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Answering Questions: US Equestrian Safe Sport Action Steps

by US Equestrian Communications Department | May 28, 2018, 4:32 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. - Abuse of any kind has absolutely no place in sports.  Protecting our athletes is of utmost importance.  The US Equestrian Federation (USEF) is complying with all requirements of the U.S. Center for SafeSport (Center) and Federal Law.

Many of our members have asked about our Safe Sport Policy and program.  The information below addresses these questions and outlines actions taken by USEF to help keep our athletes safe.

  1. USEF is communicating directly with our members, including the parents of our Junior Members, to provide education and information on Safe Sport including training and resources for parents, participants, coaches, trainers, support teams, officials, and staff to understand when and how to report, and also how to recognize the signs in order to prevent abuse before it occurs. Additionally, our website has a Safe Sport portal which includes these resources, the list of suspended and banned individuals, reporting processes and links to the Center for additional information.
  2. Since December 1, 2013, USEF has required designated individuals, including but not limited to staff, coaches, technical advisors, and licensed officials, to complete SafeSport training and criminal background checks.
  3. USEF will issue public notices informing members and the media of individuals involved in equestrian sport that are banned or suspended by the Center or USEF for violations of the SafeSport Code or USEF Safe Sport policy. USEF will remove the names of any individuals from USEF achievement awards and honors. Based on substantial evidence, Jimmy Williams, though deceased, has been banned by USEF for sexual misconduct and his name has been removed from USEF achievement awards and honors.
  4. USEF has hired additional staff to support our SafeSport training, education and compliance.
  5. USEF has submitted all requested information to the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate and the law firm of Ropes and Gray, LLC regarding the investigations into the handling of sexual abuse reports in organized sports including the Larry Nassar case.

US Equestrian wants every athlete, parent, coach, groom, support staff and trainer to know: if you are a victim of abuse or suspect abuse of any kind, there are resources and people to help. Horse sports are a source of strength for so many people and it is incumbent upon all of us who love this amazing sport to protect young athletes.

Link to US Equestrian Safe Sport resources page.

For support, call @RAINN at 800-656-4673 or @Darkness2Light at 866-FOR-LIGHT. All conversations are confidential.