For the first time the horse industry in Britain has formed a joint body to speak to government with one voice.

The British Horse Industry Confederation, launched today (March 3, 1999) brings together racing and the other horse sports and recreational activities. It will complement the direct discussions with Government and others in which organizations will continue to engage.

Lord Donoughue, Parliamentary Secretary (House of Lords) at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, has played a key role in encouraging and facilitating the creation of the Confederation.

Donoughue said, “I welcome the launch of the new British Horse Industry Confederation and congratulate the members who have worked so hard to create it. The new Confederation crucially provides a single voice for this major British industry, which is such an important part of our rural society and national economy.

“In the past it has been disadvantaged by the lack of such a single voice on the big issues of common concern to it. This new unity will be of great help to all concerned with the development of a prosperous horse industry, as well as to government when responding to it.”

Michael Clayton, who will chair the Confederation for the first year, said, “At last the horse industry has a powerful and representative group which can speak to government from a position of very considerable strength.

“All equine sectors have an immense amount in common, but we need better recognition of the real needs of the horse industry. Britain has a hugely valuable population of some 900,000 horses and ponies, yet the equine world does not have a government department responsible for the development of the horse industry.