Press Releases/Other Media
A landmark achievement
for the Horse Industry as its first ever Strategy is launched
The first ever strategy for the horse industry
in England and Wales was launched on the 6th December 2005 by the British Horse Industry Confederation (BHIC), in partnership
with Defra, DCMS and the Welsh Assembly Government.
The Strategy sets out a vision of where the industry aspires to be
within ten years, how the different parts of the industry fit into this picture, and how the Government can help it in following
Since publishing ground-breaking research by the Henley Centre in March 2004, Defra and the horse industry
have been working together to develop a joint Strategy to foster a robust and sustainable horse industry, increase its economic
value, enhance the welfare of the horse, and develop the industry's contribution to the cultural, social, educational, health
and sporting life of the nation. The draft was published in February 2005 and following a successful public consultation period,
the final strategy has been produced.
Some of the suggestions raised in Riding Safely's formal response
to the consultative draft have been incorporated into the final strategy.
At the launch event at Lee Valley Riding Centre in Leyton, London, Jim Knight, Defra's Minister for the Horse Industry
"This day marks a significant milestone in the strengthening partnership between Government and the horse industry.
The Strategy is testimony to the major contribution which the horse industry makes, both to our economy in general and to
the lives of so many people in cities and rural areas across England and Wales.
"From rural regeneration and environmental
protection, to health and education, the horse industry has a key role to play in delivering our national priorities. I share
with the BHIC a strong conviction that the industry has the potential to develop further and contribute more - and this Strategy
is aimed at unlocking that potential.
"While today's launch is an achievement in itself, the success of the Strategy will
lie in harnessing the enthusiasm and the continued positive efforts of everyone interested in horses, or engaged in horse-related
business. Government for its part will continue to work with the industry to achieve common objectives, which include improving
access to safe off-road routes, increasing and widening participation in equestrianism, raising standards of business performance
and enhancing the health and welfare of horses, ponies and donkeys.
"I urge everyone concerned with horses and equestrianism
to read this Strategy and pledge their support, so that we can move forward in unison to deliver the vision it sets out of
a strong, vibrant and sustainable future."
The Chairman of the British Horse Industry Confederation, Graham Cory, said:
"We can rejoice that months of consultation
and collaboration have resulted in a comprehensive and exciting Strategy, which encompasses the many varied parts of the horse
"However, we now have to face the challenging task of delivering the 50 Action Points which are crucial to the
Strategy's implementation. Every action needs a person or, more likely, people to take it forwards. There is not a rider or
driver or worker in equestrianism who is absolved from all responsibility. If we all do our bit the Strategy will be a success."
The strategy proposes specific actions to help achieve the following initial broad objectives for accomplishing this
1. to bring the Horse Industry together and develop its national, regional and local impact;
2. to increase participation
in equestrianism and the social contribution of the Horse Industry;
3. to boost the economic performance of equine businesses;
4. to raise equestrian skills, training and standards;
5. to increase access to off-road riding and carriage driving;
6. to consider the environmental impact of the horse;
7. to encourage sporting excellence; and
8. to improve the
quality and breeding of horses and ponies.
The Strategy will be supplemented by an Action Plan, due to be published in early 2006, which will set out who is responsible
for taking things forward, the desired final outcome, the current position and the next steps. This will serve as the basis
for monitoring progress in the future. It is intended that a progress report will be produced after one year and at suitable
BHIC players get ready for action
THE British Horse Industry Confederation (BHIC) has launched its
strategy for the horse industry in England and Wales and plans to hold each of its members accountable for moving the industry
"Drafting this document was one thing, but somebody has to do something," said Graham Cory, BHIC chairman and
British Horse Society (BHS) chief executive. If everybody waits for someone else, it will be a total waste of time,
money and a squandering of opportunity."
BHIC incorporates every facet of the horse industry, including the Association
of British Riding Schools (ABRS), the BHS, the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) and the British Horseracing Board
(BHB). Its strategy follows two years' consultation between members, DEFRA, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport
and the Welsh Assembly government.
At the launch, Jim Knight, minister for rural affairs and the horse, said: "This day
marks a milestone in the strengthening partnership between the government and horse industry. It is testimony to the
major contribution the horse industry makes, both to our economy and to the lives of so many people."
BEF chief executive
Andrew Finding said the strategy fitted with the federation's own strategic direction, adding: "We hope that they will
both go a long way towards helping the entire industry work together, for the greater good of all." Cory said:
"lt's amazing this is happening. In this fractious industry, that all those people have got together over the past two years
is quite something."
ABRS chairman Julian Marczak attributed ultimate success to an ability to "dismiss our differences,
unite and support each other", while British Equine Trade Association chief executive Claire Williams stressed the enthusiasm
that drove the strategy "now needs to be conveyed".
Extract source: Horse & Hound Magazine 8 December 2005