THE British Horse Society (BHS) has launched its Ride Safe Award in the wake of new statistics which show a 29 per cent increase in road accidents involving horses in the last year.

Ride Safe has been designed to help riders feel safer and more confident when riding out on the road and beyond.

The award is the equivalent of the cycling industry’s Bikeability certificate, and has been endorsed by the Department for Transport’s Think campaign which helps vulnerable road users.

To officially launch the new award, sports broadcaster Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes and 18-year-old International Dressage Champion Phoebe Peters took part in a Ride Safe demonstration to show the importance of being confident when riding out.

Alan Hiscox, the BHS’s director of safety, said: “Ride Safe is the foundation of the BHS’s new Equine Excellence Pathway, aimed at all riders, of any age and ability.

“Just like the Bikeability certificate, we want to encourage all horse riders to take the award before they go out on the road.”

Phoebe Peters said: “The Ride Safe and the new Equine Excellence Pathway are designed to benefit equine enthusiasts of all ages and abilities, whether you want to enjoy hacking safely or succeed at the top levels of horse sport as a rider or groom or coach.”

Today in the UK, despite fewer bridleways for equestrians to access and more growing numbers of cars on the road, there are more than 1.3 million recreational riders, and the equestrian industry is worth £8 billion.

News article courtesy of Gazette Herald