The Stables Equestrian Centre Gains 5 Star Licence

News at Fox Grant | 14/03/2019

The Stables Equestrian Centre in Wilstead, Bedfordshire, is delighted to confirm it has been awarded a five-star, three-year licence to operate as a riding school and livery yard under DEFRA’s more-stringent regulatory process, introduced in 2018. This recognises the efforts made by The Stables to offer the highest standards of equine care, for both its livery clients’, riding school horses and ponies, quality of facilities and tuition and fits perfectly with The Stables’ long-term aim of establishing itself as the riding school of choice in Bedfordshire.



Proprietor Jo Samuel-Blackstock, who has successfully run The Stables since 2003, said; “I am delighted the assessors have concluded that we provide gold-standard, five-star care and facilities. They have given us a three-year licence which means we can continue to offer what we feel is the best equine care and riding tuition available in the area while developing new and exciting activities.”


The new Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals (England) Regulations 2018 came into effect in October of 2018 and were designed to replace a variety of systems used to license animal businesses, some of which had been in place for 50 years.

One of the five key areas is equine business and the new regulations include a series of more stringent care and welfare criteria than previously. These now cover such areas as the quality and size of animal shelter and grazing; the qualifications, experience and knowledge of staff; animal health and well-being; and procedures, risk assessments and the myriad of other legal requirements necessary.


Businesses are rated with a star system, out of five, which easily allows customers to recognise the standards of welfare at a particular establishment.


The Stables Equestrian Centre offers part or full livery; riding experiences from two years of age and lessons from four; opportunities for Equine Facilitated Learning; informal unaffiliated jumping and dressage events; one-and multiple-day riding holidays; and exceptional outriding from its base just south of Bedford.


Concluding, Samuel-Blackstock said; “This five-star rating is the culmination of 15 years of work and I am extremely proud of the team here at The Stables for the dedication they put in to their work. They genuinely love the animals and our clients and that is key to achieving the highest standard of licence possible.”


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