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Bylaw 102 - Objectives

Section 1. Mission Statement. We are the National Governing Body ("NGB") of Equestrian Sport in the United States. We provide leadership and vision for equestrian sport by regulating competitions and promoting the safety and welfare of horses and riders while encouraging interest, participation, and excellence at every competitive level. We embrace the Olympic movement and the spirit of fair play while supporting all breed and discipline affiliates within the Federation family equally. We celebrate the equestrian lifestyle and the benefits of good health and outdoor exercise. BOD 8/1/11 Effective immediately

Section 2. NGB Compliance. As the NGB and in accordance with the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act and the United States Olympic Committee ("USOC"), the Federation shall: BOD 8/1/11 Effective immediately
  • (1) Serve as the NGB for equestrian sport in the United States and member of the USOC. The Federation as NGB shall comply with all applicable laws and USOC requirements, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, compliance with the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, as amended, and with the USOC Bylaws.
  • (2) Serve as the National Federation (NF) for equestrian sport in the United States and member of the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI). Work together with the FEI in its mission to protect competition horses from any form of abuse, extend the universality of equestrian sport, and promote its visibility to the public.
  • (3) Protect and support the welfare of horses by inspecting, monitoring and testing to deter use of forbidden substances and other cruel, unsafe and/or unsportsmanlike practices and by adopting and enforcing rules to prohibit such practices.
  • (4) Promote and encourage physical fitness, promote sportsmanship and public participation in equestrian events and activities in the United States, and educate members and the public with respect thereto; assist organizations and individuals concerned with the development of programs for athletes in equestrian events; and provide services for members' common benefit.
  • (5) Assure the right of an equestrian athlete to compete in any international equestrian athletic competition conducted under the Federation's auspices or that of any other equestrian sports organization or person, unless the Federation establishes that its denial was based on evidence that the organization or person conducting the competition did not meet the requirements stated in Section 220522 of The Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act and Section 2 of the USOC Bylaws; and protect the right of any athlete, coach, trainer, manager, administrator, or official to participate in athletic competition in equestrian events; and provide an equal opportunity to amateurs, coaches, trainers, managers, administrators, and officials to participate in amateur athletic competition without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, or national origin and with fair notice and opportunity for a hearing to any amateur athlete, coach, trainer, manager, administrator, or official before declaring such individual ineligible to participate.
  • (6) Provide the strongest possible U.S. representation internationally in each of the FEI disciplines, including providing a selection process for each major event.
  • (7) Disseminate and distribute, or otherwise make readily available to equestrian athletes, coaches, trainers, managers, administrators, and officials, in a timely manner the applicable rules and any changes to such rules of the Federation, the USOC, the Federation Equestre Internationale ("FEI"), the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, and the Pan American Sport Organization; and provide for the swift and equitable resolution of conflicts and disputes involving its members.
  • (8) Provide a body of rules with which to govern equestrian sport at the national level, along with an effective means of enforcing them, and a judicial process that is fair to competitors while providing for optimum integrity within the sport.
  • (9) Encourage and support amateur athletic sports programs for individuals with a disability and the participation of individuals with a disability in amateur athletic activity, including, where feasible, the expansion of opportunities for meaningful participation by individuals with a disability in programs of athletic competition for able-bodied individuals.
  • (10) Provide effective and timely communication to every level of athlete, official, and organizer within the sport.
  • (11) Develop interest and participation in equestrian sport throughout the United States and work with affiliate associations, breed and discipline organizations, and other organizations to encourage participation.
  • (12) Serve as the coordinating body for equestrian activity in the United States; exercise jurisdiction over international equestrian activities, and sanction international equestrian competition held in the United States; promote the sponsorship of international equestrian competition held inside and outside the United States.
  • (13) Coordinate the calendar of competitions to assure FEI level competitive opportunities domestically; enhance the level of national competition in all FEI disciplines; and provide for varying levels of regional and national competition in a wide variety of disciplines to increase the breadth and depth of the sport throughout the country.
  • (14) Train and license officials.
  • (15) Assign recognized status to those equestrian competitions whose operations have been certified by the Federation to further the interests of equestrian sports in the United States in order to serve and promote the best interests of recognized equestrian competitions and expand and enhance the image of equestrian sports.
  • (16) Encourage and support research in the areas of sports medicine and sports safety for both the human and the equine athlete and disseminate information that is developed.
  • (17) Establish national goals and encourage attainment of those goals.
  • (18) Aid the USOC in its mission to help U.S. athletes achieve sustained competitive excellence while inspiring all Americans and preserving the Olympic ideal.
  • (19) Select and recommend to the USOC individuals and teams to represent the United States in the equestrian disciplines in the Olympic, Pan American and Paralympic Games.
  • (20) Select and designate individuals and teams to represent the United States in equestrian international athletic competition (other than the Olympic, Pan American and Paralympic Games) and certify, in accordance with the applicable international rules, the eligibility of such individuals and teams.
  • (21) Foster the development of the athletic facilities for use by equestrian athletes training for equestrian competitions and assist in making such facilities available to such athletes.
  • (22) Provide equitable support and encouragement for participation by women and minorities.
  • (23) Provide and coordinate technical information on physical training, equipment, its design, coaching and performance analysis.
  • (24) Promptly review every request for sanction to hold an international competition in the U.S. or to sponsor U.S. amateur athletes to compete in international competition outside the U.S. and determine whether to grant such sanction in accordance with the USOC Bylaws, Section 8.

