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Riding Safely

Strategy for the Horse Industry in England and Wales

The Riding Safely Guide to the Strategy

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 this path.

The Strategy and all supporting research and consultaion phases can be downloaded from Defra >>>

 

 

At-a-Glance Guide
The final Strategy is 108 pages long.  Riding Safely has produced an at-a-glance-guide to the strategic 8 Aims and 50 Actions.

Simplified Strategy and Aims diagram

Below is more about the Aims and Actions.  Against each action is the relevent page number detailing where it appears in the Strategy which may need to be consulted to get the full context surrounding the action.
 
"Priorities" within the table are defined as:

‘Short-term’ = within one year, ‘medium-term’ = between one and five years,

‘long-term’ = between five and ten years. ‘On-going’ is used in some cases to reflect the fact that these actions are already progressing and by their nature, have no specific end date.

Extract from the Strategy for the Horse Industry in England and Wales Crown copyright 2005

 

 

Equine Health and Welfare

 

ACTION 1: To achieve and maintain a high standard of equine health and welfare

Action:  To achieve and maintain a satisfactorily high standard of animal welfare throughout the horse industry, through successful implementation of the Health and Welfare Strategy for the Horse, Pony and Donkey, and through industry support to dedicated equine welfare organisations.

Responsibility:  The whole horse industry.

Priority:  On-going.

Strategy Page:  22

 

 

 

 

 

Aim 1: Bring the Horse Industry together and develop its national, regional and local impact

 

ACTION 2: Develop a Horse Industry Communications Network

Action:  Initiate a programme of regular meetings between the Communications Directors of key industry bodies.

Responsibility:  The BHIC, in partnership with the other industry signatories to this strategy.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  27

 

ACTION 3: Achieve effective two-way communications

Action:  Explore the development of an effective central industry communications function to enhance the

communication, public relations and information structure for the industry and promote equestrian issues and participation.

Responsibility:  The network of horse industry communications directors, under the aegis of the BHIC, in partnership with the other industry signatories to this strategy.

Priority:  Short-to-Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  28

 

ACTION 4: Develop the horse Industry’s regional influence

Action:  Establish an effective regional structure for the industry and develop a productive dialogue with key regional bodies, including the RDAs, to promote the industry’s interests and build its contribution to regional priorities.

Responsibility:  BHIC to lead assisted by other industry signatories to this strategy.

Priority: Short-to-Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  29

 

ACTION 5: Promoting Local Horse Networks

Action:  Work with local authorities and the Local Government Association to develop a framework for the creation of local horse networks where sufficient demand exists.

Responsibility:  BHIC to lead assisted by other industry signatories to this strategy.

Priority:  Short-to-Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  31

 

 

 

 

 

Aim 2: Increase participation in equestrianism and develop the social contribution of the Horse Industry

 

ACTION 6: The role of riding schools

Action:  To produce a costed and time limited plan for how riding schools can more effectively maximise their potential (perhaps exploring the possibility for developing riding schools into community riding centres which would act as local ‘horse hubs’) in both rural and urban locations.

Responsibility:  The British Horse Society (BHS) and the Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS), in partnership with the other industry signatories to this strategy, with advice from Defra if required.

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  34

 

ACTION 7: Research participation in riding

Action:  Research number and location of riders, and public perceptions of equestrianism.

Responsibility:  British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA),with Defra.

Priority:  Short-/medium-term.

Strategy Page:  34

 

ACTION 8: Contribution to Government Public Service Agreements

Action:  Initiate discussions with relevant Government Departments and agencies on how the horse industry could help contribute to fulfilling their Public Service Agreements and other social policy targets using evidence from case studies, and further research.

Responsibility:  BHIC and Defra.

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  41

 

 

 

 

 

Aim 3: Boost the economic performance of equestrian businesses

 

ACTION 9: Business benchmarking

Action:  Introduce a benchmarking system, to raise standards and performance across all types of equestrian business.

