On Aug. 27, the U.S. Equestrian Federation Board of Directors approved a rule change requiring that effective Jan. 1, 2019, all USEF adult members with a competing membership must complete USEF’s Safe Sport Training in order to be eligible to participate in USEF activities. Members can immediately access the free Safe Sport training directly through their member dashboard or can click here to learn more. USEF encourages members to complete the training as soon as possible.
USEF President Murray Kessler stated, “I am very proud of the work done in drafting this proposal and the Board of Directors which approved this critical rule designed to keep our children safe while they enjoy, excel and advance in our sport.”
The rule has three main requirements. Sections 1 and 2 are already in effect and Section 3 has been added:
1. Every USEF member and federation participant* shall abide by USEF’s Safe Sport Policy and the U.S. Center for SafeSport Code of Conduct. *As described by the USEF Safe Sport Policy, afFederation participant is any USEF member or non-member, who participates in, or attends a USEF-licensed competition or sanctioned event.
2. In order to comply with S. 534, the Protecting Young Victim’s from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017, the USEF Safe Sport Policy, and the Center’s SafeSport Code of Conduct, every USEF adult member and USEF participant, with the exception of the victim, is required to report suspected sexual misconduct within 24 hours to the appropriate authorities and to the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
3. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, every USEF adult member with a competing membership must complete USEF’s Safe Sport Training, as approved by the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
A 30-day grace period to complete the awareness training will be provided to all members who renew or join on or after Dec.1, 2018. Members joining prior to Dec. 1, 2018 will have until Jan. 1, 2019 to complete the training. Those who do not complete the training within the grace period will be ineligible to participate in USEF activities, including competitions.
The Safe Sport Policy and the rules that govern it have been created to protect all athletes from misconduct within the sport. This new rule is consistent with our efforts to ensure the safety and welfare of equestrian participants, especially minors. Education and training everyone is crucial to protecting athletes and eradicating abuse in our sport.
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 Sanction list and more can be found here.
Updated Aug. 31: Due to the volume of questions regarding the program, USEF released the following answers to frequently asked questions.
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 Dec. 1, 2018, a 30-day grace period to complete the Safe Sport training. Members joining prior to Dec. 1, 2018, will have until Jan. 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. USEF 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, they have 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 Jan. 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 Jan. 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 their training before the system updates, they can print and take a copy of the SafeSport Trained certificate to the show office to prove they are 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 USEF 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 old?
USEF’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 email@example.com. For assistance setting up a Safe Sport account, please call 720-531-0344.