The National Riding Festival has come to the end of its sixth consecutive year of introducing new and lapsed riders into the saddle, raising the sport’s profile once again with a plethora of promotional activity and subsequent media coverage.
Having kicked off in June, nearly 100 riding schools across the country opened their doors to support the Festival by offering discounted lessons to new and lapsed riders.
This included the highly successful ‘Take a Friend Riding’ initiative, where regular riders were invited to take their friend riding for half price, providing them with the perfect opportunity to give riding a go.
The Festival’s hotline subsequently received thousands of calls from readers asking for their nearest participating riding school in addition to the hundreds of general enquiries received as a result of coverage in the women’s, equestrian, national and regional press.
The National Riding Festival targets the one million children interested in riding and their parents, and the 800,000 lapsed riders interested in taking up the reins again.
Over the past five years, over 20,000 people have sat on a horse for the first time, courtesy of the Festival, and 57,000 people have attended the equestrian extravaganza events.
“We’re delighted with the interest generated from this year’s Festival,” comments Jane Holderness-Roddam, chairman of the National Riding Festival.
“In an era that is increasingly concerned with sedentary lifestyles and childhood obesity, the Festival represents not only an activity that can be enjoyed by all, but a fantastic business opportunity for potential sponsors.”