IEA News

IEA Hosts Successful 21st Annual National Finals at Tryon


Monday, May 8, 2023 (Columbus, OH) – The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) has nearly completed their 21st season with the first two of three National Finals on April 27 – 30, 2023 in a combined 4-day Hunt Seat and Dressage competition at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, North Carolina. Over 600 of the nation’s leading middle and high school equestrian athletes (in grades 4-12) representing 206 different teams from across the United States and Canada gathered to compete as individuals and teams for top honors in Hunt Seat and Dressage classes, championship titles, cash and collegiate scholarships and more. IEA had a total of 1,467 teams this season with 60 teams qualifying for these National Finals team competitions. 

Following the resounding success of IEA’s 20th Anniversary season last year, IEA focused their 21st season on maintaining the energy, growth, development of new programs, and strengthening of relationships and procedures going into this second year of a two-discipline Finals. Many hands make light work and indeed many hands were needed on-deck for a competition of this size and scope. The backdrop of the beautiful Tryon facility (home to the 2018 World Equestrian Games) made it a fantastic location for IEA members to compete and reside. A multitude of comfortable cabins, restaurants and camping sites set in the lush green hills of western North Carolina made it seem more like a resort than a horse show. A complete list of officials and show staff for the 2023 IEA Hunt Seat & Dressage National Finals can be found in the show program here. IEA will host their third National Finals for the Western discipline on June 24-25, 2023 in Fort Worth, Texas during the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) World Championship Show.

Similar to the collegiate riding format, IEA utilizes a unique draw-based competition format whereby riders compete on unfamiliar horses in the following classes: Hunt Seat Equitation over fences and on the flat, Dressage Test and Dressage Seat Equitation (and Western Horsemanship, Reining and Ranch Riding). IEA riders must develop their catch-riding skills as very little to no warm-up practice is allowed before each class. All tack and horses for National Finals (and every other IEA show) were provided by IEA member teams, colleges, and outside horse providers – allowing for a more level playing field of competition.