Richmond, IL - After over a decade of competitions on the east coast, the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) has established itself in Illinois. The IEA is created for Middle and High School Riders that travel as a team to a host barn and compete on the horse selected through a random draw. Riders are judged on their equitation over fences and on the flat.
If you look at the IEA website and search for Illinois’s region (Zone 5, Region 10) you will see that the majority of the shows are being hosted by Cliffwood Farm in Richmond, IL. Barn Manager, Kara Wintz, said they are running 4 of the 5 shows, all in October.
“It’s a little overwhelming, but also really exciting. Illinois has its own region this year and we are one of the only teams that has a facility that can host, so we are doing as much as we can to help the region grow,” said Wintz.
Wintz believes in the value of the IEA, as she competed for 4 years in the college version, IHSA, at The University of Findlay. “I love both programs (IEA and IHSA) as it really levels the playing field for all riders. Money isn’t a factor in IEA,” added Wintz. The cost to participate on an IEA team is significantly less expensive because there is no requirement to own a horse or pay for one to travel to the shows. The IEA allows everyone to horse show.
Ana Vazquez, Cliffwood Farm’s coach, loves that the IEA creates comaraderie among the team members as they all cheer each other on. “Riding and showing is usually such an individualized sport, the IEA creates a team atmosphere as the different teams compete against each other. We also like to do a lot of team bonding events like bonfires and ice cream parties to help keep things fun. Then when the girls have to be there at the crack of dawn for horse shows, they don’t hate us as much,” laughs Vazquez.
The Cliffwood Farm crew certainly has its work cut out for them in the month of October!
Upcoming IEA shows at Cliffwood Farm:
- October 10th and 11th
- October 31st and November 1st
Cliffwood Farm is a premier full-service equestrian boarding and training facility located in the beautiful countryside of Richmond, Illinois. At Cliffwood Farm, their love of horses and passion for quality and safety inspires performance at every level of the operation. For more information about the IEA or Cliffwood Farm, please contact Kara at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the farm at 815-678-7000.