IEA Looking to Improve Financial Aid Offerings Through Support for IEA Benevolent Fund

Riding horses is a dream come true for many young people.  However, for some families, a little help may be needed in making that dream a reality and this is where the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Benevolent Fund steps in to help youth equestrian members and coaches.

The IEA BENEVOLENT FUND was established to provide a Financial Assistance Program for young riders in grades 4-12 who need funding assistance to enable them to take lessons and compete in the IEA. Financial Aid provides support for membership fees, bi-weekly riding lessons, and 5 shows of entry fees, plus potential travel money and entries for post-season finals. The Benevolent Fund also provides emergency funding for IEA coaches, most of whom host teams through their own lesson barn programs, who experience an unexpected event that impedes their ability to work such as illness, accidents, barn fires, natural disasters, and other unexpected tragedies that translate into a loss of personal business income.

This season the IEA was able to fulfill 89% of the financial aid applications from our young riders. Financial Aid is limited to $1,800 per approved-rider request and $1,000 is the Coaches Assistance Grant cap. A total of 33 riders received either full or partial aid.

However, of the $41,360 in Financial Aid awarded to riders and coaches – only 17% of that was funded through charitable giving – with the remaining bulk of 83% funded out of IEA Operating Funds. 

As operations get tighter with rising costs, these funds are diminishing and cannot be replenished without increased donation and fundraising revenues. IEA has been proud to support nearly 100% of approved applications for aid each year but can no longer sustain this distribution model. IEA is looking to find NEW SUPPORT so that operational money can be used for operations and donations and fundraising revenues can be used for financial aid.

Individuals, foundations, and corporations can help IEA reach their goal of achieving a sustainable financial aid program long into the future. Contributing to the IEA Benevolent Fund is easy to do.

Donations can be made directly online at  or if you prefer to send a check, it can be mailed along with a DONATE BY MAIL form to the National Office at PO Box 809, Chagrin Falls, OH, 44022. Because the IEA is a 501.c.3 non-profit corporation, donations are tax deductible.

For financial information about the IEA, please go to

About the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA):
Now in its 21st year, the IEA has over 14,500 members across the United States participating in Hunt Seat, Western and Dressage disciplines. There is no need for a rider to own a horse because the IEA hosting team supplies a mount and tack to each equestrian for competitions. IEA’s mission is to promote lifelong involvement in equestrian athletics. IEA wishes to introduce students in grades 4-8 (Future) and 9-12 (Upper School) to equestrian sports and to develop understanding and appreciation of equestrian sports through organized competitions and educational opportunities. IEA further wishes to inspire and facilitate adults to continue their journey in equestrian athletics for a lifetime. For more information, visit

Kimber Whanger
IEA Director of Marketing & Communications

Kathy Dando
IEA Resource Development Director