Within two months, the USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) has welcomed 67 teams from across the country. These teams are located in almost every USEA Area, and with the growing popularity nationwide, more teams are expected to sign up. The mission of the IEL is to bring together junior riders who are in 7th through 12th grade and provide a supportive community through which students can continue to pursue their riding interests. Several teams who align with the program’s mission shared their excitement about this new program as they look forward to 2021.
The IEL team named, The Flying Potatoes are delighted at the opportunity to compete as a team at interscholastic team challenges. Arianna Almeida, the team representative, shared, “We love the idea of supporting each other as well as having team practices and team spirit wear. Our goal is to eventually travel and compete together at a [future] IEL Championships. Another goal is to give the younger students at the barn a fun team to look forward to being a part of.”
Sabrina Miller, The Riding Academy’s team representative, said “The Riding Academy is excited for the chance to compete together as a team that includes a diversity of ages and levels.” In 2021, Miller’s team hopes “to help each other participate in every interscholastic team challenge available, the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds, Woodside, Galway Downs, and Rebecca Farm.”
Claire Shioutakon and Addison Kasley, the two team captains for The Good Counsel Eventing Team, consider their IEL team to be one big family. They shared, “We want to support and celebrate each other. We are most excited to compete together and build a community of eventers within our school. One of our goals is to have a ton of fun, and a lot of team spirit!”
The team representative for ASGO Eventing Team, Grace Spencer, said, “ASGO Eventing Team is super excited for the 2021 season and the new IEL program! We are really looking forward to being able to compete as a team as well as meet new people from other teams. Our [team] goals for the 2021 season are to grow close and form a team bond, place well in the team challenges, and most importantly to have fun making life-long memories!”
Team Trinity is looking forward to the added team camaraderie that the IEL program will bring to their barn. "Especially due to the fact that the program allows multiple levels of riders to compete on the same team," said Kim Merz, the team representative. "Our Trinity Barn is already very close, but one of our goals is to create more connection and fun for our team members. Eventing, being a mostly individual sport, can sometimes be quite intense. Being part of a team with friends can be a 'safety net' and support crew."
Like many IEL teams, the Jill Thomas Eventing Team is eager to compete in a team environment. In 2021, they hope to, “have fun, ride safely, and learn lots!” said Jill Thomas.
Currently, 10 events have signed up to host interscholastic team challenges for 2021. For anyone who is interested in hosting an interscholastic team challenge alongside their horse trials, please email Claire Kelley at [email protected].
Please remember every team representative has to be SafeSport certified.
Interested in your IEL team being featured in a USEA article? Please email [email protected].
For more information on the USEA Interscholastic Eventing League, please visit the IEL page on the USEA website.
On Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Central time, join Eric Dierks for a live stream interview with David O'Connor. David was an alternate for the 1988 Summer Olympics, and riding Wilton Fair, was part of the U.S. team at the 1990 World Equestrian Games, where he placed 35th individually and the team finished fourth.
Billy Jackson was introduced to horses at a young age through his local 4-H program. “One of my mom's close friends was a large animal vet and she really encouraged me to stay with it,” Jackson said. As an adult, he is a Marketing Project Manager, and when he’s not at work, he’s a lower level eventer based at Poplar Place Farm.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
It is with great disappointment and regret, which we know will be shared by many, that we announce the cancellation of the 2021 Badminton Horse Trials which was due to be held “behind closed doors” between May 5 and May 9. This cancellation also includes the BE90 and BE100 Championships (May 4 and 5).