Columbus, Ohio (February 26, 2021) – A magnanimous gesture – the Muzzy Family and its MZ Farms have established a five-year $100,000 Grant to assist the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) and qualified riders, who demonstrate financial need, in attending the National Finals competitions. The Travel Grant allocation is $20,000 to be divided among approximately ten riders, in each of five years, beginning with IEA Hunt Seat Finals this April. Each rider will receive up to $2,000 in grant money. The initial estimated distribution of the ten grants will be six for Hunt Seat Finals (April 22-25/Perry, Georgia), two for Dressage Finals (May 15-16/Tyler, Texas) and two for Western Finals (June 30-July 1/Ft. Worth, Texas).The Travel Grant will provide funding to support expenses related to an individual rider plus a guardian and a coach to travel to IEA National Finals, in addition to related entry fees for any individual and team (if applicable) classes.Travel Grants will be awarded on a need basis: seniority of rider; years of IEA participation and Sportsmanship Awards. An applicant must be an individual National Finals qualifier; complete a general application; submit a parent/guardian 2019 or 2020 tax return; and include a Coach recommendation letter. Deadlines for submission requests are: Hunt Seat: April 6; Dressage: April 20; Western: June 8. Full instructions and application form will be available on the IEA website (www.rideiea.org) by March 1st.Cathy Muzzy commented, “Steve and I are so very pleased to support the IEA. Our daughter rides in the IEA and she has had the most wonderful experience.” The IEA, though its draw-based format, levels the ‘playing field’ for each of these young equestrians and provides the mount and tack for every ride at each event. That means no rider needs to own a horse. Yet, even with this support, many good riders cannot afford the cost associated with travel for shows out of their own geography. “We hope this Travel Grant will help a rider make it to Finals without burdening their family,” says Muzzy.Roxane Durant, IEA Co-founder/Executive Director stated, “The Muzzy Family has supported the annual IEA Zone 10 (California/Arizona/Hawaii) Senior Scholarship awards for several years (deadline for submission March 1), as well as the IEA Benevolent Fund. Their latest generosity in offering this National Finals Travel Grant is just thrilling! We have always known that the success of our organization comes from the IEA ‘community’ of riders, coaches, volunteers, sponsors and, most important, our families. This Grant by the Muzzy Family and MZ Farms will help young riders who might not otherwise attend the epitome of our season – The National Finals. This gift is so very much appreciated and is an extraordinary example of support from an IEA Family.”###
About MZ Farms:MZ Farms was founded by Steve and Cathy Muzzy to help provide quality mounts for riders who participate in local riding academy programs that have IEA team affiliates. Most of the MZ Farms horses proudly participate in IEA lessons and local IEA shows in addition to their local county and “A” circuit shows. The Muzzy Family recognizes the immense physical and mental benefits associated with horseback riding and horsemanship and they aim to make this wonderful sport more accessible to youth and families who might not otherwise be able to participate.About the Interscholastic Equestrian Association:Now in its 19th year, the IEA has nearly 14,000 members across the United States riding and coaching Hunt Seat, Western and Dressage disciplines. The non-profit (501(c)3) IEA was organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle and secondary school students and is open to public and private schools and barn teams. There is no need for a rider to own a horse because the IEA supplies a mount and tack to each equestrian for competitions. Its purpose is to set minimum standards for competition, provide information concerning the creation and development of school associated equestrian sport programs, 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. For more information, please visit rideiea.org.