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Columbus, OH – April 17, 2017 –  In its increasing support and affiliation with the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) will present an award to the IEA Leading Rider and an automatic-qualification (bye) to participate in the NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Final.

For the first time, the IEA Hunt Seat Champion Rider will receive an invitation to the NCEA Medal Final of their choice from three available regions (West, Midwest, East).  To compete in the NCEA Medal Final, the rider will have to have an NCEA Medal Membership and have completed two NCEA Junior Hunt Seat Medal Classes.  In this initial year of the affiliation, the rider can complete these two classes by the end of the qualifying period (August 2017).  The rider must be able to provide their own mount to compete in the NCEA Medal classes and finals.  

“When we began discussing this partnership more than a year ago, this is exactly what I envisioned would come out of our collaboration” says IEA Executive Director Roxane Durant. “This is such a wonderful opportunity for our riders who are preparing to compete at the collegiate level.”

Leah Fiorentino, NCEA Executive Director and IEA Board member will present the award in Lexington, Virginia during the IEA Hunt Seat Finals.  The Finals will be held April 21-23, 2017. “We have found that even in the short time of our affiliation with the IEA, that this the beginning of great things for our riders,” says Fiorentino.  “It is interesting to note, that every NCEA team had at least one IEA alumni as a member in this recently completed season.  The IEA program is just terrific and we look forward to more IEA riders joining us at the NCEA level.”

On a related topic, the recently crowned 2017 NCEA National Championship Texas A&M Equestrian Team saw their rider Rebekah Chenelle (sophomore) named as the Most Outstanding Performance (MOP) in Equitation on the Flat as well as being named to both Equitation on the Flat and Equitation over Fences All-Championship Teams.  Prior to attending college, Chenelle rode very successfully in the IEA and was the 2012 Leading Hunt Seat rider as well as the Masters Medal Champion; from IEA Champion to NCEA Champion!  ___________________________________________________________________

Celebrating their 15th Anniversary year, the IEA has more than 13,500 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.  The IEA is open to public schools, private schools, and barn teams. Nearly 400 qualified riders will compete, both as teams and as individuals, for national championship titles in over fences and under saddle, throughout the three days in Lexington, Virginia.   To learn more about the IEA and the 2017 IEA National Finals, please visit  


Interscholastic Equestrian Association | 2721 Scarborough Rd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44106