Skip to content

New Charter for the Horse launched

Nineteen member bodies of the British Equestrian Federation have united to sign a new Charter for the Horse which demonstrates a pledge to be adopted across the equestrian sector to underpin commitment to safeguarding the physical and mental wellbeing of all equids.

There are six key areas in which the member bodies have collectively agreed to work towards achieving the highest standards. These are empathy, care, respect, consideration, ethics and learning.

It is intended that this Charter, which was launched earlier this week, will be supported by all those who interact with, own or ride horses at any level, from those who enjoy pleasure riding, to those who trail hunt, through to those who compete at the highest level.

At the heart of the Charter are the internationally recognised ‘three Fs’ - freedom, friends and forage - and the five domains welfare model which cite nutrition, physical environment, health, behavioural interactions and mental state as the crucial factors for an animal’s positive experience.

Along with representatives from a variety of equestrian disciplines and the racing community, the Alliance’s Chief Executive, Tim Bonner, and Polly Portwin, our Director of the Campaign for Hunting, were invited to an event held in London in December last year, where the place of horses in society was discussed, along with ideas for the Charter for the Horse.

“The hunting community prides itself on the high standards to which hunt horses are kept throughout the year,” explained Polly. “No doubt those in our community will support this Charter, recognising the importance of demonstrating to everybody quite how much their horses’ physical and mental wellbeing is taken into consideration at all times.”

Carl Hester, one of Britain’s most successful equestrians with 15 championship medals to his credit and a leading advocate for equine wellbeing, added his endorsement to the Charter: “I’m delighted to see the release of this Charter – it’s such a positive move for our industry and unites us under one common aim. I always treat my horses as horses first, athletes second to support their mental and physical wellbeing, which means they can perform at their happy best on the world stage. I’d love to see everyone join together in showing support for the Charter and turning the words into action, for the good of all horses throughout the country.”

More details about the Charter for the Horse can be found here.


The Charter for the Horse

Launched in March 2024, the Charter for the Horse is a pledge to be adopted by all across the equestrian sector to underpin our commitment to safeguarding the mental and physical wellbeing of our equids. All 19 of the British Equestrian member bodies have signed up to the Charter and we'll collectively work towards the highest standards in the six key areas of:

  • Empathy
  • Care
  • Respect
  • Consideration
  • Ethics
  • Learning

Become a member

Join the Countryside Alliance

We are the most effective campaigning organisation in the countryside.

  • life Protect our way of life
  • news Access our latest news
  • insurance Benefit from insurance cover
  • magazine Receive our magazine