Safe Sport Initiative
In February 2018, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 was signed into law. Among the provisions in the law was Congressional authorization for the U.S. Center for SafeSport to ensure athletes could report allegations of abuse to an independent entity for investigation and resolution. The Center works with National Governing Bodies (NGBs), including US Equestrian and other Olympic disciplines, to enforce the SafeSport Code as well as the federal Safe Sport Act, both of which are aimed at protecting athletes from abuse. The Center ensures all NGBs follow the strictest standards for child abuse prevention and detection.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), the national governing body of equestrian sports in the United States, is required by law to enact policies and training to ensure a safe environment for equestrian athletes of all ages. As an affiliate of USEF, USDF supports USEF Safe Sport and Minor Athletes Abuse Prevention policies, as developed based on the US Center for Safe Sport Code.
The completion of Safe Sport training is not a USDF requirement to maintain USDF membership, compete as a USDF member at USDF-recognized competitions, or to be eligible for most year-end awards. However, individuals in some key USDF roles, as outlined in the USDF Policies and Procedures, are required to complete online Safe Sport training, provided by the “Center”, prior to participating in the designated USDF activity. Any of these individuals with a USEF membership can access the Safe Sport training modules through the USEF website. Those who are not a USEF member may contact USDF and arrangements will be made for them to access the training at no charge.
In accordance with USDF Policies & Procedures, “Any individual or USDF member suspended by the United States Equestrian Federation, or sanctioned by the US Center for Safe Sport, will be considered not in good standing with USDF during the period of suspension. During this period, such a person will be ineligible to attend or participate in USDF programs, events, or activities.”
USDF supports a dressage community where participants can learn, compete, and work in an atmosphere that is free of all forms of emotional, physical and sexual misconduct. In the spirit of protecting all participants in the sport, particularly youth, USDF supports the US Center for Safe Sport Code and the USEF Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention and Safe Sport policies. USDF encourages all those involved in dressage to become educated about Safe Sport best practices.