The USEA Interscholastic Eventing League was created in August 2020 with the goal of providing team experience and building camaraderie among USEA Young Rider program members in grades 7 through 12. IEL Affiliates are comprised of young riders who share a common bond, such as attending the same school, riding at the same barn or being in the same pony club, for example.
Over the past few years, the program has steadily grown and began to solidify itself as a pipeline for participation in the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing as well. In 2024, the Intercollegiate and Interscholastic programs will be joining forces for the first USEA Intercollegiate and Interscholastic Championships, which will be hosted at Stable View in Aiken, South Carolina, on May 4-5.
Since its inception, IEL Team Challenges have been hosted at a range of venues across the country, including Fair Hill International (FHI) in Elkton, Maryland. For the second year in a row, Fair Hill International was proud to host their IEL Team Challenge as a part of their Recognized Horse Trials in May and August.
In addition to offering the challenges, FHI was able to award prizes to the first and second place teams through a partnership with EquiFit, who is also a Prize Level Sponsor of the 2023 USEA AEC. All members of the first-place team won a $100 EquiFit gift certificate and the second-place team members each won a $50 EquiFit gift certificate. All IEL Team Challenges are encouraged to provide prizes for their winning teams, as it is a great incentive for young riders to compete in the challenges and offers them a financial incentive on top of the camaraderie and engagement benefits of participating in the program.
As noted in the June IEL season report, the East Coast Eventers team, made up of Michael Baugh on Copper, Abbigail Centeno on Miss Moneypenny, and Natalie Griger on Pic Ur Mint came out victorious in the Fair Hill International May Recognized H.T. IEL Team Challenge. Baugh was reserve champion individually in the Novice Junior division with teammate Centeno finishing right behind him in third place. Gringer took home sixth place individually in the Beginner Novice Junior division. Following close behind was the Good Counsel Eventing Team, which was comprised of Emerson Kasley on Global Venture, Emma Hayes on Where’d It Go, and Carlin Keefe, who rode Mr Candyman and Point Nemo in the competition.
At the August event, it was the Good Counsel Eventing Team who came out on top with members Carlin Keefe on Point Nemo, Keefe on her other mount, Mr Candyman, and Emma Hayes on Where’d It Go. Keefe competed both of her mounts in the Preliminary Rider division, finishing in second and seventh place respectively in the individual standings, and Hayes came in fourth place in the Training Rider B division individually.
The second-place winner in the IEL Team Challenge was a scramble team consisting of members from the Area II Developing Riders and Iron Bridge Hounds Pony Club IEL Affiliates. The team included Emma Whitaker on HSH Golden Boy, Kendal Fansler on Elderglen’s Charlotte, and Riley Callahan on Irish Turn. Whitaker was the winner of the Beginner Novice Rider B division individually. Hopefully all these winners have fantastic plans for their EquiFit prizes! Congratulations to all of the IEL competitors!
IEL Affiliates are encouraged to compete in IEL Team Challenges in the lead up to the 2024 championship, as they are a great practice opportunity! To view the 2023 IEL Team Challenge calendar, click here.
FHI cannot thank EquiFit enough for their support. For more information about Fair Hill International, check out their website at fairhillinternational.org or follow them on Facebook, Instagram (@fairhillint) or TikTok (@fairhillint).
About the USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL)
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 unite junior riders who are in the 7-12th grade and provide a supportive community through which students can continue to pursue their riding interests. A group of junior members in the 7th-12th grade who share a common bond, such as the same barn, school, Pony Club, or other connection, register with the USEA as an interscholastic team. The USEA Board of Governors recently approved an inaugural IEL Championship to kick-off in 2024, in correlation with the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships. Click here to learn more about the Interscholastic Eventing League.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation has announced the host location and dates for the 2024 and 2025 USEF Eventing Young Rider Championships (CCI1*, CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S). The Maryland International and Horse Trials will host the Championships in Adamstown, Maryland, on July 5-7, 2024, and July 6-8, 2025.
For the second year of the program, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) is proud to award free Digital Memberships to qualified participants of the Volunteer Incentive Program (VIP) that completed 10 or more hours of volunteer service through EventingVolunteers.com in 2023. The Digital Membership, which was introduced in January of last year, serves as a “thank you” to the loyal volunteers in our sport for their dedication to supporting events around the country throughout the year.
Spend the day immersing yourself in the intricacies of producing Young Event Horses at the 2024 Ocala Horse Properties USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Symposium tomorrow, Feb. 20, in Ocala, Florida. A star-studded list of presenters and demonstrators will be on-hand to educate the audience on the proper training and evaluation of the next generation of 4- and 5-star horses. Click here to register!