Riders Up! Nation's Best Compete for Interscholastic Equestrian Association Championship

Cleveland Heights, Ohio, April 13, 2012 - More than 500 of the nation's leading middle school and high school equestrians will converge on The Coliseum at New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York Friday, April 20 through Sunday, April 22 to compete for top honors in Hunt Seat Classes in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association's (IEA) National Finals. The student-riders will travel from across the United States to participate in the competition as the IEA celebrates its 10th Anniversary. Dover Saddlery and the American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA) sponsor the championship event.

The competitors represent 719 teams from eight zones throughout the United States that competed in numerous shows during the 2011-2012 school year. The teams and individuals that accumulated the highest number of points within each zone qualified for the IEA National Finals.

Riders will compete in Hunt Seat Equitation classes, over fences and on the flat, throughout the weekend. The format requires that riders compete in unfamiliar tack on unfamiliar mounts; therefore, they draw their horses the day of competition and enter the arena after a brief, if any, warm-up.


  • Friday-6:30-8:00 AM Schooling of horses; 8:00 AM Varsity Open Draw and Course Walk-through; 9:00 AM-5:00 PM (approximate) Competition
  • Saturday-6:30-8:00 AM Schooling of horses; 8:00 AM Varsity Open Draw and Course Walk-through; 9:00 AM-4:00 PM (approximate) Competition; 4:30 PM Parade of Teams (All IEA teams, coaches and riders scheduled to appear in arena); 4:50 PM Presentation of National Sportsmanship Award (Student-rider) and the IEA Lifetime Achievement Award (Adult); 5:30 PM (approximate) 10 Year Anniversary Alumni Championship Class; 6:00 PM (approximate) Varsity Open Championship followed with the award to the Leading Hunt Seat Rider
  • Sunday-6:30-8:00 AM Schooling of horses; 7:30 AM Holy Innocents Horsemanship Finals; 9:00 AM-12:00 PM (approximate) Hunt Seat Team Semi-Finals; 12:00 PM -3:00 PM (approximate) Hunt Seat Team Finals; 3:00 PM Awards Ceremony.

In addition to the IEA competition, Kim Jaussi, well-known Hunt Seat equestrian and Associate Professor of Management at Binghamton University School of Management, will present two workshops on Saturday, April 21. The 10:00 AM workshop is "Leadership for Equestrian Athletes" and analyzes how horses help with self-leadership development. The 2:00 PM session is a motivational presentation titled "Dreams Can Come True" and focuses on how Jaussi developed a partnership with world-renown equestrian Peter Leone to co-author the upcoming book, Peter Leone's Show Jumping Clinic: Success Strategies for Equestrian Athletes. 

Internationally renowned rider, Bernie Traurig, will also be in attendance throughout the weekend to promote EquestrianCoach.com, an online education service that provides systematic, online "lessons" presented by Bernie Traurig and a host of world-class trainers and competitors. He will be giving continuous presentations throughout the weekend.

Founded in 2002, The IEA was organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle and secondary school students. Its purpose is to set minimum standards for competition, provide information concerning the creation and development of school associated equestrian sport programs, and 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.