The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) along with Bahamas Interschool Equestrian League (BIEL) – a division of Equestrian Bahamas (EB) – will hold its Hunt Seat Invitational and selection trials on Sunday at Mariposa Stables in Nassau.
In addition to conducting regular rated horse shows, Equestrian Bahamas, a recently ratified member of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), is in its third year of developing BIEL – a team-oriented riding program using a draw-based competition format similar to IEA.
The competition on December 8 will be judged by ‘R’-rated hunter/jumper judge Linda Mancini of Warwick, New York, and will serve as the selection trials for five riders who are looking to advance to the first ever IEA International Invitational in Conyers, Georgia, on February 15, 2020. The top five riders from grades 9-12 at the selection trials will represent The Bahamas as an upper school team in both fences and flat classes.
The International Invitational will be held in conjunction with the IEA Zone 4/Region I Finals at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers.
President of Equestrian Bahamas Catherine Ramsingh-Pierre, whose son is an alumnus of IEA and rode on the Carriage Hill Farms IEA Team, contacted IEA Co-Founder and Executive Director Roxane Durant over a year ago to discuss ideas on collaboration between the two organizations. Durant, along with IEA Zone Captain and Zone 4 Administrator Simon Towns, will travel to New Providence this weekend to help conduct the selection trials and to learn more about the unique BIEL program.
“We are thrilled to be able to have this opportunity to expand outside of our U.S. boundaries and to witness the enthusiasm and talent of these young riders in The Bahamas,” stated Durant. “IEA has always been open to the idea of expanding our programs to include other countries and we look forward to hosting BIEL riders in February.”
Ramsingh-Pierre said: “Equestrian Bahamas is excited that our high school equestrian athletes have been granted this tremendous opportunity to compete in the IEA International Invitational. As Bahamians, we consider it an honor to be the first country outside the U.S. to be invited to participate in IEA competition. We look forward to welcoming our guests at the selection trials this coming weekend. Hopefully this is just the first step in a long-lived partnership.”
Now in its 18th year, the IEA is the largest U.S.-based youth equestrian organization with over 14,000 members across the United States riding and coaching Hunt Seat, Western and Dressage disciplines. The non-profit entity was organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instructions available to middle and secondary school students and is open to public and private schools and barn teams.