Two existing horse world organisations have combined their strengths to form a new body, the British Horse Council, to speak to government departments with one voice.
The new body has come about as a result of the decisions of the British Horse Industry Confederation and the Equine Sector Council (for Health and Welfare) to join forces. In practice the two organisations have been working together on a range of issues such as the horsemeat scandal, horse passports and rates for equestrian businesses for some time. The move to formalise into one body which speaks to all government departments as well as devolved authorities is seen as a practical step.
With many issues, not least of which is Brexit, presenting challenges and opportunities throughout the sector it is especially important that, where there is common ground, racing, breeding, sport, leisure, trade, health, education, research, enforcement and welfare can present a strong and unified view.
Launched at the National Equine Forum this month, the British Horse Council, will be open and inclusive with a mailing list for all equestrian related organisations to join the conversation and regular group meetings for communication and consultation.
British Horse Industry Confederation Chair Lynn Petersen, welcomed the new body saying “the first thing I asked when becoming Chair of BHIC was why there were two organisations essentially doing the same thing. My question to colleagues was whether we could find a way to join forces since we are all focusing on the same challenges. With Brexit looming, there can be no better time for us to join together and promote our industry which contributes so much to society and the economy”.
Equine Sector Council Chair, Jeanette Allen, agreed commenting “a number of dedicated individuals have worked extremely hard to set up the BHC and it is all about cooperation, coordination but mostly consensus. Where the sector does not all agree about an issue, it will be left to individual organisations to communicate their own priorities and the BHC will harness the power of speaking with one voice whenever possible”.