Your PTSO Needs You
Source: Acera Insurance (formerly CapriCMW)
Equestrian provincial and territorial sports organizations (PTSOs) play a significant role in developing and maintaining Canada’s horse industry. Across Canada, PTSOs promote equestrians’ right to ride on public lands and trails, liaise and collaborate with governments, advocate for horse welfare, share science-based equine education, administer national coaching programs, provide funding to members and other horse organizations, plus provide liability insurance.
These not-for-profit associations are the one collective voice of the horse industry which influences government policy and funding, and they’re primarily run by volunteers. They include Horse Council British Columbia, Alberta Equestrian Federation, Saskatchewan Horse Federation, Manitoba Horse Council, Ontario Equestrian, Cheval Québec, New Brunswick Equestrian Association, Island Horse Council, Nova Scotia Equestrian Federation, Newfoundland and Labrador Equestrian Association, and Equine Association of Yukon. One of the best ways you can support the horse industry in Canada is by becoming a member of your PTSO.
What do PTSOs do for you, personally?
Many equestrians become members of their PTSO so that they have third party liability insurance coverage for horse activities. However, this insurance is just one benefit of membership. Perhaps just as importantly, PTSOs provide a voice to individuals from every aspect of the horse industry — from barrel racers to dressage riders, eventers to ranchers, veterinarians to farriers, trail riders to hunters, jumpers, facility operators, barn staff, and every other horse enthusiast. Therefore, when PTSOs advocate on behalf of the horse industry, their concerns are taken seriously as their membership reflects the entire horse community. Plus, as part of a group, PTSO members have much more influence than they would as individuals.
Mike King is a partner with Acera Insurance (formerly CapriCMW) and has been involved with PTSOs in Canada for over 20 years. He explains that PTSOs gather horse enthusiasts under one umbrella and provide a myriad of benefits to both individuals and the broader horse industry.
King says, “They work tirelessly for riders, breeders, owners, and facility operators. Across the country, PTSOs are doing advocacy work related to land use and access to trails, and working with the Ministry of Agriculture on policies that affect the horse industry, among many other things.”
King feels that having one voice that represents equine enthusiasts from all sectors of the industry is imperative to the continued health of the horse industry. For example, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, PTSOs have polled members about the effects of the coronavirus on their horse-related activities and asked members what support they require to continue those activities. PTSO representatives then explained the plight of the horse industry to provincial and federal governments and advocated for support, which individual PTSO members — and non-members — can benefit from.
Canada’s horse industry contributes billions of dollars to the country’s economy and provides thousands of jobs. But the only way that the concerns of individual equestrians will be heard at the government level is if the horse industry has one collective voice. PTSOs can provide that voice, but they’re only as strong as their membership. So regardless of your involvement in the horse industry, consider joining your equestrian PTSO and adding your voice to thousands of others.
Let’s all contribute to a strong Canadian horse industry and help ensure that horse-related activities remain part of Canadian life.
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Photo: Shutterstock/Sonya Etchison