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Riding establishment licence

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To run a riding establishment (where horses or ponies are hired out for riding or used for riding instruction) in England, Scotland or Wales, you need a licence from the local authority.

Where to find help

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must be over 18 years of age. In England and Wales they must have not been disqualified:

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

Regulation summary

Application evaluation process

Once your application is received, a licensing officer will contact you to make arrangements to carry out an inspection of your premises. The officer may be accompanied by an approved vet.

Before deciding an application the local authority 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.

The local authority will also take into account whether the applicant is suitable and qualified to hold a licence. They must also be satisfied of the following:


In addition to any other conditions a riding establishment licence must be subject to the following conditions:

Will tacit consent apply?

No. Your licence will only be issued to you when all the necessary inspections/checks have been carried out and the premises meets the required standards.

The licence may also list additional site specific conditions.

Target completion

You can expect to be contacted by Animal Health Licensing within 14 days of receipt of your application.  We would normally expect to let you know our decision on your application within 6 weeks of receipt.

Apply online

Failed application redress

Please contact Cheshire West and Chester Council in the first instance.

An applicant whose application is refused can appeal to the local magistrates' court. In Scotland an applicant whose application is refused can appeal to the local sheriff.

Licence holder redress

Please contact Cheshire West and Chester Council in the first instance.

A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to a local magistrates' court. In Scotland licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to the local sheriff.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked contact the below.

Trade associations