Ottawa, ON, Dec 14, 2020 – Equestrian Canada (EC) is implementing revised measures to the initial Coach Licence based on community feedback to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive equestrian experience for all the sport’s participants. Inspired by the federal government’s Safe Sport initiative, the national federation’s new Coach Status Program is designed to provide coaches with the training and screening they need to elevate the equestrian experience in Canada and make it safer for all involved. The application process is now open in conjunction with EC Sport Licence renewals, with the first Coach Statuses to be issued for Jan. 15, 2021.

“It is our duty as equestrian stewards to share our passion so that future generations can continue to benefit from the unique experience our sport offers. In order to do so, we must stand united in offering safe, respectful and inclusive equestrian environments. This means implementing standards for coaching,” said EC President, Meg Krueger.

In 2018, the Minister of Science and Sport introduced Safe Sport, which included measures to address harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport. EC’s new program works hand-in-hand with this initiative, ensuring that Canadian equestrian sport meets all safety and quality screening measures to create the safest environment for coaches, athletes and families to enjoy the sport. The initiative includes measures like third-party complaints management and Safe Sport training, which equips coaches with the tools they need to empower athletes while promoting their physical and mental well-being, and more.

With the new program, coaches can apply for one of two statuses:

  • Registered Coach Status: This status recognizes self-declared coaches and instructors, including those working towards a Coach Certification and those new to equestrian instruction who will work alongside an experienced coach. This status can also be selected by those with formal training or extensive experience until the Licensed Coach Status becomes mandatory.
  • Licensed Coach Status: This status recognizes coaches with verified expertise, either through formal certification, education or validated practical experience. Applicants should be actively engaged in equestrian instruction and coaching.

Equestrian Canada Launches Coach Status ProgramThe Licensed Coach Status also includes legal expense insurance coverage, which provides unlimited access to a Legal Helpline. By calling the Legal Helpline, coaches can receive general assistance for any legal question, even if it is not covered by the policy. This policy provides coverage for legal expenses related to potential abuse allegations for incidents that occur in Canada. Coverage limits are $25,000 per individual occurrence and a $50,000 aggregate per Licensed Coach per policy term. The legal expense insurance policy for Licensed Coaches ensures your legal risks are well managed in the event of an unexpected legal issue. EC is proud to provide this service with the Licensed Coach Status as a means of additional security and support for our coaches.

“Few people are more influential in the development of young equestrians than coaches – not only in terms of equestrian competency but in shaping their identity as individuals by creating an environment to build confidence, develop character and create opportunities for connection, caring and compassion with their equine partners and other equestrians,” said EC Director of Sport Development, Douglas Duncan. “That is why a recognized Coach Status is so vital; so that we can ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all participants that is reflective of the quality and professionalism of equestrian coaches across Canada.”

EC will implement the new Coach Status Program in phases over the next four years. Coaches who wish to deliver existing EC programs (e.g. Learn to Ride/Drive) will need to obtain their Licensed Coach Status in 2021 before instruction. There will be no formal requirements to hold a Coach Status at EC sanctioned competitions in 2021. However, we recommend that all coaches use 2021 to familiarize themselves with the new Coach Statuses and apply for their chosen status. By 2025, all coaches will need to be Certified in order to obtain the valid Licensed Coach Status that will be required.

EC is committed to creating a safe, high-quality experience for all who participate in equestrian sport across our country. The new Coach Status Program is a reflection of that commitment and an investment in the future of equestrian sport in Canada.

To learn more about the new Coach Status Program, visit our website

About Equestrian Canada

Equestrian Canada (EC) is the national governing body for equestrian sport and industry in Canada, with a mandate to represent, promote and advance all equine and equestrian interests. With over 18,000 Sport Licence Holders, 90,000 registered participants, 11 provincial/territorial sport organization partners and 10+ national equine affiliate organizations, EC is a significant contributor to the social, physical, emotional and economic wellbeing of the equestrian industry across Canada.

For questions regarding Coach Status Program, please email

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