Category Archives: Equestrian Assistance

Janise Gray Retires as EAF’s Director of Grant Recipient Services

Gray (right) with EAF grant recipient Debbie Atkinson, Mary Phelps, and a friend of the foundation in 2007. Photo courtesy of Phelps Photos.

Wellington, Fla. – Sept. 24, 2018 – The Equestrian Aid Foundation announced this week that Janise Gray has retired as the foundation’s Director of Grant Recipient Services. She had held the position for over 20 years.

“For two decades, Janise has been a compassionate advocate for each and every person our foundation has assisted,” said board treasurer Marilou Case. “While we wish her the very best in her new adventures, we will surely miss her presence amidst the day-to-day workings of the foundation.”

A professional equestrian with a background in dressage and eventing, Gray joined EAF’s Board of Directors in 1996 and served briefly as the organization’s Executive Director before taking over the role of Director of Grant Recipient Services. In addition to her service to the foundation’s grant recipients, she was also involved in fundraising and event planning.

The foundation’s grant recipients characterize Gray as a true friend. “So many times I fell down trying to make my legs work, and she would say, ‘Get back on the horse!’” said Joe McCloskey, a farrier who received aid from EAF after sustaining a crush injury. “She was the first person I called when I found a new way to move my legs.”

A resident of New Jersey, Gray’s immediate plans for retirement include focusing on her four-legged children — a trio of Cirneco dell’Etna sight hounds that are both pets and agility athletes. However, the friendships she has forged in the equestrian community will remain a central part of her life.

“I am so proud to have been an integral part of this organization,” said Gray of her years with the Equestrian Aid Foundation. “I have grieved for those we’ve lost and rejoice for all who we’ve helped. I will miss all we have accomplished together to assist our fellow equestrians.”

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

Letter from US Equestrian President and CEO Regarding Safe Sport

US Equestrian believes the safety and welfare of our members, especially our children, is of paramount importance and that all members must be kept safe from abuse of all kinds. Abuse has no place in our sport or in our lives. We are the guardians of our sport and it is our collective responsibility to raise awareness and educate each other on the behaviors associated with abuse, both sexual and non-sexual. This year, top equestrian athlete Anne Kursinski shared her powerful personal story of abuse by a person she trusted. To help ensure this abuse doesn’t happen to others, Anne has partnered with US Equestrian to raise awareness of the reporting, support and training resources available through US Equestrian and the U.S. Center for SafeSport. Please click here to view an important video message from Anne.

US Equestrian embarked on building a robust Safe Sport Program starting in 2013, years before Safe Sport became a household term in equestrian sport. During the process of expanding our program, the leadership and Board have been called upon many times to take the lead in creating awareness, reporting methods, education, survivor support, training and other resources. You will be proud to know that, recently, the Board once again took the reins and approved a requirement that, starting January 1, 2019, all adult members (18 years of age and older) who have a USEF Competing Membership must complete the Safe Sport training. This is a major milestone in our efforts to unite our equestrian community in preventing abuse. The core training consists of three modules which take approximately 90 minutes to complete.

Safe Sport education for all members and parents of our junior members is essential to protecting each other, understanding when and how to report, and recognizing the signs in order to prevent abuse before it occurs. US Equestrian provides numerous resources to further your education and participation in the Safe Sport movement. Here are some of the resources available to you at www.usef.org/safesport:

  • Safe Sport training – FREE to all US Equestrian members. Three modules take just under 90 minutes to complete initially, with a 30-minute refresher training annually;
  • A suspended and banned list that identifies the person by name and the reason for their suspension or ban;
  • The U.S. Center for SafeSport has partnered with RAINN to provide a 24-hour victim services hotline, reached at 1.866.200.0796;
  • The new USEF Safe Sport Directory is a searchable database to help individuals, parents, athletes, and others in our sport find the people within our industry who have completed the Safe Sport training and/or a criminal background check;
  • Safe Sport FAQs and Safe Sport training FAQs on our Safe Sport webpage;
  • Town Halls and Affiliate meetings to raise awareness, educate and field questions;
  • Expanding our recently launched #YouAreNotAlone campaign, including providing campaign materials to competition organizers to utilize at competitions;
  • Developing Learning Center educational video content and PSAs for use by USEF, Affiliates and competitions;
  • Expanding the monitoring of USEF and Affiliate Safe Sport compliance; and
  • Hiring additional support staff as needed for the Safe Sport Program.

