April 21, 2016 - Lexington, Ky. - The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) kicked off the 2016 IEA National Finals yesterday at the Alltech Arena in the Kentucky Horse Park. This is the first time in four years that the Hunt Seat and Western Finals have combined in one event.
This year, with the finals held in the Horse Capitol of the World, vendors and colleges flocked to the park creating a multitude of shopping, educational opportunities and college prep. In the middle of the show, the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) held a demonstration, as IEA will pilot the new Dressage discipline in the fall of 2016.
Riders competed in Hunt Seat open fences classes and a several semi-finals flat classes. IEA's format requires each rider to draw a horse on the day of competition with no opportunity to familiarize himself or herself with the horse.
"We had extraordinary rides - proven by the riders and the excellent scores," said Roxane Lawrence, IEA Co-founder and Executive Director when asked about Wednesday's performance.
Today continues with the Hunt Seat competition and also kicks off the Western Finals classes, including reining and horsemanship. The Speaker Symposium will also commence with several equine experts discussing a number of topics geared towards IEA riders, parents, coaches and equine professionals.
Wednesday's Hunt Seat Individual Winners:
Varsity Open Over Fences:
Kayla Lott of Elvenstar, located in Moorpark, California, in Zone 10
Varsity Over Fences Individual
Ethan Maye of Clover Grove, based in Fishersville, Virginia, in Zone 3
Future Intermediate Over Fences Individual
Mallory Francis of HRA/Foxtail Farm, set in Smithfield, Virginia, in Zone 3
Junior Novice Over Fences Individual
Tessa Molloy of Movado Farms, Equestrian Team, situated in Durham, Connecticut, in Zone 1
Future Novice Over Fences Individual
Lily Woods of Far and Away Equestrian Team, located in Marysville, Ohio, in Zone 5