NSHJA Code of Conduct







 The Nova Scotia Hunter Jumper Association (NSHJA) believes the purpose of this Code is to ensure a safe and positive environment (within NSHJA’s programs, activities, and events) by making Individuals aware that there is an expectation of appropriate behaviour consistent with NSHJA’s core values. NSHJA supports equal opportunity, prohibits discriminatory practices, and is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and fairness. NSHJA strongly believes in fostering the development of its members, coaches, officials, parents and especially the athletes.

**This Code of Conduct replaces and supersedes all pre-existing alternate codes of conduct**



NSHJA believes that:

  1. equestrian sport is based on a partnership between the horse and human athlete.
  2. it is the right and responsibility of NSHJA to set standards in matters of ethics, sportsmanship, and the welfare of the horse, and in all matters under its jurisdiction.
  3. it is desirable to define ethical practices, delineate unethical practices, and encourage good sportsmanship, fair play, and safety.
  4. all Individuals should observe the spirit as well as the letter of this Code; and,
  5. conduct contrary to this Code may result in the termination or suspension of membership and/or removal from participation in NSHJA’s activities or programs and may be subject to both NSHJA’s or EC’s Discipline, Complaints, and Appeal Policy.


Application of this Code

  1. All Individuals shall be bound by this Code. This Code applies to Individuals’ conduct during NSHJA’s business, activities, and events including, but not limited to, competitions, practices, lessons, training and caring of horses, training camps, clinics, travel associated with NSHJA’s activities, and any meetings.
  2. An Individual who violates this Code may be subject to sanctions pursuant to NSHJA’s Discipline, Complaints, and Appeal Policy and may also be subject to Equestrian Canada’s (EC) Discipline, Complaints, and Appeal Policy. In addition to facing sanctions pursuant to NSHJA’s Discipline, Complaints, and Appeal Policy, an Individual who violates this Code during a competition may be ejected from the competition, an official may delay the competition until the Individual complies with the ejection, and the Individual may be subject to any additional discipline associated with the competition.
  3. This Code also applies to Individuals’ conduct outside of NSHJA’s business, activities, and events when such conduct adversely affects relationships within NSHJA (and its work and sport environment) and is detrimental to the image and reputation of NSHJA. Such applicability will be determined by NSHJA at its sole discretion.


Statement of Principles – Horse Welfare

  1. NSHJA supports adherence to humane treatment of horses in all activities under its jurisdiction.
  2. NSHJA is committed to:
    • upholding the welfare of the horse, regardless of monetary value, as a primary consideration in all activities.
    • requiring that horses be treated with kindness, respect, and the compassion that they deserve, and that they never be subjected to mistreatment.
    • ensuring that owners, trainers, and exhibitors and their agents exercise appropriate care and responsibility in the handling, treatment, and transportation of their horses, as well as horses placed in their care for any purpose.
    • providing for the continuous wellbeing of the horse by encouraging routine inspection and consultation with health care professionals and competition officials to achieve the highest possible standards of nutrition, health, comfort, and safety.
    • continuing to support scientific studies on equine health and welfare.
    • requiring owners, trainers, and exhibitors to know and follow their sanctioning organization’s rules, and to work within industry regulations in all equestrian competitions; and,
  3. reviewing, revising, and developing competition rules and regulations that protect the welfare of the horse.
  4. In determining whether conduct or treatment is cruel, abusive, or inhumane, the standard to be applied will be the conduct or treatment expected of a reasonable person who is informed and experienced in equine training and exhibition procedures.
  5. Individuals who interact with horses must also adhere to EC’s policies as they relate to horse welfare.




Individuals have a responsibility to:

a) maintain and enhance the dignity and self-esteem of NSHJA members and other individuals by:

i) treating each other with the highest standards of respect and integrity;

ii) focusing comments or criticism appropriately and avoiding public criticism of athletes, coaches, officials, organizers, volunteers, employees, or members;

iii) consistently demonstrating the spirit of sportsmanship, sport leadership, and ethical conduct;

iv) acting, when appropriate, to correct or prevent practices that are unjustly discriminatory;

v) consistently treating individuals fairly and reasonably; and,

vi) ensuring adherence to the rules of the sport and the spirit of those rules.