Responsibility:  Industry professionals and trade bodies to lead.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  43

 

ACTION 10: Business professionalism

Action:  Encourage targeted continuing professional development in the workplace for equestrian managers, and make access to training easier; establish a business networking system on a local or regional basis to share information, experiences and best practice.

Responsibility:  Industry professional bodies in partnership with Lantra.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  44

 

ACTION 11: Fiscal and regulatory constraints

Action:  Horse Industry to identify real and significant fiscal and regulatory constraints on equestrian businesses, and make a cogent case for change where appropriate.

Responsibility:  Horse and Pony Taxation Committee, in conjunction with the BHIC. Industry and Government should meet regularly to discuss action and progress.

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  48

 

ACTION 12:  The status of the Horse

Action:  Set up a working group representative of all parts of the industry to determine whether the status of the horse is a significant issue, and if so to establish an industry-wide position and make a convincing case for change, with consideration being given to the situation in other Member States.

Responsibility:  British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA)/BHIC to lead. Defra would support the working group on request by providing factual advice and guidance.

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  49

 

ACTION 13: Insurance Issues

Action:  Pursue all three strands of the insurance issue, i.e:

a. Continue to discuss with Government ways of ensuring that the risks associated with riding are recognised and accepted;

b. Make rider, horse and instructor record forms freely available, and devise an educational programme to help riding establishment proprietors improve the quality of their records;

and

c. Explore with Government ways in which the adverse implications of the Mirvahedy judgement can be ameliorated for horse owners.

Responsibility:

a. The BHIC

b. The British Horse Society (BHS) and the Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) (working closely with the BHIC and the insurance industry).

c. The BHIC

Priority: Short-term, and beyond.

Strategy Page:  51

 

ACTION 14: Statistical classifications

Action:  Facilitate the gathering of statistics that will better allow the value of the industry to be assessed, through a revision and redefinition of the Standard Industrial Classification and Standard Occupational Codes at a five digit level.

Responsibility:  BHIC, BETA, Lantra and Office of National Statistics to discuss.

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  52

 

ACTION 15: Promotional material

Action:  Promote the UK as a source of quality goods and services through preparation of a promotional paper and digital (DVD) guide to British excellence in the equestrian industry.

(See Actions16 and 18).

Responsibility:  BETA to lead for industry, with UK Trade and Investment.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  52

 

ACTION 16: Trade fairs and promotions

Action:  Encourage greater participation in overseas and domestic equestrian trade fairs and travel  promotions, in order to highlight British expertise, products and equestrian tourism opportunities.

Responsibility:  BETA to lead for industry; Visit Britain offices and UK Trade and Investment.

Priority:  Medium-term

Strategy Page:  53

 

ACTION 17: New technologies and research and development

Action:  Encourage use of new and developing technologies and research and development in business, to improve productivity and efficiency.

Responsibility:  BETA with other related industry bodies.

Priority:  Long-term.

Strategy Page:  54

 

ACTION 18: Equestrian Tourism

Action:  Encourage a cohesive approach to promoting equestrian tourism through local authorities, regional tourism councils and national bodies; publish a national register of riding holidays and equestrian tourism opportunities on the internet; and establish a national descriptive grading system for equestrian tourism.

Responsibility:  Associations representative of professionals in the industry, including BETA, British Horseracing Board, BHS and the ABRS, working with holiday providers and regional and national tourism bodies in England and Wales.

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  57

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aim 4: Raise equestrian skills, training and standards

 

ACTION 19: Recruitment and retention strategy

Action:  Devise and implement a strategy for attracting and retaining staff in all sectors of the industry, including:

• a marketing campaign to promote a career with horses;

• closer working with all careers advisors, including Connexions;

• a clearer career structure; and

• a central jobs register to facilitate both initial access and retention.

Responsibility:  British Horse Industry Confederation (BHIC), central industry communications function (Action 3) and Lantra.

Priority:  Short-term start, medium-term implementation

Strategy Page:  59

 

ACTION 20: Vocational training

Action:  Introduce a coordinated industry strategy to work with schools so as to provide work experience opportunities and vocational training across the horse industry..

