A riding school boss says she fears for the future of the whole equestrian industry unless more is done to help businesses like hers.
Joan Nash, who runs the Blackborough End Equestrian Centre, says business rates on riding schools should be cut to bring them in line with other facilities with similar services.
She set out the case for reform to MP Sir Henry Bellingham when he visited the complex.
Mrs Nash is supporting a British Horse Society-led campaign which argues that riding schools and livery yards are losing out to land colleges which are charged lower levels of business rates.
Currently, Mrs Nash is paying almost £8,000 a year in business rates and says those costs can stop specialist centres from operating at all.
She said: “It’s a very high fixed cost. There are so many costs that it’s difficult to make a profit at it.”
The centre does not qualify for business rate relief because of its rateable value, which exceeds the maximum for relief.
But Mrs Nash, who said she had been in contact with Sir Henry for some time on the issue, believes the current rules do not take the contribution centres like hers make, both to the people who use them and to the wider economy, into proper consideration.
She said: “We do provide a service. There’s a lot of benefit to be had from the people who come here.
“We’re the entry point for the equestrian industry. This is where young people come to ride, to learn to love horses. This is where they start.”