Lillian Muzzy and Megan Farrenkopf Named 2023 IEA National Sportsmanship Award Winners

The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) annually awards a student rider the National Sportsmanship Award. Proudly sponsored by EQUUS Foundation, this year’s award is presented to Lillian (Lily) Muzzy, a Sophomore from Cato de Casa, California who rides on the Chestnut Hills IEA Team.

The national award winner is selected from a group of riders who earned a Sportsmanship Award at a local, regional or zone IEA show during the 2022-2023 season. These winners were then invited to submit an application for the National Sportsmanship Award. As part of the application process, student riders submitted a photo, resume, school transcripts, composed a 250-word essay explaining how horses and/or equestrian competition have influenced his/her life and three letters of recommendation. A panel of three judges evaluated each application and determined the results based on a scoring rubric.

Supporting teammates at competitions sometimes means lifting them up when they are down or allowing them to lift you up when you are down. Showing and competing provides many emotional ups and downs and often these are learning opportunities versus pure victories.” says Muzzy.

An Honor Student with a 4.11GPA, Muzzy is a 5-year IEA member currently riding on the Chestnut Hills IEA Team, coached by Shayne Wireman out of Bonsall, California (Hunt Seat Zone 10). Previously, she rode on the Bridges Equestrian IEA Team, coached by Ruthanna and Kendra Bridges out of San Juan Capistrano, California.

In addition to her IEA experience, Muzzy has an extensive resume of volunteer service including ministry work and animal sanctuary support as well as competition experience outside of IEA which has warranted her countless awards and titles on the national show circuit. She is a member of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA), United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (USPC), California Professional Horseman’s Association (CPHA), and Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA). Muzzy has also won multiple IEA Sportsmanship Awards during regular seasons and has completed an impressive number of clinics and certifications during her young career.

“The best part of Zone 10 Finals was arriving early and working with members of other teams to prepare the horse stalls in the pouring rain so that when teams arrived, they could quickly get their horses situated and comfortable,” Muzzy explains. “Together, our team opened 180 bags of shavings and bedded 45 stalls. It was so much fun working together and getting to know more riders in our Zone. Horses have changed the way I live, the way I manage my time, and the person who I have become.”

 Family Partnership Charter School Academic Advisor, Shannon Horn stated “At FPCS, we work closely with our students and get to know them quite well, often working with our students for multiple years. So, when I say, Lily is a delight to work with, I mean it.  She exudes friendliness and cares deeply about her friends and family, and her horses. She is bright and hardworking and pays attention to the details. Quite often when we meet virtually, Lily is literally zooming me on her phone via horseback, or in the car on her way to another horse show, or in-between events at said horse show. Sharing in her successes in doing something she is so passionate about, makes my day.”

 Muzzy will receive a $500 cash scholarship from the IEA, a lifetime membership to the IEA and a nomination by the IEA to affiliates’ sportsmanship award programs. Read Lillian Muzzy’s full essay.

Good sportsmanship is a tenant in the IEA and this award is held to high regard. Choosing the National Sportsman from the pool of amazing candidates is always a difficult decision every year,” commented Roxane Durant, IEA Founder and Executive Director. “Lily is clearly committed to her equine community and we are thrilled to present her with this recognition.”

 In addition to the National Sportsmanship Award, a second National Sportsmanship Award is presented to the highest placing senior sportsman. This year the award went to Megan Farrenkopf.

A 6-year member of IEA and honor graduate (4.19 GPA) of Mission Oak High School in Tulare, California, Farrenkopf also served as the 2022-2023 Zone 10 IEA Youth Board Representative and will attend college at UC Berkeley this fall. She is a member of KZ Equestrian IEA Team in Exeter, California coached by Kaitlyn Harding and was also a member of various academic clubs and served in leadership roles with Future Farmers of America (FFA) and other service organizations. Farrenkopf will also receive a $500 cash scholarship from the IEA.

Approximately 750 IEA riders were eligible for the 2023 National Sportsmanship Award with 106 riders submitting completed applications. Among the 33 finalist applicants, the top 10 winners are:


  • A Sophomore on the Chestnut Hills IEA Team (Hunt Seat – Zone 10)
  • Coto de Caza, California


  • A Junior on the Porter’s IEA Team (Hunt Seat – Zone 1)
  • Lyme, Connecticut

3rd PLACE – MEGAN FARRENKOPF$500 WINNER as Highest Placing Senior

  • A Senior on the KZ Equestrian IEA Team (Hunt Seat – Zone 10)
  • Tulare, California


  • A Junior on the Big Red Elite Equestrian Team (Western – Region 6)
  • Holdrege, Nebraska


  • A Junior on the Scottsdale Equestrian Team (Hunt Seat – Zone 8)
  • Scottsdale, Arizona


  • A Junior on the Aggieland Equestrian IEA Team (Hunt Seat – Zone 7)
  • Houston, Texas


  • A Sophomore on the Foxtail Farm IEA Team (Hunt Seat – Zone 3)
  • Smithfield, Virginia


  • A Senior on the Fall River Farm IEA Team (Hunt Seat – Zone 8)
  • Longmont, Colorado

Now in its 22nd year, the IEA has over 14,600 members across the United States participating in Hunt Seat, Western and Dressage disciplines. 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.

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