April 21, 2016 – Lexington, Ky. – The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) kicked off the 2016 IEA National Finals yesterday at the Alltech Arena in the Kentucky Horse Park. This is the first time in four years that the Hunt Seat and Western Finals have combined in one event.

This year, with the finals held in the Horse Capitol of the World, vendors and colleges flocked to the park creating a multitude of shopping, educational opportunities and college prep. In the middle of the show, the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) held a demonstration, as IEA will pilot the new Dressage discipline in the fall of 2016.

Riders competed in Hunt Seat open fences classes and a several semi-finals flat classes. IEA’s format requires each rider to draw a horse on the day of competition with no opportunity to familiarize himself or herself with the horse.

“We had extraordinary rides — proven by the riders and the excellent scores,” said Roxane Lawrence, IEA Co-founder and Executive Director when asked about Wednesday’s performance.

Today continues with the Hunt Seat competition and also kicks off the Western Finals classes, including reining and horsemanship. The Speaker Symposium will also commence with several equine experts discussing a number of topics geared towards IEA riders, parents, coaches and equine professionals.

Wednesday’s Hunt Seat Individual Winners:

Varsity Open Over Fences:

Kayla Lott of Elvenstar, located in Moorpark, California, in Zone 10

Varsity Over Fences Individual

Ethan Maye of Clover Grove, based in Fishersville, Virginia, in Zone 3

Future Intermediate Over Fences Individual

Mallory Francis of HRA/Foxtail Farm, set in Smithfield, Virginia, in Zone 3

Junior Novice Over Fences Individual

Tessa Molloy of Movado Farms, Equestrian Team, situated in Durham, Connecticut, in Zone 1

Future Novice Over Fences Individual

Lily Woods of Far and Away Equestrian Team, located in Marysville, Ohio, in Zone 5

Founded in 2002, the IEA has more than 12,500 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. There is no need any rider to own a horse because the IEA provides a mount and tack to every rider at every event, including the National Finals. For more information, please view the IEA website at: www.rideiea.org.