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.
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