Equestrian sport should provide a place where athletes can experience joy, dedication, achievement, and delight in the human and equine spirit. Everyone involved in our sport should be safe and treated with respect. Unfortunately, some individuals may cross the line and display harassing or abusive behaviour, with devastating consequences.
The FEI's Safeguarding Policy Against Harassment and Abuse
Effective 1 January 2019, the FEI's Safeguarding Policy Against Harassment and Abuse (Annex I, FEI General Regulations) applies to Athletes, Accredited Persons, FEI Representatives, Officials, Organisers, Person responsible and Support Personnel (Coaches, Trainers, Horse Owners, Stewards, Chef d’Equipe, Veterinarian, etc).
Harassment and abuse prevention with education
It is not always easy to understand where boundaries are, when to say no, how to reach out for help; and, sometimes, myths need to be dispelled. This is why education is essential to safeguard athletes and those working around them.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s has developed information and educational tools on harassment and abuse. The FEI strongly recommends that everyone involved in sport - in particular athletes, parents, grooms, coaches, medical personnel and sport officials – familiarise themselves with this information.
Sport organisations policies against harassment and abuse
Fighting harassment and abuse requires that clear rules are set, reporting mechanisms are accessible and perpetrators are sanctioned and/or removed from sport. To this end every sport organisation must devise a safeguarding policy and put in place the processes necessary to implement it. Recognising this, the IOC has developed resources for IFs, NOCs and NFs, as well as a Toolkit which is a step-by-step guide to elaborating a safeguarding policy.