Columbus, Ohio - February 1, 2016 - Continuing the annual trend of steadily climbing membership, the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) reached a noteworthy milestone for the current season. The non-profit organization now has 12,670 members,---an increase of 12% from last year.
Founded in 2002 for young riders in grades 6-12, the IEA started with 175 riders on 13 teams and has progressively grown each year. While this season's increased membership came from across the United States, many of the new members reside west of the Mississippi and along the East coast. The IEA is the largest youth equestrian organization in the country, as well as the largest feeder organization to collegiate equestrian programs.
IEA membership rates are very affordable. Fees are $55 per individual rider for the season. Most important, there is no need for any rider to own a horse to participate in the IEA.
The IEA competition features two disciplines -- Hunt Seat and Western and operates with a blind-draw format. Riders compete locally to make Regionals; then move to Zone Finals and ultimately to National Finals. Both Hunt Seat and Western National Finals will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park, in Lexington, Kentucky April 20-24.
"We are so proud of the many supporters of the IEA -- especially the parents of our young equestrians. Of course, thousands of other volunteers help the IEA; coaches, trainers, family members, and sponsors play a vital role in developing our sense of community throughout the organization. It's the primary reason we continue to increase membership," stated Roxane Lawrence, IEA co-founder/executive director.
|The IEA now boasts more than 12,500 members. Pictured are the 2015 IEA National Finals high school championship team, the Front Range Equestrian Team. Photo by Ron Schwane Photography.
Founded in 2002, 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. For more information, please view the IEA website at: www.rideiea.org