Additionally, many of our members spend their weekends at competitions, and to make certain that we are providing you with the resources you need when you are attending shows, we have just launched the #YouAreNotAlone campaign. US Equestrian will be providing competition organizers with a Safe Sport Toolkit that includes posters with reporting resources, public address announcements, video PSAs and competitor information. Working with our competition organizers, US Equestrian will bring reporting, education and support resources directly to you at the competition. We want you to know that you are not alone, and we are here to help.

Clear communication on all things related to Safe Sport is important to achieving our mission to raise awareness, assist you with reporting, increase education and provide support. Recently, we sent a hard copy letter accompanied by our USEF Safe Sport Handbook to the parents of our junior members. We strongly believe parents are an integral part of our efforts to prevent abuse. While the U. S. Center for SafeSport’s parental awareness training is available at no cost, we encourage you to join US Equestrian by using the code Parents18 to become a free Fan Member. By providing us with your unique email address, you allow us to more efficiently communicate with you, and through your Fan Membership, you can gain access to all the Safe Sport resources, as well as numerous member benefits and discounts.

In addition to the resources offered by US Equestrian and the Center, it is extremely important that you are aware of this legislation: Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017. It requires amateur sports organizations and their members to report sex-abuse allegations involving minors to local or federal law enforcement, or to a child-welfare agency designated by the Justice Department, within 24 hours. Failure to do so is a crime.

Not only is reporting the right thing to do, it is critical to creating a safe environment for athletes and members. Sexual and non-sexual misconduct have two distinct reporting processes:

  1. All sexual misconduct should be reported directly to the U.S. Center for SafeSport by phone 720-524-5640 or online at safesport.org.
  2. All non-sexual misconduct or violations of the Safe Sport Policy should be reported directly to US Equestrian. Reports through US Equestrian can be submitted using the USEF Incident Report Form, or by email or phone to Teresa Roper, Safe Sport Program Coordinator, troper@usef.org, 859-225-6915, Sonja Keating, General Counsel, skeating@usef.org, 859-225-2045, or Emily Pratt, epratt@usef.org, 859-225-6956.

Both the U.S. Center for SafeSport and US Equestrian will accept anonymous reports, but please note that it can be very difficult to investigate anonymous complaints.

The safety of our members and the future of our sport are dependent on how all of us act. Together, we will make a difference and we will make our sport a place where safety is the norm and abuse finds no home. We hope you will embrace this call to action and join us in our efforts to eradicate abuse in our sport.

Please contact our legal department, which handles all Safe Sport inquiries, at skeating@usef.org, should you have any questions or need assistance.

Sincerely,

Murray S. Kessler
President

William J. Moroney
Chief Executive Officer

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Safe Sport Training Frequently Asked Questions

Lexington, KY – The US Equestrian Federation (USEF) announced a rule change on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, requiring that, effective January 1, 2019, all USEF members 18 and over with an Adult Competing Membership must complete Safe Sport training in order to be eligible to participate in USEF activities, including competitions. Since that announcement, we are pleased to report that over 3,500 USEF members completed the Safe Sport training. To provide further guidance, below are a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the new rule change.

Where can I locate the required Safe Sport training? How long does it take?
The required Safe Sport Core Training is on the U.S. Center for SafeSport website. Instructions on how to set up an account and access the training are here. It will take approximately 90 minutes to complete and consists of three modules: Sexual Misconduct Awareness Education, Mandatory Reporting, and Emotional and Physical Misconduct. All three modules must be completed in order to satisfy the requirement.

Who is required to take the Safe Sport training?
Any USEF member who is 18 years old and above and who has a USEF Adult Competing Membership is required to take the Safe Sport training, including amateurs, professionals, and owners who have an annual, three-year, or lifetime membership. The Safe Sport training requirement does not include USEF Fan Members.

