What an extraordinary and challenging year 2020 has been for all of us – it’s hard to believe that at the outset of this year, most of us had not even heard the word ‘coronavirus’, let alone considered how it would impact each and every one of us. Reflecting on the year; I would firstly like to say that my thoughts are with those of us who have lost loved ones or suffered hardship as a result of this unforgiving virus. Secondly, I’d like to express my thanks to equestrians across the nations who, when they’re not caring for their horses, are working tirelessly as frontline and key workers providing essential services for us all.
The coronavirus pandemic has touched every aspect of equestrianism; from the closure of riding schools during lockdown to very strict guidelines for owners visiting their horses at livery, from our Coaches being extremely restricted in their ability to work, to the cancellation of events at all levels; and not forgetting the first lockdown, when the majority of our horses couldn’t be ridden.
The situation we found ourselves in encouraged us to work more collectively than ever before in the face of such adversity, showing time and time again that when we act as one community our combined impact is hugely increased. I am immensely proud of our BHS community and how we have shown our trustworthiness and dedication to supporting the wellbeing of every horse and the people who care for them.
So, what have we achieved this year?
Despite the challenges of 2020, I’m delighted to let you know that our success in meeting our charitable objectives continues unabated. Because of the support each of you contributes through being a member, supporter and volunteer we have been able to achieve truly amazing things. All the detail on that can be found in my end of year newsletter which you can read by clicking here.
I have also recorded a short video message which you will find here.
To end the year on a really positive note, more than 6000 new members joined the BHS in 2020 and we now have over 116,000 active members. This is incredibly important as it means we can deliver even greater impact for our members and the wider equestrian community. We will continue to do all we can to support you, our members, supporters and volunteers, and all those who look to us for guidance in the weeks and months ahead.
2021 will not be without its challenges, but I believe there is an exciting opportunity to do more together, to ensure that we are there for one another, the whole equestrian community and importantly the horses who need and deserve for us to always be there for them.
We will always be alongside you as we continue our charitable work and please know that without you, we couldn’t make the difference we do every single day.
It just remains for me to wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Christmas and New Year.