The United States Hunter Jumper Association is deeply troubled and saddened to hear the accounts of abuse from within our own equestrian community, and we applaud these members' courage in sharing their stories.
We want our members to know about the resources available to the entire equestrian community for reporting abuse, seeking confidential support and for educational purposes. The USEF Safe Sport Policy and U.S. Center for SafeSport Code govern conduct at all USEF licensed, endorsed, and sponsored events.
With the recent passage of the “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017,” the protections for victims are strengthened and the responsibility of each of us as members of amateur sports organizations for reporting abuse increased.
In addition to complying with all federal, state and local laws, we will continue to advocate for policies and practices that ensure our sport is welcoming and safe for all. In 2017, USHJA proposed a rule change that would require all professionals who sign an entry blank at a USEF-licensed competition to conduct SafeSport training. I am leading a task force on behalf of USEF to adjust the language in the proposal that was discussed at the January USEF Board meeting to meet the needs of all disciplines. USEF will be voting on the revised rule change proposal in June. In the event a rule for all disciplines cannot be passed by USEF, the USHJA Board of Directors has recommended the USEF pass the rule for all trainers signing entry blanks at USEF-licensed Hunter/Jumper competitions.
The adoption of such a rule is one important step forward for our industry, but more steps are necessary. We continue to examine our own policies to identify opportunities to strengthen protections for our members. We want every member to know that their safety is paramount, and we are committed to actions and initiatives that support a culture of safety in our sport. There is no place for abuse in our sport.