NCEA Equestrian National Championship Update

NCEA Equestrian National Championship Update
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 | by Shaun Leverton

July 18, 2017

To:       Friends and Supporters of NCEA programs and NCAA Equestrian

From:   Dr. Leah Holland Fiorentino
            Executive Director, NCEA

Re:       Update on NCAA Equestrian and NCEA National Championship

In an effort to maintain the flow of accurate and timely information about NCEA activities, I am providing an update with exciting news about changes to the NCEA National Championship format which will be introduced April 2018.

NCAA Equestrian & NCEA National Championship. The NCEA Board of Directors has approved a substantive change to the national championship format effective April 2018.

As we plan for the continued expansion of Equestrian to many more campuses, the following changes have been approved to provide more inclusive opportunities to national championship titles.

1.       National championship event titles will now be awarded in four separate events conducted at the national championship:

a.      Equitation over fences National Champion

b.      Equitation on the flat National Champion

c.      Western Horsemanship National Champion

d.      Western Reining National Champion

2.       National championship discipline titles will now be awarded for two separate disciplines based on the points assigned to teams during the event competitions at the national championship

a.      Hunter Seat National Champion

b.      Western National Champion

3.       National team championship title will be awarded based on combined discipline team head-to-head bracket competition at the national championship.


  • Schools may qualify teams for each of the event titles – schools do not need to enter teams in both disciplines.  Schools with single discipline teams are now eligible for NCEA national titles.

  • All competitive opportunities will be organized in the bracket head-to-head format (event titles and team title)

  • Seeding for the event title competitions will be based on regular season NCEA competitions for the four different events (fences, flat, horsemanship, reining).  To be eligible for seeding for any NCEA national championship title, teams are required to compete in a minimum of three head-to-head competitions.

These changes are a result of year-long discussions with coaches and administrators at schools planning to add Equestrian as a varsity sport on their campus and report the addition to the NCAA.  Equestrian is moving quickly toward NCAA championship status and the NCEA leadership supports the new format as a means to be more inclusive and provide pathways to a national title for all teams.  The format is expected to remain in place through the NCAA-CWA emerging sports process and is designed to provide for a collegiate championship model to provide opportunities for all NCAA schools (Division I, Division II, and Division III).

NCEA President, Haley Schoolfield (TCU) said, “These changes bring much excitement to NCAA Equestrian as we move forward in growing our incredible sport.  Through the work of our Board of Directors and the NCEA Championship Committee we now offer several avenues to national titles at our championship.  We look forward to welcoming new universities to this group of talented student-athletes.”

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. 


From Leadline to Leaders - NCEA


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