IEA Holds First Annual Semi-Final Competitions
With Sights Set on National Finals in Oklahoma City
In 2017, the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) adopted a new structure for their Western Program. This restructuring included new regional assignments across the nation as well as a new Western Zone, headed-up by Zone Administrator, Todd Knerr.
In addition, the IEA also adopted a new format for post-season competition that included a semi-finals format (much like the competition format used by the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association – IHSA) that allowed more western riders to compete in a finals-like setting. Using a two-judge system, each semi-finals included two days of competition and were held on May 25-26 in Harriman, TN, and June 2-3 in Findlay, OH.
Western riders competed in regular season shows in their respective regions throughout the season with each holding a Regional Finals. The top three riders and teams from each Regional Finals then were divided into the two semi-finals locations to vie for the chance to compete at IEA Western Finals at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City, OK, on June 23-24 during the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby. Over 250 riders competed in the semi-finals with approximately 150 qualifying to go travel to Oklahoma. Senior riders in their final year of IEA were recognized at both semi-finals with special celebratory events that included decorating graduation caps, flower presentations, and sweet treats for everyone.
This weekend, riders, coaches, and parents will congregate in Oklahoma City for two days of exciting competition in Western Reining and Western Horsemanship to name the IEA National Champions. Judging the competition is the husband/wife team John and Betsy Tuckey from Liberty, KY. Both Tuckeys are accredited American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), National Snaffle Bit Association, and NRHA judges.