A Brief Description of IEA

Please also take a look at the national website – rideiea.org for much more information. 

IEA is a nationally recognized equitation league where the team travels to various farms in their region or zone and compete on randomly drawn horses. On the high school team there are 4 levels and on the middle school team there are 3. To do well as a team, we need riders at every level. There are rules, based on the rider’s experience, regarding who can compete at each level.  Each level has an over fences class and a flat class at each show, with the exception of the beginner levels which only have flat classes. Just like at NCEL, or a Lehigh type show, points are awarded based on your placing in the class, and are accumulated throughout the season. Before each show starts the coach has to submit a point rider form indicating which rider’s points will count for the team for each class. The coach can choose a different rider for each class; the point rider could be different for the flat class and the over fences class. Regardless of who the point rider for the team is, all individuals receive points at each show. To qualify for finals a team must accumulate 20 points and an individual must accumulate 15 points. If we make it to regional finals, the goal there is to be in the top 2 to move on to zone finals. From zones the top 3 go to Nationals. Not easy! 

A 1st is 7 points, 2nd is 5, 3rd is 4, etc., just like NCEL. The team receiving the highest number of points from the point riders at a show will receive 7 points, the 2nd highest team will receive 5, etc. Each individual is allowed to participate in 5 shows, but there is no limit to the number of shows a team can participate in. At the beginning of the season we will receive a tentative schedule of shows. (It does change – shows get cancelled, added, limited, etc.) I will ask everyone to submit their availability for the shows – just a yes or no. You can’t pick the five shows that you want to go to – we need to make sure there is a balanced team at each show because the team will do best if every class has a rider in it. 

We try to schedule the shows that each rider is going to at the beginning of the season, but it will change.  We try to give you plenty of notice when you’re going, but everyone does need to be a little bit flexible to help out a teammate if something comes up, or if a show gets cancelled. Some shows that we planned on attending were cancelled or snowed out last year, so a lot of changes were made. And the nature of the scheduling is if one rider’s plan changes it has a domino effect. You do need to be flexible, but we make every effort to accommodate your schedule preferences. Karen won’t make any promises, but she does try to get each rider to five shows, and has been successful with that the last 3 seasons. Most shows are limited to 2 riders per class from each team, but occasionally 3 are allowed.  Show hosts want you to attend their shows – they know you have choices, so they try to make their shows as inviting as they can. 

The horses are usually nice and well-groomed, tack is clean and well cared for, and the rings and jumps are in good shape.  At each show you will see different teams and different riders, so you won’t be competing with the same people all the time. Everyone is always welcome and encouraged, but not required, to come out and cheer on the team if not riding. The shows are generally much longer than an NCEL show. There are 12 divisions at each show if they are having both middle and high school classes, and most of the time a couple of sections in each division - meaning that if 18 kids sign up to compete in the novice flat class, they will divide it into 2 sections of 9 riders. Usually our kids don’t have to compete with each other because of split classes. It’s sometimes a long day, but the kids love hanging out together, and helping each other, and always have a good time. And since the age range is from middle thru high school, you will have the opportunity to make lots of new friends!

Costs Associated with IEA Membership

Show fees: Each hosting team will charge approx. $40 per class (paid directly to the hosting team). FMF will charge $35 per class for coaching. Most riders show in 2 classes per show.

Key Dates

To sign up:

Go to rideiea.org. Click on membership, then rider. Complete the form online, other than the level placement.  A coach will fill that out when they sign it. Pay online, then you MUST print out the form, sign it, and bring it to the farm for a coach’s signature. Put your completed form in the folder marked “IEA membership forms” that is under the payment box. After a coach signs it and assigns the riding level, I will make a copy and put it back in the folder. I’ll let you know when that’s done so you can pick the form back up and mail it to the national IEA office. Also put your check to FMF for the team fee there, not in the payment box.

Email with any questions – info@rideiea.org