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Riding establishment

A riding establishment is "the carrying on of a business of keeping horses to let them out for hire for riding or riding instruction".  A licence to keep a riding establishment is required for this activity.

We will arrange for the inspection of your horses and premises by a veterinary surgeon to ensure the welfare of the animals and that the accommodation is suitable.  An Environmental Health Officer will also carry out an inspection of your premises.

The licence is renewable annually (by 31st December).

Applying for a licence

From 1st April 2017 the following licence application fees will apply:

New Application for licence to run a Riding Establishment -

£150.00 plus all Vet inspection fees (and VAT on Vet fees) and

£16.00 (plus VAT) payable to DDDC for arrangement of Vet inspection. 

Renewal Application for licence to run a Riding Establishment -

£120.00 plus all Vet inspection fees (and VAT on Vet fees); and

£16.00 (plus VAT) payable to DDDC for arrangement of any Vet inspection. 

Vet Inspection

All applications will require a Vet inspection. You will be invoiced separately for the total costs of the Vet inspection(s) plus VAT.  Any inspections will be arranged by the District Council, and you will be charged an arrangement fee plus VAT.

Licence Conditions

The following conditions are a mandatory requirement contained in the legislation, whether specified on the licence or not:

  • A horse found on inspection of the premises by an authorised officer to be in need of veterinary attention shall not be returned to work until the holder of the licence has obtained at his own expense and has lodged with the local authority a veterinary certificate that the horse is fit for work;
  • No horse will be let out on hire for riding or used for providing instruction in riding without supervision by a responsible person of the age of 16 years or over unless (in the case of a horse let out for hire for riding) the holder of the licence is satisfied that the hirer of the horse is competent to ride without supervision;
  • The carrying on of the business of a riding establishment shall at no time be left in the charge of any person under 16 years of age;
  • The licence holder shall hold a current insurance policy which insures him against liability for any injury sustained by those who hire a horse from him for riding and those who use a horse in the course of receiving from him, in return for payment, instruction in riding and arising out of the hire or use of a horse as aforesaid and which also insures such persons in respect of any liability which may be incurred by them in respect of injury to any person caused by, or arising out of, the hire or use of a horse as aforesaid;
  • A register shall be kept by the licence holder of all horses in his possession aged three years and under and usually kept on the premises; the register shall be available for inspection by an authorised officer at all reasonable times.

Guidance on conditions for riding establishment licences is issued by the British Veterinary Association.

Regulation summary

Licences to keep a riding establishment are issued under the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970.

Related websites

British Veterinary Association


Town Hall, Bank Road
Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3NN
01629 761313
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