The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Zone 8 Finals were held in sunny Arizona this past weekend. Colorado was well-represented and many riders and teams will move on to Nationals in April.

By HH Contributor Kristina McCombie

Queen Creek, Ariz. – The weather couldn’t have been better for the IEA Zone 8 Finals show at the beautiful Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Center in Queen Creek, AZ. The two day show held on March 2nd and 3rd was home to the most competitive riding in IEA Zone 8 this year.

On Saturday, the top 12 riders from each class competed for the top spot earning the coveted blue ribbon and a trip to IEA Nationals in Harrisburg, PA next month. The day began with Open Fences, and taking the blue was Colorado’s own Nicole Davis from Fall River Farm aboard Alaska. The judges, Sharon Stewart-Wells and Carrie Dahmer commented that Nicole “outrode her competitors by executing a smart plan that allowed her to show off her horse, and her skills.”

Nicole Davis, Kristina MCCombie & Jill Pelzel

Davis not only earned her ticket to Nationals with her Open Fences win, she was also awarded the High Point Open Rider Award, which earned her an automatic bid to compete in a championship class at Nationals to represent the top rider in Zone 8. “I’m beyond excited and honored to be representing Colorado at Nationals because it is a great experience and a fun way to ride different types of horses” Davis said. Davis trains with Jill Pelzel at Fall River Farm in Ft. Lupton.

Nicole Davis & Alaska

Other individual riders from Colorado moving on to Harrisburg are Brooke Dasheill (Fountain Valley School), Stephany McConnell (Little Town), Sophie Olsen (Front Range Equestrian), Aeden Mooney (Capall Glenn), and Anna Zingler (In Stride). McConnell also won the Challenge of the Regions.

Amanda Walsh

Anna Zingler In Stride

On Sunday, the top 12 teams in the Zone (two from each region) went head to head to earn enough points to take the top place, automatically earning their team a bid to Nationals. From Colorado, high school teams were In Stride, Fountain Valley School, Millbrook Equestrian, Cornerstone Farm, Capall Glen, Forest Edge Farm, Little Town, and LillyWood Show Stables. Colorado’s middle school teams were Front Range Equestrian, Little Town, Berthod Equestrians, Hunter Run Farm, In Stride, TUF Legacy, and Mile High Equestrian. Both the high school and middle school team competitions were competitive – switching leaders multiple times during the day. Each class seemed to bring another team ahead, and both competitions came down to the final class.

Fountain Valley School, from Colorado Springs, took top honors in the high school competition earning themselves and coach Ann Hanna a direct flight to Pennsylvania. With a win in Open Flat, and consistent ribbons across the day, Fountain Valley nudged out an Arizona team to earn the Championship.

Lizzie Haghig

In the middle school competition, the competition also stayed hot. When the dust settled after the final class, Longmont’s own Cornerstone Farm (coach Jen Shannon) took home top honors. Helping her team take the top prize was Amaya Bellfield, who won the final class of the show to secure the win. When asked about her victory, Bellfield said, “I’m very excited to go to Nationals with the team, and to compete with the best of the best and hopefully bring the championship home to Colorado!”

Fountain Valley School

Cornerstone Champion

Other notable Colorado award winners were Tori Weed (Cornerstone Farm) who won top honors in the Claire Davis Horsemanship Test, where riders test their skills and knowledge on a written test open to all competitors. Cornerstone’s own Maggie Klau also earned the Sportsmanship award for the weekend, earning herself a beautiful plate and lots of team hugs. This was Klau’s last show, and her emotions surrounding the ending of her IEA career were evident. “The parents, riders, coaches and staff who I’ve gotten to know the last six years through IEA have inspired me everyday to work harder and be a better version, and for that I’m so grateful, and humbled to have been recognized with this award,” Klau reflected.

Sportsmanship Winner Maggie Klau

This show would not have been possible without the amazing organizational skills of the Zone President, Kathy Johnson, who in addition to being the president also coaches her own team in Scottsdale. The horses were all provided by Arizona teams, and there wasn’t a bad draw in the bunch. Horse of the day on Saturday was Ritz, and on Sunday was Bravo.

