About IEA

The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), a non-profit organization committed to providing safe equestrian instruction and competition, was founded in 2002. Today, over 14,500 students around the country in grades 4-12 are members. The IEA hosts shows in three disciplines: hunt seat, western, and dressage, with classes for beginner to advanced riders. No IEA member needs to own a horse, due to the unique competition format of the IEA's shows. Currently, North Gwinnett is in hunt seat Zone 4, Region 1. Zone 4 encompasses Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. For more information on the IEA's mission, visit their website here.

IEA Competition Format

The unique aspect of IEA competitions is that riders do not ride their own horse. Instead, participating teams supply safe horses appropriate for the rider's level which are then chosen by random draw. Thus, riders will almost always be riding an unfamiliar horse. This equalizes competition and tests the rider's horsemanship. Because riders are on a horse they are unaccustomed to, they are not judged on the horse's performance, but on their equitation and horsemanship. In the event that a horse's performance interferes with the ability to judge the rider fairly, a re-ride on another horse may be given. Points are tracked for both individual riders and the entire team, so that individuals may qualify for post-season competition separately of the team. There are four class levels: Varsity Open Equitation, Varsity Intermediate Equitation, Junior Varsity Novice Equitation, and Junior Varsity Beginner Equitation, as well as a written horsemanship test open to all riders. Aside from Junior Varsity Beginner, which is flat only, all divisions consist of one over fences (jumping) class and one flat class. Scroll over photos for more info on each division.

Varsity Open

Varsity Open Equitation riders compete at a fence height of 2'6". 

Junior Varsity Novice

Junior Varsity Novice Equitation riders compete over cross rails.

Varsity Intermediate

Varsity Intermediate Equitation riders compete at a fence height of 2'. 

Junior Varsity Beginner

Junior Varsity Beginner riders compete only on the flat, and may do walk/trot OR walk/trot/canter.