Support for Scotland’s equine sector
Scotland’s equine sector is a key player in the nation’s rural economy, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said today.
Speaking as he inspected the horses on display, and after visiting the British Horse Society stand, Mr Lochhead said that the sector’s contribution to rural Scotland should not be underestimated.
Mr Lochhead said:
“Scotland is home to more than 100,000 horses and around 200,000 people ride or drive horses every week. So it’s hardly surprising that the equestrian industry contributes around £300 million each year to our nation’s economy – generating business through riding schools, livery yards, feed merchants, tack shops and numerous small businesses.
“With so much magnificent countryside on our doorstep, and such a strong equestrian industry, Scotland is also a natural market for equine tourism.
“I’m delighted to be able to visit the horse lines at this year’s Royal Highland Show and see some of the competitors in action. And I’d like to take this opportunity to stress my support for the sector and all those involved in it.
“With Blair Atholl set to host the prestigious European Eventing Championships in 2015, even more equestrian enthusiasts will be flocking to Scotland from south of the border and further afield. This is a further opportunity to showcase the best of rural Scotland, to regular visitors, newcomers, competitors and spectators alike.”