The British Horse Society
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Date:  8 April 2005

 Pre-Election ‘Manifesto to Government’ issued by The British Horse Society

A Manifesto to Government has been released by The British Horse Society ahead of the General Election.

Riding on a bridleway

The document makes a number of recommendations to the next Government.

The BHS Manifesto states: “The BHS has worked successfully with past governments to address many concerns raised within the horse industry...  We therefore urge the new Government to address the following areas where we believe the horse industry is being held back, or where safety needs to be enhanced.”

The recommendations in the Manifesto are:

* to require riding instructors and those caring for the paying public to hold a recognised qualification.

* to ensure that funding already available for the advancement of education, health and social inclusion is available for providing horse riding and caring activities for socially excluded members of society

* to require those instructing in equestrian sports to be covered by adequate insurance.

* to achieve, by 2015, a joined-up network of bridleways/multi-user routes across England and Wales so that walkers, equestrians and cyclists can enjoy open air recreation with minimal contact with traffic.

* to ensure that the safety of equestrians is considered in all road management and development schemes that could affect them.

* to introduce legislation, similar to that in many US States, which explicitly recognises that horse riding is inherently risky and that participants may be injured when they take part, thereby reducing the insurance burden on the industry.

* to amend the law to restore the position where horse owners or riders are not liable for injury or damage caused by their animals unless negligence can be proved against them.

* to review the current situation on carcass disposal to ensure that high costs are not allowed to compromise equine welfare.

* to exempt from VAT those products and services which are provided to improve safety for equestrians.

* to ensure that all riding establishments are able to compete on equal terms, with no sub-sector enjoying rating advantages not available to the rest.

* to recognise the value of volunteers in equestrian (and other) sports, (b) to take action to reduce the risk to volunteers from claims when accidents occur, and (c) provide a financial incentive to encourage volunteers to obtain relevant training and qualifications to equip them as officials.

The BHS’s Chairman Patrick Print said: “The economic, social and environmental contribution made by the horse industry is now widely accepted.  Whilst much of the responsibility for the further development of the horse industry lies with the equestrian community itself, there are areas where the new government can and should help.”

For further information, please contact: Oliver Wilson, Director of Communications, The British Horse Society, 01926 707738 / 707743 or /



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