Racehorse gallops restricted to protect bridleway

Extended hours for use of a racehorse gallop track in Exmoor National Park was denied by an inspector concerned about the safety of recreational riders.

400-027-406 (Image Credit: Exmoor NPA)
400-027-406 (Image Credit: Exmoor NPA)

The gallop had been granted permission retrospectively on appeal and subject to conditions limiting its hours of use, which the park authority had since permitted to be extended during November to March. The appellant sought to vary the condition to permit extended hours throughout the year.

The inspector noted that use of the gallop had been restricted to safeguard users of a bridleway running parallel to it and separated by a high hedge, recognising that a horse on the bridleway could be spooked by horses galloping past, especially unseen, with safety implications for riders and discouraging use of the bridleway for recreation. In the absence of clear evidence that the needs of the racehorse training business outweighed the harm to the interests of users of the bridleway, the inspector dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Andrew Spencer-Peet; Written representations

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