Hiring Out Horses

(Formerly known as a Riding Establishments Licence):

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) introduced a new licensing regime on 1st October 2018. To run an establishment where horses / ponies are hired out for riding, in the Dartford Borough you will require a licence.

Eligibility criteria:

Applicants must be over 18 years of age and must not have been disqualified:

  • From keeping a riding establishment
  • From keeping a pet shop
  • From having custody of animals under the Protection of Animals (Amendment) Act 1954
  • From keeping an animal boarding establishment
  • Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 from keeping or owning animals, being able to influence how animals are kept, dealing animals or transporting or being involved in the transporting of animals

Applicants must pay a required fee and comply with any guidance and conditions. There will also be a charge for an annual veterinary inspection.

The licence will run for one, two or three years, from the date of issue. You will receive a one to five star rating on your licence, with a five star rating being the highest possible award. The rating we give you will be an accurate reflection of the level of risk of your business, and the animal welfare standards you adopt. The cost is the same regardless of the length of the licence granted, rewarding compliant businesses and driving up standards in the sector.

The scoring matrix determines the star rating. It takes into account the animal welfare standards adopted by the business and your level of risk (based on elements such as past compliance).

Scoring Matrix:

  • Lower Risk - Minor Failings - 1 star, 1 year licence
  • Lower Risk - Minimum Standards - 3 star, 2 year licence
  • Lower Risk - Higher Standards - 5 star, 3 year licence
  • Higher Risk - Minor Failings - 1 star, 1 year licence
  • Higher Risk - Minimum Standards - 2 star, 1 year licence
  • Higher Risk - Higher Standards - 4 star, 2 year licence

All licences are subject to a vet inspection every year.

See further details in the Procedural Guidance

The Application fee for hiring out horses is currently £513, renewal fee is £467 + recharge of vet inspection.

Please read the conditions and guidance here before you apply for a licence

Apply for a licence by post or in person:

To request an application form, please email eh.admin@dartford.gov.uk or telephone 01322 343434. 
Payment can be made by phone 01322 343434 quoting Ref H1380 9451 VAT 8 or by cheque with the application form.
Post the form with payment, to the Council's Environmental Protection Team:

Dartford Borough Council 
Civic Centre
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