Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Team


Mission of IEA

  • To introduce students in middle and secondary schools (grades 4–12) to equestrian sports.
  • To develop an understanding and appreciation of equestrian sports through organized student competitions.

New Canaan Mounted Troop IEA Information

  • Competitions are offered for riders able to walk, trot and canter in a group. 
  • The IEA was founded on the principle that any middle school or high school student should be able to participate in horse shows, regardless of their financial status or riding level.
  • Students ride horses that are provided by the host barn and chosen by a random draw.
  • Personal tack is not allowed. However, limited schooling over fences is permitted. The theory behind this structure is to equalize variables of the competition and test the horsemanship of each contestant.
  • New Canaan Mounted Troop is a member of the Zone 1 Region 7 Hunt Seat Equitation division for both middle school and high school.
  • At the beginning of the school year, each team starts with a goal of accumulating enough team points to qualify for their Regional Finals. 
  • The regular competition season is from September through December with the postseason starting in January.
  • Registration is first-come, first-served. The team is limited to 20 riders.

Team Practice

Important notes:

  • Participants MUST participate in NCMT’s Horsemanship Program (either 1 or two lessons a week) to be eligible for the IEA team.
  • Each rider will be required to attend one team practice per week.  This is in addition to their regularly scheduled weekly lesson(s) and should NOT be scheduled on their regular lesson day.  There are no make-ups for missed practices.
  • Riders need to commit to up to five shows per year, which is the maximum number of shows as governed by the IEA.

Team Fees and Registration

  • The fee per rider is $3,985. This includes registration, information session, team practices, training & horse show fees.  It does not include any personalized team gear you may want to purchase nor does it include transportation to and from the horse shows or fees should the rider qualify for postseason.  
  • The IEA fees can be paid in full or in two installments: 50% with registration and remaining balance due 120 days from the first installment. Payment must be made by the due date or the rider cannot compete.  
  • Once your membership is confirmed, your trainers will tell you which division you will be showing in. Then each rider MUST register for themselves on the IEA website. There is a $70 membership fee that must be paid online. Horse show entry fees will be paid by NCMT directly so no payments will be required by riders on the day of shows.

Fast Facts

  • No need to own a horse to participate.
  • Classes are offered in a range of ability levels: beginner, novice, intermediate, open.
  • Riders in grades 4–8 are eligible for Middle School Teams while riders in grade 9–12 compete at the High School level.
  • Points are tracked for individual rider accomplishments and for overall team accomplishments.
  • Individuals and teams earn points to qualify for postseason.
  • The competition season starts in September and ends at the National Finals in late spring.

How It Works

  • Horses, and tack are all provided to the students by the host teams. 
  • Rider and horse are allowed a brief warm up in the over fences.
  • Scores are based upon the rider’s equitation.
  • Students compete as a team and individually.
  • Each rider attends up to 5 shows during the season.
  • Riders are competing on horses that they are unfamiliar with, therefore they will be placed at a lower level. If you have questions about your placement, please speak with one of the coaches.
  • Horse shows are one day shows that generally do not involve overnight travel.
  • IEA shows require proper horse show attire.

A Typical IEA Horse Show Day

  • Show days start around 6:30 or 7:00 AM.
  • Riders and coaches are able to watch the warm-up.
  • The warm-up is followed by the course walk.
  • Show days are long, and may run until 5:00 – 6:00 PM.

The points will be counted and awarded as follows:

1st place7 points
2nd place5 points
3rd place4 points
4th place3 points
5th place2 points
6th place1 point

How Team Scoring Works

  • Each Team will designate one rider (the point rider) per class to compete for points toward the team championship.
  • Only one rider may be selected from each class regardless of the number of sections.
  • At every show, the total points as awarded to each team’s designated point riders will determine the hierarchy of team rankings.

Team rankings at each regular point show will be awarded as follows:

Champion7 points
Reserve Champion5 points
3rd place4 points
4th place3 points
5th place2 points
6th place1 point

Qualifying for Regionals

  • Teams qualify for Regional Finals by accumulating twenty (20) points during the competition year.
  • Riders qualify for Individual Regional Finals by accumulating a minimum of eighteen (18) points in that class during the competition year.

For more information & current schedule visit the IEA website.