b) refrain from any behaviour that constitutes Harassment, Workplace Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Workplace Violence, Abuse, or Discrimination;

c) abstain from the non-medical use of drugs or the use of performance-enhancing drugs or methods. More specifically, NSHJA adopts and adheres to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. Any infraction under this Program shall be considered an infraction of this Code and may be subject to further disciplinary action, and sanction, pursuant to NSHJA’s Discipline, Complaints, and Appeal Policy. NSHJA will respect any penalty enacted pursuant to a breach of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program, whether imposed by NSHJA, EC or any other sport organization;

d) refrain from associating with any person for the purpose of coaching, training, competition, instruction, administration, management, athletic development, or supervision of the sport who has incurred an anti-doping rule violation and is serving a sanction involving a period of ineligibility imposed pursuant to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program and/or the World Anti-Doping Code and recognized by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES);

e) refrain from the use of power or authority to coerce another person to engage in inappropriate activities;

f) in the case of adults, avoid consuming alcohol in situations where minors are present, and take reasonable steps to manage the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages in adult-oriented social situations while participating in EC’s programs, activities, competitions, or events;

g) in the case of minors, not consume alcohol, tobacco, or cannabis at any competition or event;

h) in the case of adults, not consume cannabis in any situation associated with NSHJA’s events (subject to any requirements for accommodation);

i) respect the property of others and not willfully cause property damage;

j) promote the sport in the most constructive and positive manner possible;

k) when driving a vehicle with an Individual:

  • not have his or her licence suspended;
  • not be under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or illegal drugs or substances;
  • have valid car insurance; and,
  • not use a mobile device with his or her hands.

l) adhere to all federal, provincial, municipal, and host country laws;

m) refrain from engaging in or assisting with any form of bribing, cheating, or manipulation of the outcome of a competition; and,

n) comply, at all times, with NSHJA’s bylaws, policies, procedures, and rules and regulations, as adopted and amended from time to time.


Directors, Committee Members, and Staff

  1. In addition to the above section on general responsibilities for all Individuals, NSHJA’s Directors, Committee Members, and Staff will have additional responsibilities to:
    • function primarily as a Director or Committee Member of NSHJA, not as a member of any other particular group or constituency;
    • act with honesty and integrity, and conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the nature and responsibilities of NSHJA’s business;
    • ensure that NSHJA’s financial affairs are conducted in a responsible and transparent manner with due regard for all fiduciary responsibilities;
    • conduct themselves openly, professionally, lawfully, and in good faith in the best interests of NSHJA;
    • be independent and impartial, and not be influenced by self-interest, outside pressure, expectation of reward, or fear of criticism;
    • behave with decorum appropriate to both circumstance and position;
    • keep informed about NSHJA’s activities, the sport community, and general trends in the sectors in which it operates;
    • exercise the degree of care, diligence, and skill required in the performance of their duties pursuant to the laws under which NSHJA is associated with;
    • respect all requirements for confidentiality;
    • respect the decisions of the majority and resign if unable to do so;
    • commit the time to attend meetings and be diligent in preparation for, and participation in, discussions at such meetings;
    • have a thorough knowledge and understanding of all NSHJA governance documents; and,
    • conform to the bylaws and policies approved by NSHJA.


Coaches and Instructors

  1. In addition to the above section on general responsibilities for all Individuals, coaches have many additional responsibilities. The coach-athlete relationship is a privileged one and plays a critical role in the personal, sport, and athletic development of the athlete. Coaches must understand and respect the inherent power imbalance that exists in this relationship and must be extremely careful not to abuse it, consciously or unconsciously. Coaches will:
    • ensure a safe environment by selecting activities and establishing controls that are suitable for the age, stage of athletic development, experience, ability, and fitness level of the involved Individuals and horses;
    • prepare athletes and their horses systematically and progressively, using appropriate time frames and monitoring physical and psychological adjustments while refraining from using training methods or techniques that may harm athletes or their horses;
    • avoid compromising the present and future health of athletes or horses by communicating and cooperating with sport medicine professionals in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of medical and psychological treatments for both athletes and horses;
    • support the coaching staff of a training camp, provincial team, or national team, should an athlete qualify for participation with one of these programs;
    • accept and promote athletes’ personal goals and refer athletes to other coaches and sports specialists as appropriate;
    • provide athletes (and the parents/guardians of minor athletes) with the information necessary to be involved in the decisions that affect the athlete;
    • act in the best interest of the athlete’s development as a whole person;
    • meet the highest standards of credentials, integrity, and suitability, including but not limited to such considerations established by EC’s Screening Policy;
    • report to NSHJA and EC any ongoing criminal investigation, conviction, or existing bail conditions, including those for violence, child pornography, or possession, use, or sale of any illegal substance;
    • under no circumstances provide, promote, or condone the use of drugs (other than properly prescribed medications) or performance-enhancing substances and, in the case of minors, alcohol and/or tobacco;
    • respect athletes training with other coaches and with other teams and refrain from discussing topics or actions which are deemed to be within the realm of coaching with such athletes, unless first receiving approval from the coaches who are responsible for the athletes;
    • never engage in a sexual relationship with a minor athlete;
    • disclose any sexual or intimate relationship with an athlete over the age of 18 to EC;
    • recognize the power inherent in the position of coach and respect and promote the rights of all participants in sport. This is accomplished by establishing and following procedures for confidentiality (right to privacy), informed participation, and fair and reasonable treatment. Coaches have a special responsibility to respect and promote the rights of participants who are in a vulnerable or dependent position and less able to protect their own rights;
    • dress professionally, neatly, and inoffensively;
    • use inoffensive language, taking into account the audience being addressed; and,
    • Follow a physician’s advice to decide when injured players are ready to play again, adhering to EC’s Concussion Policy and Concussion Code of Conduct.




