Imran Atcha founded the BHS Approved St James City Farm and Riding School, an inner-city riding school based in Gloucester that champions accessibility and inclusivity across the equine industry, helping more children in the local area to discover the true joy of horses.
Imran is passionate about providing all children and young people with the opportunity to experience the joy of horses. He didn’t come from an equestrian background himself, and he strives to support those who may have never had the chance to receive practical riding tuition.
He believes giving inner-city children the opportunity to engage with horses is the best way to inspire them. Imran adds: “We ran a fun day where we gave free horse rides to kids from the local area. We let them sit on a pony and ride round, and you could just see their faces light up.
"We’re hoping that little sparks are created through these experiences, with many participants telling us that it was their first time on a pony and a big deal for them. Hopefully, we have crossed that hurdle for them to make it as easy as possible to fall in love with horses”.
Because of this drive to inspire the next generation, Imran, with the support of the BHS, completed his BHS Coaching Qualifications. Through passion and determination, Imran has grown his riding school into a popular destination for budding equestrians despite a pandemic, rise in living costs and equestrian workforce crisis.
Imran said: “I’m passionate about passing my learnings on to other young people. People who, like me, probably wanted to see it from the sidelines, then saw someone ride and thought, ‘Yeah, I want to do that’.
"It is rare for people like me to ride, let alone run a riding school. I am on a mission to get as many children as possible to discover horses and to make them happy.”
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