Nation’s Best Young Equestrians Head to Oklahoma City for the 2017 IEA Western National Finals

June 2nd, 2017 12:36 PM | No Comments

Press Release

[photo credit: IEA]

[photo credit: IEA]

Nearly 200 of the nation’s leading middle school and high school equestrians will converge in Oklahoma in July to compete for top prizes in the 2017 Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Western National Finals.  The 2017 Western National Finals will once again be held at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City on July 1 and 2. Sponsored by the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), the competition will run in conjunction with the NRHA Derby. IEA Western riders will display their talents in Reining and Horsemanship, as individuals and teams during the two-day event.

Judging the IEA Western Finals will be Gretchen Mathes of Harwinton, Connecticut and Chele McGauly of Elm Grove, Louisiana.  Both judges are AQHA and NRHA certified and provide a wealth of judging and showing experience. Additional show officials include Stewards, Megan Taylor (IHSA Board Member) and Bryan Bradley (IHSA Coach), Show Committee Chairpersons, Roxane Durant (IEA Executive Director), Todd Knerr (NRHyA Manager), and Hayley Eberle (NRHA Marketing Manager).  Announcing the competition will be John Bahret with photography provided by Waltenberry, Inc. and videography provided by Equine Promotions.  Complete live streaming of the 2017 IEA Western National Finals will be available online and offered at no cost to viewers with links available at and

Competition Schedule 

Friday, June 30

  • Schooling of all Horses  

Saturday, July 1     

  • 6:00am Schooling of Reining Horses                                    
  • 6:30am Coaches Meeting & Draw for Reining Classes                         
  • 7:00am Competition Begins – Western Individual Reining                 
  • 11:30am IEA/NRHyA Welcome Party                                    
  • 2:00pm Horseman’s Knowledge Test (presented by The United States Pony Clubs, Inc.)                                    
  • 4:00pm (approximately) Competition Resumes
    Western Individual Horsemanship     
  • Awards Presentation    

Sunday, July 2

  • 8:00am Schooling of Reining Horses                                    
  • 8:45am Coaches Meeting & Draw for Reining Classes                         
  • 9:00am Competition Begins – Western Team Finals                               
    Western Team Reining                                                 
    Western Team Horsemanship                                                 
    Parade of Teams                                                 
  • Awards Presentation  

The IEA Western Finals competition and events are supported by the NRHA and, importantly, major assistance from the following horse providers: West Texas A&M, Halvorson Ranch, Red Dirt Riders, OK 007, Taylor Equine, Robinson Equine, Sassy Senoritas, Schwarz Reiners, Casey Hinton Quarter Horse/Cedar Ridge Ranch, Lipps Horse Training, Sliding K Performance Horses, Mike Keller, and JD/Stacey Roberson.

This is really a special event for our IEA riders because these youngsters get to compete in the same venue at the same time that the world’s best professional and non-pro western riders ride for big prizes and world-wide recognition. The excitement of the competitions transcends multiple generations and isn’t that great for equestrian sport,” said Myron Leff, IEA Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer. 

Because only a fraction of the IEA’s 13,500 riders qualify for the National Finals, it is important to provide the Western Finals in real-time with live-streaming and archive viewing to the other riders, families, friends and supporters from across the world. NRHA and Equine Promotions will provide the technical capabilities so IEA’s diverse audience can enjoy the Finals competition.

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