IHSA Sponsors Special Recognition

Cleveland Heights, Ohio, February 11, 2011---The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), in conjunction with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), will award a student-rider the inaugural National Sportsmanship Award during the IEA National Finals on April 30, 2011. The award will be presented annually at future IEA National Finals competitions. In addition to becoming eligible for the National Award, finalists-from across the United States-will gain additional opportunities and recognition including scholarships and trophies.

The national award winner will be selected from the group of riders who earned a Sportsmanship Award at a local, regional or zone IEA show during the school year and submitted the required credential information.

Each award-winner applicant will present a personal resume that documents the following areas:

  • Equine-related activities and memberships: include any year-end or extraordinary awards
  • School-related activities including clubs, sports, leadership positions and any awards or honors
  • Community activities including volunteer organizations, community service, leadership positions and any awards or honors
  • An official school transcript that demonstrates a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

In addition, the applicants will compose a 250-word essay that explains how horses and/or equestrian competitions have influenced his/her life. In addition, three recommendations are needed; one from an equine professional, one from a teacher or school advisor and one from an additional person of the candidate's choice.

The submissions will be judged by a designated IEA committee based upon the following criteria:

  • Active equestrian participant
  • Scholastic and extracurricular involvement
  • Characteristics that exemplify good sportsmanship and positive peer role model
  • Academic record of 3.0 or above

Applicants will place 1st-8th, as in other IEA National Competitions. Student-rider finalists from all IEA disciplines will be judged together.

The 1st place applicant will receive a $500.00 scholarship award from IEA, a lifetime membership to IEA, and they will be nominated by the IEA in affiliate sportsmanship award programs like: USHJA Affiliate Sportsmanship Award Program, USEF Youth Sportsman's Award, and other similar programs, where applicable. His/her essay and a photo will appear in the summer issue of Take the Reins magazine.

In addition to the IEA awards, the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) will donate a perpetual trophy to be engraved from year to year with the names of 1st place winners, and a keeper trophy from the IHSA will be awarded to the recipient. The IHSA will also give a $500 scholarship to the highest placing senior (12th grade) sportsman, and if that senior attends a college or university with an IHSA equestrian team the scholarship will be doubled to a total of $1000! The Final awards will be announced at IEA Nationals.

Founded in 2002, the IEA was organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle and secondary school students. Its purpose is to set standards for competition, provide information concerning the creation and development of school-associated equestrian sport programs, and to generally promote the common interest of safe riding instruction, competition, and education on matters related to equestrian competition at the middle and secondary school levels. The IEA has more than 200 teams in seven active zones representing 31 states across the country.

sportsmanship award