The American Horse Council (AHC) has adopted a Safe Sport Code of Practice.
“The reputation and integrity of equestrian sports and all equine related programs and activities is maintained when all person’s act, and are seen to act, in a way which is of the highest ethical standards,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have further brought to light the importance of maintaining a safe environment for all, and the equine industry is no exception to this.”
The Code of Practice, unanimously endorsed by the AHC Board of Trustees, reads:
To behave ethically necessitates an awareness of power differentials among all persons involved. This statement is intended to inform ethical judgments as persons consider asymmetric power relations among themselves and others they work with in professional roles. We recognize that this statement’s strength and requisite influence depend on its circulation, discussion, reflection, and use by the equine industry. It is the industry’s expectation that all equine organizations recognize “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017” and US Center for Safe Sport, and adopt programs to support these initiatives.
The American Horse Council and its members are:
Committed to contributing to an environment, which makes participation a positive and rewarding experience.
Committed to creating and maintaining a community where all persons who participate in equine related programs and activities can work, learn and compete in an atmosphere free of all forms of emotional, physical and sexual harassment and misconduct.
Committed to protecting the rights, safety, dignity, and well-being of the persons involved in all aspects of our industry, thus condemning all forms of harassment regardless of whether it is based on age, ethnicity, race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, religion or marital status.
Committed to providing just treatment in cases of disputes and that there are proper and accessible mechanisms that are available in a timely manner to resolve disputed issues through due process.
A PDF of the Code is available on the AHC website at horsecouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Safe-Sport-Code-of-Practice.pdf.
A tentative presentation by the U.S. Center for Safe Sport and a roundtable discussion will be held at the AHC National Issues Forum on Tuesday, June 12, in Washington, D.C., to identify best practices and tools to support this practice. Find more information about the National Issues Forum at horsecouncil.org/events/ahc-annual-meeting-national-issues-forum-2/.