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The British Horse Society British Horse Society hosts joint meeting with shoot organisations

The British Horse Society hosted a joint meeting with several shooting organisations at its offices in Stoneleigh yesterday (11 February). The aim was to discuss the way forward following an incident last year when a BHS member was badly injured when her horse bolted after being frightened by beaters at a shoot.

The organisations attending the meeting included the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), the National Gamekeepers Organisation (NGO), the Union for Country Sports Workers (UCSW) the Campaign for Shooting (Countryside Alliance) and representatives from Exmoor National Park.

All attendees were universal in their opinion that the meeting had been very constructive and useful, and had created a positive way forward in approaching the problems sometimes encountered when equestrianism and shooting are in close proximity to each other.

The BHS, British Riding Clubs and shoot organisations are now planning a publicity campaign to ensure that both riders and shooters are made aware of the necessity to keep each other informed, and for riders to understand how shoots are run. The current shooting Code of Good Practice is currently being rewritten and the BHS expressed a wish to be signed up to the Code, this was accepted as a positive move by those at the meeting.

Sheila Hardy, the BHS Head of Safety who chaired the meeting, said, "We are pleased that the shooting fraternity are taking this seriously. It is plain that the organisations involved are taking steps to ensure their members have full knowledge of risk assessment procedures and having clear guidelines of how shoots should proceed when close to horses and riders included in the new Code is good news. We look forward to working with the shooting bodies on this joint promotion, thus reducing any risk to riders. There is room in the countryside for both activities and with common sense and co-operation they can do so safely, to the benefit of all concerned."


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