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NRHA Commissioner and USHJA USEF Certified Judge Join IEA Board of Directors

September 19, 2017 (Columbus, Ohio) – The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) is pleased to announce the addition of Gary L. Carpenter, Commissioner and CEO of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) and Katie Innis Schaaf, United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Certified Trainer and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Judge to the IEA Board of Directors.
Carpenter and Schaaf join these returning Board members: 
  • Jenny Mitchell (President) - Former IEA Coach
  • Nancy Kohler-Cunningham (President Elect) – IHSA Coach, Trainer, and owner of The Willows Farm
  • Amanda Garner (Secretary) - IEA Coach, Steward, Judge, and Trainer at Epiphany Farm 
  • Nancy Arledge - IEA Coach, Past IEA Board President, and owner of Paddock Stables
  • Timothy J. Boone - Co-Founder, Equestrian and retired Attorney
  • Leah Holland Fiorentino - Executive Director of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA)
  • Ollie Griffith - Co-Founder, IHSA Coach, and Owner/Trainer of Autumn Rose Farm
  • Sue Wentzel – IEA National Steward
Ex-officio members includeRoxane Durant (Co-Founder and Executive Director), Myron Leff (Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer), and Wayne Ackerer (Co-Founder, Clinician, Judge and Steward).
Carpenter, a native Texan, earned Bachelor and Masters degrees at Colorado State University (CSU), where he participated on the horse judging teams, which he later coached. He returned to CSU from 2010-2013, serving as the Industry Outreach and Liaison Director for the Equine Sciences Program. Carpenter is a Certified Association Executive through the American Society of Association Executives. Now serving as the Commissioner and CEO of the National Reining Horse Association, his experience encompasses a broad spectrum of the horse industry, and includes 10 years as Executive Director of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, as well as executive positions with The Jockey Club, American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), and the Arabian Horse Trust. In 2016, Carpenter was awarded the Equine Industry Vision Award, presented by Zoetis in partnership with the American Horse Publications. This prestigious award recognizes ingenuity, service, and innovation across the equine industry. 
In Carpenter’s personal life, he has traveled the world working on equine projects involving veterinary, welfare, publishing, studbook, and racing endeavors. He is a member of the renowned Roundup Riders of the Rockies and all four of Carpenter’s daughters have been involved with 4-H, United States Pony Club (USPC), and AQHA youth activities. Carpenter resides in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with his wife, author, Marian Carpenter.
Schaaf, a native of New York City, earned her Bachelor degree in Political Science from Tufts University where she served as captain of the equestrian team, which she later coached, and her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Harvard Law School. She is a USHJA Certified Trainer and USEF "r" judge in Hunter and Hunter/Jumping Seat Equitation. A long-time IEA member, Schaaf has coached multiple winners of equitation finals in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, horsemanship test winners, and sportsmanship award recipients, including an Emerson Burr horsemanship test winner at US Pony Finals, three Massachusetts Hunter Jumper finals winners, two Rhode Island finals winners, two Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Cacchione Cup riders, two IEA national horsemanship test winners, two IEA Hugo-Vidal sportsmanship recipients at National Finals, and co-recipients of the Massachusetts Horseman's Council sportsmanship award. Schaaf has led teams to IEA nationals eight times, including the 2016 national champion teams in both middle and high school. In 2015, she received the first national coach sportsmanship award given by the IEA. In 2011, the Massachusetts Horseman's Council named her Person of the Year.
Schaaf is currently a trainer at Oriana Stables in Cary, North Carolina, where she is delighted to start an IEA team. She has also served as an IEA coach for North Gate IEA Team, Concord IEA Team and August Farm IEA Team – all in Zone 1 – as well as an IEA Zone 1 Standards and Ethics Committee Member for the past seven years. From 2005 – 2007, Schaaf competed nationally and internationally in modern pentathlon– an Olympic sport that comprises five different events; fencing, swimming, show jumping, pistol shooting and a cross-country run.
About IEA:
Now entering its 16th 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. For more information, please visit
Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA)
National Office: (NEW ADDRESS)
PO Box 809, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022-4209
Membership Office:
467 Main Street, Melrose, Massachusetts 02176