Varsity Equestrian Rebranded as NCEA
Jan. 12, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - In effort to further advance equestrian to a NCAA championship sport, the entity formally known as Varsity Equestrian has established an association to become the voice for the sport of equestrian within college athletics. The National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) was founded to be the catalyst for growth of varsity level equestrian competition.
"I think it is a great move for Varisty Equestrian to change its name to the National Collegiate Equestrian Association," said South Carolina head coach Boo Major. "There has always been some confusion about the title 'Varsity Equestrian' because it was feasible for institutions to have a varsity program but not compete following NCAA guidelines. This change to NCEA will clarify that the schools competing under the guidelines of the NCAA are a separate entity. It is an exciting time for collegiate equestrian."
In 1998, Equestrian was recognized as a NCAA emerging sport and since then the sport has been governed by the Varsity Equestrian Steering Committee. The committee was composed of the coaches and administrators from universities sponsoring Equestrian at the varsity level.
"The transition of Varsity Equestrian to the National Collegiate Equestrian Association is a very positive step that will give us a boost toward our goal of achieving championship status within NCAA," said Casie Lisabeth, NCEA president and Kansas State University equestrian head coach. "The support of AQHA and USEF has been key in making NCEA possible. This change will help further educate the public about collegiate equestrian and help increase opportunities for young women by adding more universities and growing the sport to NCAA championship status."
As equine industry leaders, the American Quarter Horse Association and the United States Equestrian Federation are working in cooperation to support the development of opportunities for equestrian student-athletes.
"The development of collegiate equestrian within athletics is a positive step, not only for the horse industry, but also for college athletics," said Don Treadway Jr., AQHA executive vice president. "The American Quarter Horse Association is proud to support the enhancement of collegiate opportunities through the National Collegiate Equestrian Association. We look forward to working with our industry partners to advance equestrian as a championship sport for NCAA."
"It is truly exciting to see increased opportunities for our young riders through the ongoing development of equestrian sport within college athletics," said John Long, chief executive officer of the United States Equestrian Federation. "There has been tremendous effort put forth by the members of the varsity equestrian steering committee and I congratulate them on the creation of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association. This will be a catalyst to help advance equestrian into championship sport status with NCAA."
The 2012 NCEA National Championship will be held on April 12-14 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas. A tentative schedule of events is available at www.collegiateequestrian.com.