA personnel voted to make the top selection.
Toni Lombardo, grade 11, from Dix Hills, New York, was selected as the Champion Artist for her “Sunset Unity” watercolor that depicts a hunt seat and a western rider holding hands. Toni explains that her work “is to show the coming together of the two disciplines at the IEA National Finals. The painting shows the riders enjoying a beautiful view of the sunset after a long day of showing. The pair not only enjoys the view, but the ride and friendship, both of which are important aspects of the show and what makes riding at IEA so enjoyable and fun.” Toni rides in the hunt seat discipline for Sagamore Hill Stables located in Huntington, New York, in Zone 2.
“Toni’s artwork truly represents the spirit of IEA’s coming together of two disciplines at National Finals. We are thrilled to recognize our rider’s talents beyond the saddle and are excited to feature Toni’s artwork at our biggest National Finals to date,” said Roxane Lawrence, IEA’s Co-founder and Executive Director.
Six other artists will be featured in the program book as an honorable mention for their composition.
Reserve Champion: Sabrina Dworkin (last year’s western art contest winner) from Arizona Reining Equestrian Team located in Scottsdale, Arizona, in Zone 8
Third Place: Anastasia Utley from Serenity Farm located in Greencove Springs, Florida, in Zone 4
Fourth Place: Carson Cartledge from Rancho Decano located in Scottsdale, Arizona, in Zone 8
Fifth Place: Meriah Senogles from Westwind Equine Training Center Friendsville, Tennessee, in Zone 4
Sixth Place: Kelsey Miller from Hickory Meadows Dahlonega, Georgia, in Zone 4
Seventh Place: Megan Goheen from Bridle Run Riding Team Batavia, Ohio, in Zone 5
Founded in 2002, the IEA has more than 12,500 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. 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. For more information, please view the IEA website at: www.rideiea.org.