The Prince Edward Island Horse Council
Making Equestrian Sport Available to Everyone!
Island Horse Council (IHC) was founded to be the caretaker for Strathgartney Equestrian Park (SEP). From that original purpose, IHC has evolved into the not-for-profit Provincial Sport Organization that provides governance to the equestrian industry on Prince Edward Island (excluding the racing industry). IHC provides support, leadership and resources to develop athletes and protect the interests of equestrian enthusiasts. Equestrian Canada, as the nationally recognized sport organization, recognizes one representative organization in each province across Canada. In PEI this is the IHC. IHC participates directly in national policy development, sport administration and delivering member services through this partnership.
Over more than 35 years, numerous volunteers have dedicated thousands of hours of their time to sit on the 6 member executive board to offer member clubs (currently: Dressage PEI, Emerald Island Hunt Club, Horse Trials PEI, Jump PEI, PEI Miniature Horse Association, Charlottetown Pony Club, Island Reining Horse Association, Western Horse Association of PEI, T.R.O.T.), and approximately 650 individual members, the substantial benefits of a Provincial Sport Organization. This year we improved the accessibility of the Council by introducing two Directors at Large. These two new members of the Council represent members who are not aligned or members of current member clubs. They will present a different viewpoint and introduce new ways to bring benefits of membership to more horse enthusiasts on PEI.
IHC is member-focused and strives to provide ever-increasing value. This year we have opened a physical office for the first time ever, and hired a part time staff person to increase our accessibility. We are sponsoring EC certified coaching courses in both English and Western disciplines in an effort to double the number of certified coaches in our province, upgrading our coaching credentials. Additionally, we are working with clubs to offer more high-level competitions, thereby creating a development pathway. The Strathgartney Equestrian Park Improvement Project will play a pivotal role in supporting this strategy. We believe that through these critical pieces, we will be able to increase the number and competitive level of our athletes.
SEP is a provincial treasure nestled in hills of Bonshaw. It opened in 1979, and hosted the PEI Equestrian Summer Games in 1980. While the park is owned by the province, it has been leased to the Island Horse council for over 35 years, with the current lease agreement extending for another 25 years. There were some renovations in 2001, but much of the infrastructure is suffering significantly from wear and tear, with limited funding only minimal maintenance has been able to be done over the years. The current SEP improvement committee is working to upgrade and update the Park.
Become a member of the Island Horse Council, volunteer with a member club or take your first riding lesson. We are here to support you, education you, protect you and celebrate you.
Please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Island Horse Council with your suggestions/concerns or triumphs.