  1. In addition to the above section on general responsibilities for all Individuals, athletes will have additional responsibilities to:
    • report any medical problems in a timely fashion when such problems may limit their ability to travel, practice, or compete;
    • participate and appear on time and prepared to participate to their best abilities in all competitions, practices, training sessions, clinics, tryouts, tournaments, and events;
    • properly represent themselves and not attempt to participate in a competition for which they are not eligible by reason of age, classification, or other reason;
    • adhere to EC’s rules and requirements regarding clothing and equipment;
    • act in a sportsmanlike manner and not display appearances of violence, foul language, or gestures to other athletes, officials, coaches, or spectators;
    • dress to represent the sport and themselves well and with professionalism; and,
    • act in accordance with NSHJA’s policies and procedures and, when applicable, additional rules as outlined by coaches or managers.



  1. In addition to the above section on general responsibilities for all Individuals, officials will have additional responsibilities to:
    • maintain and update their knowledge of the rules and rule changes;
    • refrain from publicly criticizing other officials or any club or association;
    • work within the boundaries of their position’s description while supporting the work of other officials;
    • act as an ambassador of NSHJA by agreeing to enforce and abide by national and provincial rules and regulations;
    • take ownership of actions and decisions made while officiating;
    • respect the rights, dignity, and worth of all Individuals and horses;
    • act openly, impartially, professionally, lawfully, and in good faith;
    • be fair, equitable, considerate, independent, honest, and impartial in all dealings with others;
    • respect the confidentiality required by issues of a sensitive nature, which may include ejections, defaults, forfeits, discipline processes, appeals, and specific information or data about Individuals;
    • honour all assignments unless unable to do so by virtue of illness or personal emergency, and in these cases inform the assignor or association at the earliest possible time;
    • be accurate and fulsome when writing reports, taking care to record only true statements and facts; and,
    • dress in proper attire for officiating.



Parents/Guardians and Spectators

  1. In addition to the above section on general responsibilities for all Individuals, parents/guardians and spectators at events will:
    • encourage athletes to compete within the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence;
    • condemn the use of violence in any form;
    • never ridicule a participant for making a mistake during a performance or practice;
    • provide positive comments that motivate and encourage participants’ continued effort;
    • respect the decisions and judgments of officials, and encourage athletes to do the same;
    • never question an official’s or staff member’s judgment or honesty;
    • support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse, coercion, intimidation, and sarcasm;
    • respect and show appreciation to all competitors, and to the coaches, officials, and other volunteers; and,
    • refrain from harassing competitors, coaches, officials, parents/guardians, or other spectators.



  1. The following terms have these meanings in this Code:


a) “Abuse” – as defined in Equestrian Canada (EC)’s Abuse Policy (Individuals).

b) “Discrimination” – differential treatment of an individual based on one or more prohibited grounds, which include race, citizenship, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, or disability.

c) “Harassment” – a course of displeasing comments or conducts against an Individual or group that is known or ought to reasonably be known to be unwelcome. Behaviour that constitutes Harassment – as defined in Equestrian Canada (EC)’s Code of Conduct and Ethics Section C.

d) “Individuals” – all categories of participants within NSHJA who are in good standing, including but not limited to: athletes, coaches, instructors, trainers, officials, competition managers, parents/guardians of athletes, directors, officers, team managers, team members, medical and paramedical personnel, administrators, and employees (including contract personnel).

e) “Maltreatment” – A cruel or violent act by an Individual that results in harm or the potential for

  • physical or psychological harm to another Individual and includes any of the following
  • behaviours or conduct – as defined in Equestrian Canada (EC)’s Code of Conduct and Ethics Section 1. E.