Responsibility: Industry organisations in partnership with Lantra.

Priority:  Medium-term

Strategy Page:  59

 

ACTION 21: Staff management training

Action:  Encourage equestrian business proprietors to further their own skills in human resource management, health and safety and physical resource management.

Responsibility:  Industry organisations supported by Lantra.

Priority: Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  60

 

ACTION 22: Skill levels and training needs

Action:  Undertake research to establish skill levels and training needs with the aim of defining current and future skills requirements.

Responsibility:  Industry organisations in partnership with Lantra.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  60

 

ACTION 23: Practical training good practice

Action:  Industry-based training providers and colleges to work together for better communication to disseminate and share good practice for the practical training elements of education programmes through optimising the use of human and physical resources.

Responsibility:  College/industry liaison and advisory groups.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  62

 

ACTION 24: Funding policy and age restrictions

Action:  Work with the Learning and Skills Council regarding the current policy of funding mainly large providers, the range of qualifications accepted, and barriers created by current age restrictions.

Responsibility:  Industry organisations in partnership with Lantra.

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  62

 

ACTION 25: Training and skills coordination

Action:  Industry organisations to work together to achieve more co-ordination of training and better understanding of respective skills and qualifications.

Responsibility:  Industry organisations.

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  62

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aim 5:  Increase access to off-road riding and carriage driving

 

ACTION 26: Achieve greater cooperation amongst existing access organisations.

Action:  Develop an agreed structure within the industry in order to coordinate access interests, achieve greater cooperation amongst access bodies and ensure that knowledge and skills are marshalled to best effect.

Responsibility:  The existing industry access bodies working in this field, including the National Federation of Bridleway Associations, the Byways and Bridleways Trust as well as the BHS.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  66

 

ACTION 27: Engage with lead bodies in other fields

Action:  The horse industry must engage with the lead bodies in other fields, such as the Ramblers Association and Sustrans, to learn from their successes, and identify common causes to improve access for riders and drivers.

Responsibility:  Identified structure of access bodies.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  66

 

ACTION 28: Local equestrian rights of way and public access

Action:  Local Authorities to consider the horse industry’s needs and to advertise and promote successful initiatives. Horse industry to contribute more effectively to local rights of way and planning processes and the resulting Local Transport Plans.

Responsibility:  Regional horse structure, local horse networks, access bodies and Local Authorities.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  67

 

ACTION 29: Coordinated Plan for improving Statutory Equestrian Access

Action:  To produce a definitive report outlining the true picture of equestrian access in England and Wales, and presenting a coordinated plan for protecting existing rights and improving these where possible.

Responsibility:  Access bodies, with support from local and regional networks.

Priority:  Medium-term - although progress will be in direct proportion to level of resources.

Strategy Page:  68

 

ACTION 30: Publish a Good Practice Guide for those interested in expanding local access for riding

Action:  Organisations interested in expanding non-statutory access for riding would benefit from a Good Practice Guide incorporating the advice from those who have already learned their lessons the hard way.

Responsibility:  Access Bodies, with support from local and regional bodies and networks.

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  70

 

ACTION 31: Equestrian routes on farmland, woodland and coastal areas

Action:  Discuss and negotiate with Defra, the Rural Development Service (which administers Agri-environment Schemes) and other bodies to see how new land payments will affect existing and potential access on farmland; and also address other issues which concern landowners, with the aim of designing attractive 'packages' that will allow local authorities and local riders to negotiate with local landowners.

Responsibility:  Access bodies.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  70

 

ACTION 32: Toll rides

Action:  In conjunction with Action 31, incorporate toll rides, if viable, in the packages that local riding groups can discuss with local landowners as an addition to an adequate basic public provision.

Responsibility:  Access bodies working with regional horse structure and local horse networks (Action 5).

Priority:  Short to Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  73

 

ACTION 33: On- and off-road safety campaign

Action:  Further discussion with Department for Transport on the development and delivery of a campaign to educate riders, carriage drivers, cyclists and motorists on how to behave correctly whilst using both on and off-road routes.

