IEA News

IEA Supports SafeSport Efforts

Dear IEA Member:

The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) holds the well-being of our young riders in the highest esteem. Accordingly, the IEA has been working closely with the American Horse Council (AHC) and US Equestrian to further the mission of SafeSport within equestrian sport. This is a collective effort involving education, reporting and prevention of abuse. Please read the information below to learn about the IEA’s SafeSport efforts and to learn about available resources on this topic.

In February of 2018, Congress passed a law entitled, ” Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act. ” Many refer to this as the ” SafeSport ” law. The law charges the United States Center for SafeSport with providing education and outreach regarding athlete abuse. The law also gives the Center exclusive jurisdiction to investigate reports of sexual misconduct within Olympic sports. In addition, the law requires adults working with amateur athletes to report allegations of child abuse to both law enforcement and the US Center for SafeSport.

As the US Center for SafeSport investigates allegations of sexual misconduct in Olympic sports, it can issue both interim suspensions and permanent sanctions. Once issued, those sanctions are public. Sanctions related to equestrian sport can be found here:

The IEA prohibits anyone on the SafeSport suspension list – whether permanently banned or under interim suspension – from being an IEA member, or participating in any IEA competition. Anyone with an IEA membership who is sanctioned by SafeSport will be suspended from IEA for the same time period as the sanction.

As a youth equestrian association with a strong belief in education, the IEA is implementing a SafeSport education requirement for its Board of Directors and staff. The IEA has completed independent background checks on all staff and Board members for several years, and will continue this policy. In addition, the IEA has made available for its members and parents a free Fan Membership to US Equestrian ( see link and instructions below ). This membership provides access to free SafeSport education for coaches and parents. The IEA strongly encourages all coaches and parents to take this free, online course. Parents may choose to encourage their children to take the course, or to watch it with them. The US Center for SafeSport plans to release an education video specifically for youth athletes shortly; IEA will notify its membership when it is available.

IEA riders practice and compete all over the country, and many are involved in other equestrian activities. While the IEA governs IEA sanctioned competitions, it does not govern lessons, practices, camps and the wide variety of equestrian activities IEA riders may enjoy. Parents are encouraged to educate themselves and their children on SafeSport practices, and to discuss SafeSport with their coaches.

Providing a playing field that is safe and supportive is of the utmost importance. The IEA will continue to seek ways to make our sport safer for young athletes. To help reach that goal, the IEA is establishing a SafeSport committee. IEA Contributing Members who would like to serve on the committee should email a letter to Katie Schaaf .


Interscholastic Equestrian Association Board of Directors and Staff

Please note: US Equestrian announced a rule change on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, requiring that, effective January 1, 2019, all USEF members 18 and over with an Adult Competing Membership must complete Safe Sport training in order to be eligible to participate in USEF activities, including competitions. To confirm the status of completed training through USEF, look here: