February 9, 2019 – Columbus, Ohio – The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Board of Directors recently voted to expand membership to include 4th and 5th grade riders in the middle-school division of Hunt Seat, Western and Dressage. For the past 17 seasons, IEA has been offered only to riders in grades 6 –12.
The recently adopted rule change which will take effect beginning with the 2019-2020 Season reads as follows: Any full-time student enrolled in grades four (4) through twelve (12) during the application year is eligible to be a rider member provided they are less than twenty (20) years of age on September 1st.
With the addition of younger aged riders, the Board of Directors is also considering some changes to class offerings, but those are not yet finalized and will be released at a later date.
“We are thrilled to add 4th and 5th graders into our riding programs for next year!” states IEA Executive Director, Roxane Durant. “We started with an educational horsemanship program for these younger riders a few years ago, and there is so much demand that we are now opening our teams and competitions to them also. Giving students an earlier start to equine athletics is a great addition on every level. The earlier you find horses, the more years you will have to enjoy them!”
The 2019-2020 IEA season membership application process for new and returning teams will open in early June with competitions beginning September 1, 2019. For more information on starting a team, visit www.rideiea.org or contact Membership Marketing Coordinator, Jennifer Eaton at Jenn@rideiea.org.
Now in its 17th year, the IEA has nearly 14,000 members across the United States riding and coaching Hunt Seat, Western and Dressage disciplines. The non-profit (501(c)3) 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.
For more information, please visit www.rideiea.org