Tuesday, December 3, 2019 – (Columbus, Ohio) – The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) along with Bahamas Interschool Equestrian League (BIEL)-a division of Equestrian Bahamas will hold a Hunt Seat Invitational and Selection Trials on Sunday, December 8th at Mariposa Stables in Nassau, Bahamas. In addition to conducting regular rated horse shows, Equestrian Bahamas, a recently ratified member of Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI), is in their 3rd year of developing BIEL – a team-oriented riding program using a draw-based competition format similar to IEA.
The competition on December 8th will be judged by 'R'- rated Hunter/Jumper judge, Linda Mancini of Warwick, New York and will serve as the Selection Trials for five riders who will advance to the first ever IEA International Invitational in Conyers, Georgia on February 15, 2020. These top five riders from grades 9-12 at the Selection Trials will represent the Bahamas as an upper school team in both fences and flat classes. The International Invitational will be held in conjunction with the IEA Zone 4/Region 1 Finals at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers.
President of Equestrian Bahamas, Catherine Ramsingh-Pierre, whose son is an alumni of IEA and rode on the Carriage Hill Farms IEA Team, contacted IEA Co-founder and Executive Director, Roxane Durant over a year-ago to discuss ideas on collaboration between the two organizations. Durant, along with IEA Zone Captain and Zone 4 Administrator, Simon Towns, will travel to Nassau this weekend to help conduct the Selection Trials and to learn more about the unique BIEL program.
"We are thrilled to be able to have this opportunity to expand outside of our U.S. boundaries and to witness the enthusiasm and talent of these young riders in the Bahamas," stated Durant. "IEA has always been open to the idea of expanding our programs to include other countries and we look forward to hosting BIEL riders in February."
"Equestrian Bahamas is excited that our high school equestrian athletes have been granted this tremendous opportunity to compete in the IEA International Invitational. As Bahamians we consider it an honor to be the first country outside the U.S. to be invited to participate in IEA competition," stated Ramsingh-Pierre. "We look forward to welcoming our guests at the selection trials this coming weekend. Hopefully this is just the first step in a long-lived partnership!"