Who are the ABRS+?
Founded in 1954, The Association of British Riding Schools, Livery Yards and Equestrian Centres (Formerly The Association of British Riding Schools) is a registered charity and the UK’s only organisation that focuses solely on supporting, representing and promoting professional proprietors of equestrian premises.
Originally created to represent riding schools across the UK, the ABRS+ holds a membership of some of the best riding establishments across the UK. All riding establishments, by law, must be licensed to operate their business and the Riding Establishments Act 1964 1970 The license is granted by local authorities be this to a riding school, trekking centre or similar equestrian establishment offering riding lessons or horses for hire. In addition to this council licensing, the ABRS+ conducts its own approval scheme, setting a high standard for the care of horses and requiring confidence that the instruction given is well presented and correct. The size of the facility is irrelevant, and there are member establishments of all sizes, with a range of facilities. Provided they meet the required high standards of care and attention to both horse and rider, they are happily accepted as members following completion of the accreditation process.
In 2020 the ABRS+ launched its new Livery yard membership option, opening up certification or approval to all types and sizes of yards across the UK offering any type of livery from DIY to fully serviced livery packages. With the same ethos as the riding establishment scheme, this is to encourage and maintain a high level of knowledge and care at the member yards, to develop and promote best practice, and for horse owners to be confident in the capabilities and provisions made by their chosen yard
The goal of the ABRS+ is to inspire, increase knowledge and maintain high standards. This serves all sections of the equestrian public whether they ride for fun or have more serious aspirations such as a career with horses or a competitive business.
The ABRS+ is a National Governing Body, a member body of the British Equestrian Federation, and a member of both the Sport and Recreation Alliance and Sport Scotland. We have the access, therefore, to represent the interests of ABRS members to Government, Local Authorities, Councils and Regulatory Authorities. This also means that the ABRS+ is a trusted source of information for its members and a voice for its members within the wider equestrian industry. This is vitally important in a currently under-represented area of the industry, to strengthen the voice for the owners of equestrian premises and to raise expected standards as a whole.
The ABRS+ also offers training to help our members develop, as well as those open to non-members and our members clients. Conferences and information days are also held across the country, which members, their clients and the public can attend.
By way of supporting our member community, the ABRS+ plays a huge part in the representation of their members both within the equestrian industry, and on a national level. This has included in recent months lobbying and representation to the government on issues relating to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and the subsequent support and funding for riding establishments and livery yards, as well as taking action on business rates,