Show Jumping

What the SafeSport Ban Means for George Morris

As of Nov. 19, 2019, the U.S. Center for SafeSport ruled that celebrated equestrian, coach and clinician George Morris (USA) is “permanently ineligible” from participation in United States Equestrian Federation rated competition and sanctioned events.

News of the lifetime ban first broke in August when the former show jumping chef d’equipe was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. Morris denied the allegations and immediately filed an appeal, but, as of this week, was unsuccessful in his bid to overturn the ban in arbitration.

So what does the lifetime ban actually mean for Morris? 

The USEF Rule book states that those who are banned receive:

“PERMANENT INELIGIBILITY from Federation membership and all Federation related activities, including a prohibition from taking any part whatsoever in any Competition licensed or endorsed by the Federation and exclusion from all competition grounds during Competitions licensed or endorsed by the Federation in any capacity, including as an exhibitor, participant or spectator. Additionally, a permanently ineligible person is prohibited from attending, observing, or participating in any event, forum, meeting, program, clinic, task force, or committee of the Federation, sponsored by or conducted by the Federation, or held in connection with the Federation and any of its activities.”

Specifically, that means:

Morris can no longer give clinics or coach USEF members. If a USEF member is found to facilitate clinics for Morris, they too could face a penalty or suspension.

Morris cannot attend USEF sanctioned events—in any capacity. That includes simply spectating.

Morris cannot go into business with anyone who trains, competes or is in some other capacity a participant of USEF events or business.

Morris, previously a member of the USEF National Jumper Committee and Planning Committee and president of the US Show Jumping Hall of Fame, can no longer serve on Federation Committees.

Morris cannot coach international teams in the US or any other country. (The ban is upheld by the FEI.)

Widely regarded as the founding father of hunt seat equitation, Morris served as chef d’equipe of the U.S. show jumping team for seven years (2005–2012), leading the Americans to victory in the 2005 Samsung Super League series, team silver at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games and team gold at the 2008 Beijing Games. He served as coach the Brazilian team for the 2016 Rio Olympics.