The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) is pleased to announce new leadership on the west coast.
Kate Sharkey of Snoqualmie, Washington has been appointed the new Zone 9 Administrator for Hunt Seat (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming). Sharkey replaces former interim Zone 9 Administrator Jennifer Eaton, who will continue to aid in the transition through the 2019-2020 season. A long-time IEA employee, Eaton currently serves as the IEA Marketing Membership Coordinator and has been largely responsible for establishing and managing the growth in the relatively new Zone 9 area.
“Kate is an active and enthusiastic member who has always shown an interest in the growth and enrichment of Zone 9 as a whole. I look forward to supporting her as she leads her teams into the coming seasons,” says Eaton.
Sharkey started with IEA as the coach for Sharkey Farm in the newly formed Zone 9 area in 2017 and quickly stepped into the role of Region President the following year. In this role, she collaborated with co-regional president to organize teams within the region – helping with on-boarding new teams, assisting with managing Zone Finals and actively encouraging the growth in Zone 9.
As an IEA coach with her own team of 25+ members, Sharkey is experienced with managing not only large IEA shows, but large hunter/jumper show series as a long-time board member of the Lake Washington Saddle Club. Her experience in creating and implementing budgets for show series, tracking payroll and volunteers, and managing her own training facility since 2014 made her the ideal selection for this IEA position.
Outside of her professional equestrian life, Sharkey serves as a 5th grade teacher with the Snoqualmie Valley School District. She is a graduate of Alfred University (Alfred, New York), University of Washington - IslandWood (Bainbridge Island, Washington), and City University of Seattle (Seattle, Washington).
Now in its 18th year, the IEA has nearly 14,000 members across the United States riding and coaching Hunt Seat, Western and Dressage disciplines. The non-profit (501(c)3) IEA was organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle and secondary school students and is open to public and private schools and barn teams. There is no need for a rider to own a horse because the IEA supplies a mount and tack to each equestrian for competitions. Its purpose is to set minimum standards for competition, provide information concerning the creation and development of school associated equestrian sport programs, to generally promote the common interests of safe riding instruction and competition and education on matters related to equestrian competition at the middle and secondary school levels.
For more information, please visit www.rideiea.org
IEA Communications Coordinator