February 24, 2016 -- For the second time in the history of the Arnold Sports Festival, youth equestrians will participate in the event. These equestrians will be competing in the middle school, high school and, new this year, at the college level events.
On Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6, the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) will hold two Western Competitions in which 21 teams from Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky will be invited to participate. Teams will be comprised of students in grades 6-12. The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) will also hold two Western Competitions comprised of college students from the same region. Competitions will take place from 8am to 5pm each day and are open to the public. In addition to these Regional Competitions, the IEA will present a Hunt Seat Riding Demonstration on Sunday at noon.
While the competitions are open to the public for viewing, registration will only be available to current IEA and IHSA members. All equestrian events will take place the Cooper Arena at the Ohio State Fairgrounds.
"We are extraordinarily excited to participate in the Arnold Classic again this year," said Roxane Lawrence co-founder and executive director of the IEA. "We always looked at our young equestrians as fine athletes. Participation at The Arnold solidifies this position. Appearing here is really special because the IEA-the largest youth equestrian association in the United States-was founded in Columbus."
The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association brings its Regional completion to 'The Arnold' for the first time. Ollie Griffith, a longtime IHSA coach (and co-founder of the IEA) said, "Watching youngsters from age 11-22 participate in equestrian competition is an unique combination of events. The IEA is modeled after the IHSA and it will be fun to see the progression of a child rider to young adult competitor right before your eyes."
Founded in 2002, the IEA was organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle and secondary school students. Its purpose is to set minimum standards for competition, provide information concerning the creation and development of school associated equestrian sport programs, and to generally promote the common interests of safe riding instruction and competition and education on matters related to equestrian competition at the middle and secondary school levels. Unique to the IEA-there is no need to own a horse. Mounts and tack are supplied to each rider at every IEA event. The IEA currently has over 12,500 participants, ages 11-19, across the United States. For additional information, please visit the IEA website: www.rideiea.org.
The IHSA mission is to promote competition for riders of all skill levels, who compete individually and as teams at regional to national levels, based on the principle that any college student should be able to participate in horse shows regardless of financial status or riding level. Learn more about the IHSA National Championships and IHSA at www.ihsainc.com.
Arnold Sports Festival
The Arnold Sports Festival, the largest multi-sport festival in the country and birthplace to the world-renowned Arnold Classic professional men's bodybuilding championships, estimates to attract 175,000 sports and fitness enthusiasts to watch thousands of athletes from 80 countries compete in 50 sport events including 13 Olympic events. Set to premier March 7-8 at the Ohio Expo Center, for the first time the festival will include the Arnold Kids Fitness EXPO. This EXPO will focus on youth sports, demonstrations, clinics and exhibitions. Youth will compete in sports such as cheerleading, table tennis and the Survival Race, but also Olympic Sports such as archery, boxing, fencing, tae kwon do, swimming and also, equestrian.
2016 Arnold Sports Festival Kids Fitness EXPO
Dates: March 5-6, 2016
Location: Ohio Expo Center (717 E. 17th Avenue)
EXPO Hours: Saturday 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Admission: A daily EXPO ticket ($10 in advance plus service charges, $15 at door) includes the admission to most events, the Arnold Fitness EXPO and the Arnold Kids Fitness EXPO. A separate ticket is needed for professional and amateur bodybuilding events, the Arnold Sunday Showcase, Amateur MMA Festival and Arnold Pro Boxing, the Arnold Party With the Pros and the Pole Fitness National Championship. Arnold VIP Ticket Packages are available for $350 and $600 and include a variety of exclusive benefits and premium seating.