NCEA Welcomes College of Charleston

NCEA Welcomes College of Charleston

Cougars to start NCEA competition in 2023-24

WACO, Texas – The National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) welcomed new member College of Charleston to the organization, announced Thursday.

The NCEA now has 22 members across 13 states.

Charleston will also retain its membership with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) while joining the NCEA. The Cougars will travel to the University of South Carolina on November 3 for their first NCEA competition against the Gamecocks.

“We are thrilled to be adding the NCEA format to our existing IHSA schedule, all with efforts and intentions to create additional competitive experiences for our all of our student athletes at the College of Charleston,” said head coach Natasha V. McCarthy.

The Charleston program consists of 27 IHSA National Championship Horse Show appearances, 21 national champion riders, 20 IHSA Region Championships and 10 IHSA Zone 5 Championships. The Cougars’ first IHSA Championship appearance was back in 1984.

“We are excited to join the NCEA and add this competitive opportunity to our successful IHSA program and its long history at the College,” said Senior Associate AD for Student-Athlete Success and Senior Woman Administrator. “We expect to continue to be a contender in the IHSA for years to come while building our NCEA program to reach those heights as well.”

“The NCEA is excited to welcome College of Charleston Equestrian for the 2023-24 season,” said NCEA Director Dr. Leah Fiorentino. “College of Charleston Equestrian has been a perennial power in collegiate equestrian for many years and is sure to be successful during its inaugural season. The program will add to the strength of regional competition in the southeast and joins Dartmouth College and Sacred Heart University as the third Division I Single Discipline Equestrian team in the country.” 

About the NCEA

A non-profit corporation, the NCEA is a governing body to advance the sport of equestrian. The NCEA is responsible for the development and administration of equestrian rules and guidelines. Equestrian is subject to all NCAA policies and procedures in the same manner as other sports. In 1998, Equestrian was identified and adopted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Committee on Women’s Athletics (CWA) as an emerging sport for women at the Division I and II levels. This winter at the NCAA Convention, there will be a vote to make equestrian an emerging sport for Division III.

NCEA competitions are a head-to-head format, and schools may choose to compete as a single or dual discipline team (Jumping Seat and Western). Each discipline has two events, Jumping Seat Fences, and Flat, Western Horsemanship, and Reining. Teams can play five riders per event, with horses assigned by random draw at the start of the competition. Riders from opposing teams compete on the same horse, and whichever rider receives the higher score earns one point for her team. The level of difficulty is demonstrated by the accuracy of the pattern and how the competitor uses the horse to the best of her ability.

To stay up to date all year long on all things NCEA Equestrian, follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @NCEA_Equestrian and @ncea_eq.