Big Olympic success has led to equestrian sport in Britain receiving £6 million in funding for the next four years – an increase of 46% from the previous Olympiad.
The funding was announced this week by Sport England, and is part of a £493 million four-year investment to deliver grassroots sporting opportunities and a lasting Olympic and Paralympic legacy.
Horse sport’s national governing body, the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), is responsible for channelling the funding.
Improvements to the BEF’s talent development programme are expected to be made, with a clearer focus on talented young riders and more co-ordination with member body programmes.
“This funding announcement is very positive news; we have had a wonderful year and we are determined to make the legacy thrive,” said BEF Chief Executive of the BEF Andrew Finding.
“We welcome the confidence that the team at Sport England has shown in us as we work to increase the levels of participation in equestrian sport and recreation. In partnership with our member bodies and the broader equestrian community we are committed to making a difference,” he said.
“We want to see more people riding in the countryside, on bridle paths, in urban areas, riding schools, clubs, colleges and livery yards. In doing so we will pay particular attention to young people between the ages of 14-25 as well as those with disabilities and those with a prodigious talent.”
Finding said that with the help of Sport England, the BEF had “set out broad aims to achieve these goals and will be adding flesh to these bones now that funding levels for these projects have been agreed”.
Programs involved include the Hoof equestrian legacy programme, the Hoof business to business Networks, and the Take Back The Reins product established in early 2012.
Increasing the disability offering of equestrian sport is a major focus of the next Olympiad. There continues to be an upwards trend in once a week participation among people with a long term limiting disability, illness or infirmity, this group now representing 12% of all ‘once a week’ horse riders.
The funding level announcement from UK Sport that supports equestrian’s World Class Programmes via National Lottery funding will be announced today.