Publication: VNOnline

Date: June 2020

Campaign launched to ‘ride out racism’ in the equestrian community

A new campaign has been announced to raise awareness of inequality in the equestrian world.

The new ‘Ride out Racism’ campaign has been launched to facilitate change, tackle racial discrimination and encourage acceptance in the riding community.

It is the brainchild of 18-year-old Reece McCook from Coventry, who experienced racial discrimination in his equine education and employment, but also a great deal of support and encouragement.

Through the campaign, Reece hopes to use what he has experienced in his career to bring riding to more young people like him. He explained:

“Horses are amazing animals – they don’t judge who’s riding them, they’re incredibly tolerant and if you treat them with respect, they’ll love you back. And that should reflect equestrianism as a whole but sadly, at present, it’s not the case.

“There is work going on at the top to make improvements, British equestrian and equestrian bodies are driving for their equality standard for sport but it’s on the ground where we need to work harder.”

He continued: “Young people from urban environments, particularly those from minority ethnic groups, simply just don’t feel riding is a sport that’s for them. Cost, access to facilities and stereotypes are barriers. I was ashamed to tell my non-equestrian friends that I rode for fear of what they’d think about me but in reality, they were pretty cool about it and really intrigued. I want to make sure that none of these are barriers to taking part in future.”

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