Riding schools across the country joined the National Riding School Championships earlier this month (5 April), allowing those who do not have their own horses the chance to compete and show off their skills in the saddle.

The annual British Horse Society (BHS) event hosted equestrians of all ages, who ride at BHS Approved Centres, and gave them a chance to compete across the disciplines, from showjumping to stable management.

With more than 70 participants qualifying, the day is a chance to celebrate the UK’s riding schools and the value they bring to people in their local communities.

For those who don’t have direct access to horses, riding centres help to ensure everyone is able to benefit from equestrian education, horse care and welfare, practical riding tuition and more importantly, an inclusive and welcoming environment.

Sophia Khass came away with a first place rosette and was delighted to take part.

“I haven’t competed for a good many years, but I’ve really enjoyed being here today in such a friendly, accommodating and inclusive competition,” she said.

While competitor, Kay Wilson commented: “This is a national championship and it’s nice that people from all over the country are here and we all get the chance to compete even though we don’t have our own horse.”

Oonagh Meyer, Head of Approvals at the BHS, congratulated all those that competed at the championships.

“It really was a fantastic day and it was great to see all those, who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to compete, show off the brilliant skills they have learned at their respective riding schools,” she said.

“Days like these really highlight the valuable work riding centres across the UK do to support all those who have a passion for horses, as well as how truly wonderful the horse/human bond is.”

To learn more about how you can get involved with a BHS Approved Riding Centre, or how you can support these valuable facilities, visit: www.bhs.org.uk/go-riding

Lead image by Peter Nixon

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