How long do I have to complete the requirement?
All USEF Adult Competing Members must complete the training within 30 days of joining or renewing their membership. USEF will provide members who renew or join on or after December 1, 2018 a 30-day grace period to complete the Safe Sport training. Members joining prior to December 1, 2018 will have until January 1, 2019 to complete the training.

What happens if I do not comply with the training requirement?
Those who do not complete the Safe Sport training will be ineligible to participate in USEF activities, including competitions.

How often do I need to complete the Safe Sport training?
The required Safe Sport Core Training (approximately 90 minutes) only needs to be completed once. A Safe Sport Refresher training course, which takes approximately 30 minutes, must be completed annually thereafter. US Equestrian is providing Adult Competing Members a 30-day grace period to complete the training.

What happens if I join or renew at a horse show?
If someone joins or renews at a horse show, he or she has 30 days to take the training.

If I have already taken the Safe Sport training, do I have to take it again?
If you have taken Safe Sport Core Training, approximately 90 minutes, after January 1, 2018, you will not need to take the Safe Sport Core Training again. If you have taken an older version of the Safe Sport Core Training prior to January 1, 2018, you will need to complete the new version to be eligible to participate in USEF activities, including competitions.

How long does it take for USEF to receive notification that someone has completed the Safe Sport training?
It can take up to 48 hours for USEF to receive notification and the system to reflect that someone has taken the training. At the end of completing all three training modules, you can print a certificate that says “SafeSport Trained” for verification purposes.

How will show secretaries and competition managers know if someone has taken the Safe Sport training?
Competition management and secretaries will have access to a combined Suspension and Ineligibility List in the same manner as the current Suspension List to identify those who are ineligible to compete. USEF Safe Sport Training records from the U.S. Center for SafeSport automatically update the USEF system every 24 to 48 hours. If a person appears on the Safe Sport Training Ineligibility list but has completed the training before the system updates, he or she can print and take a copy of the SafeSport Trained certificate to the show office to prove he or she is eligible to compete. Anyone who has passed the 30-day grace period without taking the training will show up as ineligible to compete.

Why is there not a Safe Sport training for US Equestrian junior members?
There is a Safe Sport Training module for youth in the works. This training will be available approximately in October 2018. Currently, there is a free Safe Sport training module for parents in addition to a Safe Sport Parent Toolkit, which has information for parents of preschool, middle school, and school-age children.

Why do I have to take the Safe Sport training when I have little or no interaction with those under the age of 18 years?
US Equestrian’s Safe Sport Policy and the rules that govern it have been created to protect all athletes from misconduct. Recognizing the signs and behaviors associated with abuse will help all of us to prevent it. In addition, the training covers information on reporting and under federal law, we all have a mandate to report any reasonable suspicion of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Do parents have to complete the Safe Sport training?
A parent signing an entry blank is not required to be a USEF member. We encourage all parents take the free Safe Sport Parent’s Training and to become USEF Members to stay informed.

Can entire barns take the training together?
Currently that option is not available.

If the owner of my horse has not taken the Safe Sport training, is the horse ineligible to compete?
Horses entered under owners who are on the Safe Sport Ineligibility List are ineligible to compete at USEF-sanctioned competitions.

Do Farm Members have to take Safe Sport training?
Farm entities are not required to take Safe Sport training.

How do I get in contact with Safe Sport for technical support?
Please call 720-676-6417 for technical support or email help.desk@safesport.org. For assistance setting up a Safe Sport account, please call 720-531-0344.

Additional information and resources on Safe Sport, how to report sexual and non-sexual misconduct, access to a free training module for parents of equestrian athletes, a Safe Sport FAQ, the Safe Sport Sanctions list, and more can be found here.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Equestrian Aid Foundation Is a Proud Partner of 43rd Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show

Wellington, Florida — August 24, 2018 — The Equestrian Aid Foundation is proud to return for the second year as an official partner of the Hampton Classic Horse Show.

The Hampton Classic Horse Show and its exhibitors hold special significance to the Equestrian Aid Foundation. “Since our inception in 1996, the Hamptons equestrian community has been an integral force in the work we do,” said foundation board member and co-founder Scot Evans. “The Hampton Classic itself is characterized by a unique international-yet-local energy. Its organizers and exhibitors are truly committed to the equestrian community and never hesitate to turn their conviction into action.”

