In August 2020, the USEA Board of Governors approved the creation of the USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) as an official program of the USEA. The mission of IEL is to bring together junior riders with a common interest and provide a supportive community through which students can continue to pursue their riding interests. This program will encourage team camaraderie and will give junior members a chance to compete in a team atmosphere. This program will also help provide a pathway for those riders who seek to be part of a collegiate eventing program as they graduate high school.
The goal of the IEL is to increase membership, education, and engagement in riders on a national level who are in 7th through 12th grade.
Any individual who is currently in the 7th through 12th grade is eligible to become a member of IEL. Members of IEL should register with the USEA as a USEA Junior member. Membership must be renewed each year.
Junior riders may only affiliate themselves with one interscholastic team annually. Junior riders should make sure their name is on the official team roster that should be submitted to USEA Senior Director of Membership Jennifer Hardwick via email at [email protected] or via mail to the USEA office at 525 Old Waterford Road NW, Leesburg, VA 20176. There is no specific age group, but IEL members must be in grades 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12. There is no restriction on the type of school an IEL member attends. They can attend public, private, online, and homeschool.
The interscholastic team should register with the USEA as an interscholastic team affiliate. The interscholastic team can be any group of junior riders who share a common bond - the same barns, the same school, same Pony Club, same area, etc. Junior riders may only affiliate themselves with one interscholastic team per year. There is no limit on the size of an interscholastic team.
Each affiliate team should elect one team representative to be the point of contact for the USEA. This representative does not need to be a Junior member. The representative can be a coach, parent, owner, team captain, etc. The USEA requires that every team affiliate representative of this program is SafeSport certified. Also, anyone that is in contact with a minor under the name of the program should be SafeSport certified.
The $75 team affiliate membership fee will be waived for the first two years of the program (through 2022). However teams will still need to fill out an affiliate application form. Each affiliate must renew their affiliate membership every year with the USEA. All current IEL team members should also be listed on the official team roster.
For interscholastic teams that are associated with a USEA ICP certified instructor, the $75 affiliate fee will always be waived. The ICP instructor may only be affiliated with one interscholastic team. But, IEL is not limited to just ICP instructors, the USEA welcomes any coach, trainer, or instructor that has junior members to register a team.
At this time, the USEA Interscholastic Eventing League is not offering a championship. However, a future goal of IEL is to have a USEA Interscholastic Eventing League Championships run alongside the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Team Championships.
The format of team challenges will follow a similar format as the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program. The interscholastic team challenges will run in conjunction with USEA recognized horse trials. Interscholastic team challenges will follow the USEA/USEF Rules for Eventing, therefore, IEL members are not allowed to share horses during a competition. However, they can share the horses while training at home.
A blank scoring template for IEL team challenges may be downloaded here.
For event organizers who are interested in hosting an interscholastic team challenge, please email the USEA Interscholastic Eventing League staff liaison at [email protected].
Click here to see the USEA Interscholastic Eventing League Guidelines.
**A special thanks to Kimberly Wallace of Coosa, Georgia, who originally contacted the USEA about her idea of team eventing for middle- and high-school riders. The USEA would also like to thank the USEA Membership Development Committee and the USEA Interscholastic Task Force, which helped foster the concept and prepare it for Board presentation and approval.
For more information about the USEA Interscholastic Eventing League, please contact Claire Kelley at [email protected] or (703) 669-9994.