HRH The Princess Royal was welcomed to British Horse Society (BHS) to BHS Approved Ingestre Stables last week, to recognise future equestrian coaches and the important role they play in the long-term sustainability of the industry. The vice president visit comes at a critical time, with riding schools across the UK struggling to attract the staff they need to be able to run at full capacity.

Ingestre Stables offers training and guidance to equestrians from all backgrounds and experience levels. The centre trains staff with high skill levels, with many achieving top qualifications in coaching and yard management. Set in a Grade II-listed stable yard, Ingestre Stablesis run by BHS Fellows Rob Lovatt and Tim Downes, who bring their experience and knowledge to support the next generation of equestrians.

To showcase the work the team at Ingestre Stables and the BHS does to support the future of the industry, The Princess Royal observed demonstrations from those working towards their BHS qualifications.

Many of them have benefited from the BHS’s Career Transition Fund which has been put in place by the charity to protect the future of riding schools and livery yards, as well as develop those who would like a professional career in the sector. So far, 1,300 people have benefited from the fund to date, which aims to provide financial support to students training for their BHS qualifications at Stage 2, 3 and 4.

The Princess Royal was also introduced to employees and neighbours of Ingestre Stables, as well as participants who who ride at the centre.

The Princess Royal visits Ingestre Stables, Thursday 16 November 2023. © 2023 Nico Morgan. All Rights Reserved

“It was a real privilege to introduce our Vice Patron HRH The Princess Royal to Ingestre Stables, and to showcase the great work and time that is being invested into developing key skills across their community,” said James Hick, Chief Executive Officer at the BHS. “We are privileged to have such a remarkable centre, with brilliant horses, that trains the next generation to the highest of standards.

“Supporting the next generation of equestrians is particularly important as the riding industry and UK’s centres continue to face staff shortages. Whether our qualifications are being used to start an equestrian career or to take a career to the next level, we’re honoured to play a part in this journey and to be by the side of those who care as greatly for horses as we do.”

Tim Downes, BHS Fellow and Ingestre Stables Proprietor added: “We are honoured to have received a visit from HRH The Princess Royal. As great advocates of The British Horse Society’s education system, it has been a great pleasure for our coaches and students to showcase their talents.

“This week, we are celebrating another of our coaches achieving her Performance Coach BHSI, which is the second highest qualification the BHS offers, meaning that we now employ the most BHS performance coaches of any riding school in the UK.”

To learn more about the BHS’s qualification offerings and their Career Transition Fund, click here.

The Princess Royal visits Ingestre Stables, Thursday 16 November 2023 © 2023 Nico Morgan. All Rights Reserved

Lead image: The Princess Royal visits Ingestre Stables, Thursday 16 November 2023. © 2023 Nico Morgan. All Rights Reserved

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