The Equestrian Aid Foundation is one of ten charities that will participate in the horse show’s signature Jump for Charity presented by Sea Shore Stables. The event will be held during Friday’s $75,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier, where riders will compete to raise money for ten designated charities with connections to the Hamptons community. Catherine Tyree will captain the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s team.

Funds for the Jump for Charity are generated through the sale of team ball caps and a raffle to win a course walk with a Grand Prix rider. Click here to make your purchases to support your favorite team, or visit the Hampton Classic’s information booths or souvenir stand.

Last year, a Jump for Charity win by Daniel Bluman earned $12,000 for Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Joining Tyree as team captains in this year’s competition are Georgina Bloomberg, Daniel Bluman, Beezie Madden, Callan Solem, Adrienne Sternlicht, Shane Sweetnam, Jimmy Torano, McLain Ward and Andrew Welles.

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

Jose Aguilar Wins $2,000 EAF Grooms Class at Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show

Class sponsor Missy Luczak-Smith with winner Jose Aguilar and Fearless, owned by Emily Durlach. Photo by Sally Floyd Kay.

Blowing Rock, N.C. – July 30, 2018 – Jose Aguilar and his charge Fearless, a 6-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Emily Durlach, topped a field of 14 entries to win the $2,000 Equestrian Aid Foundation Hunter Grooms Class at the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show on Sunday.

“So much of a groom’s work happens behind the scenes, but these individuals are the heart and soul of the equestrian community,” said Missy Luczak-Smith, who has organized and sponsored the class since 2013. “The Grooms Class is a wonderful way to recognize their dedication to the horses they care for and to the sport in general.”

The top six entries were awarded cash prizes, and all class entries received gifts from FarmVet and a supply of Shapley’s Superior Grooming Products. Luczak-Smith said that the continuing partnership between Equestrian Aid Foundation and Shapley’s, which began earlier this year, is especially meaningful because both organizations share a commitment to the wellbeing of the equestrian community.

Aguilar also took home an Equestrian Aid Foundation rain jacket, donated by Luczak-Smith from The Clothes Horse. Second place winner Daniel Gomez, handling Caroline Moran’s Bacardi, took home an Equestrian Aid Foundation vest, also donated by Luczak-Smith from The Clothes Horse.

Luczak-Smith has been involved with the Equestrian Aid Foundation since 2005 and has served on its board of directors for over a decade. A consistently successful competitor in the Amateur Owner hunter division, she currently trains with Karen A. Kelley of Sims Hill Farm. The North Carolina-based training facility is a proud Equestrian Aid Foundation Stable Partner, a designation given to stables whose members work collectively to support the foundation’s mission of helping fellow horsemen recover and thrive following catastrophic illness or injury.

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

US Equestrian Safe Sport Ban and Temporary Suspension Communication Policy Update

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian recently updated our notification process for Safe Sport temporary suspensions and lifetime bans.  US Equestrian continually evaluates our communication strategy to ensure we provide our members with meaningful information in a timely manner.

Currently, we post the temporary suspensions and banned individuals list online which is available to the public. We suggest members and the media check this list on a regular basis to stay informed.

We also notify competition management regarding temporary suspensions and bans to ensure show management has the information they need to make certain these individuals do not participate in competitions and are not on the grounds.  Notifications go out directly to all competition managers and secretaries from our IT database to ensure 100% reach.  Additionally, we inform key USEF staff, the affiliate, and the FEI based on the individual’s specific breed or discipline.  US Equestrian has been directly reaching out to individuals who have received bans or temporary suspensions with phone calls to supplement the e-mail notification they receive from The U.S. Center for SafeSport.

For members, US Equestrian will feature a special Safe Sport section in the Equestrian Weekly member newsletter with a link to the current banned and temporary suspension list, as well as important Safe Sport news and updates.  US Equestrian will consider broader communication to press and members when deemed appropriate to ensure enforcement and awareness to effectively implement a ban including removing their name from past accolades and preventing future recognition.

