The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has produced the first edition of a ‘new-look’ newsletter for veterinary surgeons responsible for inspecting riding establishments in England, Scotland and Wales.

REIN (The Riding Establishment Inspectors’ Newsletter) is aimed at the more than 200 veterinary surgeons who are on the List of Riding Establishment Inspectors and who are responsible for inspecting all businesses and premises offering horses (including beach ponies and donkeys) for hire.

Under the Riding Establishments Acts 1964 and 1970 all such establishments need to be licensed by their local authority and licences may only be issued or denied following an inspection and report by a veterinary surgeon on the List of Riding Establishment Inspectors.

The Riding Establishments Subcommittee, which is chaired by the RCVS and includes representatives from the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA), is responsible for overseeing the guidance and training for inspectors as well as monitoring and auditing inspection reports. The Subcommittee reports to the RCVS Standards Committee.

Recently, the RCVS has become responsible for providing secretariat functions for the Subcommittee and the newsletter, produced by the College’s Communications Department, reflects the fact the it has been brought ‘in-house’.

Colonel Neil Smith, RCVS Vice-President and Chair of the Riding Establishments Subcommittee, explains: “The Subcommittee has always been somewhat separate from the College and it will remain distinct in terms of its composition but the RCVS is now responsible for many of its administrative functions as well as being the main port of call for queries.

“As well as administrative changes there will also be a number of improvements of which the ‘new-look’ newsletter is just the first step. For example, the Subcommittee will be reviewing the current Riding Establishments Act Guidelines to bring them up-to-date and more in line with the Code of Professional Conduct and will be making improvements to the current inspection forms.”

The first edition of REIN is available to download from www.rcvs.org.uk/publications. Any veterinary surgeons who are interested in finding out more about becoming a riding establishment inspector should contact the RCVS Registration Department on registration@rcvs.org.uk or 020 7202 0707.