The first year of the USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) has started off with a bang! In its first year of running, IEL has over 89 teams registered with the USEA, 479 IEL members, and 31 IEL team challenges that have already taken place. As the 2021 competition season is a little over halfway through the year, there are several teams that have stood out. See below for the latest records, wins, and overall IEL team participation.
Although eventing is a competition between individuals, it has always been a team sport. Any seasoned rider can attest that success is dependent on support - from trainers, vets, farriers, dentists, grooms, friends, family, and countless others. My own experiences as a four-star eventer and longtime trainer have proven how valuable it is to teach junior riders to embrace a team mindset, which is why the USEA’s Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) caught my attention when it began earlier this year.
Despite terribly wet conditions over the weekend - pouring rain for dressage and cross-country - the Fox River Valley Pony Club Horse Trials (FRVPC H.T.) of Area IV hosted a successful USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) Team Challenge on June 24-27, 2021. Seven IEL teams, including three scramble teams, and 27 riders competed for top honors at the beautiful Barrington Hills Riding Center in Barrington Hills, Illinois.
The new USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) is in its first year, and the 2021 calendar has an impressive total of 47 events hosting an IEL team challenge. With many IEL members aiming to compete in events that only host a team challenge, an organizer needs to be fully prepared for what to expect.