Following a spate of closures and downsizing by riding schools hit by soaring insurance costs, business training is now available to those who feel they would like to learn more. The Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) has joined forces with the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) in a bid to make its members more business minded.

Funds given to the ABRS by Sport England, via the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) to increase participation in equestrian sports were the catalyst for this new venture. The ABRS’s decision to devote some of the funds to educating owners and managers of riding schools fulfils aims stated in both the BEF’s Facilities and Industry strategies. At the launch of the Industry Strategy late last year Rural Affairs Minister Jim Knight said: “The strategy will create a healthier industry with more people feeling they can access the equestrian world.”

Tim Hadaway, BEF Consultant for Facilities believes the courses will train riding school managers to bring in new business as well as retaining present clients. “Although this is a separate brief from the BEF strategies it is the start of us going down that route,” he said.

Julian Marczak, Chairman of the ABRS, added that riding schools are particularly difficult challenges: “Riding School proprietors tend to be busy people running their businesses in a difficult climate. Particularly because they are usually occupied with teaching and training as well, there tends to be little time left in the working day to devote to such things as financial planning, budgeting and marketing.”

BETA has been instrumental in creating the specially tailored training modules with Harper Craven management consultants, specifically to meet the business needs of riding school proprietors. The business training is the first of a series of ABRS initiatives to give its members more support and is indicative of the Association’s determination to help sustain the riding school industry as a whole.

Riding schools wishing to find out more about the courses can email the ABRS on office@abrs.org or (tel:01986 784562).


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