Britain’s horse riding centers take “health check” to assess future viability

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More than 1700 centres have been invited to respond about their capacity, facilities, staffing and activities, the challenges they face around viability, marketing and profitability.
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A major survey to assess the viability and needs of Britain’s horse riding centres aims to provide a “health check” of the sector.

British Equestrian has collaborated with the British Horse Society, the Association of British Riding Schools, the Riding for the Disabled Association, the Pony Club, and riding centres across the country to launch the groundbreaking survey in a bid to build a current picture of the sector in a bid to help safeguard the future viability of the businesses.

A comprehensive online survey has been distributed to around 1700 centres using the databases held by the organisations, with the aim of building a current picture of the sector.

Questions in the survey target areas such as capacity, facilities, staffing and activities provided, as well as the main challenges faced around viability, marketing and profitability.

Mandana Mehran Pour, Head of Participation at British Equestrian, said a viable future for riding centres has never been more uncertain.

“Riding centres and schools face a series of difficulties, not least those presented by the global pandemic in recent years. Costs are rising, the licensing process is more complex than ever, and a shortage of suitable staff and horses are just some of the early indications from proprietors of the issues they’re facing,” she said.

“We aim to deliver accurate and meaningful data that gives a ‘health check’ on the nation’s riding centres, which can then be used to target areas for improvement and where help is most needed. It also will give us facts to present in our lobbying of government on the issues, as well as present a realistic picture of the impact of Covid-19 on the sector.”

All centres are urged to take time out to fully complete the questionnaire. If any riding school hasn’t received a survey link via one of the organisations listed and would like to take part, they should email participation@bef.co.uk.

The survey closes at midnight on March 27, and all centres who complete the survey will be entered into a draw to win one of five prizes of more than £1200 of Classic Fibre Nuts from British Equestrian partners Dodson & Horrell to benefit their yard.

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