Section 3. Principles. The following governing principles shall apply to the Federation:
  • (1) The Board of Directors, Officers, and Committees of the Federation shall be selected without regard to race, color, religion, national origin or sex.
  • (2) The Federation shall provide for reasonable direct representation on its Board of Directors for any amateur equestrian organization ("ASO") which conducts, on a level of proficiency appropriate for the selection of amateur athletes to represent the United States in international amateur athletic competition, a national program or regular national amateur athletic competition, and ensures that such representation reflects the nature, scope, quality, and strength of the programs and competitions of such amateur equestrian organization in relation to all other such programs and competitions in equestrian sport in the United States.
  • (3) The Federation shall not have eligibility criteria relating to amateur status or to participation in the Olympic Games, the Pan American Games or the Paralympic Games which are more restrictive than those of the FEI.
  • (4) The Federation shall not become a member of any other international sports federation which governs a sport included in the program of the Olympic or Pan American Games.
  • (5) The Federation shall be autonomous in the governance of equestrian sport, shall independently determine and control all matters central to such governance, shall not delegate such determination and control and shall be free from outside restraint.
  • (6) Neither the Federation nor any member of the Federation may deny or threaten to deny any equestrian athlete the opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, the Pan American Games, a World Championship competition or other such "protected competition" as that term is defined in the USOC Bylaws from time to time; nor may the Federation nor any such member of the Federation, subsequent to such competition, censure or otherwise penalize any such athlete who participates in any such protected competitions. Any equestrian athlete who alleges that he or she has been denied, or has been threatened to be denied, any such opportunity to compete shall immediately inform the President of the Federation, the Equestrian Athlete Ombudsman, the USOC Athlete Ombudsman and the USOC's AAC representative for equestrian, who shall cause an investigation to be made and steps to be taken to settle the controversy without delay. Notwithstanding any efforts taken to settle the controversy, the athlete may (a) refer the matter promptly to the Chief Executive Officer of the USOC and pursue such remedies as may be appropriate under Section 9 of the USOC Bylaws, and/or (b) file a grievance with the Federation's Hearing Committee pursuant to these bylaws. Any grievance filed with the Federation shall be heard and determined in accordance with the Federation's Rules governing the Hearing Committee's Grievance and Hearing Procedures. See also Section 9, USOC Bylaws ("Right of Opportunity to Participate in Certain International Amateur Athletic Competitions") attached as Appendix C, which is incorporated herein by reference, and made a part hereof.