In 1995 BETA conducted the first independent study of equestrianism in Great Britain, which was then updates and expanded upon in 1999. These report determined the number of riders, horse owners and horses owned amongst the general public and also examined the professional sector in detail. In addition, information was gathered on areas such as riding habits, expenditure, equestrian publications and business characteristics. DEFRA has provided part funding of the latest 2006 survey.
The most popular equestrian activity was watching horse racing on TV with 25% of households containing one person who had done this in the last 12 months. 18% of households contained at least one person who watched other equestrian events on TV
11% of households contained at least one person who had ridden in the last 12 months – this eqated to 2.8m households
4.3m people have ridden in the last 12 months – 7% of the total GB population. 49% of these either ride or drive regularly
1m GB households (4%) contain at least one person who is responsible for the daily upkeep of a horse, whether professionally or not. Of these 721,500 were not professionally involved. They are responsible for 1.2m horses – an increase of 20% on 1999 figures