Lastly, we have posted Safe Sport Frequently Asked Questions on our website and will continue to update this reference material on an ongoing basis.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Equine Non-Profits Granted Nearly $40,000 by USA Equestrian Trust

Next Grant Application Period Opens Early 2019

July 25, 2018 — Lexington, KY — USA Equestrian Trust has awarded nearly $40,000 in grants to help fund equine-focused projects by four non-profits. Since the inception of its grants program, the Trust has awarded nearly $2.1 million in grants.

The projects funded as part of the grant application period ending in May were:

ASBURY UNIVERSITY ($5,000) to fund scholarships for students participating in the university’s service mount program, which trains horses for service with police, military, and national park rangers.

MEMORIAL HOSPITAL AT GULFPORT FOUNDATION ($3,212.75) to provide helmets and safety education to young riders.

RACING SURFACES TESTING LABORATORY ($25,423) to examine the effects of weight on the behavior of show horses’ hooves and legs while in the air. The research will compare horses with corrective and performance shoeing to flat-shod horses.

SACRAMENTO AREA HUNTER JUMPER ASSOCIATION ($5,000) to offer a free training clinic to its members, who are entry-level exhibitors and low-budget owners. The money for this grant was allocated from funding reserved for Hunter/Jumper activities in California and Nevada.

The Trust’s next grant application period will begin early in 2019. Equine non-profits wishing to make a request for funding during that application period will be required to fill out the online application form at http://trusthorses.org. To be notified once the application period has opened, please email grants@trusthorses.org.

About USA Equestrian Trust

USA Equestrian Trust’s mission is to assist in preserving and/or enhancing the quality of equestrian sport in the United States of America. Its objects and purposes are exclusively charitable, educational, and dedicated to the fostering of equestrian sports. The Trust is a private foundation pursuant to the United States Internal Revenue Code.

Contact: Press Link
Phone: 516-848-4867
Email: dderosa1@optonline.net

Safe Sport Frequently Asked Questions

US Equestrian has prepared responses to frequently asked questions regarding interim measures issued by the U.S. Center for SafeSport. The following information is an additional resource to help further educate US Equestrian members and the public around these important matters.

Safe Sport

What is the U.S. Center for SafeSport, what is their jurisdiction and how is the Center empowered?
The U.S. Center for SafeSport launched in March 2017 as an independent entity charged with (i) providing education and outreach about athlete abuse; and (ii) investigating and resolving reports of sexual misconduct. Their jurisdiction is exclusive as it relates to allegations of sexual misconduct and it retains discretionary jurisdiction over non-sexual misconduct allegations, i.e. bullying, harassment, physical and emotional misconduct.

The Center was authorized by Congress on February 14, 2018, through S. 534 – Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017.

The bill amended the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act of 1978 by designating the U.S. Center for SafeSport to serve as the independent national safe sport organization, with the responsibility for developing policies and procedures to prevent the emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of amateur athletes.

What are the reporting requirements?
All USEF members and participants must report to the U.S. Center for SafeSport conduct of which they become aware that could constitute (a) sexual misconduct, (b) misconduct that is reasonably related to the underlying allegation of sexual misconduct, and (c) retaliation related to an allegation of sexual misconduct. This report must be made within 24 hours of learning about the alleged misconduct.

Importantly, the obligation to report requires reporting any conduct that comes to a member’s or participant’s attention, which if true, would violate the U.S. Center for SafeSport Code or USEF Safe Sport Policy.

Individuals should not investigate or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of allegations involving sexual misconduct, as a condition of reporting to the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

What happens if I do not report conduct that I am required to report?
The failure to report is a crime under federal law and it is punishable as a criminal offense. In addition, the failure to report is a violation that could result in a sanction against the individual.

Am I required to report about suspected abuse that occurred several years ago?
Yes. There is no statute of limitations applicable to reports of incidents of sexual misconduct made to the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

What resources are available to learn more about Safe Sport?
The USEF website links to the Center with extensive resources, including:

  • Reporting forms and process
  • 24 Hour Helpline
  • Definitions
  • Safe Sport Training
  • Safe Sport Code
  • USEF Safe Sport Policy
  • Safe Sport Sanctions List

Suspensions, Bans, and Enforcement

Who decides whether to issue a temporary suspension for sexual misconduct?
The U.S. Center for SafeSport has exclusive jurisdiction over reports of sexual misconduct and determines whether interim measures, including suspensions should be imposed.

