ANOTHER summer of events designed to introduce people to riding has been planned by the National Riding Festival — and this time the emphasis is on getting adults on horseback.
The number of adults taking up riding is on the increase, according to the British Horse Society (BHS).
Chris Doran of the BHS said: “Riding centre proprietors say that, despite the credit crunch, they are busy all week, not just when children are off school. The publicity riding has had, through people like Madonna and Katie Price, has done it no end of good.”
The National Riding Festival was set up in 1998 by the British Equestrian Trade Association to address a decline in riding. This year’s events started in May and run till late August.
Festival chairman Jane Holderness-Roddam said: “There are now more than four million people regularly involved in equestrianism — that’s almost twice as many as when we held the first festival.”
Since 1998, organisers claim the events, which include discount voucher schemes, have attracted an estimated 16,000 new and lapsed riders.
This year the festival includes open days at riding centres where adults can take part alongside their children.
A spokesman for the National Riding Festival said: “We want to appeal to every rider to encourage a non-riding friend or lapsed rider to take up the reins. We all have a part to play in conveying how life-enriching riding can be.”
Visit: www.nationalriding festival.co.uk
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (2 July, ’09)