BETA Reveals Preliminary Findings of 2022/23 National Equestrian Survey

4 March 2023

British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) executive director Claire Williams revealed the initial findings of the 2022/23 BETA national equestrian survey; research is conducted every four to five years to assess trends in horse ownership, riding and expenditure. 

The first results from the first of three phases of research show a small increase in participation; 3.2m, or 4.8% of the population, had ridden a horse in the past 12 months, compared to 4.7% in 2018, and 4.3% in 2014.

There was a slight decline in the number of households responsible for horses’ daily care; a drop from 1.4% to 1.2%, leaving 331,000, but the number of “regular” riders, who ride at least once a month, has increased from 1.8m to 1.82m, and of those, 26% ride at least weekly.

Of an estimated 6m people who did ride but do not now, “cost remains the main factor”, Ms Williams said, especially for those aged between 35 and 64, but “change in lifestyle” is a factor in stopping riding, for the first time.

“But more than one in two lapsed riders would be interested in returning,” Ms Williams said. “Converting ex-riders tends to be easier than attracting new people, but what’s harder to overcome is that the two most common barriers are costs and lack of time. Key to the future of the sport is attracting new people and encouraging lapsed ones to return to the field.”


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