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What’s the difference between an NCAA equestrian team and a NCEA team?

The NCAA team is sponsored and registered with the National Collegiate Athletic Association by the institutions’ athletic department. The NCEA team is both sponsored by their institution through the NCEA and follows the governing rules of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association. Therefore the competition format is open level, ridden on institutional horses, and head to head.

How many women are on a NCEA team?

The average team has 46 members. Teams typically range from 20 to 85 women since there is no roster size limit by the NCAA.

How many coaches are there on NCEA Team?

There can be anywhere from one to three full time coaches. Some teams also have volunteer, graduate or undergraduate student coaches as well.


Can NCAA teams compete in multiple competition formats?

Yes, schools that are a members of the NCAA are permitted to compete in the NCEA head to head meets, IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) shows, ANRC (American National Riding Commission) competitions and other organizations. However, universities whose athletic departments sponsor the sport can only compete in one National Championship event.

Typically how many NCEA competitions are there in a competition season?

Teams can have up to 15 dates of competition, not including conference or national championships. Competitions that last more than one day, or tournaments can be considered one date.

When is the competition season for the NCEA?

The competition season runs throughout the academic year starting in late August and ending with the National Championship in April. December and January are normally slower months with limited practice and fewer competitions because the student-athletes are out of school for break.

Do all NCEA athletes get to compete?

The number of competitors in each event varies from competition to competition based on various factors, including available horses. A minimum of four riders is needed to compete in each event, but as many as eight or nine riders per event have competed at each competition. Each individual program has its own policies that determine who gets to compete at each competition. These may include competitor, travel space, and readiness of the student-athlete.


Where do NCEA teams practice?

Practice and competition facilities vary. They can be owned by the athletics department or can be a multiple use facilities on campus partnered with the Agriculture or Animal Science Department or be a privately leased facility.

Do I need a horse to be a member of an NCEA team and who provides the horses?

No. NCEA institutions have their own horses for the practice and competitions. These horses have been donated, purchased, leased or loaned for the competition season.

Can I board my own horse and use it on a NCEA team?

Most NCEA programs do not allow boarding of private team member’s horses. Teams practice and compete on team owned/leased horses. When traveling, schools compete on the host university’s horses. Some programs allow student-athletes to lease their personal horse to the team during the season, in which the horse will be ridden by all student-athletes and used for practice and competition. It is best to ask each individual school you are interested in about their policies.


What is the average GPA of an NCEA athlete?

The average unweighted equestrian GPA is 3.2. NCEA institutions are able to support their athletes with academic tutoring, academic counselors and pre-registration.

Can NCEA student-athletes receive course credit?

Some Universities will offer class credit for participation, mostly as physical education credit.


Are there scholarships for NCEA athletes?

The NCAA allows a maximum of 15 scholarships per equestrian team. Since it is an equivalency sport and not head count, scholarships are divided amongst the team athletes as the coaches see fit.

Does it cost me anything to be a member of an NCEA team?

No, there are no membership, competition, coaching or entry fees. Typically the team provides gear, food, travel, coaching, horses and facility requirements for competition.

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