The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) today launched its new Hoof Portal, designed to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for visitors to find out how, where and why they should pick up the reins and become involved in riding. The portal can be found at www.hoofride.co.uk.
The BEF says the Hoof portal is an important part of their legacy plans from the 2012 London Olympics and serves a number of purposes. It allows people to seek out the best place to hop aboard for the first time, discover where to watch the country’s top riders in action and learn more about the many equestrian disciplines and their member bodies – the idea is that the Hoof portal will provide answers, advice and inspiration.
The interactive nature of the resource is intended to allow users to select their own horse riding path, be it a beginner finding out where to go and what to wear or a seasoned competitor looking for advice on horse passports, funding opportunities and apprenticeship schemes. The Hoof portal houses a library of information that can assist riders of all abilities to locate such items as equestrian retailers, bridlepath information and volunteering opportunities.
As well as signposting visitors to specific information, the Hoof portal also features a unique ‘where to ride’ element, which maps and lists riding centres and equestrian facilities throughout the UK. Users can search the database for centres which provide general riding instruction or more specific training in thirteen different equestrian sports/offerings from dressage or showjumping to driving and polocrosse. The aim is to ensure horse riding is made as accessible as possible to entice more people off the sofa and into the saddle.
This is all part of the BEF’s overarching aim to see more people riding and taking part in equestrian sports. The BEF receives Sport England Funding to achieve this growth but the number of people riding has stayed fairly static over the last few years. The Hoof Portal is the first step in what the BEF hope will be a successful new strategy to grow riding once again. Like many sports they hope the Olympic Games in London will inspire many people to start taking part in new sports and they hope that by establishing a website such as this they can more easily guide people into riding by showing off the range of sports there are within the equestrian sphere and also making the journey into it as easy as possible.
Maggie Still, BEF Head of Regional Development said: “The depth and quality of information contained within the Hoof portal makes this a valuable resource not only for individuals but for the industry as a whole. I want to thank Sport England for its support with such an exciting project, which is set to become a lasting London 2012 Hoof Legacy.”
Andrew Finding, Chief Executive of the BEF added: “I am delighted to be able to announce the launch of the new online portal which provided a backbone for the BEF’s Hoof Legacy project. This year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games present us with an amazing opportunity to inspire more people to become involved in riding and it is important that these people can access the information they need as quickly and easily as possible. The new portal will allow them to do just this.”
As mentioned above polocrosse is a member discipline of the BEF, the UK Polocrosse Association being one of the thirteen member bodies which make up the BEF. The polocrosse specific page of the Hoof portal can be viewed by clicking here.