Does the U.S. Center for SafeSport issue a temporary suspension in connection with every report of allegations of sexual misconduct?
No.  The U.S. Center for SafeSport issues a temporary suspension when they deem the facts and circumstances warrant it.

What is the criteria for a temporary suspension?
The U.S. Center for SafeSport may impose interim measures, i.e. a temporary suspension, when they deem it is appropriate to ensure the safety and well-being of the Reporting Party, Athletes, other Non-Athletes or the Responding Party.  Interim measures may be appropriate where an allegation against the Responding Party is sufficiently serious that the Responding Party’s continued participation could be detrimental to the sport or its reputation.

For more information refer to the U.S. Center for Safe Sport Practices and Procedures, please visit: https://www.safesport.org/files/index/tag/policies-procedures.

Is there a process for a person to seek relief from a temporary suspension?
Yes. An individual may request that the U.S. Center for SafeSport stay the temporary suspension in certain circumstances, e.g. participation in a certain event. In addition to, or in lieu of, a request for a stay, the individual may request an interim measures hearing, which will be afforded within 72 hours of such request. The interim measures hearing is conducted before an independent arbitration body.

Can a suspended person request that USEF lift their suspension or permit them to participate in some activities?
No, any request for relief from a suspension must be directed to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, and decisions will be made in accordance with their Practices and Procedures.

How are individuals notified they are under a temporary suspension?
The U.S. Center for SafeSport notifies the Responding Party by e-mail.

What is the scope of an interim measures hearing on a temporary suspension?
An interim measures hearing is limited to determining whether reasonable cause exists to justify the temporary suspension. It is not a full hearing on the merits of the case.

Is there recourse against someone who intentionally makes a false accusation?
Someone who abuses the process, falsifies information or maliciously abuses the process is subject to sanctions.

Does the USEF know the reporting party?
No, the U.S. Center for SafeSport will not identify or use the name of a Third-Party Reporter nor will it publicly release a Reporting Party’s identifying information.

Why can’t everyone know everything about an investigation?
Sharing details about allegations made, or an investigation, can impede the ability to thoroughly investigate a matter without interference. In some cases, law enforcement may be involved and the fact that an investigation is underway could compromise the ability of law enforcement to secure the evidence necessary to pursue an indictment.

Once a determination is made that a violation occurred, what guidelines does the U.S. Center for SafeSport follow to determine appropriate sanctions?
According to the U.S. Center for SafeSport Practices and Procedures, the following guidelines are used:

Sanctioning Guidelines

Sanctions will be reasonable and proportionate to the Code violation and surrounding circumstances with the intended effect of protecting relevant participants. One or more of the following sanctions may be recommended or imposed singularly or in combination: (a) written warning; b) educational or behavioral programs; (c) loss of privileges; (d) probation; (e) suspension or other eligibility restrictions, up to and including permanent ineligibility. The Officer reserves the right to lessen or broaden any range of recommended sanctions in the case of mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive behavior.

Factors relevant to determining appropriate sanctions include, without limitation:

  • Seriousness of the Violation;
  • The Responding Party’s prior history;
  • Ages of individuals involved;
  • Whether the Responding Party poses an ongoing threat to the safety of others;
  • Voluntary disclosure of offense and/or cooperation by the Responding Party;
  • Disposition of an investigation by state or federal law authorities;
  • Real or perceived impact of incident on the Reporting Party, NGB(s) or USOC; and
  • Other mitigating and aggravating circumstances.

For more information refer to the U.S. Center for Safe Sport Practices and Procedures, please visit: https://www.safesport.org/files/index/tag/policies-procedures.

What is USEF’s responsibility to enforce sanctions?
Federal Law requires USEF to enforce sanctions imposed by the U.S. Center for SafeSport and interim measures, including temporary suspensions. Communicating the information to members and the media is an important way to ensure protection of our members and participants in equestrian sport.

When did USEF’s Safe Sport program start?
USEF established a Safe Sport Policy, effective December 1, 2013, prior to the Center being created.  The Policy covered the areas of prohibited conduct (sexual misconduct, emotional misconduct, physical misconduct, bullying, harassment, and hazing), training and education, criminal background checks, reporting and enforcement.  Program requirements included Safe Sport Training and criminal background checks for USEF Staff, Licensed Officials, Board Members and Team Chefs and Coaches.

