The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), in conjunction with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), awards a student-rider the National Sportsmanship Award each year.
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. These Sportsmanship Award winners will receive an IEA Sportsmanship patch (pictured), and will be invited to submit an application for the National Sportsmanship Award.
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. Three recommendations are also 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!