Equestrian Canada will soon be implementing a new rule that coaches who are not licensed EC coaches will be charged $100 per event at sanctioned EC shows. Temporary coach status fees collected are being directed to providing NCCP coaching programming and supporting coaches in obtaining their certification.

Effective July 1, 2023, coaches at sanctioned events must meet a minimum coaching status requirement, depending on the level of the event. For EC Bronze and/or Silver events, coaches must be an EC Registered Coach, and for EC Gold and/or Platinum Events, coaches must be an EC Licensed Coach.

If coaches fail to meet the minimum coaching status requirement, they must obtain a Temporary Coach Status (TCS). Coaches can get Temporary Coach Status by paying the Temporary Coach Status fee, determined by the event sanctioning level and the individual coach’s EC Coach Status, and completing a TCS Form and submitting it to the show office with their fee payment. They can submit it to the show office either in advance or on the day of the show.

The TCS fees, outlined in the table below, range from $25 to $100 per event.


Once a coach gets their TCS status, it’s valid for one EC-sanctioned event only – meaning that they must complete another form and pay the fee again for every event.

The new rule also includes the following stipulations:

  • the TCS fee may not be added to a trainer split or applied to athletes’ show bills without written consent; the fee is meant to be incurred by the coach, and not the athlete(s)
  • all athletes are permitted to be self-coached and be exempt from the TCS fee. There is no age limit to being self-coached.
  • having a coach declared on your entry is not a requirement to participate in an EC sanctioned show.
  • self-coaching does not affect amateur status in any way.
  • those who are coaching their own child, or an immediate family member, must still obtain a Temporary Coaching Status if they provide any coaching which includes direct instruction according to the official definition of a ‘coach’. (Note that parents who attend a show with their child may support them via emotional support, horse care, contact with judges, support in the warm-up ring, and so on. Parents acting in this capacity are not required to hold a sport licence, coach status, a temporary coach status, or to complete any additional training.)
  • coaches whose primary place of residence is outside Canada are considered International Coaches, and are currently exempt from EC Coach Status requirements

According to Melanie McLearon, a spokesperson for Equestrian Canada, there will be consequences for those who are found violating the rule – for example, providing the name of a coach that does not hold the appropriate level of status for an event or has not obtained their Temporary Coaching Status.

“After July 1, if a coach does not hold the appropriate status (licensed, registered, or temporary) – then that coach will not be in compliance with EC rules,” McLearon told Horse Sport. “Consequences will be determined for both coach and rider (e.g. point invalidation or not in good standing status).”

What if someone puts a name as their coach on their entry form, but that person is not actually their coach? The rules state that “If someone is found to have provided false information on their entry form, their points from the event in question may be invalidated.” Another example might include: An athlete indicates on their entry that they are self-coached, but in fact are being coached by an individual that does not hold the required credentials for the event.

So who’s checking that coaches have the correct status at events? McLearon says that for the 2023 season, “organizers will be validating Coach Status with the list of EC registered and licensed coaches they access through the EC Competition Organizer portal.” Additionally, McLearon says that stewards have the capability to check and validate coach status if they wish to do so, although stewards’ “role and focus is on maintaining the safety and health and welfare of participants.”

Among the coaching community, meanwhile, news of the Temporary Coaching Status rule has been poorly received. Complaints about the new rule include that the fines are too steep for coaches who don’t have the requested coach status, and that the restrictions will force people out of the sport. Some view the new rule as a “money grab” by EC, and a way to force unlicensed coaches to get their qualifications.

While coaches have been left considering whether it’s worth it to pay for the licensing fees, some students with unlicensed coaches are scrambling to find a licensed coach for shows.

The fee for TCS will increase annually, and Temporary Coaching Status will be available at all EC-sanctioned events until January 31, 2025. After that, only those holding EC Licensed Coach status will be permitted to coach at EC-sanctioned events.

This new rule comes as a part of an increasing demand for oversight and accountability across the Canadian sports scene. In 2018, Sport Canada mandated that all national sport organizations implement enhanced standards for the screening and training of coaches. Equestrian Canada responded to this by launching the EC Coach Status program in 2021, which they describe as “a multi-year coaching development pathway that will see all Canadian coaches and instructors who participate in EC-sanctioned events holding Licensed Coach status by the end of 2025.”