We currently have a waiting list for new students. If you are interested in lessons and would like to be placed on a waiting list, please email us at email@example.com or through the contact us button at the top of the page. Please include your name, a number where you can be reached, and your availability for lessons.
2021/2022 IEA Season
The deadline to commit to joining Bellwether's IEA team for the 2021/2022 season is September 1st.
IEA is open to riders grades 4 through 12 who have had 6 months or more of continuous riding lessons and who are interested in competing.
Please contact Deb Sullivan at 413 717 2433 if you are interested in joining our IEA program.
Bellwether’s Surprising Season
The Bellwether Stables' IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association) just wrapped up its seventh season. Because of COVID, this season was a real question mark. Would the competitions be able to take place safely? Another unknown is how the team would perform. The Bellwether team was very inexperienced with 8 of the members competing in IEA for the first time. Coaches Deb Sullivan and Julia Doyle were very excited about working with this young team but had no expectations that the team would advance to the post season.
The IEA was established in 2002. It has grown from 200 participants to more than 14,500 members. The mission of the IEA is to introduce students in grades 4 through 12 to equestrian sports. Classes are available for all skill levels. There is no need for a rider to own their own horse. The host of each completion provides the horses. Since the horses are new to the riders, this a real test of horsemanship and equitation.
The IEA worked tirelessly to develop strict protocols to allow the horse show to run safely. This included masks, sanitizer, distancing measures and temperature checks. The season starts with riders competing in 5 regular season shows. The shows are held at area stables. The riders earn individual points and the teams also accumulate points. At the conclusion of the regular season, 6 Bellwether riders advanced to the Regional Finals.
Regional Finals were held at Muddybrook Farm in Amherst, MA. November 21st was a cold, crisp day but to adhere to protocols, the show was held outdoors. The farm was beautifully decorated to make the Regional competition very special for all the riders. After a long day of competition, the young Bellwether team earned enough points to move on to Zone Finals. So the team was in the surprising position of moving on to Zone Finals.
Zone Finals took place at the Eastern States Exhibition Hall over 2 days. It is a real opportunity for riders to compete in this prestigious venue. The top riders in each class at Zones advance to National Finals which is held in Georgia. All of the Bellwether riders rode really well at this very competitive show. We didn’t move on to Nationals but every rider earned ribbons at the show. They also went home with embroidered saddle pads, commemorative charms, and great memories of a surprising and successful season.
6th Annual Hunter Derby and Equitation Day - Sunday, September 12