Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, July 3, 2012– 147 of the nation’s leading middle school and high school equestrians competed at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma June 28-30, 2012. The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) student-riders competed in the Western discipline during the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby. The NRHA and the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHYA) are affiliates of the IEA and sponsored the event. The finalists represented 33 teams from seven zones throughout the United States. Individuals and teams participated in multiple competitions during the 2011-2012 regular season shows, regional and zone finals to qualify for the IEA National Finals competition.
Riders competed in reining and horsemanship contests. The IEA format requires that riders compete in unfamiliar tack on unfamiliar mounts; therefore, each rider draws a horse the day of competition and enters the arena after a brief, if any, warm-up.
“This was the first time the IEA and the NRHA organizations teamed together to hold our Finals. It was fun being a part of the renowned NRHA Derby event.Our members, parents and coaches are overwhelmingly pleased with the support of the NRHA. We are especially grateful to the owners/trainers that supplied the high-quality horses,” said Roxane Lawrence, IEA co-founder/executive director.
Dan Wall, executive director of the NRHA, stated, “We were honored to host the IEA Western National Finals at the 2012 NRHA Derby Show. The energy IEA members and supporters brought to the event was absolutely amazing. We enjoyed watching them compete and furthering their knowledge of the sport of Reining. They’re talented competitors that are certain to be the next generation of equestrian superstars, and we are thrilled to be involved with them from the beginning.”
|Carly Bedinghaus IEA Champion Rider of the Year L to R: Myron Leff, IEA Co-founder; Bedinghaus; Roxane Lawrence, IEA Co-founder/Executive Director|
In the individual competition, senior Carly Bedinghaus, who rides for the Dare Equestrian Team-Hilliard, Ohio-was named the IEA Champion Western Rider of the Year. Bedinghaus accumulated the most points in the individual Varsity Open Division.
In the second annual Interscholastic Reining Championship among the top four youth riders of the IEA and the top four NRHYA riders, the winner was Sarah Shaffer (NRHYA), Columbus, Ohio. Austin Jewell (IEA), Conyers, Georgia, finished second in a very close competition that included a ride-off for first place.
|IEA Western Upper School Championship Team:
KM Equestrian Team L to R: Jason Schmeidebusch, Taylor Overmier,
Lindsey Arns, Alexis Osting, Coach- Katie Morehead
|IEA Western Reserve Champion Team-Autumn Rose Equestrian Team
L to R: Myron Leff, IEA Co-founder; Debbie Griffith, Coach; Roxane Lawrence, IEA Co-founder/Executive Director; Morgan Knerr, Caroline Gute, Lower Group: Ashton Knerr, Ciara Bartholomew, Taylor Day, Micah King. Upper Group: Jessica Drown, Holly Phillips, Lindsay Bivins, Sarah Lebsock, Keegan Anderson.
The IEA holds the trait of good sportsmanship among riders and coaches to the highest regard. For this reason, two awards were given to recognize rider-members displaying exceptional sportsmanship. In conjunction with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), Zac Brown, from the Hancock Horseman Equestrian Team-Findlay Ohio-won the IEA National Sportsmanship Award. Holly Phillips, from the Autumn Rose Equestrian Team-Plain City, Ohio- was awarded the NRHA Sportsmanship Award for displaying exceptional sportsmanship during the 2012 Western National Finals.
|IEA Western Middle School Championship Team: Dare Equestrian Team
L to R: Blair Willette, NRHYA President; Roxane Lawrence, IEA Co-founder/Executive Director; Mary Kramer, Sean Sullivan, Lexie Rehm,
Linda Dare, Coach; Myron Leff, IEA Co-founder
|IEA National Sportsmanship Award Winner-Zac Brown L to R: Roxane Lawrence, IEA Co-founder/Executive Director; Zac Brown, Myron Leff, IEA Co-founder|
|IEA National Crossover Rider: Haley Ruffner L to R: Myron Leff, IEA Co-founder; Haley Ruffner, Roxane Lawrence, IEA Co-founder/Executive Director.|
For more information about IEA visit the website: www.rideiea.org