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Riding establishment licences

Licence summary

You need to obtain a licence from us to run a riding establishment: a place where you hire out horses or ponies for riding or riding instruction.

Eligibility criteria

You must be over 18 years of age and had no disqualification from:

  • from keeping a riding establishment
  • from keeping a pet shop under the Pet Animals Act 1951
  • from having custody of animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • from keeping boarding establishments for animals under the Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
  • under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 from keeping or owning animals, being able to influence how you keep animals, dealing animals, transporting or being involved in the transporting of animals
  • from owning, keeping dealing or transporting animals under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006

Applicants must pay any required fee and comply with any conditions attached to a licence.

Regulation summary

This is available using the link to the Riding Establishments Act 1964 (chapter 70) in the External links section.

Application evaluation process

Before deciding an application, we must consider a report from a veterinary surgeon or practitioner detailing whether the premises are suitable for a riding establishment and detailing the conditions of the premises and any horses.

We will also take into account whether you are suitable and qualified to hold a licence and we must be satisfied that a number of conditions have being met.  Please refer to the Riding establishment conditions document in the Documents section on this page.

How to apply

You can apply for a licence online using the 'Apply for an animal welfare licence' form within the Top Tasks section on this page.

An application form is available to download from the Documents section on this page. We review the cost of the licence annually in April. If you think you need a licence and you would like further information or you would like to find out the cost of the licence, please contact us on 0113 395 1603 before applying.

You can also apply and pay for your licence as well as changing your existing licence online at GOV.UK. Links are available in the External links section on this page. 

Will tacit consent apply? 

No. Before we can grant you a licence, it is in the public interest that the authority must process your application.  If you have not heard from us within 28 days, please contact us using the contact details on this page.‚Äč

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