NCEA Approves National Advisory Board

Several AQHA members are named to an advisory board to help move women's equestrian to NCAA championship status.

National Collegiate Equestrian Association

As we near the end of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association regular spring season competition schedule, I want to be sure to thank the coaches who have worked diligently with the teams this year. The results are clearly positive and it has been a thrill to watch the events unfold on social media. I am thankful for the outpouring of positive support from caring individuals who have taken the time to contact me via email – I look forward to meeting this group in person. I am also grateful for the generous donors who have chosen to support NCEA through website donations or through sponsorships for our championship event … we value your support. All of you are making a difference.    

Over the last three weeks, we have established the NCEA National Advisory Board.  Liaisons from each NCEA program were invited to participate on this important board.  Last week, the NCEA Executive Committee approved the board members and I am pleased to share that information with you now.  In addition, there is information about the mission and goals for the National Advisory Board.  We hope you will take the time to speak with the liaison from your program.  In addition, we have three at-large members who represent the larger equestrian community.  

Please join me in welcoming the members of the NCEA National Advisory Board:

Kelly Chapman, co-chair – equine industry, AQHA/American Paint Horse Association

David May, co-chair – corporate leadership, Luther King Capital Management

Beth Cross – co-founder and CEO, Ariat International   

Daniel Dienst – CEO, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia 

Kathanne Fowler – founding partner, Column Partners 

Chuck Fry – president, Vista Communities  

John Hull – owner/VP, Emergency Radio Service, Inc.; Mission 1 Communications; Aircraft Charter Services

Todd Neiberger – Magpul Industries Corporation  

Tom O'Mara – corporate leadership, Cowen and Company 

Sue Padilla – owner, MSPadilla Consulting, LLC  

Kassy Perry – president/CEO, Perry Communications Group; United States Equestrian Federation competitor 

Tom Shilen – chief financial and administrative officer, CBS News 

Karen Willis – corporate leadership, Equestrian

Greg Williams – vice president of finance, NCEA

Dr. Leah Fiorentino – executive director, NCEA (ex-officio)

The National Advisory Board of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association is committed to elevate and advance equestrian to the most sustainable and strongest of all NCAA women’s sports. Working in conjunction with the NCEA, the NAB is initially focused on building and leveraging support for the advancement of women’s equestrian to National Collegiate Athletic Association championship sport status. NCEA will continue to provide guidance to the oversight of the sport of collegiate riding, while NAB will focus on raising awareness and building cohesive industry support as to the relevance and value of women’s equestrian.

The National Advisory Board will:

  • Provide support and accountability to the NCEA to ensure a financially strong and strategically focused organization to guide the sport of collegiate equestrian
  • Support activities and efforts of the NCEA
  • Create and secure efforts surrounding the advancement of women’s equestrian to NCAA championship sport status
  • Work throughout university communities to promote the sport of equestrian

Short-term goals:     

  • Build awareness with alumni, parents, and university officials
  • Communicate with alumni, parents, and university officials
  • Monitor NCAA issues

Medium-term goals:

  • Communicate and build awareness with alumni, parents, and university officials
  • Help to build the NCEA endowment fund

Long-term goals:

  • Build endowment fund to level to fund national championships and other events for the NCEA
  • Support NCEA participating universities to fund athletic scholarships for equestrian programs

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to working with the National Advisory Board on their ambitious goals.

Thank you for your continued commitment to NCEA.

For more on the history of women's equestrian, go to