New research highlights the positive impact of riding on urban populations

Urban Equestrian Centres ()

Produced on their behalf by the Sport and Recreation Alliance, British Equestrian has today published a report on Urban Equestrian Centres and their success in getting more people – from all backgrounds, ages and levels - to engage in equestrian and enjoy the benefits of being active.

The full report is available here.

Our research team spent 8 months collecting data and liaising with Urban Equestrian Centre staff to understand how they help make equestrian and horse-riding more accessible, diverse and inclusive and, crucially, how the model could be applied to other parts of the country where equestrian does not exist. Some key findings include:

  • Urban Equestrian Centres are highly successful in providing equestrian participation to their local community, even in areas without a 'tradition' of horse-riding 
  • Volunteers, supplemented by a highly-skilled professional workforce, are the beating heart of Urban Equestrian Centres
  • The Urban Equestrian Centre model is scalable and replicable, and could be rolled out in other parts of the country where facilities do not currently exist

The Alliance’s Director of Communications, Partnerships and Member Services, Cameron Yorston, said:

“The operational model of, and the work of the staff and volunteers who run, Urban Equestrian Centres is truly inspirational – they’ve broken down barriers for people to enjoy equestrian and the benefits of being active, who otherwise would’ve been unable to. I’m hopeful the model will be rolled out to other parts of the country, complementing efforts in other sports - including England Golf’s ‘Respect in Golf’ campaign and the FA’s Asian Inclusion strategy - to help improve access, for more people and from a greater variety of backgrounds, to participate in sport and recreation. Our campaign to ‘make the UK the most active nation in Europe’ is similarly seeking to augment and drive this change”.

If you would like to hear more about the work we do with our members and partners around opening up access to sport and recreation or if you’re interested in working with us to undertake other, similar pieces of research, please contact Cameron at or our Head of Research and Development, Ricky Boardman at

You can also review our Inclusivity Hub, which provides a wealth of information for ways to make sport, recreation and physical activity more accessible and inclusive.