As an organization mandated to promote and advance the health and welfare of horses in Canada, we are saddened and disturbed by any account of a horse in distress or a situation of abuse or neglect.

Equestrian Canada (EC) takes the issue of animal maltreatment extremely seriously and has zero tolerance for the abuse of a horse. Our jurisdiction is limited to horses and individuals that have a relationship with EC, but any report received that does not fall within our jurisdiction will be forwarded on to the appropriate authorities including law enforcement and/or the SPCA.

All reports of abuse fall within our Horse Welfare Code of Coduct. EC follows a third party complaints process to deal with any violations of the code of conduct including physical abuse of a horse which is governed by our Discipline, Complaints and Appeals policy.

This past week disturbing video evidence of a horse being subjected to extreme physical and emotional abuse surfaced online. Through the reporting of the abuse, we learned that the alleged perpetrator of the abuse is an EC sport licence holder. Contrary to some social mentions, EC does not have a further relationship with them. Because they hold an EC sport licence, they fall within the jurisdiction of being held to our Horse Welfare Code of Conduct, and any subsequent disciplinary action including immediate suspension and sanctioning. 

Although we cannot, due to privacy, provide any information or feedback outside of an active investigation of an individual, anyone that has been suspended or received immediate sanctions due to the severity of reported concerns, are publicly cited on our Disciplinary Sanctions page. Any further action that has been taken against an individual or organization that can be publicized will appear there. Any sanctions of an athlete are shared through our reciprocal agreements with other governing bodies and partner associations.

As part of the Horse Welfare Code of Conduct, all individuals and members of the public are required to report instances of horse abuse to EC which shall immediately address such reports as needed under the terms of the applicable policies.

Anyone that witnesses or has reasonable grounds to believe that a horse is suffering or has suffered abuse, is obligated to report it and we encourage anyone that has information or further details to report their concerns themselves as their duty to report.

If anyone has further information on any instance of horse abuse, we encourage them to report their concerns here: Submit a Complaint or Appeal.

We all have a role to play to ensure a horse’s right to safety and well-being. Working together, we can advance the best interests, protection, and welfare of horses in Canada.

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