“Our business model helped us through Covid.”

A riding holiday company has generated £1 million for the local economy since it was set up in the south-west of England nine years ago.

Elaine Prior founded Liberty Trails in 2013, and instigated an annual 50-mile riding challenge called the Dartmoor Derby to promote it. 

Elaine Prior (left) with Radio 2’s Sara Cox. Elaine rode 1,000 miles last season leading guests of her riding holiday business across Dartmoor. 

Her business has since revolved around tailormade riding adventures using locally hired horses. During the 2022 season alone, Elaine rode around 1,000 miles leading her guests across Dartmoor. 

Her offer of good-quality horses, luxury accommodation and gourmet food attracts riders from the UK and internationally.  

“Last year marked a real milestone for our business as we welcomed 150 riders in one season, over a third of them from overseas,” says Elaine.

“As for all travel businesses, surviving Covid was tough,” she added.

“But our business model of working with a range of contractors and suppliers, rather than owning horses and accommodation of our own, helped us through.”

Elaine’s guests have included BBC Radio 2’s Sara Cox, actor Martin Clunes and film producer Heather McQuarrie.