The National Conservation Commission (NCC) has advised that horse riding or bathing is only permitted at certain beaches on specific days and times.
And, there are a number of legal and safety aspects which need to be considered when taking horses to the beach.
Section 30 of the National Conservation Commission Act Cap.393 – Control of Horses on Beaches Regulations, 1993 outlines the conditions for handlers while at beaches as well as the penalties for contravening the regulations.
These include prohibiting others from riding their horse on a beach unless “there is in force in relation to the horse, a policy of insurance in respect of third party risks”.
A person who contravenes this regulation is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $2,500 or to imprisonment for six months, or both.
The beaches where horses are allowed to exercise or bathe, only, are the stretch of beach from The West India Rum Refinery to Pile Bay, St. Michael, and the area from Massy Stores on the Pier Head to HMBS Willoughby Fort, Bridgetown, from 6:00 a.m. to noon daily.
Those beaches which permit horse riding are Morgan Lewis Beach, St. Andrew (from Windy Ridge to Pico Teneriffe), and Walker’s Beach, also in St. Andrew, where riding is allowed from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on week days.
Horse riding is also permitted at Brighton Beach (from the Lifeguard Tower at Brandon’s to Pile Bay, St. Michael) on weekends, from 9:00 a.m. until noon.
Horse owners and handlers should keep in mind that safety is paramount when using the specified beaches. They should always check if the activity is permitted on the beach chosen; remember that riding is limited to certain times, days, and areas; ensure they know the boundaries of where they can ride; be courteous to other beach users; and make sure to clean up after their horses.