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Equestrianism to receive £6m investment

BRITISH equestrian sport is to receive £6 million over the next four years, as part of Sport England's investment in grassroots participation of a range of sporting activities.

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is responsible for managing this funding, which is a 46% increase from the last Olympic period, following the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

"This funding announcement is very positive news; we have had a wonderful year and we are determined to make the legacy thrive," said Andrew Finding, chief executive of the BEF. "We welcome the confidence that the team at Sport England has shown in us as we work to increase the levels of participation in equestrian sport and recreation."

The BEF already has a number of programmes in place, which aim to harness the excitement generated by the Olympics and Paralympics. These include the Hoof equestrian legacy programme and the Take Back The Reins initiative, which was established in early 2012.

"We want to see more people riding in the countryside, on bridle paths, in urban areas, riding schools, clubs, colleges and livery yards," added Finding. "In doing so we will pay particular attention to young people between the ages of 14-25 as well as those with disabilities and those with a prodigious talent."

The BEF will also continue to improve its England Excel Talent Programme, which aims to produce a pool of up and coming talented riders in eventing, dressage and showjumping, who are not currently on the BEF's World Class Programme.

Part of this programme includes increasing the disability offering of equestrian sport. By investing in Riding for the Disabled Association facilities the BEF hopes to accommodate the large number of disabled people currently on waiting lists.