THE British Horse Society has had a huge success with its new Approved Livery Yard scheme launched in July.

Since then more than 1,500 information packs have been sent out, 65 livery yard applications are currently being processed and several yards have already received approval.

The scheme was developed by the society with the approval and help of the British Equine Veterinary Association, the RSPCA, the SSPCA, the International League for the Protection of Horses and the Home of Rest for Horses.

It was set up in response to growing concerns about the state of horse welfare at livery yards. Unlike cat and dog boarding kennels, livery yards do not have to be licensed.

This means that anyone, with little or no experience of horses, can set up a yard.

Now they will have to be assessed for the standard of care and facilities provided and additional benefits for proprietors will include helplines, advice and insurance offers.

Kay Driver, BHS chief executive, said: "We are absolutely delighted with the interest and support we have received from the new scheme.

"Horse owners are pleased that finally there is a way for them to tell the quality of the establishment and many proprietors are glad of the chance to prove how good they really are."