July 22, 2019 (Columbus, Ohio) – The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), in conjunction with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), awards a student rider the National Sportsmanship Award each year. This year's award was presented to Ian McFarlin, a High School Freshman from Tallahassee, Florida.

The national award winner is selected from a group of riders who earned a Sportsmanship Award at a local, regional or zone IEA show during the 2018-2019 season. These winners were then invited to submit an application for the National Sportsmanship Award. As part of the application process, student riders submitted a resume, composed a 250-word essay explaining how horses and/or equestrian competition have influenced his/her life and three letters of recommendation.

"My involvement with horses and equestrian competitions has had a monumental impact on all areas of my life. Working with horses has taught me humility and the value of sacrifice," said McFarlin. "I find myself humbled every day by the willingness of my incredible equine partners to share this journey with me and to teach me. This sport has given me passion, drive, focus and ambition and has helped me to discover the path for my future."

McFarlin is a rider on the Tallahassee Riding Academy Team in Zone 4 (coached by Amy Center, Janet Crawley, and Grace Dreyer). He is a rising Sophomore at St. John Paul ll Catholic High School in Tallahassee, Florida. Along with being extremely active in IEA, McFarlin also a member of the Southern Hunter Jumper Association (SHJA), United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA), and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). He is also a therapeutic riding volunteer with Hands & Hearts for Horses. Outside of horse related activities, McFarlin is involved interested in Aerospace Engineering and Debate.

McFarlin will receive a five hundred-dollar scholarship from the IEA, a lifetime membership to the IEA and a nomination by the IEA to affiliates' sportsmanship award programs. The IHSA will award McFarlin a five hundred-dollar scholarship, a keeper trophy and his name engraved on a perpetual Sportsmanship Award trophy.

"Good sportsmanship is a tenant in the IEA and this award is held to high regard. Choosing the National Sportsman from the pool of amazing candidates is always a difficult decision. Ian has an impressive resume as a proven leader, outstanding equestrian, and his sportsmanship and dedication to IEA and equestrian sport is something to be envied," commented Roxane Durant, IEA Executive Director.

In addition to the National Sportsmanship Award, a second National Sportsmanship Award is awarded to the highest placing senior sportsman. This year the award went to Victoria Garvin. For this award, the IHSA awards 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, that scholarship will be doubled to a total of $1,000.

A graduate of the online Well-Trained Mind Academy, Garvin plans to attend St. Andrews University in North Carolina this fall. In addition to riding with IEA for the past six years, she also rode in the American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA), National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), American Junior Paint Horse Association (AjPHA), Virginia Reigning Horse Association (VRHA), Southeastern Reining Horse Association (SERHA), National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA) and the 4-H Horse Program.

"Throughout the history of IHSA," said founder and IHSA Executive Director, Robert E. 'Bob' Cacchione, "I have always been impressed by the caliber of sportsmanship and teamwork exhibited by our student athletes, who strive to succeed in the arena as well as the classroom. Our partnership with IEA is rooted in our shared values and a commitment to recognize athletic excellence, integrity and service."

Nearly 1,000 IEA riders were eligible for the National Sportsmanship Award. Among the 114 finalist applicants, the top eight winners are:

  1. First Place: IAN MCFARLIN, from Tallahassee Riding Academy (Zone 4).
  2. Second Place: VICTORIA GARVIN, from Central Carolina Equestrian (Region 4).
  3. Third Place: SHANEY ENCK, from Western PA Equestrian Team (Zone 11)
  4. Fourth Place: MARGARET KLAU, from Cornerstone Farm CO (Zone 8).
  5. Fifth Place: JOCELYN DULANEY, from West Licking District (Zone 5).
  6. Sixth Place: GRACE PERRY, from Greenway@Featherdown (Zone 3).
  7. Seventh Place: GRETCHEN JACKSON, from Cottonwood Riding Club (Zone 8).
  8. Eighth Place: RYANN PIPERNO, from Saddlebrook Equestrian Team (Region 11).
Ian McFarlin