The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the creation of a new program, the USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL). This new program will launch in 2021 and was created for USEA junior members who are in the 7th through 12th grades. The USEA Board of Governors approved the creation of this program during the August 2020 Board meeting.
“I’m very excited about this new program,” said USEA CEO Rob Burk. “We have seen the success and popularity of the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Program, and we have wanted to offer a similar program for our junior members. As with the intercollegiate program, the IEL will be rooted in creating a community for our members and stressing sportsmanship and volunteerism. This new program will help increase junior engagement on a national level. Ultimately this will also improve the pipeline into our sport and to the intercollegiate ranks. I strongly encourage everyone that’s eligible to sign up for this program. Join a team and promote your accomplishments - brag a little and be proud!”
The mission of the 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 help provide a pathway for those riders who seek to be part of a collegiate eventing program as they graduate high school.
All prospective IEL members should be current junior members of the USEA. Additionally, IEL members should form an interscholastic team and register their team through the USEA as an IEL team affiliate. These interscholastic teams can be made up of junior riders who share a common bond - the same barns, the same school, same Pony Club, etc. But, please note that junior riders are only allowed to affiliate themselves with one interscholastic team per year. All teams will be free to form as USEA Affiliates for the first two years of the program and the cost is planned to be $75 per year after that time.
For interscholastic teams that are associated with a USEA ICP certified instructor, the USEA Board of Governors has agreed to waive all affiliate registration fees for current ICP certified instructors for the life of the IEL. However, each ICP instructor may only have team affiliate fees waived for one interscholastic team each year.
“The Board wants to continue to add benefits to those that commit to becoming certified instructors, so this was seen as an obvious connection” stated Burk. “ICP certified instructors demonstrate a level of professionalism and safety that the USEA wants to promote. Each instructor is certified by the USEA ICP to a specific level of teaching knowledge and proficiency. Parents of junior riders should look to ICP certified instructors for the education of their children and join their teams.”
The format of IEL team challenges will follow a similar format as the intercollegiate team challenges. The IEL team challenges will run in conjunction with USEA recognized horse trials and there is no additional cost for hosting an IEL team challenge. Any event organizer who is interested in hosting an IEL team challenge, please email the USEA Interscholastic Eventing League staff liaison at [email protected].
For more information on the USEA Interscholastic Eventing League, please visit the IEL page on the USEA website.
**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.
All the major contenders passed the eventing final horse inspection at the Tokyo Olympics and will carry on to contest the show jumping phase in a few hours’ time.
The ground jury (Nick Burton, GBR, Christina Klingspor, SWE, and the U.S.A.’s Jane Hamlin) and vets only failed to accept one horse - Fantastic Frieda, ridden by Poland’s Joanna Pawlak, who had completed the cross-country in 41st place with a refusal and 25.2 time-faults.
The FEI has announced that the Swiss horse Jet Set, ridden by Robin Godel has had to be euthanized after pulling up extremely lame on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course during Equestrian Eventing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on August 1, 2021.
In 2002, at the age of 15, I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Maine while Tremaine Cooper was there building some cross-country jumps. I helped him build a trakehner, not realizing that this day would set the course for my future. A few weeks later he called asking if I could help him at Millbrook Horse Trials. From there I helped Tremaine during most of my school vacations and throughout the summers. After graduating high school I kept at it never looking back. I lived the gypsy lifestyle for about six years going from coast to coast and event to event. In 2013 my wife Kathryn and I settled down in Lexington, Kentucky. These days I spend roughly 60-75 percent of my time on the road preparing events or building private schooling areas. I’ve had the privilege of being involved with some really great events around the states and have cultivated many friendships all over the country. In 2019 I was asked to be a part of Team Evans Olympic cross-country building crew. As I write this I am on my third trip to Tokyo. Here’s a day in Tokyo . . .
The British team cemented their gold medal position at the Tokyo Olympics with three magnificent cross-country performances, all clear inside the time. Added to that, their first rider, Oliver Townend, holds pole position individually after the dressage leader, Germany’s Michael Jung, picked up 11 penalties for triggering a frangible device.