Have your say on equestrian facilities

  • The British Equestrian Federation is looking for views from the public on the proposals within its draft strategy to support and help improve equestrian facilities around Britain.

    Currently the standards of equestrian venues around the country are varied, with certain areas enjoying extensive facilities for a wide range of equestrian sports, while some individuals have to travel long distances to reach their nearest centre.

    The strategy has been compiled with help from all of the BEF’s Member Bodies, including the British Horse Society and Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS), to ensure that all centres meet the high standards of the country’s best venues and try to improve the geographic spread of facilities.

    BEF chairman Hugh Thomas says: “This coordinated approach to the provision of facilities is vital work underpinning the long term potential for sport and recreational riding. I look forward to seeing the results of this consultation and hearing the views of the community beyond the membership of the federation.”

    Proposals in the 40-page document include setting up a database of facilities to improve communication between centres and to help identify any gaps in the current set-up.

    On a national level, the development of a National Equestrian Institute, which would help develop excellence in coaching, volunteering, leadership, development of the sport horse, equine science and education, is suggested as a way to help the sport move forward in the run up to the London Olympics in 2012.

    Duncan Brown, chairman of the ABRS told HHO: “We are happy with the draft strategy and pleased to see that it recognises the important imput made to the industry by riding schools. The ABRS will be extremely interested to see how it evolves in the future.”

    The strategy can be downloaded from the BEF website (www.bef.co.uk) where a form is also available for feedback via email or post. The deadline for comments is Friday 21 October, 2005.

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