Responsibility:  Access Bodies and use of improved industry communications arrangements

(Action 26 and 3).

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  75

 

ACTION 34: Urban and suburban riding and driving

Action:  Mount a high-profile campaign to alert people, local authorities and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to the benefits of equestrianism, the availability of urban riding and driving and the need to provide equestrian facilities to serve areas of major new housing development.

Responsibility:  Improved industry communications arrangements (Action 3); Access bodies and regional horse structures.

Priority:  Short and Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  76

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aim 6: Consider the environmental impact of the horse

 

ACTION 35: Encourage Local Authorities and others with land management responsibilities to promote good pasture management

Action:  Encourage Local Authorities and others with land management responsibilities, to work with the horse industry, to develop pasture management projects in order to promote good land management and provide ‘best practice’ advice.

Responsibility:  British Horse Industry Confederation (BHIC) and Government to promote the value of such projects. Local Authorities and other bodies, to develop them as appropriate in conjunction with the horse industry and those who have already made advances in this area, such as Surrey County Council, and advisory organisations such as the Countryside Agency and English Nature.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  79

 

ACTION 36: Code of practice for good land management

Action:  Explore the possibility of developing a joint Industry/Government code of best practice for all land

owners/managers in the horse industry, to encourage better land management (taking into account equine welfare as well as biodiversity and wildlife conservation), building on the good work of Surrey County Council and others.

Responsibility:  The BHIC, BHS, Local Authorities and bodies such as Countryside Agency, English Nature and the Environment Agency.

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  79

 

ACTION 37: Produce a clear map of where horses are grazed

Action:  Evaluate the available spatial information about where horses are grazed, and the quality of land horses are kept on, and explore the development of a means to fill any subsequent gaps.

Responsibility:  The BHIC, Defra, the Welsh Assembly and other bodies such as the Countryside Agency, using tools such as the National Equine Database, and exploring the utilisation of existing farm and other surveys.

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  81

 

ACTION 38: Secure a more consistent performance by Local Authorities on equine planning issues

Action:  Develop a closer relationship with local authorities, and explore the possibility of providing them

with training and education relating to equine planning issues, and to discuss how the differing approaches which local authorities have to horses can be harmonised.

Responsibility:  The BHIC, with Government, including the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Local

Authorities.

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  82

 

ACTION 39:  Promotion of waste management information

Action:  Ensure all horse owners have access to information regarding safe, correct, waste disposal; and horse industry bodies and Government to continue to liaise on pragmatic solutions to equine manure waste storage, composting, spreading and disposal.

Responsibility:  The BHIC, Government and the Environment Agency.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  83

 

ACTION 40: Information on conservation grazing

Action:  Review existing information, guidelines and codes of practice covering conservation grazing and, if necessary, produce a national code to support and encourage this practice.

Responsibility:  BHIC working with organisations such as the BHS, Exmoor Ponies In Conservation and the Grazing Animals Project, as well as native breed societies and other environmental conservation organisations.

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  84

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aim 7: Encourage Sporting Excellence

 

ACTION 41: Coaching Development Programme

Action:  Extend the BEF’s coaching development programme to other organisations wishing to enhance their own coaching standards.

Responsibility:  BEF.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  86

 

ACTION 42: Facilities Strategy

Action:  Share the BEF’s Facilities Strategy with other riding bodies.

Responsibility:  BEF.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  87

 

ACTION 43: Long-term Athlete and Equine Development Programmes

Action:  Extend BEF’s Long-term Athlete and Equine Development Programmes to other equine organisations wishing to enhance their interests in encouraging excellence.

Responsibility: BEF.

Priority:  Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  88

 

ACTION 44: Affiliation

Action:  Market to unaffiliated groups the benefits of affiliation.

Responsibility: BEF.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  88

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aim 8: Improve the quality and breeding of horses and ponies

 

ACTION 45: Lead bodies to assist in the improvement of the quality of horses and ponies

Action:  Establish lead bodies to assist in the improvement of the quality of horses and ponies.

