Planning on Organizing a Competition

There is no doubt that organizing a horse show will lead to some long days and some even longer days on the actual competition date(s). There are numerous aspects to consider when hosting a competition from deciding what types of classes you would like to offer, having the right insurance, and finding the right official to ensure fair and professional judging. Here at the Alberta Equestrian Federation (AEF) we strive you make your life a little easier by providing you resources and educational articles to ensure a safe and fun competition for all.

Please review the Emergency Preparedness Plan presented by Equestrian Canada (EC).

What is a Sanctioned Competition

Hundreds of horse shows are held across the province.  While some are sanctioned(approved) by the AEF or EC, others are run independently without any sort of endorsement. It’s not mandatory to sanction a horse show; however, there are tangible benefits for organizers who choose to register their horse shows. Without sanctioning, EC accredited officials are prohibited from officiating (excludes General Performace, Western or Breed officials); by using an AEF or EC accredited official you can be sure competitors are receiving fair judging, completing safe courses and AEF/EC rules are being followed.

Safety is of the utmost importance in the equine sport, accidents do happen, by sanctioning your competition you confirm that the show staff, officials, volunteers and your participants have the correct insurance in place if an incident were to occur.

From a participant or officials’ viewpoint we recommend that you ensure any unsanctioned competition you attend has the correct insurance in place to protect you, or that you seek out the correct insurance yourself. By attending sanctioned competitions, we have taken the guess work out of it.

Please see our calendar for upcoming sanctioned events.

Why Sanction your Competition

The underlying fundamental of sanctioning is to ensure that someone other than the show organizer is responsible for overseeing the risk management for the competition.

Benefits of sanctioning include:

  • Free promotional opportunities
  • Safety for show organizers, officials, volunteers and participants
  • Equine medication testing
  • Having a defined set of rules to follow
  • Access to carded officials
  • Horse & rider incentitives
  • Results reporting

Please see our Wild Rose program to learn more about what is offered for the grassroots level of equestrain competition in Alberta.

How to Sanction

Sanctioning your show is easy! Just follow these steps.

Step One:

  • Decide if your competition is going to be sanctioned through EC or the AEF. The sanctioning levels are determined by the amount of prize money and type of classes you will be offering, please refer to EC General Regulations, starting on page 7 to determine which EC level your show falls under.
    • The Alberta Equestrian Federation sanctions the following types of competitions:
    • Equestrian Canada sanctions the following types of competitions (for more information of EC sanctioning rules please see their website):
      • All horse trials (eventing)
      • EC Platinum or Gold competitions
      • EC Silver or Bronze competitions that are running concurrently with a Gold competition

The table below outlines which shows are administered through the EC office and AEF office:

 AEF Office  Equestrian Canada Office
 Wild Rose Equestrian Canada Gold
Equestrian Canada Bronze Equestrian Canada Platinum
Equestrian Canada Silver Equestrian Canada Bronze/Silver in conjunction with a Gold show

Step Two:

Fill out the applicable application form and submit with payment to the corresponding email:

Step Three:

Have your insurance company fill out the applicable insurance certificate and submit to the appropriate office:

Step Four:

  • Submit your prize list – this is your list of classes offered at the show, accompanied by your entry form
  • Submit your prize list approval form, completed by the steward or technical delegate (EC Bronze/Silver Shows only)
  • Submit your Wild Rose Guest Card (Wild Rose Shows only)
    • This form is only required for non-certified officials

Step Five:

For Wild Rose, EC Bronze or EC Silver competitions the AEF Competitions Coordinator will follow-up with the show certificate and post-show forms.

For EC Gold or Platinum shows a memeber of Equestrian Canada will be in touch.

Wild Rose sanctioned competitions are required to return the post-show forms to the AEF office within 10 days of competition completion. Post-show forms:

(AEF) Late Fee

Sanctioning applications must be received a minimum of 14 days prior to the start of competitions. Any applications received less than 14 days will be subject to a late fee of $100.00, as of July 1, 2016

(AEF) Cancellation Policy

No refunds will be given to competitions cancelled within 14 days of the first day of competition

If you have any questions regarding sanctioning a competition please contact our Competitions Coordinator at [email protected]


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