The UK’s largest equestrian charity, The British Horse Society (BHS), has launched its BHS Approved Centre Hardship Fund, to help support riding schools affiliated to the charity through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund, launched on Friday 17 April, is specifically aimed at BHS Approved Riding Schools who have been financially impacted due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the fund is designed to support any costs which go towards the health and wellbeing of the horses and ponies under their care.

James Hick, Chief Executive Officer at The British Horse Society: “The Coronavirus pandemic has caused immense difficulties for many areas across the equestrian industry and riding schools have been hit particularly hard.

“As their income stopped on March 23rd but the need to look after the wellbeing of horses continues at high cost. The welfare of horses is at the heart of everything the BHS does, and we are working incredibly hard to help support our Approved Ridings Schools through these unsettling times. We hope that this Hardship Fund will help alleviate some of the financial strain riding schools are currently facing, whilst also serving to protect the health and wellbeing of the horses and ponies under their care.”

Grants from the fund will be allocated based on a payment of £750 per BHS Approved Riding School.

The fund has been made available from several sources, including generous contributions from BHS National, Regional and County Committees, all of whom work closely with BHS Approved Riding Centres.

The British Horse Society has also been able to access a number of their restricted funds, held aside for welfare specific purposes.

Additionally, the BHS has waived all Approved Centre membership fees for the next 12 months and will be launching a donations appeal in the coming weeks to help provide further support.

All BHS Approved Riding Schools will have been contacted with details on how to apply for the funding. If a centre has not received communication then it is recommended they contact the BHS Approvals team or call 024768 40500.

Furthermore, the BHS continues to update its COVID-19 hub with information for all horse owners and the BHS Helpline (02476 840517) is also available Monday through to Sunday, from 08:35 – 17:00 and can offer advice and support for those that need it.

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