British Equestrian has pledged to improve equality, diversity and inclusion throughout the industry. Together with its 18 member bodies, it has committed to promote the benefits of horse sport on mental and physical health and wellbeing to all.

Within the organisations, work has begun around equality standards, culture, and workforce to lay the foundations for the larger projects around perception and participation.

A research project has been launched to understand barriers to participate in equestrianism. It aims to discover the perceptions of people from ethnically diverse communities and lower socio-economic backgrounds towards horse sports and activities, and what the barriers are to taking part.

British Equestrian will also undertake a consultation with urban riding centres to learn about their business models and the challenges they face, with a view to learning how to increase their reach and launching similar initiatives in other urban environments.

“Equestrianism and the passion for horses is by its nature hugely diverse and open to all, regardless of age, gender, religion, ability or background,” said Chief Executive of British Equestrian Jim Eyre. “However, we know ethnically diverse communities and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds are under-represented across equestrianism and may not feel it is for them.

“If we are to thrive as an industry and open up participation for everyone to experience the unique joy horses bring, we have to do more to embrace our differences and recognise what can be possible when equality, diversity and inclusion is woven into our culture.

“While this is a strategic imperative for the Federation, it’s more about working to break down those barriers and creating a community where everyone truly feels they belong. We look forward to working with partners and stakeholders on a number of research projects which will bring a strategy and an action plan, which will help us collectively deliver on our pledges.”

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