Amaya Bellfield of Cornerstone

The Interscholastic Equestrian Association is open to riders in grades 6-12. Teams are found all across the front range and mountain regions. To find out more, or get your student involved, visit

Pictures copyright Michael Placenti. Available to order at

Join us at the 2019 at the Burlington Capital International Omaha April 4th-7th in Omaha, NE. Just a quick flight, or drive, to a horse show experience like no other. Described as an “American tailgate party meets European sophistication.” Come watch our amazing competitions like the $100,000 International Omaha Grand Prix and the $100,000 Init2Winit Speed Jumping Series, have a chance to learn from the legendary George Morris, and shop til you drop in our shopping village.  Learn more at and make your plans to attend today!  #InternationalOmaha2019

George Morris

Everything you need to know about the ASPCA Maclay Finals

It’s that time of year folks where our local riders are readying themselves for the Maclay Regional Finals with hopes of qualifying for the 2018 ASPCA Maclay Championships held at The National Horse Show in Lexington, KY October 27 -November 4, 2018.

This coming Sunday, September 16, 2018 the Colorado Horse Park will host the Region 6 Maclay Finals during their second fall show, Autumn in the Rockies II. Please congratulate the following Colorado riders on qualifying for this prestigious event, as well as those who participated in the qualifying classes throughout the 2018 season. Best of luck to all!


Tali DeJong


Abigail Grace Kelley


Grace McRenynolds


Ellie Morehouse

Portya Muenke


Jaden Olson

Katie Pelzel


Hannah Rohrbach


Olivia Stordahl


Emery Volkert


The National Horse Show, scheduled for October 27 – November 4, 2018, has announced the judges for the prestigious ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Championship as well as its other important hunter and equitation divisions. Each year the country’s top hunter and jumper riders come to Lexington, KY to compete in some of the most difficult classes they will do all year, including the ASPCA Maclay Championships.

This year, the ASPCA Maclay Championships will take place on November 4. This year, the judge’s booth will be occupied by esteemed horsemen Walter T. Kees and Chance Arakelian at the helm. Both men have an incredible history of success in Equitation and will be charged with determining which rider will take home the 2018 title.



Information regarding vendor participation, entry requirements and advertising is available through Sponsorship inquiries can be made directly through Ariel Weisman. Those seeking information on the recent addition of the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3 Equitation Championship, the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, or the Leo Conroy Maclay Grant can also find the most recent news online.

Equitation Championship Weekend
October 27-28
• The Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3” Equitation Championship
• Taylor Harris Insurance Services NHS 3’ Adult Equitation Championship
• NHS KHJA Equitation Championship
Hunter Highlights
• Cismont Manor $50,000 Hunter Classic sponsored by the Wheeler Family
(Class winner will receive a car courtesy of Audi of Lexington)
• Leading Hunter Rider Cash Bonus
Show Jumping Highlights
• $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Lexington
• Leading Jumper Rider Cash Bonus
• Leading Jumper Rider to receive a car courtesy of Audi of Lexington
• Hollow Brook Wealth Management $50,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Series Grand Prix
Equitation Highlights
• ASPCA Alfred B. Maclay National Championship
(Winning trainer to receive a car courtesy of Audi of Lexington)

Founded in 1833, the National Horse Show is the culmination of the east coast summer equestrian season. With $810,000 in prize money offered, the National Horse Show has been designated a CSI4*-W event by the FEI. International Open Jumpers will compete for almost half a million dollars in prize money, while the top-rated hunter sections will vie for a total purse of $195,000. For six consecutive years, the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame has named the National Horse Show the Horse Show of the Year.

To learn more about the National Horse Show, click here.

Charity Event to Benefit the Zoology Foundation

Saturday, September 8, 2018

The two classes featured will be a $40,000 Grand Prix (the prize list has it as national standard, but will be set for what competitors they have. Since, this is the first year it will probably be closer to regional standard). To view the Prize List or to purchase tickets visit the Zoology Foundation web site.
The opening class will be a $5,000 1.20 open Jumper Stake.
Calcutta wagering will be available for the GP!

The goal of this event is to promote the sport of showjumping while raising funds and awareness for the Zoology foundation. You can find out anything and everything about the Zoo on their website:
The event will be held at the performance horse facility which is on the same property as the animal sanctuary and one of the most renown wedding venues in the state of Colorado.

The venue will be staging the festival activities before the showjumping competition begins, as well as the after party.
It is free to park and come to the festival. GA tickets to watch the showjumping events are $15 and VIP tickets are available for $100. VIP guests will be served hors d’ouvres and have an open bar throughout the event. Kids 12 & under have free entry and are strongly encouraged to come. The goal is to create an event to cater to and provide fun for all ages! 100% of the funds raised at this event will be directed towards the Zoology Foundation.

