There are currently a number of successful and sustainable urban equestrian centres operating throughout the UK, helping to open up the sport to more people from more backgrounds.
These centres might not always follow a ‘traditional’ riding school model but instead seek to offer activities and opportunities that are tailored to the local landscape – and with some impactful results.
The Alliance will be working with British Equestrian to further explore the different business models at these centres, their rider and participant profiles and their social value contribution.
Lisa Wainwright MBE, Chief Executive Officer at the Sport and Recreation Alliance said: “The work of British Equestrian on widening opportunities within the sport has already been fantastic and we are thrilled to be working with them to explore this in more depth.
“The project will involve 15 different urban equestrian centres and will kick-off with an introductory meeting and survey at each location, followed by face-to-face consultations.
“The team at the Alliance is very much looking forward to visiting these centres, building up a detailed profile of their operations and activities and getting to know the people who work and participate at them.”
“At British Equestrian, we’ve pledged to ensure our sports are representative of the communities across the UK and the phenomenal work done by our urban riding centres is a key contributor to helping us to diversify the profile of participants and achieving that goal,” said Mandana Pour Mehran, Head of Participation at British Equestrian.
“We’re delighted to be working with the Alliance to engage with a group of centres to find out more about key characteristics of urban riding schools - their business models, their success factors, the positive impact they have on communities, as well as the challenges and barriers they face. The primary aim of this research is to help the network of existing urban riding schools to grow, but we are also hopeful the research will enable us to understand their unique business models to build strategic case for more facilities in densely populated areas to give people of all ages an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of being around horses.
“This in turn will help us grow participation in horse riding at grassroots levels, opening up opportunities and making it more accessible to people who are under-represented in our sporting communities,” Mandana added.