The 2015 Interscholastic Equestrian Association Hunt Seat National Finals will take place at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center from April 24 to April 26. The culmination of local, regional and zone championships, the national finals will feature approximately 500 of the nation’s best middle and high school equestrian athletes. These riders will compete in 12 individual classes and 12 team classes with each class featuring 24 participants.
Because athletes in the national finals are required to qualify while competing at local, regional or zone competitions, they will represent the most gifted riders from all parts of the United States.
One unique aspect of the IEA competitions, both at the local and national level, is that none of the riders will supply their own horses or tack. Instead, the host team arranges for the horses and equipment. Since the horse is new to the rider, the scores are based upon horsemanship and equitation.
The Interscholastic Equestrian Association has grown to encompass more than 8,000 members in 32 states. Its mission is to introduce students in private and public middle and secondary schools to equestrian sports and to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction. The IEA supports two disciplines, hunt seat and western.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission will partner with the IEA to host this national equestrian event at the county-owned Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, a 111-acre world class equestrian showplace. The facility features a covered arena, show rings, ample spectator and coach seating areas, and 128 permanent stalls.
The IEA Hunt Seat National Finals are expected to provide a significant economic boost for Palm Beach County. The high volume of traveling riders and their family members are estimated to generate more than $500,000 in visitor spending and more than 1,200 hotel room nights. For more info., visit www.rideiea.org.