National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA)
List of College NCAA/NCEA Equestrian Teams: http://www.collegiateequestrian.com/schools/main/#.VR1Ru-l0xMw
NCEA Website: http://www.collegiateequestrian.com/
In 1998, Equestrian was identified and adopted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as an emerging sport for women at the Division I and II levels. The National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) was created as a governing body to advance the sport of equestrian. NCAA Varsity Equestrian programs are fully funded by the university athletic departments. Equestrians receive the same benefits as other varsity athletes (soccer, basketball, etc.). The NCAA allows for a maximum of 15 College Equestrian Scholarships for each Division I and Division II program. Although benefits vary from school to school, additional benefits can include access to financial assistance, academic advising, tutors, athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches.
NCEA is the most competitive format in Collegiate Equestrian. Riders must maintain an amateur status and there are specific rules and requirements that apply to these prospective college athletes. Currently more than 800 female students participate in NCAA/NCEA Equestrian representing eighteen Division I and four Division II programs. The average team includes 40 members. Disciplines include Hunter Seat and Western and with four events: Hunt Seat Equitation Over Fences, Hunt Seat Equitation on the Flat, Western Horsemanship and Western Reining. Competitions test five riders from each event in head-to-head competitions. Each rider receives a score, and the rider with the highest score receives one point for her team. A NCEA National Championship is held each year. National Champions are crowned in each of three areas: Western, English and Overall.
Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA)
List of College IHSA Equestrian Teams: https://members.ihsainc.com/publicteaminfo/currentteams.aspx
IHSA Website: www.rideiea.org
The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), founded in 1967, is the largest of the intercollegiate riding organizations. At the heart of the IHSA philosophy is the belief that any college student (male or female) should be able to have the opportunity to participate in horse shows, regardless of their financial status or riding level. Horses are furnished by the host college thereby eliminating the expense associated with maintaining a horse. IHSA competitions encourage a level playing field by assigning horses at random. Riders of all levels can participate and contribute to the team score. Currently, 412 member colleges and nearly 9000 students participate in IHSA. Approximately 450 students compete each year in the IHSA National Championships. Both individuals and teams qualify at all levels.
Within the IHSA, riders can compete in Hunter Seat Over Fences and On the Flat, and Western Horsemanship and Reining. In both Hunter Seat and Western divisions, riders are judged on their equitation. There are eight levels within the Hunter Seat division including: Walk-trot, Walk-trot-canter, Novice, Intermediate and Open on the Flat and Novice, Intermediate and Open Over Fences. In Western competition there are six levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Novice, Advanced and Open Horsemanship and Open Reining. An Open Western rider may compete in a horsemanship and a reining class but to compete in a reining class the rider must be in the Open level and have six months professional training prior to competition.
Intercollegiate Dressage Association
List of College IDA Equestrian Teams: http://teamdressage.com/about-us/member-schools
Founded in 1995, the Intercollegiate Dressage Association’s (IDA) mission is to introduce students to the equestrian discipline of dressage and to foster continued development, understanding and appreciation in the art of dressage through organized student competitions and educational opportunities. Multiple schools across the USA offer College Equestrian Scholarships to United States Pony Club members. The IDA provides a series of dressage competitions affiliated with the U.S. Dressage Federation and adheres closely to the US Equestrian Federation rules. It is not necessary for IDA competitors to provide their own horse. Host colleges provide the horses used during competitions which adds to the challenge and sportsmanship of the competition. Presently 58 schools representing 9 regions participate in the IDA. At IDA shows collegiate riders in teams of four, compete at Introductory, Lower Training Level, tests 1and 2, Upper Training Level, tests 3 and 4, and First Level. Both individual and team points are earned towards regional standings and qualification for national finals.
United States Eventing Association (USEA)
List of Colleges with Eventing Programs: http://useventing.com/directory/colleges.
In 2014, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) approved the creation of the Intercollegiate Eventing Program as an official program of the USEA. The program was established to provide a framework on which eventing teams and individual competition could flourish at universities and colleges across the country. Collegiate athletic programs have been the training grounds for Olympians, amateur athletes and professional athletes for generations. Enabling college students to train in the Olympic sport of eventing is a natural addition.
Intercollegiate Team Challenges are quickly becoming popular additions to recognized horse trials in the United States. Teams competing in events identified as Intercollegiate Team Challenges are able to self-identify to the competition organizer, and will compete in the regular horse trial competition as individuals. Combining their individual scores, their team scores will be tabulated and matched against other teams. Currently, 23 schools compete in USEA’s Intercollegiate Eventing Program.
