Edited Press Release
Wednesday, June 8, 2022 – (Columbus, OH) – The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) will again partner with The Ohio Quarter Horse Association (OQHA) to host its second IEA Western Horse Show during the 2022 All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, OH on Thursday, October 6, 2022. The All American Quarter Horse Congress is an unmatched destination for equestrians from across the globe. OQHA has created a legacy by maintaining the largest single-breed horse show in the world and IEA is pleased to again offer the opportunity to IEA Western youth riders to compete at this world-class show.
The IEA@Congress show on October 6th is open to IEA Western rider members in grades 4-12 (ages 9-19) and will feature classes in Western Horsemanship, Reining and Ranch Riding divisions in the Taft Coliseum. In October 2021, nearly 160 Western riders from 22 teams across 12 states participated in the inaugural IEA@Congress horse show.
New this year, OQHA has also invited IEA riders to participate as an exhibition team in the largest national youth team tournament competition in the world. The National Youth Activity Team Tournament (NYATT) will be held Sunday, October 16, 2022 and brings together many youth from state and regional Quarter Horse associations across the United States and Canada. Teams participate in the following seven classes: Barrel Racing, Horsemanship, Hunt Seat Equitation, Hunter Under Saddle, Reining, Showmanship and Western Pleasure. A maximum of two team members may compete in any one class.
Per the NYATT rules, only contestants 18 years or younger as of January 1 showing registered Quarter Horses and sponsored by a state or regional Quarter Horse Association may compete. As part of a pilot program for OQHA, IEA riders will compete in a Division III category against other NYATT teams as part of a potential expansion in future years to the NYATT program for outside organizations. Unlike traditional IEA shows, IEA NYATT riders will participate on their own Quarter Horses (owned or formally leased through AQHA). Entries are due for all NYATT teams by August 25, 2022. IEA members will be notified separately of the specific requirements to participate in this NYATT Pilot Program.
“Following the success of last year’s IEA@Congress show, we are beyond thrilled for the opportunity to return again this year and expand the opportunities for our riders to participate in this iconic experience,” says IEA Western Zone Administrator, Tammy Braham. “We had teams travel all the way from Nebraska, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Georgia for a regular season IEA show last year. That speaks volumes as to the importance of this opportunity for IEA coaches to experience with their riders. The addition of the NYATT experience will be icing on the cake and we are grateful for our partnership with OQHA.”
“The Quarter Horse Congress is excited to have IEA return to the 2022 All American Quarter Horse Congress after last year’s successful show. We are always happy to explore new ways to enable youth riders to compete at the Congress, as these exhibitors are the future of the industry and we look to provide opportunities for growth for these young riders,” says Dr. Scott Myers, CEO of Ohio Quarter Horse Association and the All American Quarter Horse Congress.
IEA utilizes a unique draw-based (catch-ride) competition format, whereby riders are randomly matched with unfamiliar horses they compete on without any warm-up or practice time. Riders are judged on their horsemanship and equitation skills and how they handle the mount they are given. Similar to the collegiate riding programs, IEA offers multiple levels of classes from beginning walk-jog to Varsity Open as well as multiple scholarship opportunities at the regional, zone and national level. Over the past 20 years, IEA has launched thousands of riders into collegiate programs and equestrian occupations.
The IEA@Congress show is open to the public and will run from approximately 7am until 7pm in the Taft Coliseum. Spectators are welcome and the show will also be live-streamed via National Sports Broadcasting.