THE BAN on foxhunting has led to an unexpected surge in interest in equine-based businesses, according to the Country Land and Business Association. The reason: hunter owners are seeking ways of keeping their mounts active rather than face the macabre choice of having them put down.
So great is the new demand that the CLA has organised a special seminar to advise people wishing to enter the equine industry, to take place at Sedgefield Racecourse on May 4.
"There has been a noticeable upsurge in interest in equine-focused enterprises," says the CLA's Yorkshire regional director, Dorothy Fairburn. "Not only is there a growing demand from tourists but rural Yorkshire has seen more new settlers with an interest in horses and riding.
"Many of our farmer and landowner members have already diversified their businesses into tourism and country pursuits. Despite problems of isolated location and fewer alternative business opportunities which many rural businesses face, the rural entrepreneurial spirit is still very much alive.
"They have spotted the chance for further growth in equine-related enterprise and our seminar aims to provide the expert advice needed."
The equine development seminar will include presentations on the legal, planning and rating implications. Land and property consultants Smiths Gore and specialist rural law firm Dickinson Dees will join the professional advisers, all of whom will be available for personal consultations after the presentations and discussions.
Bookings and further details from the CLA on 01524 782209.