#HorsesForAll as Britain seeks to break down participation barriers

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British Equestrian wants to break down barriers to participation in horse sport. A research project is targeting those from ethnically diverse communities and low socio-economic backgrounds.
© BEF / Jon Stroud Media

Britain’s lead equestrian sports body has launched a major research project which aims to learn about the barriers to participation in equestrian sport and activity.

British Equestrian (BE) says those from ethnically diverse communities and or from a low socio-economic background are under-represented across equestrian sport, and it wants their views and experiences to help us make the industry more diverse, inclusive and accessible for everyone.

The data collection phase of ‘Barriers to Participate in Equestrianism’ is looking for a response rate of 1000 participants across several mediums including interviews both in person and online as well as an online questionnaire. It project will use the hashtag #HorsesForAll.

The national campaign is looking for anyone in the target groups to take part – including those who ride, those who’ve had some interaction in equine activity and those who’ve never thought of horse or riding as something to try. The online survey explores respondents’ interest in physical/leisure activities in general, familiarity and experience of equestrianism, accessibility to participate and knowledge of work and opportunities in the equine sector.

Earlier in June, BE and its 18 member bodies released a pledge to make equestrian activity more accessible and welcoming to all, with a primary focus on promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.

BE’s Head of Participation Mandana Mehran Pour said the latest research would go a long way toward helping the federation and its member bodies to make equestrianism more accessible and inclusive.

“We look forward to learning how we can adapt and improve the experiences of those who do not feel equestrian activity is for them, as well as hearing from those who are involved in equestrian and would like to share their experiences. Everyone deserves to experience the magic of the equine/human bond and the benefits interacting with horses brings, help us to make that possible by getting involved and insuring we deliver on our pledge.”

The 10-minute-long online survey is now live and the face-to-face sessions will take place in several urban and rural locations, and those interested in taking part can register digitally.

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