Hunt Seat champions were crowned in Las Vegas on November 15-17 during the 2nd annual AON/USHJA National Championships and riders from the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) captured several top honors at this prestigious event. For the first time, the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) invited riders from 14 affiliate organizations across nine different states to compete in a one-of-a-kind Affiliate Hunter 2’ and 2’6’ championship competition.
Emerging triumphant was Ashley Young, of Clovis, California, who captured the USHJA Affiliate Hunter 2' Championship aboard Racketeer, owned by IEA coach Katie Flannigan. Young, who rides on the BFF Equestrian Team (Zone 10), had top finishes in all four of the Affiliate Hunter 2' classes including a win over fences. BFF teammate, Rachel Lancaster secured several top finishes including a reserve championship ride in round one of the USHJA Affiliate Hunter 2’6” also aboard Racketeer. Ryley Ferguson, also of BFF Equestrian Team, participated in the 2’ classes.
IEA Zone 10 Administrator, Colin Daly coached rider, Talise Baker-Matsuoka to several top 8 finishes in the 2’ Affiliate Hunter Classes. Baker-Matsuoka rides on Daly’s Team Oasis Farm IEA Team. Isabella Steele of Liberty Riding Academy coached by Lori Clark, had impressive showings in the 2’ including a reserve championship ride in Round 2. Rounding out the IEA Affiliate riders was Katie Jorczak of Elvenstar, coached by Kaycee Bischoff, earning a 6th place finish in round one of the 2’ class.
“When USHJA Executive Director, Kevin Price, invited us to participate in the Affiliate Championships, we jumped at the chance to highlight our best riders from Zone 10 where the show was taking place,” said IEA Co-founder/Executive Director, Roxane Durant. “Because we had a limited number of available spots, we accepted applications from our riders and we were beyond thrilled with the response and the results. We’ve long known that we have an abundance of outstanding riders in our organization and it was wonderful to see them do so well. We are so appreciative of USHJA for this opportunity and their long-time support.”
Durant, along with IEA Co-founder/Chief Operating Officer and Director of Marketing, Myron Leff, traveled to Las Vegas to meet with USHJA executives and to discuss future similar collaborations, and to support all the IEA riders who competed.
In addition to the Affiliate Hunter 2’ and 2’6” championship classes, several other IEA riders earned top awards including Grace McReynolds, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, who took home the USHJA Equitation Championship for the 15-17 age group and was presented with the Equitation 15-17 Leading Rider Perpetual Trophy. McReynolds rides with Hunter Run Farm IEA Team, coached by Susan Winston and Lorelei Cudney.
After a third-place finish in the $25,000 Junior/Amateur USHJA National Hunter Derby earlier in the week, Bella Primavera, of Aptos, California, piloted Carrico Sun to the Equitation 14 and Under Championship and as such was awarded the Equitation 14 and Under Leading Rider Perpetual Trophy. Primavera rides for Belmont Training IEA Team coached by Cassie Belmont.
Dozens of additional IEA riders and coaches independently competed at the AON/USHJA Championships. Complete results can be found here.
About the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA)
Now in its 18th year, the IEA has over 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 rideiea.org.
About the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA)
The United States Hunter Jumper Association, as the official hunter/jumper affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation, is a competition-based sport organization that serves our members through educational programs, awards and recognition, communication and rules. We provide a wide array of programs for all hunter/jumper levels, and we are mindful of the well-being of our equine partners. Additionally, we are committed to preserving the history of our sport and through our Foundation we support charitable and benevolent services. Learn more at ushja.org.
Interscholastic Equestrian Association
IEA Communications Coordinator