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Final Day of IEA Championships Filled with Awards

Competition, Awards, Team Spirit and Announcement of Next Year's National Finals Locations made for an exciting Fourth Day at the 2016 IEA National Finals

Saturday, April 23, 2016, Lexington, Kentucky-The Team Competitions are well under way at the 2016 Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) National Finals. IEA Teams compete for points during team classes. The top six riders in each class accrue points for their team, and, at the end of the show, the Champion Hunt Seat and Western Teams are awarded. North Gate Equestrian is in the lead for the Hunt Seat Upper School Competition. KM Equestrian is leading the Western Middle School Team Competition and is tied with Autumn Rose Farm Equestrian for the Western Upper School Competition.
 
Featured in today's show was the "Parade of Teams", where each of the competing IEA Teams marched through the arena displaying their unbelievable spirit.  During the ceremony, the IEA announced the winners of the Horseman's Knowledge Test, the Holy Innocents' Horsemanship Test (both presented by the United States Pony Clubs, Inc.) and the 9th Annual Tim Boone Lifetime Achievement Award.
Kate Baugh from Rocky Mountain Wranglers in Berthoud, Colorado (Zone 8), took the award for the Overall Winner of the Western Horseman's Knowledge Test and Ariana Chinoporos from North Gate Equestrians in Sudbury, Massachusetts (Zone 1), took the award for Overall Winner of the Holy Innocents' Horsemanship Knowledge Hunt Seat Test for Hunt Seat riders. Nancy Arledge, who has helped IEA grow as an organization from its beginning, took home the Tim Boone Lifetime Achievement Award. Nancy is a coach for the West Licking District IEA Team in Pataskala, Ohio (Zone 5).
 
To finish the parade, Roxane Lawrence, IEA's Executive Director, announced the dates and locations of next year's National Finals. Although it was a great year combining Hunt Seat and Western, the 2017 Finals will run separately. The Western Finals will be run in conjunction with the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in late June. The Hunt Seat National Finals will be April 21 - 23, 2017 at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia,
 
"Today was incredible," stated Roxane Lawrence, IEA Co-Founder and Executive Director when asked about today's competition.  "When you see nearly 700 young equestrians in the Alltech Arena and think back to 14 years ago when we founded the IEA, this event gets quite emotional.  Of course, the IEA's success is a great credit to the kids, families, supporters and staff who have worked so hard over the years."
 
Sunday, the final day of competition will see the conclusion of team competition and the awards ceremony. Special awards will be given - including the Victor Hugo-Vidal Sportsmanship Award for Hunt Seat, NRHA Sportsmanship Award for Western riders, Coach Sportsmanship Awards, Team Spirit Awards, Outstanding Hunt Seat Horse Award, NRHA Outstanding Reining Horse Award, and the penultimate Middle and Upper School Team Awards.
 
Saturday's Western Team Winners and Awards:
NRHA Varsity Open Reining, Team
Caroline Gute from Dublin, Ohio, riding for Autumn Rose Farm Equestrians in Zone 5
NRHA Future Intermediate Reining, Team
Ellie Zawisza from Findlay, Ohio, riding for KM Equestrians in Zone 5
Junior Varsity Novice Horsemanship, Team
Rylee Aurand of Arcadia, Ohio, riding for KM Equestrians in Zone 5
Varsity Intermediate Horsemanship, Team
Sophia Christy from Powell, Ohio, with Autumn Rose Farm Equestrians in Zone 5
Future Beginner Horsemanship, Team
Claire Andrews from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, riding for Grier School in Zone 2
Tim Boone Lifetime Achievement Award
Nancy Arledge, coach for West Licking District Equestrian Team in Zone 5
Overall Winner of the Horseman's Knowledge Test Award (Western)
Kate Baugh from Nederland, Colorado, riding with Rocky Mountain Wranglers in Zone 8
Overall Winner of the Holy Innocents' Horsemanship Test Award (Hunt Seat)
Ariana Chinoporos from Belmont, Massachusetts, riding with North Gate Equestrians in Zone 1
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. 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. There is no need any rider to own a horse because the IEA provides a mount and tack to every rider at every event, including the National Finals.  For more information, please view the IEA website at: www.rideiea.org.
All photos by McKenzie Yates for IEA. Photos may only be used in relation to this press release.