Over the past several years there has been incredible growth in youth team riding throughout the country across several formats similar to the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) and National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA). Most of this growth can be attributed to students being afforded the opportunity to show horses at the primary school level, without the personal burden of owning a horse. Together, a group of equine professionals who have been involved with youth and youth team showing, there has been a consensus that there is not enough direction nor development potential for our students within the organizational structures currently available. Due to these feelings and a fundamental desire to see our students reach their absolute potential, we decided to go a new direction and have created the Youth Equestrian Development Association, Inc (YEDA), a program that encourages development of riders’ skills, emphasizes exposure to scholarship opportunities, and encourages making connections with college programs. First of all we will do this through three (3) levels of riding from Elementary (4th and 5th grades), Jr. High (6th through 8th grades), and Sr. High (9th through 12th grades). These levels will include a walk-trot category to develop beginner students. Additionally, YEDA will include rail and pattern classes from novice to advanced riders, and offer our open riders the chance to compete in both reining and horsemanship. This format will develop youth riders to be “complete horseman”, moving through levels to give students the opportunities go to a national event. More importantly, by working with a variety of sponsors, partnering with established professional organizations, and strategic investing, it is the fundamental intention of YEDA to provide aspiring equine professionals with financial scholarships to help our members achieve their career goals, whether or not those goals be equine related. We are extremely excited to start our inaugural YEDA show season Fall of 2016 through Spring 2017, with the National Invitational to be held in April of 2017 at the outstanding Eden Park facility in Central Ohio. Please feel free to contact any of our founders for more information about this new and thrilling opportunity. We look forward to an exciting 2016-2017 show season, and we hope to have you join us.
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