One of Ride Yorkshire's aims is to get as many people riding and enjoying life with horses as possible. We also aim through our holidays to support the economy of rural areas. It's hard to make these things happen just through commercial activities, so we've approached grant-giving organisations whose goals coincide with our own to help put our principles into practice. We're very grateful to all of them for their belief in us and the financial support and business advice they offer: it means we can achieve far more, and more quickly, than we could have done on our own.
From January 2012 we're delighted to be working with the Yorkshire Dales National Park and other partners to develop leisure riding in the Dales. The funding has come through the YDMT, which helps to care for the landscape, people and the economy in the Yorkshire Dales.
Our most recent sponsor is the LEADER rural development programme operating in the eastern part of North Yorkshire. Because of the work we're doing there with accommodation providers - bringing horses & riders to them to stay and enjoy our glorious hills and moors - they've kindly agreed to fund some of the promotional work we're doing to help as many people as possible hear about us.
Leeds Metropolitan University has supported the Ride Yorkshire initiative in a number of ways. One of these has been to fund academic research into leisure equestrianism, for which we did an online survey, and also focus groups with riding clubs (thanks to everyone who took part in these!). The result is that we now have some excellent information which we're taking forward to use as evidence for policy-making on rural matters, including maintaining and improving the public rights-of-way network.
LEADER is an EU-funded rural development programme which operates right across the European Union. The Coast, Wolds, Waterways & Wetlands unit is based in East Yorkshire and supports community groups and rural businesses, and they've provided funds to help us create some marvellous circuits across the Yorkshire Wolds.
UnLtd is a charitable foundation which supports social entrepreneurs, and in this case they supported RideYorkshire right at the beginning of our activities with start-up funding, which was extremely welcome! One of the remarkable things about UnLtd is that they give the money with very few strings attached, which makes a refreshing change from many funding organisations.
Our sponsors and partners