Youth Western horseback competitors from throughout the country are headed to Westmoreland, Kansas.
“They’re coming for the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Show Sunday, Dec. 6, at 2UW Brush Creek Ranch,” announced Mary Ubel, ranch owner-manager.
Iowa Equestrian and Big Red Elite Equestrian are cohosts for the Slide Into Winter competition. Kicking off Sunday morning, with schooling of horses and judges meeting, at 8 o’clock, the show begins at 9 o’clock.
Western competition is to feature reining and horsemanship classes. Youth in the fourth through eighth grades, and ninth through 12th grades, will compete. Open, intermediate, novice and various levels of beginner divisions are planned.
There’ll be individual awards in each class as well as overall team awards. Joe Ammann, trainer at 2UW Brush Creek Ranch, will serve as the show judge.
“Membership in IEA is mandatory. Only teams and individuals who are members may compete,” Ubel clarified.
Member paperwork must be processed and the member activated on the team roster prior to entering the show.
“The IEA was established to provide competitive and educational opportunities through equestrian athletics,” Ubel explained. “Good horsemanship and honorable participation are priorities at every event.
“It is the responsibility of all attendees to foster a spirit of belongingness, and an atmosphere of community enjoyment. There must be a mutual respect for all participants and their equine partners,” Ubel said.
An IEA rider’s journey starts with the desire to be a part of a team, according to Ubel. That’s a partnership with the horse drawn at the show or the team of old and new friends at the barn,
“An IEA rider has the opportunity to develop competitive riding skills while making memories lasting a lifetime,” Ubel said. “And the best part is IEA riders do not need to own a horse or tack to participate.”
For hundreds of years, Western riding has been synonymous with ranch work. “Movements necessary to work cattle can be seen in reining patterns used in competitions today,” Ubel said. “A horse changes speed with the slightest touch from the rider, stops and turns quickly with ease.”
Western horsemanship provides a rider with a strong foundation that will support seamless communication with the horse. The horse-rider the combination executes the walk, jog or lope on the rail and maneuvers in individual pattern work.
“All Western classes are done with zero warmup time allotted to the rider,” Ubel pointed out.
Concessions will be available at the show. However, strict coronavirus masking and distancing rules will be enforced. No community or team food tables will be allowed.
Information is available from Ubel at www.2uwbrushcreekranchks.com or www.rideiea.org.