Responsibility:  BHIC in the first instance.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  93

 

ACTION 46: Capitalise upon the data contained in NED

Action:  Use information available from NED to: better select animals for breeding, develop a simple system for comparing the breeding values of mares and stallions; collate and market pedigree and performance data; provide data to support the marketing of horses and ponies and work being undertaken to eliminate genetic defects; and make evaluation scores widely known.

Responsibility:  New lead bodies to improve breeding (see Action 45).

Priority:  Commencing in the short-term with the final outcome being long-term.

Strategy Page:  94

 

ACTION 47: Recognition of quality mares

Action:  Determine agreed criteria as to what qualifies a mare (other than racing thoroughbred mares) to be rated ‘Premium’.  Initiate a Premium Mare Designation. Establish Premium Mare evaluation programmes

Responsibility:  The three proposed non-thoroughbred Lead Bodies acting together.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  95

 

ACTION 48: Premiums for quality mares

Action A:  Generate sufficient income from British Breeding initiatives and sponsorship to be able to offer premiums to: -

a. British-bred mares and stallions (other than racing thoroughbred mares and stallions) achieving given grading standards;

b. British breeders achieving outstanding success; and

c. success by British-bred horses and ponies in selected competitions.

Action B:  Investigate the possibility of national and local tax concessions being introduced for such animals.

Responsibility:  British Breeding.

Priority:  Short to Medium-term.

Strategy Page:  96

 

ACTION 49: Support for native and indigenous breeds

Action:  Enter into discussion with Defra, English and Welsh Nature, the Countryside Council for Wales and the English and Wales Tourist Boards regarding their recognising native and indigenous ponies and horses as being an essential part of the process of conserving natural habitats and a valuable asset to the tourist industry.

Responsibility:  Lead bodies for native and indigenous horses and ponies.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  98

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources, Monitoring and Implementation

 

ACTION 50: Monitoring of the Strategy

Action:  Publish an Action Plan in spring 2006. Produce subsequent reports on progress at suitable stages to monitor the success of the strategy and the development of the horse industry.

Responsibility:  BHIC and Defra.

Priority:  Short-term.

Strategy Page:  99

 

 

 

______________________________________________________________________________
 
Riding Safely's formal response to the consultative draft is available below:
 
 
 
Although the Strategy is published and "live" Riding Safely hopes that the Industry is able to address the additional proposals for action through some of the 50 existing actions.
 

 

Risk management

 

Proposed Action A – Managing Health, Safety and Environmental Risks.

Action: Set up an industry led working group and with the assistance of health, safety and environmental professional advice:

    establish relationships at a strategic level with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and other relevant external agencies.

    develop and implement a health, safety and environmental risk management programme

Which would include but not be limited to:

    identifying key industry health, safety and environmental risks

    ensuring the development and communication of industry core and sector specific information and guidance

    developing mechanisms to obtain industry specific safety, health and environmental performance data (both reactive and proactive)

    developing mechanisms to monitor known associated strategies and forthcoming legislation for significant changes that may impact on the horse industry and communicate pertinent information at an early stage so that appropriate pro-active action can be implemented.

    ensuring appropriate targeted training

    monitoring the programme for beneficial outcomes

 

Responsibility & Resources: to be determined

Priority: high

Timescale: short-term

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing Best Practice

 

Proposed Action B - Best Practice Abroad

Action:  Establish links with horse industries and their representative organisations in other countries with a view to sharing best practice.

Responsibility & Resources: to be determined

Priority: medium

Timescale: short-term

 

 

 

 
______________________________________________________________________________
 

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 this path.

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 said:

"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 industry.

"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 aim:

 

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 points thereafter.

 

      Electronic copies of the strategy are available from http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/horses/topics/strategy.htm

      Hard copies are available by calling Defra publications on 08459 556000, quoting PB 11323  

  Edit Text

Extract from Horse & Hound.......

 

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 forward.

"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  Edit Text

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