Columbus, Ohio – July 08, 2016 – The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), in conjunction with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), awards a student-rider the National Sportsmanship Award each year. This year’s award was presented to Kate Coffey, a sixteen-year-old from Westford, Massachusetts.
The national award winner is selected from a group of riders who earned a Sportsmanship Award at a local, regional or zone IEA show during the 2015-2016 season. These winners were then invited to submit an application for the National Sportsmanship Award. The student-riders submitted a resume, composed a 250-word essay explaining how horses and/or equestrian competition have influenced her/his life and three letters of recommendation.
Kate Coffey, a rider on the North Gate Equestrian Team of Sudbury, Massachusetts, received a five hundred dollar ($500.00) scholarship from the IEA, a lifetime membership to the IEA and a nomination by the IEA to affiliate sportsmanship award programs. The IHSA awarded Coffey a keeper trophy and her name engraved on a perpetual Sportsmanship Award trophy. Coffey placed third in the National Sportsmanship rankings for the 2014-2015 season.
“Good sportsmanship is a tenant in the IEA and this award is held to high regard. Choosing the National Sportsman from the pool of amazing candidates seems to get harder each year. Kate is an outstanding equestrian and her sportsmanship is something to be envied,” commented Roxane Lawrence, IEA executive director.
“Throughout the history of IHSA,” said founder and IHSA Executive Director, Robert E. ‘Bob’ Cacchione, “I have always been impressed by the caliber of sportsmanship and teamwork exhibited by our student athletes, who strive to succeed in the arena as well as the classroom. Our partnership with IEA is rooted in our shared values and a commitment to recognize athletic excellence, integrity and service.”
Nearly 750 IEA riders were eligible for the National Sportsmanship Award. Among the 140 finalist applicants, the top eight winners are:
- Kate Coffey, a sophomore from Westford, Massachusetts, who rides at North Gate Equestrian Team
- Jada Fields, a junior from Castle Pines, Colorado, who rides at Mile High Equestrian
- Tori Brunvand, an eighth-grader from Durango, Colorado, who rides for the Silverpeak Equestrian Team
- Olivia Tencer, a sophomore from Unionville, Connecticut, who rides for the Avon Valley Show Stables
- Mikayla Hay, a junior from North Judson, Indiana, who rides for Culver Academies
- Lauren Rinda, a senior from Malvern, Pennsylvania, who rides for Great Valley Equestrian
- Mia Gibson, an eighth-grader from Chesapeake, Virginia, who rides for Fox Ridge Farm
- Hannah Nandor, a junior from Simi Valley, California, who rides for Fieldstone Riding Club CA.
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. The purpose of the organization 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.