Interscholastic Equestrian Association Team
River Wind Farm's Interscholastic Equestrian Association ("IEA") team competes in Zone 1. The IEA was established in the spring of 2002 for student equestrians in grades 6-12. The mission of the IEA 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. IEA team members may show in up to five shows per season. RWF holds tryouts only for the purpose of placing team members in the appropriate division - there are no cuts. New team members may join IEA up to November 1st for the current season.
Benefits of Participation in IEA
The IEA offers riders ranging from beginner to advanced a chance to compete at quality shows with an equitable competition format. In a sport that typically focuses on the individual, IEA gives students the opportunity to compete as part of a team. Middle and high school team athletics play a critical role in the development of young people. In addition to improved physical health, sports play a positive role in youth development, including improved academic achievement, higher self-esteem, fewer behavioral problems, and better psychosocial health. Research studies often focus on the effects of sports on the five “C’s”—competence, confidence, connections, character, and caring—which are considered critical components of positive youth development. It has long been thought that the many facets of playing sports—the discipline of training, learning teamwork, following the leadership of coaches and captains, learning to lose—provide lifelong skills for athletes. Because everyone is working toward a common goal in team sports, students learn firsthand how their performance impacts the rest of the team.
The IEA emphasizes good horsemanship and honorable competition. Participation in IEA provides extra riding lessons\, leadership opportunities and responsibilities that go hand in hand with riding, developing well-rounded student-athletes.
The IEA program also provides a pathway to collegiate teams. Riding on an IEA team not only helps riders gain competition experience, but also gives many students a chance to ride in front of college coaches; when it comes time to apply to a college, the student might already have been seen by one of the coaches in the IEA setting.
The IEA also has awarded college scholarships to a number of students. While scholarship opportunities differ for each college or university, several equestrian organizations also offer scholarships based on riding ability and/or academic merit.