Ottawa, ON, March 24, 2020 – Equestrian Canada (EC) would like to provide an update regarding its ongoing advocacy on behalf of equine farms and equestrian facilities facing financial hardship during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as offer resources for support during this unprecedented disruption of normal business operations.

EC is the national governing body for equestrian sport and industry in Canada, with a mandate to represent, promote and advance all equine and equestrian interests. We empathize with all those who are directly affected by this situation, are fully aware of the potential financial implications and will continue to support the equine and equestrian industries to the best of our ability.

How is EC advocating for equine farms and equestrian facilities?
In order to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, it is imperative that we take a coordinated, collaborative approach to advocacy. EC is working in close partnership with the Provincial/Territorial Sport Organizations (PTSOs) to understand and plan for the short- and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the equine and equestrian industries and related businesses.

EC is actively communicating with federal agencies and corporations to ensure that equine farms and equestrian facilities can access support. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, has been made aware of the financial hardships that Canadian equine farms and farm businesses face with the loss of their public-facing equestrian operations. EC has requested collaboration and support for the sector through multiple channels and will continue to work with organizations such as the Canadian Federation of Agriculture to amplify the voice of our industries.

Additionally, conversations have been initiated with Farm Credit Canada, Canada’s largest agricultural term lender, as well as other leading agriculture financial lending institutions. It is of the utmost importance that our equine farms and equestrian facilities have access to the necessary financial support; we are working to ensure that the sector’s needs are heard, the diversity of our sector is understood, and that we are recognized during future decision-making and assessment processes.

Although conversations are in the early stages, EC is hopeful and will continue to work in service of the needs of our equines, farmers, facility owners and industry members alike.

Next Steps
In order to develop an effective and needs-based advocacy plan, EC needs industry input to understand the immediate and long-term needs of equine farms and equestrian facilities. We will be collecting industry-based business profiles that will enhance our capacity to interact with key stakeholders (e.g. government agencies, financial institutes). A communication will follow tomorrow, March 25, linking to a survey to collect this information.

Additional next steps include:

  • Ensuring that the EC website and statement on COVID-19 is kept up-to-date to deliver the information and resources farm and facilities owners require on an ongoing basis and in an easily accessible format.
  • Establishing a communication network with Canada’s equine farm and equestrian facility owners through webinars, website, social media and other digital engagement exercises.

EC appreciates your patience as we navigate these unprecedented times and will continue to provide continuous, thorough and up-to-date communication concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. Please submit any and all questions and concerns related to COVID-19 through the feedback portal here.

What resources are available to me as an equine farm or equestrian facility?
We recommend that all equine farm and equestrian facility owners take the time to ensure your business administrative records are up-to-date and ready for potential financial resources and programming that may become available.

For provincial/territorial resources, visit the website of your respective PTSO. Additionally, please review the resources outlined below:

Farm Credit Canada
Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is Canada’s leading agricultural lender. After receiving a $5 billion enhancement in lending capacity from the Government of Canada, FCC announced several new initiatives that will give more Canadian agriculture businesses faster access to a line of credit. These include the option of payment deferrals for existing FCC customers and a new credit line offer of up to $500,000. As part of its ongoing support efforts, FCC also is asking existing customers who have cash flow or other financial concerns to contact the organization to discuss alternatives, such as loan payment deferrals and products available to assist with cash flow needs.

Existing customers facing financial pressure are encouraged to contact their FCC relationship manager or the FCC Customer Service Centre at 1-888-332-3301 to discuss their individual situation and options. If you are currently not a member of FCC, it is recommended to that you reach out to begin to engage with FCC and explore what options are available for commercial equine farming businesses.

Please review the following resources to prepare to engage with FCC:

Business Support Resources

Agriculture Business Operating Credit Resources

Insurance Resources