Horse Activities: Interscholastic Riding Competition

The start of the school season needn’t mean the end of your child’s riding activities. Thanks to interscholastic and intercollegiate riding programs, students at the middle, secondary and college levels at both private and public schools can enjoy time in the saddle by participating in riding as a sanctioned school sport.

The ability to continue one’s equestrian education is not the only benefit. Interscholastic and intercollegiate riding programs can encourage teamwork, the formation of new friendships and the development of strategic skills through competitions at the local, regional and national levels.

Though some programs require students to use their own horses or lease horses from the host school, others offer students the opportunity to polish their equestrian abilities on different horses without investing in a horse and tack. Some programs have Varsity and Junior Varsity divisions and affiliated show circuits. Check out the following organizations for information about age/grade requirements, locations, riding styles and levels, and possible scholarships or grants:

Middle and/or Secondary (High) School Programs:

American National Riding Commission (ANRC)—English

 College Preparatory Invitational (CPI)—English

IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association)—English, Western and Dressage

IEL (Interscholastic Equestrian League)—English (Hunter and Jumper) and Dressage

Inter-School Horse Show (ISHS)—English

US Equestrian Interscholastic Athlete Program—multi-discipline and multi-breed


American National Riding Commission (ANRC)—English

Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA)—Dressage

 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA)—English (Hunt Seat) and Western

Intercollegiate Saddle Seat Riding Association (ISSRA)—English (Saddle Seat)

National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA)—female students only, English (Jumping Seat) and Western

 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA)—Western (rodeo sports)

USEA Intercollegiate Eventing—English (Eventing)