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Riding Safely

Strategy for the horse industry in England and Wales

***Updated (May 2005):  Riding Safely's formal response to the consultative draft***
Riding Safely's 60 second guide

For those with limited time, Riding Safely has produced a 60 second guide to the 60 page consultation draft.  Of course it can't provide all the detail, for that you'd need to go to http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/horses/topics/strategy.htm


Read more from Horse & Hound and the BHS

The debate continues on the Horse & Hound Forum 

Read the Guide......

“The Government is working in partnership with the British Horse Industry Confederation to devise a long-term strategy for the industry in England and Wales. The aim of the strategy is for the horse industry to set out a vision of where it aspires to be in ten years, what actions are needed to achieve this, and how the Government can help it in following this path.

The draft strategy document was launched for public consultation on the 28th of February 2005. There will now be a three month public consultation period, ending on the 27th May 2005, during which we want everyone who is involved with horses in any way to give us their comments. The final strategy is expected to be published by the end of the year.

The purpose of this strategy is to foster a robust and sustainable horse industry,
increase its economic value, and enhance its contribution to the social, educational,
health and sporting life of the nation.”

There are six strategic aims, which result in 28 objectives and 38 proposals.

The strategic aims and associated objectives are:

Aim 1: Enhance the horse industry's image and increase participation

Objectives: Bring the industry together nationally; develop a regional structure and local horse networks; increase participation in equestrianism.

Aim 2: Boost the economic performance of equestrian businesses

Objectives: raise standards of business performance; encourage co-operation to improve business opportunities; ensure strong links with development agencies; ensure a level fiscal and regulatory playing field; reach an industry view on the status of the horse; address problems associated with insurance; enhance the value of equestrian goods and services; increase equestrian tourism.

Aim 3: Raise equestrian skills, training and standards

Objectives: attract and retain staff; provide an environment in which people wish to build a career; identify skill levels and training needs; improve opportunities for work and college based learning.

Aim 4: Increase access to off-road riding and carriage driving

Objectives: Ensure an effective and well maintained network of public rights of way; increase provision of safe non-statutory riding routes; continue safety education; raise the status of urban riding and carriage driving.

Aim 5: Encourage sporting excellence

Objectives: Establish a national database for riders; extend coaching development programme; improve the standard of facilities; extend long-term athlete and equine development programmes; encourage unaffiliated bodies to engage.

Aim 6: Improve the quality and breeding of our horses and ponies

Objectives: Establish a lead body to improve breeding, marketing and evaluation; capitalise on National Equine Database to improve breeding; raise standards in studs; balance genetic improvement with genetic diversity.

Of the 38 proposals; priorities are:

• 9 are short-term (within a year)
• 3 are short to medium term
• 23 are medium term (between one and five years)
• 6 are medium to long-term
• 1 is long-term (between five and 10 years)
• 1 does not currently have a priority assigned

The nine proposals identified with the priority as "short-term" (i.e. within one year) are:

• Bring the industry together nationally
• Raise standards of business performance
• Encourage targeted continuing professional development
• Address problems associated with insurance
• Promote the UK as a source of quality goods and services through preparation of a promotional guide
• Identify skill levels and training needs
• Extend British Equestrian Federation's coaching development programme
• Share British Equestrian Federation's facilities strategy with other riding bodies
• Encourage unaffiliated bodies to engage

Very broadly speaking 29 out of the 38 proposals would use existing resources from within the industry. The full draft outlines the resources anticipated for each proposal.


The Strategy addresses the issue of horse welfare but points out that this is being addressed through a separate strategy - "The welfare of horses is a fundamental part of the industry’s future growth, and is vital to all six strategic aims. Because of this special position, it is the subject of a separate but related equine health and welfare strategy, which is being developed as part of the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain".
See Defra’s News Release and the full Animal Health and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain

Defra are asking for feedback on:

B. Strategic aims
Do you agree with the broad direction for the future of the industry as expressed in the six strategic aims? Do you have any comments on it?

C. Priority actions
In your opinion, which of the 38 numbered proposals for action in the strategy are most important for the future of the horse industry? Please choose not more than six proposals. If you wish, say why you think they are critical.

D. Major omissions and amendments
Are there any major omissions from the draft strategy, or major changes which should be made to it? For example, would you like to see other proposals for action included, or major changes made to draft proposals? Why?

E. My role
Which of the numbered proposals in the draft strategy (or any additional proposals you have made in section D) would you expect to participate in?

If you represent an organisation, do you accept responsibility for implementing any of the numbered proposals (or additional proposals you have made)? If you do, please identify the proposals, describe your role, and say what resources you would expect to commit to them.

F. Implementation
Do you think the draft strategy stands a good chance of being implemented? How can we best ensure effective implementation? Do you have any ideas about where the resources should come from (apart from any comments in section E above)?

G. Individual chapters
If you have any comments on the introduction and the chapters on the six strategic aims - in addition to what you have already said in sections B to F above - please include them here. Please head comments on the introduction 'Introduction', comments on the chapter on strategic aim 1 'Aim 1', and so on.

H. Any other comments
Do you have any other views you would like us to take into account?

Full details can be obtained from Defra at:

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