It’s been another very exciting and fun-filled day for young equestrians at the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Western National Finals held at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. The event was held in conjunction with the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby. Great riding and strong competition made for a second straight day of thrilling rides. The young equestrians were also able to display their team spirit during the annual parade of teams, which was followed by an award ceremony.
Riders, aged 11-19, competed in reining and horsemanship classes on unfamiliar mounts with unfamiliar equipment. IEA’s format requires each rider to draw a horse on the day of the competition with no opportunity to familiarize himself or herself with the horse before stepping into the show ring.
“It was another spectacular day at the Adequan arena. The team competitions were close and the sense of spirit and good sportsmanship was everywhere,” IEA co-founder and Executive Director Roxane Lawrence said.
The top four riders from the IEA Varsity Open Reining Class (Caroline Gute, Jordan Carpenter, Tyler Kirby and Emma Willeke) were scheduled to compete against the top four NRHyA riders in the NRHA High School Reining Championship class in the coliseum on Saturday morning.
Friday’s Team Competition results are:
1st Place Future Novice Horsemanship Team: Laney VanderHart of KM Equestrian riding Slik from Arizona Western Equestrian Team.
1st Place JV Beginner Horsemanship Team: Erika Lundquist from Autumn Rose Equestrians joined with Ruby of Bales Show Stables.
1st Place Future Beginner Horsemanship Team: Cameron Montgomery of Autumn Rose Equestrians partnered with Slicker of West Texas A&M University.
1st Place JV Novice Horsemanship Team: Hannah Willeke of KM Equestrian showing Bob of West Texas A&M University.
1st Place Varsity Intermediate Horsemanship Team: Claire Alexander of Forsyth Central Equestrian Team riding Mya of Arizona Western Equestrian Team.
1st Place Future Intermediate Horsemanship Team: Madison Olvert of Hillside Meadows partnered with Mya of Arizona Western Equestrian Team.
1st Place Varsity Open Horsemanship Team: Emma Willeke of KM Equestrian showing Zorro from Bales Show Horses.
1st Place NRHA Varsity Intermediate Reining Team: Hallie McClintock from Dare Equestrian Team joined with Luna of Aitken Performance Horses.
1st Place NRHA Future Intermediate Reining Team: Hannah Jane Lucas who rides at Central Carolina Equestrian Team riding Chubs of Schwarz Reining Horses.
1st Place NRHA Varsity Open Reining Team: Benjamin Beckett of Dare Equestrian Team partnered with Chocolena with Chic from Buchanan Performance Horses.
Western National Finals Program Art Cover Contest: Sabrina Dworkin of Arizona Reining Equestrian Team.
Horseman’s Knowledge Test presented by the United States Pony Clubs, Inc. Overall Winner: Kate Baugh from Rocky Mountain Wranglers.
Team Spirit Award: Rocky Mountain Wranglers of Bertoud, Colorado.
NRHA Sportsmanship Award: Hallie McClintock who rides with Dare Equestrian Team.
Coach Sportsmanship Award: Jeff Geiger, the coach of Team JGPH.
NRHA Outstanding Western Horse: Tuff from West Texas A&M University.
Western Middle School Team Champion: Central Carolina Equestrian Team from Lucama, NC.
Western Upper School Team Champion – Sponsored by the Smith Brothers: Dare Equestrian Team from Hilliard, OH.
Founded in 2002, the IEA has more than 11,000 middle and high school student-riders across the United States. The IEA was organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle and secondary school students and is open to public and private schools and barn teams. Its purpose is to set minimum standards for competition, provide information concerning the creation and development of school associated equestrian sport programs, to generally promote the common interests of safe riding instruction and competition and education on matters related to equestrian competition at the middle and secondary school levels. For more information, visit the IEA website.