Cheval Quebec


Non-binary people can now access Cheval Quebec services, including equestrian accident and liability insurance, and can participate fully in the show circuits run by Cheval Quebec at any level. We can also be members of Equestrian Canada (EC), including becoming registered coaches, accessing online courses, and registering horses for EC-certified competitions, including with the FEI.

When I first contacted Cheval Quebec, their website required potential members to choose between the “Male” & “Female” genders. I reached out to their office, who let me know that they were working on the integration of a new software, and that the option would be available in the new year (2023).

The implications of this exclusion were far-reaching. Cheval Quebec is the only provincial organization in Quebec to regulate equine activity. Membership in Cheval Quebec includes equestrian accident insurance and non-professional civil liability. It allows a member to compete, judge, or serve as an official in horse shows, participate in the democratic life of the organization, move up through the Rider certification program to become a registered coach, and more.

Membership in Cheval Quebec is required for any resident of Quebec who wants to become a member of Equestrian Canada. They offer many benefits, including access to online courses which can improve one’s credibility in the industry and teach essential skills. They keep a database of certified horseback riding coaches and trainers. They also provide horse recordings and passports, which are required to compete at the highest levels of competition, including with the FEI. None of this has been accessible to non-binary Quebec residents until now.

When I reached out early in 2023, the person I had been corresponding with shared the news that the implementation of the “X” gender option had not been implemented in the new system, and that there were no immediate plans to make it available.

My correspondent escalated the issue to their manager.

In the meantime, I reached out to “HorseReg“, the software company, and verified with them that a third gender option is indeed available in the software and that all Cheval Quebec would have to do is opt-in.

I also reached out to Equestrian Canada. I let them know that Cheval Quebec was excluding non-binary people from accessing the services of EC, by not allowing us to register without misgendering ourselves. I never heard back from them, so I can’t say whether or not my message made any difference in their decision.

I then heard back from my correspondent at Cheval Quebec, who passed on the following message from their manager:

French message indicating that they decided to add the X gender option to the paper form, and a “Non specified” gender option to the online form.