Letter to the Membership: SafeSport

Dear USHJA Members,

As an organization, the USHJA is committed to safety and fairness for our members. Our sport produces many positives for our participants. Horses bring horsemanship, sportsmanship, empathy and teamwork into our lives. But let’s face it, whether it is the treatment of horses or people, we also have dark corners of the sport. As a sport and a community, we can and should be better. As equestrians it is our duty to work to make our sport strong and healthy. It is time to step up and no longer tolerate inappropriate behavior and to emerge as a safer and altogether more positive environment for our people and our horses. We should have zero tolerance for cruelty and abuse whether of horses or humans. Victim shaming and blaming is never acceptable.

In the wake of the U.S. Center for SafeSport ban of George Morris, on Monday, November 25 the USHJA Board of Directors voted to re-name the Hunterdon Cup and remove the George H. Morris trophy from the International Hunter Derby.  

The USHJA supports the mission of SafeSport. Our support does not make us deaf to the questions raised by many members concerning some of the processes utilized by the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

As part of our educational initiative, we invite you to the USHJA Annual Meeting on Wednesday, December 11 at 4:30 p.m. MT, where we have scheduled a session with Michael Henry, Chief Officer for Response and Resolution of the U.S. Center for SafeSport. He will give a presentation and follow up with a question and answer session. The session will be livestreamed for those not able to attend. More details will be available on the USHJA Annual Meeting website closer to the event. 

We are in a difficult and uncomfortable time and our road to comfort, security and purpose is education. Please join us either in person in Denver or through our livestream. This informational session will be an excellent time to gain insight on the inner workings of The Center. For those who cannot attend in person, questions can be sent to AMSafeSportQA@ushja.org.

Thank you for being a member,

Mary Babick
USHJA President