Piggybacking off of the success of the USEA’s Intercollegiate Eventing Program and in an effort to create a more complete pathway to invite more riders into the sport, the organization has announced that a new Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) is slated to launch in 2021. This program will allow riders in grades 7 through 12 to form teams and community around eventing competition. It will also serve as a pathway for riders who are interested in pursuing riding at the Intercollegiate level.
“As with the intercollegiate program, the IEL will be rooted in creating a community for our members and stressing sportsmanship and volunteerism,” USEA CEO Rob Burk commented. “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.”
To allow for more flexibility, an IEL team can be formed by riders with some commonality: a shared school, barn, or Pony Club, for example. Riders do not have to form a team solely consisting of peers who attend the same school; one stipulation is that a rider may only affiliate with one IEL team per year.
There is also incentive to form a team with an ICP-certified coach: all affiliate registration fees for that team will be waived. “ICP certified instructors demonstrate a level of professionalism and safety that the USEA wants to promote,” Rob explained. “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.”
Event organizers interested in adding an Interscholastic Eventing League challenge can do so with no additional costs. We look forward to seeing this program grow as it could present more riders with an opportunity to gain some valuable experience and community. To learn more about the forthcoming Interscholastic Eventing League, click here.