The British Equestrian Trade Association’s National Equestrian Survey 2019 reveals a cautiously optimistic view of the equestrian landscape as the steady decline in horse riding numbers seen over the previous 10 years appears to show signs of recovery.
This specially commissioned poll was partly funded by Sport England through the British Equestrian Federation. It is the sixth one to be conducted over the past 25 years and plays a crucial role in providing a clear and accurate picture of the industry today.
BETA executive director Claire Williams said: “This latest survey is one of the most robust ever – based on 6,151 nationally representative interviews – with some conducted online for the very first time.
“It includes updates looking at the riding population, activity and economy, as well as specific reports on feed, bedding, clothing and horse wear. The survey provides a valuable tool for allowing us to spot trends and track changes over longer periods of time. We can also take the information to examine the relationship between external and internal influences.”
Ms Williams said, on the whole, this new survey gives a positive overview of the industry, with an upturn in some rider figures and an increase in annual spending, which is great news for equestrian businesses that can continue to support a sizable and lucrative market.
“This good news, however, is tempered by the fact that a greater number of lapsed riders are citing the loss of access to horses and equestrian facilities as a barrier,” she said, “which continues to be something of a challenge and a sign that there is still work to be done in this area.”