Coach Clair Allison (with Welsh Corgi, Dudley); Lacy Smith, Cherokee Bend School; Mattie Harden, Oak Mountain Middle School; Audrey Roell, Highlands School; and Coach Pam Carroll before Nationals.
The Birmingham Interscholastic Equestrian Team (BIET), the first of its kind in Alabama, distinguished itself for the second year in a row since its inception in 2010, when its middle school team made it all the way to the National Finals in New York.
The Birmingham Team has 20 members, several of whom are from Mountain Brook. Mountain Brook resident Rebekah Sims was one of five members of the high school team. Audrey Roell of Highlands School and Lacy Smith of Cherokee Bend Elementary are on the three- person middle school team and competed at the National Finals in Syracuse, N.Y. on April 20.
Both teams qualified for and placed first in Regional Finals, which then qualified them for Zone Finals in Charleston. At the Zone Finals, the BIET Middle School team qualified for this year’s National Finals, held the weekend of April 20. There are over 5000 members of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), and less than five percent of the middle school riders make it to the National Finals.
The Birmingham Team was formed by Clair Allison of Clairmont Show Stables,
who graduated from Mountain Brook and went on to ride with Virginia Intermont and Auburn. She, along with Pam Carroll, coach and train the team, open to 11-19 year olds. BIET is in Zone 4, which includes teams from Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina that compete all over the southeast.
IEA also allows riders interested in collegiate equestrian teams to get a jump start on their future in collegiate riding by providing an opportunity to earn college scholarships. The team had three girls selected to go the College Preparatory Invitational Horse Show 2012 at Winter Equestrian Festival in West Palm Beach. This horse show gave them the opportunity to be seen by many college equestrian team coaches and to explore scholarship opportunities.
Tryouts for the team will take place this summer for the 2012-2013 season. All levels of rider from beginner up are welcomed. Clairmont also offers summer camps, boarding, lessons and a local and “A” circuit show program for riders. For more information, contact Clair Allison at Clairmont Show Stables, at 243-2750 or 672- 3174.