British Equestrian outlines a vision for a sustainable future

Posted on 9th December 2023

British Equestrian has released a summary of research undertaken on the impact of equestrianism on the environment and a vision for the future which outlines a commitment to action the opportunities to create a more sustainable horse – human – planet partnership.

Working with leading sport and culture sustainability specialists White Griffin, the project, launched in January this year, has been carried out in tandem with Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) owing to the similarities in requirements for the two federations.  In the UK, an extensive research phase involved interviews across multiple media channels with just over 100 individuals and organisations interviewed and some 800 taking part in an online questionnaire.

A comprehensive report was delivered by the team from White Griffin which outlines the impact of equestrianism on the environment, the risks, challenges and opportunities we face, a baseline for the equine industry and recommendations.  Key headlines from the questionnaire include:

An environmental working group was then established from member body representatives, including the ABRS+, to work with the BEF Board on the summary document and, in consultation with White Griffin, shape the key points, aspirations and recommendations into a vision document which makes six commitments to environment responsibility to take on the challenges and opportunities around creating a sustainable future.

The vision is:

Our vision is to create a biodiverse future, where horses and humans thrive in a
healthy ecosystem; where we only take what the earth can sustain, and through responsive stewardship of the land, we lead the way in benefiting the natural world

And we agree to:

Lead and inspire – continuous improvement in our operations to reduce emissions, use less resources and improve waste management.

Educate and inform – provide support to individuals and businesses so they understand the risks, challenges and opportunities of environmental sustainability through centralised resources.

Focus on the achievable – aim for small, manageable changes which collectively have a big impact.

Communicate regularly – highlight progress as well as raise awareness of legislation and risk to help prepare for change.

Create meaningful partnerships – work with organisations and businesses that share our vision and add value.

Influence and lobby – recognise those who are advocating responsible practices, ensure all equestrians are supported to take action to protect the natural world and collaborate with other sectors to drive improvements.

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