New program for Canada’s equestrian coaches

Chair of the Equine Canada Eventing Coaching Committee Peter Gray, rider Peter Barry -named to the London 2012 Canadian Three-Day Eventing Team - and his coach Roberta Byng-Morris, Competition Coach Specialist candidate, following the Competition Coach Specialist 'in competition evaluation' pilot in June during the Volvo CCI3* Bromont Three Day Event.
Chair of the Equine Canada Eventing Coaching Committee Peter Gray, rider Peter Barry – named to the London 2012 Canadian Three-Day Eventing Team – and his coach Roberta Byng-Morris, Competition Coach Specialist candidate. They are pictured following the Competition Coach Specialist ‘in competition evaluation’ pilot in June during the Bromont Three Day Event. © Cealy Tetley

A new coaching certification program is now available for English coaches in Canada. 

The Competition Coach Specialist is a certification program designed for those working with intermediate or more advanced riders in furthering their students’ basic riding, horsemanship and safety skills, as well as advancing competition experience from provincial to national level competitions.

“Quality coaching is vital to equestrian sport and Equine Canada’s coaching program – this new format increases accessibility for those who coach riders from the beginner level up to the elite competitor,” said Gillian Ross Erasmi, Education Coordinator with the Ontario Equestrian Federation (OEF).

“The Competition Coach Specialist program ensures that coaching professionals value national teaching standards, safety and quality horsemanship.

“We proudly worked alongside EC to develop the training that was necessary to launch the Competition Coach Specialist program, including managing various training pilots instrumental in attaining Coaching Association of Canada program approval,” Ross Erasmi said. “Thanks must be extended to the many dedicated individuals who provided their time and expertise during this process.”

The Competition Coach Specialist promises to become a highly utilized certification program for Canada’s equestrian coaches.

Grant Field, Chair of the National Coaching Committee and a Master Evaluator, said the program was the starting point for becoming a specialized coach in a discipline at a very attainable level. “Coaches can now apply directly to this program if it meets their experience.  They don’t have to go through a previous coaching level,” he said.

“The specialist program is really important because it fills the gap between the Competition Coach and High Performance Coach. It’s perfect for coaches who might have been at the old Level 2, but were specialists, not generalists and therefore never became certified.”

Chair of Equine Canada’s Eventing Coaching Committee, former coach of the Canadian Eventing Team and three-time Olympic Games competitor Peter Gray, said he was thrilled with the newly revamped coaching syllabus, and the new ability to accept applications for the many coaches waiting to get accredited.  “The ‘in competition’ component of the new exam is fantastic and genuinely reflects real- time coaching.”

Additionally, the Competition Coach – Specialist will be certified to evaluate a horse and its suitability for a student, to supervise stable operations and routines, and will have demonstratable experience training and preparing horses for competition. Though candidates will specialize in one discipline, they are expected to be conversant in all English disciplines.

To be eligible for certification candidates must:

  • Have competition experience
  • Be at least 20 years of age as of January 1 of the current year
  • Hold an Equine Canada Sport license (membership) and provincial membership, in good standing

Acquiring certification requires the following steps:

  • Submission of sample lesson and seasonal training plans
  • Participating in a single evaluation day with two evaluators where you are evaluated on coaching skills while giving lessons
  • Evaluation of your coaching skills during competition


Complete details on the English Competition Coach Specialist Certification program can be found on the Equine Canada web site under Coaching – How to Become Certified.



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