The BHIC comprises the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (TBA). It also has direct representation from the British Horse Society (BHS) the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) and the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA). The initiative was spearheaded by Michael Clayton (then BHS Chairman) and Tristram Ricketts (BHB) together with Lord Donoughue, who had served as an Agriculture Minister, and who had seen at first hand the lack of profile and fragmentation of horse organizations within government policy making and lobbying circles. This umbrella body was formed and for the first time ever brought together both racing and sports horse and other equine organisations.
The current Chairman is Jan Rogers from the British Equestrian Federation (BEF).
The organisation enables horse organisations to:
- talk to government with a single, united voice
- to share and to publicise information on policies and issues affecting horses and riders;
- and to help raise the profile of the horse industry amongst officials and opinion formers.
The BEF represents bodies with a total membership of some 200,000. This includes horse trials, showjumping, dressage, driving, Pony Club, endurance riding and vaulting. The Federation includes the British Horse Society (BHS) which has a membership 60,000 recreational riders, plus 40,000 affiliated members of riding clubs
The BHB is the governing authority for horseracing. The racing industry generates almost £5000 million annually for government through taxation and betting duty on horseracing and supports some 60,000jobs, plus a further 40,000 in betting
The TBA represents the Thoroughbred horse breeding industry which generates sales of £150 million annually in the UK and an export revenue of some £160million. The TBA represents the interests of 7,310 breeders
BETA is a trade association of professional companies set up to serve the best interests of the equestrian industry, the individual rider and its members. Its mission statement: "The British Equestrian Trade Association works to support our members in their efforts to achieve the highest level of repute, knowledge and profitability".
BEVA is the organisation representing equine vets in the UK.
Graham Cory, BHIC Chair and Jim Knight MP, DEFRA Horse Minister, launch Strategy Document, December 2005