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The BHS has invited Tim Stockdale to host two seminars in November in an attempt to attract more livery yard owners to apply for its new livery yard approval scheme.

The scheme was launched at the Royal International Horse Show 2002 after veterinary surgeons expressed concern about welfare cases seen at some yards. The British Equine Veterinary Association then asked the BHS to look into livery standards and a scheme was devised to set out a minimum standard for livery yards.

There are now around 100 BHS-approved livery yards, and through the seminars, entitled “Your Horse – Your Livery Yard”, the BHS hopes to encourage more livery yards to apply for approval.

Once an establishment has applied, the BHS sends an inspector to investigate the yard and make suggestions. The inspector returns to make sure these suggestions have been carried out before the yard is put forward for approval and from this point onwards unannounced inspections take place annually.

Although yards do have to pay to be approved, the BHS emphasises that the scheme is mutually beneficial. Not only can approved yards display the green plaque which BHS chief executive Kay Driver describes as “an indication of excellence”, but approved yards also receive discounts on insurance premiums, copies of BHS publications and access to legal, tax and ratings helplines.

The government is currently looking at licensing livery yards under the Animal Welfare Bill in May 2005, and the BHS is pushing for the adoption of their approved scheme as the minimum standard.

By involving Tim Stockdale the BHS hopes to raise the profile of the seminars and encourage more people to attend. BHS spokeswoman Wendy Peckham describes Tim as: “a great guy and a wonderful spokesperson for his sport”.

The seminars will take place on November 1 and 2 at the Baileys Horse Feed Learning Centre during the Your Horse British Equine Event held at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.