For student equestrians in grades 6-12, the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) was established in the spring of 2002 and held its first annual national finals event the following year in Willoughby, Ohio. A non-profit organization, the IEA has grown both geometrically and geographically each year. Beginning with just 200 participants, the IEA now has over 12,500 members in 42 states across North America.
The IEA supports three disciplines:Hunt Seat, Western, and Dressage. There is no need for any rider to own a horse because competition horses are provided at each venue to the contestant.
The MISSION of the IEA is to introduce students in private and public middle and secondary schools to equestrian sports and to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction.
The IEA PURPOSE is to set minimum standards for competition, provide information concerning the creation and development of school associated equestrian sport programs, promote the common interests of safe riding instruction and competition and education on matters related to equestrian sport at the middle and secondary school levels (primarily ages 9 through 19).
To fulfill its purpose, the IEA offers guidance regarding the creation and development of school and/or barn associated equestrian programs. IEA coaches aim to develop understanding and appreciation of equestrian sports through organized student competitions and additional equine educational opportunities.
Students have the opportunity to earn scholarships toward their college education through awards in competition and through sportsmanship activities.