English Competition Coach Specialist Certification Program Launches

An exciting new coaching certification program is now available for English coaches in Canada. The Competition Coach Specialist is a highly accessible 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.

“The specialist program is really important because it fills the gap between the Competition Coach and High Performance Coach,” explains Grant Field, chair of the National Coaching Committee and a Master Evaluator. “It’s perfect for coaches who might have been at the old Level 2, but were specialists, not generalists, and therefore never became certified. It’s a totally new program that will serve the community needs better.

“It’s the starting point for becoming a specialized coach in your discipline at a very attainable level – now coaches can just apply directly to this program if it meets their experience. They don’t have to go through a previous coaching level,” he adds.

“I feel really proud of the English Coaching Committee for having finalized this last step in the competition coaching stream. We have created a great opportunity for the athletes and the coaches that coach them.”

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 to 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 Jan. 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

“The Competition Coach Specialist program ensures that coaching professionals value national teaching standards, safety and quality horsemanship,” states Gillian Ross Erasmi, education coordinator with the Ontario Equestrian Federation (OEF). “We proudly worked alongside Equine Canada 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. Thanks must be extended to the many dedicated individuals who provided their time and expertise during this process.”

She adds, “Quality coaching is vital to equestrian sport and the Equine Canada coaching program. This new format increases accessibility for those who coach riders from the beginner level up to the elite competitor.”

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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