A Sustainable Future for Equestrianism

  • Written By: British Dressage | British Showjumping
  • Published: Fri, 08 Dec 2023 15:00

British Dressage and British Showjumping are pleased to release their joint sustainability strategy, outlining our vision, mission, and action plan from 2024 to 2030.

Following the publication of the British Equestrian report earlier today, British Dressage and British Showjumping have announced their joint strategy that will see both National Governing Bodies working collaboratively towards achieving a sustainable future for their respective sports.

The strategy has been produced in consultation with leading environmental sustainability consultants White Griffin, who bring extensive knowledge of the equestrian landscape, having worked previously with British Equestrian (BEF), European Equestrian Federation (EEF), Horse Sport Ireland (HSI), British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and York Racecourse.

The aim of this strategy is to make clear commitments and develop a unified action plan for both organisations, as well as provide further guidance and support to members and stakeholders on how we can all work together to deliver meaningful and tangible change.  Equestrian sport relies on the landscape around us and it’s our duty to protect and preserve this natural environment.  By making a net positive impact, we will be able to better safeguard the longevity of equestrian sport and continue to enjoy training and competing horses for generations to come.

Equine welfare is also intrinsically linked to environmental sustainability – our horses depend upon a fully functioning eco system in order to survive.  We simply cannot give our horses the care, freedom, food, and forage that they need, without looking after the world they live in.  A healthy environment benefits us all and we would encourage all members and stakeholders to take the time to read the strategy and endeavour to make small changes in their own daily routines to help us work collectively towards a sustainable future for equestrianism.

British Dressage and British Showjumping will be working closely with White Griffin to create individual action plans and provide a roadmap to follow, initially over the next 12 months and then for the next five years, from 2025 to 2030.  The action plan will look at five key areas: emissions, biodiversity, water, resources, and waste, with each element contributing to the ultimate goal of reducing the carbon footprint in our own operations, whether at head office level or at the competitions and training activity we are responsible for.

We will be communicating our sustainability initiatives and actions to members, to share best practice and give stakeholders the tools and resources that are needed to deliver a sustainable future for equestrian sport.  A collective effort is going to be required to meet our long-term targets and goals, but we will aim to take an education-led approach to support our riders, coaches, officials, and organisers.

British Dressage Chief Executive Jason Brautigam commented: “We are proud to be working in collaboration with British Showjumping to lead the way in this vitally important area.  The risks and threats that we all face due to climate change are very real, as we have experienced in our sport in recent years, so we need to find new ways of operating, to limit the impact we have as a top priority. By providing the necessary advice, guidance and support to our members and stakeholders, I’m confident that we can come together as custodians of the environment to safeguard the future of equestrian sport and the natural world.”

British Showjumping Chief Executive Iain Graham added: “There is no bigger prior issue facing society today, and as National Governing Bodies we have a responsibility to provide leadership and direction on environmental sustainability. It is imperative that this is embedded in our organisations and all development plans for equestrianism to enable us to enjoy our horses and sport in the future. We all need to reduce our material consumption and waste, by reducing emissions, recycling more and enhancing the biodiversity of land we are caretakers of. We are grateful to White Griffin for helping us shape this strategy and we will continue working with them to ensure we deliver on these commitments and achieve demonstrable change.”