National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA)
List of Colleges with Rodeo Teams: http://www.collegerodeo.com/
Established in 1949, the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) was developed to provide a format for intercollegiate rodeo that would provide national recognition for its members. Over the years, NIRA’s history has read like a Who’s Who in the sport of rodeo. Roy Cooper, Chris LeDoux, Ty Murray, Tuff Hedeman, Dan Mortensen, and many more, are all champions in college rodeo, as well as professional rodeo. Today nearly 200 member colleges and universities and over 3,500 student members participate in the NIRA.
NIRA members compete in saddle bronc, bareback, bull riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying. Each of the 11regions host 10 rodeos during the school year. The top three students in each event, and top two men’s and women’s teams from the NIRA’s 11 regions qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR.) National team championships are awarded to both men’s and women’s teams. Over 400 students from over 100 universities and colleges compete in the CNFR.
American National Riding Commission (ANRC)
List of ANRC Teams: http://anrc.org/what_is_anrc/participating-colleges-and-universities/
The primary goal of American National Riding Commission (ANRC) is to promote the American System of Forward Riding. Students compete on a college-owned horse or a privately owned horse. The ANRC Intercollegiate Equitation Championship is a National championship recognizing both individual and team levels. Colleges showcase their most talented riders in a competition judged on equitation skills and producing a smooth, cooperative performance exemplifying quality hunter movement both on the flat and over fences. There are two divisions: Novice (2’6”) and National (3’). The four phases of competition are: Written, Program Ride (using U.S. Equestrian Federation Tests 1-19), Derby Phase and Medal Phase.
More than 70 colleges have competed in the ANRC National Intercollegiate Championships over its 34 year history. USHJA is a primary sponsor of the ANRC National Intercollegiate Equitation Championship and ANRC competitors are eligible for the USHJA Affiliates Awards program. There are five ANRC Awards distributed annually at the ANRC Intercollegiate Championship, in addition to the competitive awards, four of which are sponsored by USHJA.
College Equestrian Disciplines
Hunter Seat on the Flat
The riders have to perform a flat test on their horses in a 40 x 20 meter arena. The test consists of nine movements to be judged on accuracy, smoothness and overall position of the rider. Riders are judged on their equitation. In IHSA Hunter Seat competition riders may choose to ride in a flat class, over fences class, or both. In IHSA Hunter Seat On the Flat competition there are six levels of competition: Walk-trot; Beginner; Advanced walk-trot-canter; Novice; Intermediate; Open.
In NCAA/NCEA Hunter Seat on the Flat competition there is one level of competition: Open.
Hunter Seat Over Fences
The judges evaluate the rider’s position, consistency on course, smoothness, flow from jump to jump, the number of strides (steps taken by the horse) in a line and the rider’s plan to complete the course. Riders are judged on their equitation.
In IHSA Hunter Seat competition riders may choose to ride in an over fences class, a flat class, or both. In IHSA Hunter Seat Equitation Over Fences there are three levels of competition: Novice, Intermediate and Open.
In NCAA/NCEA Hunter Seat Equitation Over Fences there is one level of competition: Open.
This event is designed to evaluate the rider’s ability to execute a prescribed set of maneuvers with precision and smoothness while maintaining a balanced, functional and fundamentally correct body position. The ideal horsemanship pattern consists of seven to nine maneuvers and is extremely precise with horse and rider working in complete unison, executing each maneuver with subtle aids and cues. Riders are judged on their equitation.
In IHSA competition there are five levels of Western Horsemanship: Beginner, Intermediate, Novice, Advanced and Open
In NCAA/NCEA competition there is one level of Western Horsemanship: Open
This is a class based on set patterns and a precise scoring system. Within these patterns the horse’s and rider’s athletic abilities are tested in a series of maneuvers including spins, stops, flying lead changes and circles with changes in size and speed. In collegiate competition, the rider must perform one of the set National Reining Horse Association (NHRA) patterns. Riders are judged on their equitation.
In IHSA competition there is one level of Western Reining: Open.
In NCAA/NCEA competition there is one level of Western Reining: Open
The Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) is affiliated with the United States Dressage Federation and adheres closely to the US Equestrian Federation rules. The dressage test comprises a set series of memorized movements performed in an enclosed arena. Ideally the horse appears to perform the test’s movements on its own accord, working in harmony with its rider. The test is scored on each movement with the overall harmony and precision of the test taken into consideration. In IDA competition there are four levels of Dressage. Introductory Level (Intro A & Intro B), Lower Training Level (Intro C & Training Level Test 1), Upper Training Level (Training Level Test 2&3) and First Level Test.
In the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) there is one level of competition. Women’s teams compete in four events: Barrel Racing; Breakaway Roping, Goat Tying and Team Roping.
National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Men’s teams compete in six events: Tie Down Roping; Steer Wrestling; Team Roping; Bull Riding; Bareback and Saddle Bronc Riding