Celebration of the Horse

Fri, Jun 1, 2018 5:00 PM Sun, Jun 3, 2018 4:30 PM


The Denver Polo Club has been home to ALL types of equestrians, and the weekend of June 1, 2018 will host them at the highest levels. We invite you to join The Denver Polo Club and the Colorado equestrian community for a weekend of excitement and spectacular horsemanship honoring Dr. Marvin Beeman.


Friday, June 1
4:00 pm: Dee Memorial warm-up class jumping, “Pretty in Pink”
6:00 pm: Join event participants for cocktails, bites, and dancing

Saturday, June 2
10:00 am: Gates open
12:00 pm: Polo tournament
2:00 pm: $5,000 Junior A/O Classic jumping
4:00 pm: PBR Touring Pro and Rough Stock Rodeo
6:00 pm: Outdoor concert with Colorado band, The Movers and Shakers

Sunday, June 3
10:00 am: Gates open
12:00 pm: Honoring Dr. Marvin Beeman and polo tournament finals
2:00 pm: $20,000 Grand Prix show-jumping


General admission tickets – $20/day/person
Includes access to all events and vendor area

Exhibitor area tickets – $300/day/person

  • Includes premier field-side seating with athletes
  • Complimentary cocktails and bites
  • Complimentary ticket to Friday evening show and exhibitor party

Opening Day VIP Cabana – $1500/day or $2500 for the weekend

  • Private 10’ x 10’ white tent with premier field-side seating
  • 72” round table with linen along with 8 chairs
  • Gourmet picnic basket with charcuterie for 8, along with Italian and Spanish wines featured by Fortune Wok To Table in Cherry Creek
  • Access to all-inclusive VIP bars and VIP exhibitor area
  • Exclusive meet-and-greet and photo opportunities with players and professional riders

Contact us to purchase your VIP cabana at 303.791.7656 or


Grand Prix and Junior A/O Classic Competitor Registration is NOW Open


Honoring Dr. Marvin Beeman, this event celebrates the horse in all its disciplines and features three spectacular events, including the Grand Prix and Junior A/O Classic European-style format show-jumping on the grass at Denver Polo Club.


Friday, June 1: Exhibitor welcome
Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3: Show-jumping on the grass, polo tournament, and PBR Touring Pro and Rough Stock Rodeo


  • Saturday, June 2: $5,000 Junior A/O Classic (1.20M)
  • Sunday, June 3: $20,000 Grand Prix (1.35M)
  • PBR Pro Touring and Rough Stock Rodeo


  • Limited entries available
  • Register with $300 deposit per event, due by May 15, 2018
  • Balance due by June 1, 2018

Fees are all inclusive. Stalls and shavings will be provided. You must bring your own feed and clean your own stalls. You can arrive no earlier than Thursday May 31 after 12:00pm MST. All entries may participate in a 1.1m Welcome Class on Friday June 1 at 2:00 pm. After this class we will host all competitors for a fun Argentine style BBQ on the fields.

All competitors will receive 2 tickets to the exhibitor area for the weekend. This is a special area for polo players, jumpers, and cowboys to enjoy the weekend. If you would like more than 2 tickets please write the number below. Remember this is an extra exclusive area just for you and your family and friends. Food and drink are included in the ticket price, however NO ONE without a ticket will be allowed to enter.


  • Pre-registration required, closes May 15, 2018
  • Registration is refundable until April 15, 2018


  • Must present horse’s current health certificate, Coggin’s test results, and proof of updated shots.
  • Call Denver Polo Club/Cottonwood Riding Club at 303.791.7656 or email with questions.



PBR Pro Touring and Rough Stock Rodeo


Compete Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3
Exhibitor welcome Friday, June 1



Zone 8 Interscholastic Equestrian Association

DID YOU KNOW: there will be a Silent Auction at the Zone 8 Banquet this year? 100% of the money raised will be divided between the Champion High School and Middle School Teams to help them go to Nationals!!! Anyone wishing to donate an item may either contact Kathy Johnson or Olivia Barden (Front Range Team).
DID YOU KNOW: The Claire Davis Horsemanship Test (sponsored by Fountain Valley School) is open to any IEA rider at Zone Finals. Riders must be preregistered by their coach. Thanks to Colorado School of Mines IHSA Team for writing and administering the test!
DID YOU KNOW: There will be a 50/50 auction at Zone Finals? The winner will receive 25% of the money, the High School Champion Team will receive 25% of the money, the Middle School Champion Team will receive 25% of the money and Colorado School of Mines IHSA Team will receive 25% of the money!
Zone 8 Teams helping other Zone 8 Teams!

Contact IEA for more information at 877-743-3482