British Equestrian member bodies achieve foundation level of Equality Standard for Sport

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

British Equestrian is delighted to announce that three of the federation’s member bodies – British Dressage, The British Horse Society and Endurance GB – have achieved the foundation level of the Equality Standard for Sport.

The Equality Standard for Sport is owned by UK Sport and the sports councils for the four home nations, and was first launched in 2004. It was later relaunched in 2012 to reflect the latest equality legislation.

The standard is a framework that assists sports organisations to widen access for under-represented individuals, groups and communities, and to reduce inequalities in sport and physical activity. It’s built around developing both the organisation and the organisation’s services, and has four progressive levels – foundation, preliminary, intermediate and advanced.

British Dressage, The British Horse Society, and Endurance GB have worked to develop policies, make changes to practices, and produce a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate that their respective organisation:

  • demonstrates a clear commitment to equality
  • has a policy for equality which has been shared with stakeholders
  • is aware of their current profile and position in terms of equality

These portfolios of evidence have been assessed by British Equestrian and externally assessed by an independent external verifier.

“I’m very pleased that British Dressage, The British Horse Society and Endurance GB have had their portfolios assessed and can demonstrate that they are working at the foundation standard,” said David Butler, Head of Participation at British Equestrian.

“The member bodies share British Equestrian’s commitment to equality and diversity, and are united in making equestrian an activity open to anyone who wants to be involved, in whatever capacity and level they want to take part in. They also share our desire to encourage even more diversity in equestrian participation.”

“Inclusivity and accessibility are at the heart of the new five year strategy for British Dressage and it’s vitally important that we continue to promote the values of diversity and equality in everything that we do.  Achieving our Equality Standard for Sport foundation level is an important milestone, but it’s just the first step in our ongoing mission and commitment to making real, tangible change in our organisation,” said Jason Brautigam, Chief Executive of British Dressage.

“We want dressage to be a sport where everyone feels welcome, safe, encouraged and able to compete on a level playing field.  We have started to make some good progress in this area, although there is much work still to do; therefore we are setting up a Diversity Action Group that will help us to work with stakeholders to identify where we can make a genuine difference through a series of deliverable targets and goals.”

“We always strive to be an inclusive organisation, this is of course a journey with no end, and we are very pleased that we have achieved the foundation level of the Equality Standard for Sport,” said James Hick, CEO of The British Horse Society. “Within the BHS, we have an inclusivity group to ensure this is part our core values across all parts of the Society, and we are in the process of setting up a similar group that will include the wider organisation – our members, riding clubs, coaches and centres. We want horses and the enjoyment they bring to be accessible to everyone.”

"We are delighted to have achieved the Equality Standard in Sport foundation level. Endurance riding is already a friendly and inclusive sport, and working towards this award has enabled us to bring all of our positive achievements in the para equestrian endurance space together with the other diversity strands and protected characteristics, commented Esther Young, Vice Chair and Operations Director at Endurance GB.

“We have worked closely with the federation’s other sporting disciplines to share best practice and we have improved the governance structures that sit around our Equality Policy.  Achieving the foundation standard is just the beginning and there is still a long way to go – our next steps will be to develop an Equality Action Plan to ensure that we are doing everything that is within our gift to remove barriers to participation."

Several other federation member bodies are in the process of achieving the foundation level of the Equality Standard for Sport. British Equestrian currently holds the intermediate level and is working towards the advanced level.