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Riding establishment licences

Do you need a licence to provide horses for hire, how to apply and pay for a riding establishment licence, who else do you need to contact, how to renew your licence, riding schools which are licensed and who regulates riding schools. 

Do I need a licence to provide horses for hire?

If you provide horses for hire in the course of a business for either or both of the following, you will require a licence:

  • Riding 
  • Instruction in riding.

This includes riding schools, those that hire out horses for trekking, loan horses or pony parties (when the horse are been ridden) hunter hirelings, polo/polocrosse instruction and pony and donkey hire. 

How do I apply for a riding establishment licence?

If you require further advice on applying for a riding establishment licence, we offer a pre-application advice service, and the fee for this service is £50 plus VAT. 

To book an appointment for pre-application service please email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk.

To apply for a riding establishment licence you must be over the age of 18. All application for a licence will be considered in line with the new Animal Welfare (licensing of activities involving animals) (England) Regulations 2018.

You can apply using the form below:

Apply for a riding establishment licence 

Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations (pdf 5mb)Guidance on Hiring out horses (pdf 496kb)

Fees

Animal activities licence fees 2019 (pdf 55kb)

The vets' fees are set out as follows:

  • 1-5 horses £266.24
  • 6-10 horses £297.95
  • 11-20 horses £419.48
  • 21-30 horses £541.01
  • 31-40 horses £662.56
  • 41-50 horses £784.10
  • 51-60 horses £905.63.

Tacit consent

We will aim to have your application determined within 28 days of the receipt of a valid and complete application, however, if we have been unable to determine your application in this time a licence will not be automatically granted due to public safety and animal welfare implications and therefore tacit consent does not apply. This means you must wait for the council to determine the application before any riding activities can take place.

Inspection of establishment

When the licensing team has received your application an officer will contact you to arrange an inspection at your establishment and carry-out the inspection. You are required to meet the standards set out in the animal welfare regulations:

Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations (pdf 278kb)

Who else may I need to contact?

If you are applying for a riding establishment licence you may also need to contact the planning section.

How do I renew my riding establishment licence?

You are advised to apply for your licence at least 10 weeks before it is due to expire to ensure a vet's inspection can be undertaken and considered prior to your existing licence's expiry. 

Renewing your licence

You can apply to for your riding establishment licence using the form below: 

Application for a riding establishment licence (word 211kb)

Animal activities licence fees April 2020 (pdf 56kb)

You will also need to pay the vet's fees for the inspection as follows, directly to the licensing team: 

  • 1-5 horses £266.24
  • 6-10 horses £297.95
  • 11-20 horses £419.48
  • 21-30 horses £541.01
  • 31-40 horses £662.56
  • 41-50 horses £784.10
  • 51-60 horses £905.63.

If you cannot apply online please contact the licensing team for advice by email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk.

A licence-holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to the local magistrates' court.

Tacit consent

There is no tacit consent in place for riding establishment licences.

How do I add/remove horses on my licence?

Please email licensing@eastriding.gov.uk to notify of your wish to vary your licence. A fee will be payable for any request to vary your licence. 

If you are adding horses to your licence you will require an appointed vet to inspect the horse(s). 

Costs are determined on a case-by-case basis by the appointed vet and are fully payable by the licence-holder. 

Who regulates riding schools?

The licensing team are responsible for the licensing and compliance of the hiring of horses. 

If a premises holds a licence it should be on display in a prominent position at the premises. If you have concerns about a riding school operating under a licence, have a complaint or would like to report a business that you are concerned is operating without a licence, you can contact the licensing team on:

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

What happens if I do not apply for a riding establishment licence?

If you hire out horses for riding or riding tuition without a valid licence, you may be prosecuted. 

Who are licensed for hiring out horses?

Please find attached the register of premises licensed in the East Riding to provide the activity of hiring of horses.

Public register for Hiring of Horses Licences (pdf 189kb)

Updated 1 May 2020.

What do the star ratings really mean?

Under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 the local authority now issues a STAR rating to each premises based on a number of factors.

The star rating scheme is set by central government and applies nationally, this works a little different to other start rating schemes because it does not work on a sliding scale.

1 Star: These premises are existing businesses that are failing to meet the minimum standards.

2 Star: These premises do meet all of the mandatory minimum standards, however they are deemed to be higher risk.

A premises could be deemed at high risk because they are a new operator that has been opened or been taken over in the past 12 months or because of non-compliance such as substantiated complaints within the last 3 years.

3 Star:These premises meet all of the mandatory standards set out in the new regulations and are providing a high level of animal welfare to the animals on the premises. These premises have been inspected to check that they meet satisfactory standards in areas of accommodation and enrichment.

4 Star: These premises meet all of the mandatory standards and a set of higher standards that are specific to the activity they are licensed for. However they are deemed to be at higher risk. A premises could be deemed at high risk because they are a new operator that has been opened or taken over in the past 12 months or because of non-compliance such as substantiated complaints within the last 3 years.

5 Star: These premises meet all of the mandatory standards and a set of higher standards that are specific to the activity they are licensed for which are attached.

The higher standards are optional. In some cases existing businesses are unable to meet the higher standards because their business and buildings were already established, in others cases the operator opts to not undertake the higher standards for other reasons such as they do not wish to provide additional services it requires.

Hiring of Horses Higher Standards: To obtain a 4 or 5 Star rating, all of the criteria below must be met:

  • There must be an option for a permanent individual turn out paddock/pen to allow horses their own area for grazing/turnout if required owing to ill-health or domination by other horses
  • Horses must be inspected at least once during the out-of-hours period (e.g. 1800-0800)
  • All horses must have a structured management and care programme to include their exercise needs with suitable alternatives for those unable to exercise, such as additional grooming, physiotherapy etc
  • Each horse will have its own specific care plan detailing age and any health-related conditions
  • Records must evidence individual monitoring and training plans for horses in connection with individual training needs to complement their use within a riding school. This must be accompanied by evidence of regular and effective checks with saddler for comfort and fit
  • Initial assessments must be undertaken for new riders and details of assessment recorded
  • Documented risk assessment must be available for all such equipment, for example horse clippers, horse walkers, yard blowers, arena levelling equipment and any additional therapy based machines or equipment
  • Documented risk assessment must be available for activities, including PPE requirements that include the appropriateness of PPE relative to different tasks and situations.

3 of the 5 criteria below must also be met:

  • Horses will not be in reach of each other to bite and there will be room to work around them. Horses will be in view of each other, unless kept singly for management reasons, such as isolation or stallion management purposes
  • There must be a separate secure, clean and well-lit veterinary inspection area that enables safe access to allow inspection of a horse
  • There must be a separate well-lit, lockable, purpose-built feed room with water available and additional storage for supplements
  • A competent person must be on-site at all times
  • Independent specialist nutritional advice must be sought as appropriate for individual horses and documented alongside the weekly body condition scoring. Records must evidence individual health plans and monitoring for horses in connection with dietary requirements. There must be legible and up-to-date feed chart on display that informs correct feeding amounts for individual horses.

For more information please find the relevant guidance document attached above. If you have any queries regarding any information held in this register please contact the licensing team at:

Email: licensing@eastriding.gov.uk

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