Competition Organizers

Planning and Organizing a Competition

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Organizing a horse show requires long days and 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. At Manitoba Horse Council (MHC) we want to make your life a little easier by providing you with resources and links to information to ensure a safe and fun competition for all.

What is a sanctioned competition?

Hundreds of horse shows are held across the province. While some are sanctioned (approved) by MHC or EC, others are run independently without any sort of endorsement. It is 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 Performance, Western or Breed officials); by using an MHC or EC accredited official you can be sure competitors are receiving fair judging, completing safe courses and MHC/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 guesswork out of it.

Competition/Clinic Insurance Application Form

Download Form

Why Sanction your Competition?

The underlying basis for 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:

  • 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 incentives
  • Free promotional opportunities
  • Year end awards (EC)
  • Results reporting (EC)

The following Equestrian Canada Bronze and Silver competitions are approved by each province or territory.

Hunter/Jumper Competitions
Dressage Competitions
Breed Competitions
  • All Platinum, Gold, Bronze/Gold or Silver/Gold competitions are approved by EC.
  • Competitions are not permitted to host multiple disciplines at a single competition, unless permission is granted by EC. E.g. A dressage competition may not hold a hunter/jumper portion unless given written permission from EC.
  • All Manitoba Bronze and Silver EC Sanctioned Shows/Competitions are to contact the MHC office directly.

Forms to be used by MHC Prairie Crocus Competition Organizers

2024 Sanctioning Application
Prairie Crocus Competition Certificate of Insurance

Forms to be used by Equestrian Canada Competition Organizers

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Equestrian Canada Stewards Hub

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The Safe Sport Fee

Sport Manitoba expects all athletes on the field of play to have a certified coach who understands and abides by the principles of Safe Sport. EC is following the same protocol by requiring at minimum, Registered Coach status at EC Sanctioned shows. 

Manitoba Horse Council wishes to ensure that all equestrian and horse sport coaches, instructors, participants and trainers are aware of the Safe Sport elements expected at events. We know there are many self-declared coaches working at non-EC sanctioned shows. There are three courses which coaches/trainers and/or athletes need to take to ensure understanding of these expectations. (Equestrian Canada Certified, Registered and Licensed coaches have already taken these courses).

All must take:

  1. Respect in Sport (free) –  Sport Manitoba has mandated Respect in Sport Activity Leaders course for all Manitoba Coaches.  Any other training, while good and is encouraged, cannot be substituted for credit for the RIS course. 



In your Profile check “Allow communication to the NCCP”.  This will place the result of your course directly in your Locker. 
On the second tab (Associations) you can see all the groups associated with Sport Manitoba. Scroll down to Horse Council and click to share. This ensures both your Locker and MHC’s files are kept up to date. Adding your profile also assists MHC in sourcing funding from Sport Manitoba.

And, then choose from one of these two courses:

  1. Making Headway 


  1. Make Ethical Decisions (MED)


The online workshop is $40, with subsequent free online evaluation. The cost for evaluation without the preliminary tutorial is $85. These are multi-sport courses, so completion through another sport can be applied to equestrian and vice versa.

Coach Registration

To take advantage of these courses, coaches must register with the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) which allows access to the Locker where NCCP training is recorded. There is no cost to do this.



MHC has set a Safe Sport Fee of $5 to be implemented at non-EC sanctioned shows to encourage all coaches to understand the minimum expectations. The fee is collected by the Show Secretary; $2 remains with the organizing show and the other $3 is sent to MHC to go directly into the Coaching Budget to support coaching programming. The fee is assessed (per rider) on the coach who does not have an NCCP number with a Locker record of the courses taken. It is MHC’s responsibility to verify the Coach’s record.

Coach certification through the Certified Horsemanship Association or any other certification (except Equestrian Canada) does not forego the requirement for an NCCP number and completion of the courses noted above.

Remember if you are competing at a competition and you do not have/have not brought a coach, then YOU are your coach for that competition.

Show Organizers

Download the spreadsheet to record levies at a show


If you have further questions or comments don’t hesitate to call 204-925-5719

Emergency Plan Required for all EC Competitions


Emergency planning is required of all event organizers, no matter the level of competition. It involves five stages:

  1. identification of potential risk (in and out of our controls),
  2. prevention of risk,
  3. the response or solution,
  4. mitigation of the problem, and
  5. finally recovery or back to play.

The purpose of this guide is to provide all Canadian competition organizers and officials with a consistent base plan and guidelines including specific mandatory responses in cases such as lightning or a catastrophic accident to horse or human.  Each competition, event and discipline has its own identity and specific needs. This is recognized and appreciated and the expectation of Equestrian Canada is that each competition will have its own unique emergency action plan appropriate to its own needs but incorporating those mandatory requirements. It is an Equestrian Canada rule that every competition has an emergency action plan.

Payment of Officials

Please be aware that Manitoba Horse Council strongly recommends the following best practices in the hiring of competition officials:

  • A written contract between the competition and official(s) drafted and signed well in advance of the competition
  • A business number and invoice provided to the competition by the official(s) for his or her services
  •  If the official(s) cannot provide a business number and invoice for his or her services, the competition is strongly advised to issue a T4A slip, available from Canada Revenue Agency


Officials training, certification and mentorship proudly supported by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries.


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Diane David - Executive Director
(204) 925-5719
[email protected]

Kylee Tonita - Technical Coordinator
Coaching, Officials & Events
[email protected]

Kelly Roe - Manager
Equestrian Facility
(April to Oct)

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