An increase in participation in equestrian sport and a drop in the number of horse owning households has been shown by a survey.

The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) has released phase one of its National Equestrian Survey for 2022/2023, with 6,681 respondents.

“The two key findings from phase one shows a small increase in participation, of 4.8% compared with 4.7% in 2018, and that 3.2 million people have ridden in the UK over the last 12 months, which is again up from 2018,” said Claire Williams, Executive Director of BETA.

“We have also seen a slight decline in the number of households responsible for the daily upkeep of horses, with 331K, which is estimated at around 1.2% of GB households. It’s interesting to see the data and, despite the turbulence of the last two years, shows positive signs for the sport and the industry.”

Cost remained the greatest factor for giving up riding across all age brackets, while 14% of non-riding households had at least one person interested in riding. After expense, a lack of time was cited as the most common reason for not taking part.

There are two further phases of the National Equestrian Survey to be released in due course. Phase two focuses on the rider population in detail and the amount of spending related to horse upkeep and rider expenditure, and phase three will provide information on spending trends.

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