We take a look back at the last 12 months and share with you some of our biggest achievements and moments from 2018.
We'd like to thank our members, everyone that has volunteered, fundraised, donated and supported us to champion horses and those who care for them.
With your support, we can continue our vital charitable work for horses around the UK.
Together we’ve achieved amazing things.
Minutes of the General Meeting 5 January 2019
Healthcare and Education Clinics
This year we reached over 1000 horses at our mobile Healthcare and Education clinics. Our Healthcare and Education clinics are in place to provide education, support and advice to owners, helping to stop this continual cycle and prevent horses from getting to the point of needing to be rescued.
The Education and Healthcare clinics offer services such as castration, worming, foot care, dental checks, passporting and micro-chipping and provide a wealth of information and advice to those who may not have regular access to healthcare for their horses.
We also proudly launched our new Healthcare vehicle following receipt of a generous £50,000 grant from South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB).
The new vehicle will be hugely beneficial to the Healthcare and Educations clinics, providing equipment such as gas rings to heat water for castration, a mini-awing to provide shelter and plenty of secure storage for the vast amount of equipment required. It will also ensure horses can be transported safely to and from the clinics or to veterinary hospitals if required.
Our Horse Welfare Helpline
With the help of our dedicated network of 200 volunteer Welfare Officers, we have helped thousands of vulnerable horses throughout the UK by taking 6000 calls to our Welfare Helpline.
We're continuing to work to promote the prevention of neglect, cruelty and harm to horses and provide support, advice and education to horse owners to try and remedy problems before they become too serious.
We'd like to thank all of our volunteers and everyone who takes the time to contact us and raise concerns.
We can only continue our welfare work if we have the funds to do so. Help us do more for horses - please consider making a donation to the BHS or joining us.
360 Virtual Reality Road Safety Film
Our virtual reality film was launched in June and has been viewed over 200,000 times on our social media channels. The video is part of our Dead Slow road safety campaign and aims to raise awareness of the issues horse riders face on Britain’s roads by showing viewers what it’s like to be riding a horse when a car passes too fast or too close.
We are urging drivers to pledge that when they see a horse on the road they will:
- Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
- Be patient - do not sound their horn or rev the engine
- Overtake only when it is safe to do so, ensuring that they leave at least a cars width between their vehicle and the horse
- Drive away slowly
The project is generously supported by Petplan Charitable Trust and filmed by First Car. Filming took place on a closed road and specially trained horses and riders were provided by The Knights of Middle England.
Highway Code Success
We have been overwhelmed by the magnificent response following our appeal to our supporters and members to write to their MP to ensure the safety needs of equestrians are not forgotten in the Highway Code Review.
Thanks to our members and supporters, we successfully lobbied for a change to the law so that horses, riders and carriage drivers are recognised as vulnerable road users.
We’re very grateful that our members and supporters responded to our request and emailed their respective MP’s.
We will continue to work with organisations and Government to educate drivers on how to pass horses safely on the road.
"Be Nice, Say Hi" - Cycling UK Partnership
In 2018 we joined forces with Cycling UK to launch a consideration and courtesy awareness message of ‘Be Nice, Say Hi’ to help cyclists and horse riders to pass safely.
The new campaign message of ‘Be Nice, Say Hi’, available as a downloadable leaflet and two short videos, informs cyclists how to safely pass horse riders both on and off the road.
Ride Out UK Month
Ride Out UK Month 2018 was kindly sponsored by Thorowgood and was all about raising awareness of off-road riding and applauding the fantastic efforts of BHS volunteers, local authorities and organisations who protect and restore multi-user routes across the UK.
Through organised events and sponsored hacking challenges, more than £10,000 was raised for Paths for Communities; the BHS' fund used to restore and create equestrian routes across the UK. We couldn't have done it without the support of everyone who tacked up and took part, our fantastic volunteers and the kind landowners who allowed so many of the events to take place - thank you to everyone who supported Ride Out UK Month 2018!
Keep an eye out for the return of Ride Out UK Month in May 2019...
Routes to ride
We are dedicated to enhancing and maintaining the UK’s equestrian access network and our team of 280 local volunteer Access and Bridleway Officers and local equestrian groups have helped protect and secure Thousands of miles of threatened equestrian routes this year.
In 2026 many historic riding routes will be extinguished if they are not formally recorded as a bridleway or restricted byway. We have created a 2026 Toolkit detailing how you can ensure your routes are recorded so they won’t be lost after 2026.
International Convention 2018
Nearly a thousand delegates attended the BHS International Conventions 2018, held across two venues, for six days in total. With top speakers, including: Christoph Hess, Chris Bartle FBHS, Dr Andrew McLean, Michael Peace, Sam York FBHS, Russell McKechnie-Guire and Charlie Unwin.
In 2019 the conventions are returning but this time to five locations around the UK. With demonstrations from top coaches, including Fellows of the BHS, professional riders, and break out sessions focusing on lorry safety, course building and equine nutrition there will definitely be something for everyone to take away whether you are a professional coach or ride for pleasure.
Hartpury College, Gloucester
24 -26 March
Ingliston Equestrian College, Scotland
7 - 9 April
*Cavan Equestrian College, Ireland
13 -14 May
Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool
15 - 17 September
Merrist Wood College, Surrey
22 - 24 September
In July, we celebrated the 1 year anniversary of the Equine Excellence Pathways! Demand for our qualifications and assessments is growing across the UK and worldwide. We have seen a 53% growth in the number of Accredited Professional Coaches in the last 2 years alone.
Newbury Charity Race day
Over £18,000 was raised at our inaugural BHS Charity Race day at Newbury Racecourse on 8 November. BBC Sports presenter Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes and retired police officer Fiona Symes celebrated a dead heat victory.
Ten riders from across the country undertook intense training over a matter of months to become jockeys and help raise vital funds for our critical work.
Changing Lives through Horses
Changing Lives through Horses is a unique initiative that uses the power of horses to inspire change. Since its launch in 2017, the programme has more than doubled in size, from 12 centres to more than 30 now offering this much needed programme across the country.
The programme aims to reignite a desire to learn, encouraging participants to return to education or employment. Changing Lives continues to achieve its charitable aims, with 69% of those who have completed the programme in the academic year 2017-18 returning to education.
Over 100 participants have accessed the programme to date. In order to expand the BHS needs to train more coaches and centres so they can run Changing Lives. However, they rely solely on donations and grants so they can continue to grow the programme and change more lives.