Safeguarding in Sport

“Establishing a culture of safeguarding is a process and not an action. Only those responsible for driving that process will genuinely safeguard children.”
Marc Hardwick, Managing Director of The Guardian

Equestrian sport should provide a place where athletes can experience joy, dedication, achievement, and delight in the human and equine spirit. Everyone involved in our sport should be safe and treated with respect. Unfortunately, some individuals may cross the line and display harassing or abusive behaviour, with devastating consequences.

The SAEF’s Safeguarding Policy Against Harassment and Abuse

Effective 9 October 2021, the SAEF’s Safeguarding Policy Against Harassment and Abuse applies to Athletes, Accredited Persons, SAEF Representatives, Officials, Organisers, Persons responsible and Support Personnel (Coaches, Trainers, Horse Owners, Stewards, Chef d’Equipe, Veterinarian, etc).

Who Can Report and Where to Report ?

Victims of any form of harassment and abuse that occurred at any level within the national federation (NF), on its territory and/or involving members of the said NF, shall report according to the procedures implemented by their National Federation, their National Olympic Committee and Sports Authorities or other official safeguarding organisation in the respective country.

Should an incident occur in Equestrian, the persons needing support or wishing to report an incident can contact the National Safeguarding Officer at or downloading “The Guardian” Anonymous Report App and reporting anonymously to SAEF – National Office. Reports will be dealt with strict confidentiality and all reports will be sent to our independent Case Management Group.

To download the app, click or tap on the appropriate button or scan the QR code below:

To report an incident, please use the SAEF Incident Report Form

What is Safeguarding?

As a Federation we need to ensure that all children, young people and adults at risk are safeguarded from abuse and have an enjoyable experience riding their horses.

All persons who are involved in equestrian sport share the responsibility for safeguarding, and the SAEF and its Members (Discipline Associations and Provincial Federations) work together to ensure that the whole Federation adopts and operates within an accepted ethical framework to protect children, young people and adults at risk from harm, abuse and degrading treatment whilst participating in equestrian sports and activities.

How Do We Do This?

Through ensuring robust and consistent safeguarding systems exist across all members of the Federation through a collaborative approach to:

  • developing policies and procedures to create a safe environment;
  • providing accessible education programmes for our coaches, volunteers and participants;
  • sharing information in a timely and appropriate manner;
  • responding to and ensuring safeguarding concerns are investigated swiftly and thoroughly, via SAEF’s network of Members’ Designated Safeguarding Officers and the SAEF’s Case Management Team.

Safeguarding is Everyone’s Responsibility

We all play our part in providing a safe environment for children and adults at risk. Across the Federation, we also have our own roles and responsibilities.

The SAEF’s role is to provide leadership on a Safeguarding policy and practice for the Federation; and promoting best practice. The SAEF also has a duty to deal with all child protection safeguarding concerns in relation to individuals within its own jurisdiction, whether those concerns are raised by SAEF personnel or otherwise. The SAEF may also manage safeguarding concerns referred to it by its Members.

As a Federation, the SAEF and representatives of the Members collaborate through the Safeguarding Action Team (SAT). The SAT is responsible for ensuring safeguarding is embedded within equestrian sport by developing a Federation-wide strategic overview of safeguarding.

Each Member must appoint their own Designated Safeguarding Officer, who is a member of the SAT, and has responsibility for safeguarding matters relating to their own members, officials, staff and volunteers.

If You Are Concerned

If at any point you feel you would like to talk to the SAEF regarding a safeguarding concern, please contact or contact the safeguarding officer for your Discipline or Province. (We are still awaiting details for some Members’ DSO’s)

More information about how to report a safeguarding concern can be found here.

If you want to talk to someone else, you can call Childline on 116  or visit

If someone is in immediate danger, call the SA Police on 10111.

Our Policies

SAEF Safeguarding Policy against Harassment and Abuse

Spotting The Signs of Different Types of Abuse

If you are worried about a child or adult at risk, it can be hard to know what to do. Herewith information and advice on different types of abuse, how to spot the signs and what you can do to help keep children and adults at risk safe.

Spotting the signs of Child Sexual Exploitation

Useful Contacts


24-Hour free and confidential helpline for children:
Tel: 0800 1111