Psychological Maltreatment (including but not limited to: Verbal Acts and Maltreatment in online forms, Non-assaultive Physical Acts (no physical contact), Acts that Deny Attention or Support

Physical Maltreatment: any pattern or single serious incident of deliberate conduct that has the potential to be harmful to the physical well-being of an Individual, including Contact and Non-Contact behaviours.

Sexual Maltreatment, including, but not limited to, any act targeting an Individual’s sexuality, gender identity or expression, that is committed, threatened, or attempted against that person, and includes but is not limited to the Criminal Code offences, and the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Neglect: any pattern or a single serious incident of lack of reasonable care, inattention to an Individual’s needs, nurturing or well-being, or omissions in care. Neglect is determined by the objective behaviour, but the behaviour must be evaluated with consideration given to the Individual’s needs and requirements, not whether harm is intended or results from the behaviour.

Grooming: includes, without limitation, deliberate conduct by an Individual to sexualize a relationship with a Minor, and which includes making inappropriate behaviour seem normal and gradually engaging in ‘boundary violations’ which have been professionally identified to Canadian standards

Interference with or manipulation of process – An adult Individual violates the Code of Conduct and Ethics by directly or indirectly interfering with a process instituted pursuant to this Code or any other policy by:

  • falsifying, distorting, or misrepresenting information, the resolution process, or an outcome;
  • destroying or concealing information;
  • attempting to discourage an Individual’s proper participation in or use of the NSHJA processes;
  • harassing or intimidating (verbally or physically) any person involved in the EC’s processes before, during, and/or following any  proceedings;
  • publicly disclosing an Individual’s identifying information, without the Individual’s agreement;
  • failing to comply with any temporary or provisional measure or other final sanction;
  • distributing or otherwise publicizing materials an Individual gains access to during any investigation or hearing, except as required by law or as expressly permitted; or
  • influencing or attempting to influence another Individual to interfere with or manipulate the process.

Retaliation: An Individual shall not take an adverse action against any other Individual for making a good faith report of possible Maltreatment or for participating in any process found in a policy. Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing, coercing, or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging or participating in the NSHJA’s processes. Retaliation after the conclusion of investigation and sanction processes is also prohibited. Retaliation may be present even where there is a finding that no Maltreatment occurred. Retaliation does not include good-faith actions lawfully pursued in response to a report of possible Maltreatment.

Aiding and Abetting: any act taken with the purpose of facilitating, promoting, or encouraging the commission of Maltreatment by a participant. Aiding and Abetting also includes, without limitation, knowingly:

  • allowing any person who has been suspended or is otherwise ineligible to be in any way associated with sport or to coach or instruct Individuals.
  • providing any coaching-related advice or service to an Individual who has been suspended or is otherwise ineligible; and
  • allowing any Individual to violate the terms of their suspension or any other sanctions imposed.

Failure by an adult Individual to report actual or suspected Maltreatment of a Minor. This obligation is ongoing and is not satisfied by making an initial report to NSHJA; instead, this obligation includes reporting to EC, on a timely basis, all relevant information that the adult participant is or becomes aware of, and requires making a direct report to EC. Any report shall include the personally identifying information of the potential Minor complainant (to the extent known), and any such information learned at a later date.

Failure to report inappropriate conduct: Any Individual who suspects or becomes aware of another Individual’s inappropriate conduct, even if it is not defined as Maltreatment, has a duty to report such inappropriate conduct to EC. Individuals in positions of trust and authority who become aware of another Individual’s inappropriate conduct have a responsibility for reporting the concern to EC.

Intentionally filing a false allegation. An allegation is false if the events or conduct reported did not occur and the Individual making the report knows that the events or conduct did not occur. An individual shall not be considered to have filed a false allegation in cases where the allegation cannot be substantiated by supporting evidence but was nevertheless filed in good faith.

f) “Sexual Harassment” – a course of displeasing comments or conducts against an Individual because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome; or making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant, or deny a benefit or advance to the Individual, and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome. Types of behaviour that constitute Sexual Harassment include but are not limited to as defined in Equestrian Canada (EC)’s Code of Conduct and Ethics Section 1. F.



**This policy was developed and adopted by the NSHJA Board of Directors on  April, 2022**