What is the responsibility of USEF Recognized Affiliates and their associated organizations and activities?
A suspended or banned person is prohibited from participating, in any capacity, in any activity or competition authorized by, organized by, or under the auspices of the United States Olympic Committee, the national governing bodies recognized by the United States Olympic Committee, including US Equestrian, and/or any US Equestrian Affiliated Organization.  This prohibition affects a person regardless of whether or not they are a USEF member. Competition licensees and management are responsible for ensuring that no banned or suspended person is on the competition grounds.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

EAF Salutes Julie Ross for Her Longstanding Commitments to the Equestrian Community

Photo: Julie Ross with her son Robert Ross.

Wellington, Fla. – July 5, 2018 – As the mother of a professional rider who worked his way up through the ranks, Julie Ross has a keen understanding of the equestrian community from her view at the periphery. She knows about the drive and dedication of the equestrian community.

Ten years ago, Julie Ross, mother of Equestrian Aid Foundation co-founder and board member Robert Ross, made a commitment to the equestrian community. “I asked my son what he wanted for Christmas.  He said he would love it if I made a donation to the Equestrian Aid Foundation,” said Julie. “So I did, and I have not stopped as it feels pretty good to give and contribute to the Equestrian Aid Foundation.”

Through her unwavering monthly commitment, Julie has singlehandedly funded over 100 doctors’ visits for horsemen whose lives and livelihoods depended on the care they received during times of medical and financial crisis.

“Her contributions help ensure Equestrian Aid Foundation has the funds to get critically ill and injured equestrians back on their feet and, in most cases, earning a living by doing the work they love,” said board member Scot Evans.

Julie is the motivation for the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s Change Rein Monthly Giving Program, an initiative that encourages members of the equestrian community to donate on a monthly basis.

“Each month your spare change can effect a huge change for an equestrian struggling to become self-sufficient again,” said Janise Gray, Director of Grant Recipient Services. “As one of our recipients told me, you’re not giving a hand-out; you’re giving a hand up.”

For questions about the Change Rein Monthly Giving Program or help setting up your donation, please contact Janise Gray at Janise@EquestrianAid.org.

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.

Equestrian Aid Foundation Helps Breeder with Necessities after Catastrophic Accident

Photo courtesy of the Wight family.

Committed to a life of serving others, Loren and Nancy Wight once suspended their Egyptian Arabian breeding operation and moved to Honduras for a year, where Loren helped local communities as an ophthalmic technologist. Now, he is learning to be on the receiving end of help.

In an unsuspecting moment on the family’s Idaho ranch, life changed forever. Loren was teaching a new employee how to operate their tractor when it lurched forward and knocked him down. He was trapped under the tractor’s giant rear wheel, and the only way to get him out was to back over him again.

Loren suffered a catastrophic crush injury to his lower legs, and in the resultant fall, he also sustained a traumatic brain injury. Even after numerous surgeries and rehabilitative therapies, the fate of his lower right leg remains uncertain and may require amputation. The blow to his head left Loren legally blind and impaired his memory, effectively ending both his livelihood as an ophthalmic technologist and a horse breeder.

It’s been a daily struggle since Loren’s accident. Nancy and his daughter work tirelessly to fill his shoes financially and as a farm worker — caring for the horses and other animals, overseeing the breeding operation, and milking the dairy goats. Loren assists where and when he can. Ever resourceful, the family supplements their income by selling eggs, hand-knit mittens, and soaps and lotions made from goat’s milk.

Amidst the day-to-day bustle of farm life, Loren’s health struggles loom in the background. Once self-sufficient and able to provide for his family, Loren relies for the time being on funds from the Equestrian Aid Foundation to keep food on the table and the house warm. Thanks to our donors, however, these necessities are in place.

“I don’t know how, but I vow to give back to the Equestrian Aid Foundation once we get through this tough time,” Loren says. In the meantime, he is grateful for the compassion of the equestrian community as he and his family work toward a brighter future.

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.