The Princess Royal has officially opened the new operational hub of The British Horse Society (BHS) in Stirling.
The Princess, who is vice-patron of the society, unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening. Based at the Stirling Agricultural Centre, the centre is also home to many rural organisations and activities, including the bi-annual Stirling Bull Sales.
The BHS is known as the largest equestrian charity in Scotland, and the opening of the hub will provide a new base for its members, stakeholders, volunteers, and supporters in Scotland and Northern England. It will also provide a new opportunity to experience and champion best practice equestrianism.
To highlight the variety of stakeholders the BHS works with within Scotland, the Princess saw a demonstration from Police Scotland Mounted Branch working with the society on Operation ‘Lose the Blinkers.’ The campaign is directed at road users with the goal of reducing injuries and deaths that are caused when vehicles pass too close or too fast next to ridden or driven horses.
Helene Mauchlen, the national manager in Scotland for the British Horse Society, said of the occasion: “This is a huge step forward for the BHS with most legislation pertaining to the horse and equestrianism being devolved to the Scottish Government.
“By opening a new operational hub in Scotland, the BHS is accommodating a four-nation approach. It is a privilege and honour to have our vice-patron HRH here in Scotland to see the work of the BHS and to meet our members, volunteers, supporters, and stakeholders.”
The event also included a pipe band display as well as the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, who work closely with the society. Others in attendance were members of the Moredun Foundation, which the BHS funds to support research into equine grass sickness.