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Riding Establishment Licence


Licence Summary

To run a riding establishment (where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or used for riding instruction) in England, Scotland or Wales, you need a licence from the local authority.

The local authority may authorise an Officer, Veterinary Surgeon or practitioner to inspect licensed premises.

Applicants must be over 18 years of age. In England and Wales they must have not been disqualified:

  • from keeping a riding establishment

  • from keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951

  • from having custody of animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954

  • from keeping boarding establishments for animals under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963

  • under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 from keeping or owning animals, being able to influence how animals are kept, dealing animals or transporting or being involved in the transporting of animals

  • from owning, keeping dealing or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006

Applicants must pay any required fee and comply with any conditions attached to a licence.

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Regulation Summary

Copies of the relevant legislation can be found at this external site

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Application Process

A fee of £82.00 will be payable for both a new grant and a renewal applications and conditions may be attached.  If the application is rejected the enforcement element of the fee will be refunded. 

To ensure that the premises meets the requirements of the Act we authorise a veterinary surgeon to inspect the premises. The fee for this is not included in the application fee and will be invoiced separately.

The following are some of the criteria that will be considered during the inspection:

  • that consideration will be given to the condition of the horses and that they will be maintained in good health, kept physically fit and where the horse is to be ridden or used during riding instruction, be suitable for that purpose

  • that the animals feet will be trimmed properly and that shoes are fitted properly and are in good condition

  • that there will be suitable accommodation for the horses

  • that for horses maintained on grass there is suitable pasture, shelter and water and that supplementary feed will be provided as and when needed

  • that horses will be provided with suitable food, drink and bedding materials and will be exercised, groomed, rested and visited at suitable intervals

  • that precautions will be taken to reduce the spread of contagious or infectious diseases and that veterinary first aid equipment and medicines will be provided and maintained

  • that appropriate procedures are in place to protect and remove the horses in the case of a fire and that as part of this the name, address and telephone number of the licence holder is displayed outside the premises and fire instructions are displayed

  • that storage facilities for forage, bedding, stable equipment and saddlery are provided

In addition to any other conditions a riding establishment licence must be subject to the following conditions:

  • that any horse inspected by an authorised officer and found to need veterinary attention will not be returned to work until the licence holder has obtained a veterinary certificate confirming the horse is fit for work

  • that a horse will not be let out for hire or for use in instruction without the supervision of a responsible person aged 16 years or older, unless the licence holder is satisfied the rider doesn't require supervision

  • that the business will not be left in the charge of someone under 16 years of age

  • that the licence holder holds indemnity insurance

  • that the licence holder keeps a register of all horses in their possession that are three years old or younger and that the register is available for inspection at all reasonable times

it is our aim to complete the application process within 30 working days (subject to a satisfactory veterinary inspection within this period).

If your application is successful your licence will run until 31st of March of the financial year in which it is granted.  You will then need to apply to renew it for another twelve months.

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How To Apply

To apply for a Riding Establishment Licence please complete the appropriate form below.  If downloading and posting the application form it should be returned to the address below.

Application Form

pdf

Apply On Line

Application For Grant/Renewal Of A Riding Establishment Licence

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Will Tacit Consent Apply?

Tacit consent means that if we have not dealt with applications within the target period then the application can be deemed to have been granted/approved.

Please note that tacit consent does not apply in respect of this application. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact it. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details below.

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Licence Holder Redress

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates Court.  Please contact us in the first instance.

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to their local Magistrates Court.

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Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you, preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery).  If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, visit our Consumer pages or DirectGov for advice.  From outside of the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

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