COVINGTON — The Interscholastic Equestrian Association hosted over 350 riders in grades six-12 at the iconic Holland Arena in Harrisburg, Penn., from April 26-28, including Isabel Mclaurin, a senior at Piedmont Academy.

Riders from across the United States were all finalists who had qualified for the National Finals Competition by participating in shows throughout the regular season and by qualifying for and placing in the top at his/her Region and Zone Finals.

The finalists were from 10 zones across the country and represented 191 teams from a total of 10,567 hunt seat riders and 1,382 teams that competed throughout the regular season. The riders were vying for National titles and to be among the top eight riders in their classes.

The finalists had to show outstanding poise, professionalism, sportsmanship and equestrian ability as they competed in both individual and team classes.

The IEA utilizes a draw-based format that requires riders to compete on unfamiliar horses in unfamiliar tack. They draw their horses the day of the competition and enter the arena with no warm up on the flat and little warm up over fences.

 Mclaurin competed at the National Finals in the Open Division on the flat. She made the call back into the top eight after the judges had narrowed down their top choices.

After additional difficult testing, including no stirrup work and other various tests, Isabel earned the spot of third in the Nation.

She received a host of awards and prizes from generous sponsors, and was thankful to have the opportunity to compete at the highest level in IEA.

The National Finals competition completed Isabel's successful 7 year IEA career. Throughout her stellar career, Mclaurin qualified for Region Finals every season and Zone Finals every season except one, as an individual or for her Seven Springs Stables team.

 Isabel is the daughter of Cole and Audri Mclaurin of Forsyth and the granddaughter of Jerry and Gail Mclaurin of Jackson and Jerry and Ann Greer of Forsyth.

Covington native and proud Valdosta State alumna, Hunter has previously worked with The Covington News and Valdosta Daily Times. She started working for Rockdale/Newton Citizen in June 2018.

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