Equestrian Canada (French: Canada Équestre), formerly known as Equine Canada and commonly known by its acronym, EC, is Canada’s comprehensive national governing body for equestrian sport. It is the executive branch of Canada's Olympic and Paralympic equestrian teams; the national association and registry of Canadian equestrian athletes; the national regulatory body for equestrian coaches, competition organizers, and judges; and the national federation of Canadian horse breeders and Canadian breed registries.

Equestrian Canada
SportEquestrianism
AbbreviationEC
Founded1977
AffiliationInternational Equestrian Federation, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario
LocationCanada
CEORichard Mongeau
SponsorAgriculture Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium, Sport Canada
Official website
www.equestrian.ca
Canada

In this role, EC governs Canada's official relations with the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), as well as Canada's equestrian relations with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee. It also governs relations between the government of Canada and Canadian equestrian athletes and professionals.

Equestrian sport in CanadaEdit

EC governs eight FEI disciplines: dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, reining, show jumping, Para-equestrian, and vaulting.[1] Two of the FEI disciplines have remained independent of EC: horseball[2] and tent pegging.[3]

EC also governs the following non-FEI disciplines: hunt seat, pony club sports, saddle seat, and some breed-specific sports. It does not regulate the non-FEI disciplines of classical dressage, horse racing, polo, or rodeo sports.

The organization serves recreational riders by certifying riding coaches and instructors, publishing national riding tests and standards, and encouraging public participation in horse sports.

EC acts as the representative of Canada's horse breeders and breeding registries to Canada's federal government. It also promotes Canadian-bred horses internationally.[4]

HistoryEdit

EC was created through the merger of the Canadian Equestrian Federation (CEF), which governed domestic equestrianism, and the Canadian Equestrian Team (CET), which represented Canada in international competition. The CEF was itself the result of an earlier merger between the National Equestrian Federation of Canada, the national domestic equestrian sport organisation, and the Canadian Horse Council, the national equestrian industry association.

The organisation changed its name and logo in June 2016 in an effort to clarify its mandate to the horse community and the general public.

Recent resultsEdit

EC's teams at the 2008 Olympics won one gold and one silver medal.[5] EC's team at the 2008 Paralympics also won one gold and one silver medal.[6] This represents the highest Canadian equestrian achievement at any Summer Games in the history of the Olympic movement.[7]

ControversiesEdit

Damagingly in a bilingual and multicultural country, the sport has been portrayed in certain media as being controlled by white, anglophone, "old boys and girls," for whom money is more important than talent or good sportsmanship.[8] However, an industry survey performed in 2010 determined that active participants were 79% female, aged 50 – 59, living in households of two or more adults with a median household income of $60,000 - $80,000.[9] This same study determined that horse use by these individuals was partitioned equally among recreation, sport and breeding.

EC has supported the Canadian horse slaughter industry,[10] which has caused conflict with Canadian horse welfare advocates, who accuse it of encouraging practices that cause unacceptable suffering to horses.[11]

At the 2012 Summer Olympics, EC's then president Michael Gallagher issued a press release thanking the FEI after it had disqualified Canadian showjumping rider Tiffany Foster under controversial circumstances.[12] Public reaction to the press release was overwhelmingly negative: Canada's 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Eric Lamaze threatened to quit Canada's equestrian team in protest, and some media outlets went so far as to suggest that Gallagher not be allowed to return to Canada. It was later discovered that at the time of the release, Gallagher was on a plane landing in Canada and he had never seen the final version of the release before it was issued.[13] EC quickly issued a "clarification" on Gallagher's press release.[14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Equine Canada Sports, retrieved May 29, 2012
  2. ^ Horse-Ball Canada, retrieved 7 February 2008
  3. ^ UNICEF Team Canada Tent Pegging, retrieved 7 February 2008
  4. ^ EC Export Strategy, retrieved 29 May 2012
  5. ^ Equestrian medal results Archived 2008-10-02 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved October 19, 2008
  6. ^ Canada at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics on paralympic.org
  7. ^ Canadian medal results by sport, retrieved October 19, 2008 Archived October 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Stop subsidizing the horsey set", National Post, August 18, 2004
  9. ^ "People in the Horse Industry", "Canadian Horse Industry Profile Study 2010
  10. ^ "Horsemeat exports represent Ca nada’s fifth-largest red-meat export product – and the number one red-meat export to European Union food markets...", Equine Canada Implementation Strategy for CanEquid, June 2009
  11. ^ Equine Canada’s One Vision Strategic Plan Leaves Questions, Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, January 17, 2013
  12. ^ Statement from Equine Canada Regarding the Disqualification of Victor, Canadian Show Jumper from the 2012 Olympic Games Equine Canada Press Release, August 7, 2012
  13. ^ "Lamaze Amazes", Toronto Sun, August 11, 2012
  14. ^ Clarification on the Statement from Equine Canada Regarding the Disqualification of Victor, Canadian Show Jumper from the 2012 Olympic Games, Equine Canada Press Release, August 8, 2012

External linksEdit