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Martin Clunes champions BHS collaboration to support young people

The British Horse Society (BHS) were thrilled to welcome Martin Clunes, actor and president of the BHS, to the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) Saddle Club in Bovington last week to mark an exciting partnership between the equine charity and Lead-Up International.

Complimenting the Society’s Changing Lives through Horses (CLtH) programme, which aims to reconnect young people to communities through the magic of horses, Lead-Up ran an insightful workshop with CLtH participants based at the BHS Approved Centre.

Supported by trained mentors, the event encouraged and taught the young people involved to observe and manage their own nonverbal communication through mindfulness, interacting with the horses, and learning how to build trust between equines and humans.

Martin Clunes, President of the BHS, commented on the day: “I couldn’t be happier about supporting this new collaboration between the BHS and Lead-Up International.

A horse’s beauty, bravery, strength and companionship constantly inspires me, and it is great to see our Changing Lives through Horses participants benefit from the unique horse human bond. This partnership marks an important step forward in inspiring the next generation of equestrians”.

Mariana Samayoa at Lead-Up, a charitable organisation who focusses on teaching young people how to deal with violence through education and emotional management, said: “After a decade of incredible growth, where we have forged profound connections with horses and transformed these invaluable lessons into a structured methodology, we are thrilled to be able to partner with the esteemed British Horse Society. This new collaboration promises to further amplify our impact and reach. We are sure that together, we will continue to empower and inspire youth through the transformative power of horses."

This event comes as the BHS announces the launch of a new campaign called ‘Keep Britain Riding’, to safeguard the long-term prospects of equestrianism and nurture the special horse/human bond for generations to come. 

Alison Blackmore, Head of Changing Lives through Horses at The British Horse Society comments: “The Changing Lives Through Horses programme is about the vital importance of relationships and creating a sense of belonging for children and young people who, for whatever reason, find emotional connections difficult in educational and social environments.  

Through this programme, I’ve been fortunate enough to see hundreds of people’s lives change through the power of horses. Engaging with horses can be a real breakthrough for young people, bringing out their confidence and helping them to develop key life skills.

We’re thrilled to be working with Lead-Up to protect that unique and special relationship. These workshops will help to make sure people from all backgrounds, and across all communities, don’t miss out on discovering and developing a love for horses.

Changing Lives through Horses is partially funded by donations received by The British Horse Society. Please click here, if you would like to help change a life and support the programme.

Learn more about Lead-Up International and the work they do to empower young people through interactions with horses.

Notes to editors

Contact: The British Horse Society Press Office


T: 02476 840521

The British Horse Society:

As the largest equine charity in the UK, The British Horse Society is dedicated to education, equine welfare, protecting and increasing access to bridleways and places to ride and carriage drive off road, and safety for horse and riders. The Society’s thriving and active community of staff and volunteers is committed to improving the lives of horses everywhere.

Lead-Up International:

Lead-Up is an established 501c3 registered charitable organisation as well as a local legal entity in Guatemala and the UK. Lead-Up strives to prevent and reduce youth violence with a particular focus on interpersonal violence. We address violence reduction and prevention through positive youth development, focusing on strengthening socio-emotional skills and the mental health and well-being of youth to reduce individual risk factors such as mental health problems, low emotional intelligence, unemployment, and exposure to violence.