When is this licence required?
Anyone letting out horses for hire, or providing riding tuition, is required to hold a riding establishment licence. Licences to keep a riding establishment are issued under the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970.
A Riding Establishment is "the carrying on of a business of keeping horses to let them out for hire for riding or riding instruction". The council will arrange for the inspection of horses and premises by a veterinary surgeon to ensure the welfare of the animals and that the accommodation is suitable. The licence will be issued subject to compliance with licence conditions and payment of the licence fee together with all of the veterinary costs incurred.
Riding Establishments Act 1964 (c.70)
Applicants must be over 18 years of age. In England and Wales they must have not been disqualified:
- From keeping a riding establishment
- From keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
- From having custody of animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
- From keeping boarding establishments for animals under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
- Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 from keeping or owning animals, being able to influence how animals are kept, dealing animals or transporting or being involved in the transporting of animals
- From owning, keeping dealing or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006
Applicants must pay any required fee and comply with any conditions attached to a licence.
In addition the following conditions are required by the Act, whether specified in 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, which shall be available for inspection by an authorised officer at all reasonable times. (Sec. 1(4a)).
Guidance on conditions for riding establishment licences is issued by the British Veterinary Association
How long does my registration last?
The licences last 12 months from the date of issue.
How much does it cost?
There is an application fee which must be paid at the time an application is made. The application fees normally changes annually so for this year's fee please view the fee information.
Veterinary and other costs reasonably incurred in considering any application will be invoiced after consideration of any application. When you receive your invoice the payment methods are detailed on the back of all invoices and reminders. The options include: pay online, by phone, by post or in person at Dudley Council Plus.
How can I apply?
You can apply by any of the following means:
Please complete the Application form to Operate a Riding Establishment, which is available at the bottom of this page.
Once you have completed the form, please use this link to upload the completed form and to make payment.
Download the application form at the bottom of this page. You can send us a completed and signed application form together with a cheque for the correct amount or by bringing it to us at the office address below.
- Contacting us in writing, telephone or email. Please use the contact forms below to request an application form.
How long will my application take to process?
We aim to process your application as soon as possible. We will confirm for all electronic applications via email that we have received your application. Please contact us if you have any queries about the process us.
Can I start trading before receiving my licence (i.e. will tacit consent apply)?
You cannot start trading until your application is processed by the Council and you have received a licence. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 21 days, please contact us.
Renewal of a licence
If you already hold a licence and it is due for renewal we will write to you informing you that the licence is due to be renewed asking you to complete a licence renewal form and submit payment.
This can be done by completing the application form, which is available at the bottom of this page. Once you have completed the form, please use this link to upload the completed form and to make payment.
The onus is however on the person running the business to ensure that they have a current licence.
Is there a public register available?
The legislation does not require a public register to be kept of Riding Establishments. If you do not know if a Riding Establishment is licensed, please contact us.
How do I complain about a local business?
We will investigate complaints of poor animal welfare or conditions in a commercial business within the Borough.
If you have a general concern about the welfare of an animal, and want to complain about a business in Dudley Borough, please can use the Animal Welfare Advice and Complaints form.
Alternatively you can report the matter directly to the RSPCA.
Right of appeal (Licence holder redress)
Any person aggrieved by a refusal to be granted a licence or by any conditions to which a licence is subject may appeal to the Magistrates Courts who may give such directions regarding the licence or its conditions as it thinks proper.
Making a complaint
If you feel we have failed to provide you with good service or are concerned about the progress of your application, please contact us and we will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have. We also have a formal complaints procedure.
If you would like further advice about the standards or practices within a local business please use the Animal Welfare Advice and Complaints form.