Terms & Conditions

Terms and Conditions

Please find below our terms and conditions. Amongst other things, we have worked hard to make sure that these T&Cs reflect the way in which we do business and our approach to organising our holidays. We hope that as such they can provide useful insight into our booking process, necessary safety equipment, and what you need to consider and expect when coming on our holidays. We’ve also tried to make it as readable as possible!

 1. Making your booking
1.1. Before you book your Holiday with us, we will want to spend time talking to you and exploring with you all those fabulous ideas you may have about your Holiday. If you have only one or two ideas, we will talk to you about what we might suggest will complement those ideas but we are equally happy to suggest any number of alternative itineraries for you to consider and discuss amongst yourselves before conferring further with us. We aim to offer a truly personal and bespoke service. 1.2. Once a Guest is ready to make a booking, it can be made in person, or more likely by phone, letter, or email. We are sorry but for insurance, administrative and record keeping purposes, we may have to ask you to complete one or more forms.
1.3. In legal terms, your booking is your offer to us to provide the Holiday for you. The person who makes the booking is called the Lead Guest and by making the booking she is warranting to us that she is over 18 and she guarantees that she has the authority to book the Holiday on behalf of the Guest, that she will pay the Price and she accepts for herself and on behalf of each member of the Guest these terms and conditions.
1.4. Our booking confirmation will contain a booking itinerary for your Holiday and a request for the Deposit. We ask you to pay the Deposit within 7 days of the date of the booking confirmation. It is only once we have received your Deposit that we will start to make the reservations referred to in the booking itinerary. If for whatever reason we cannot make all of the reservations you have requested we will discuss this with you and endeavour to make appropriate substitutions in conjunction with you. If we are unable to come up with a different itinerary that is suitable for you within 30 days of the date of receipt of the Deposit, we will return your Deposit and neither of us will have any further obligation to the other. Only once we have agreed the Itinerary will we send a final invoice.
1.5. Please check the details on the final invoice carefully, including the spelling of all Guest names which should be as set out in their respective passports current for the dates of travel. Should corrections be necessary, please notify us within 7 days of receipt of the final invoice so that we can make the necessary amendments. If amendments need to be made subsequent to the 7 day period referred to, we reserve the right to charge an administration fee of £30 per change. It is the Lead Guest’s responsibility to notify us of any changes to information given to us at or after the time of booking, including dramatic change to weight, confidence or health of each Guest and we will not be liable for any failure on her part in this regard.
1.6. The issue of our final invoice is our acceptance of your booking as set out in that invoice, and at that point you are deemed to have entered into a contract with us for the Holiday.
2. Your Financial Protection.
2.1. The regulations that govern what we do oblige us to offer you protection in the event of Blackthorn & Brook’s insolvency. We have in place a financial guarantee which protects the full price of your holiday in case of our insolvency.
3. Payment.
3.1. The Lead Guest will be responsible for all payments in respect of the Holiday.
3.2. Full payment of the Price is required upon receipt of the final invoice if the invoice date is within 8 weeks of the date of your arrival in the UK.
3.3. If a Deposit is paid, the Balance of the Price must be paid at least 8 weeks before the date of your arrival in the UK, or alternatively as advised at the time of booking and stated on our final invoice.
3.4. If the Deposit and/or Balance is not paid in time we reserve the right to cancel your Holiday and retain your Deposit.
3.5. All payments must be made in GBP sterling into our nominated bank account (details of which we will provide to you) bearing your unique reference number which will appear in the booking confirmation and on the final invoice. Payment is not deemed to have been made until cleared funds in GBP sterling show up in our account.
4. Included in the Price
4.1. What is included in your Holiday is as set out in the Itinerary, everything else is Excluded.
4.2. Although not mentioned in the Itinerary, we will provide the Guest Leader with a mobile phone for the duration of your Holiday in order that you might be able to contact Megan as needed.
5. Changes to the cost of your Holiday.
5.1. After we have issued the final invoice the price of your Holiday will not change save to the extent you request a change when the provisions of condition 6 below will apply.
6. Changes by you.
6.1. If after booking you wish to make changes to your Holiday we will do our best to meet your new requirements. This may not always be possible. The Lead Guest will need to confirm your request in writing. There will be a £30 per booking administration fee and you will also be asked to pay any costs we incur in making the changes. Costs could increase as the date of your arrival in the UK approaches so you should contact us as soon as possible. Please be aware that in certain circumstances an alteration request could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that element of the Price.
6.2. Please note that no credit or refund will be due for any unused services provided in the cost of your Holiday.
6.3. Unused services will include your disinclination to participate in an activity or excursion for whatever reason.
7. Cancellation by you.
7.1. You may cancel your arrangements at any time. Changing your Holiday dates to dates other than your original dates is classed as a cancellation. Written notification from the Lead Guest must be received by us at our offices and the cancellation will be effective from that date. We shall be entitled to retain as much of the Deposit or other payment received by us as is needed to cover our reasonable costs and losses caused by your cancellation. If we incur costs beyond the monies already received from you, you will have to pay the applicable cancellation charges as shown in condition 8.5 below within 7 days of a request from us to do so. We will take all reasonable steps to keep the costs we incur and our losses to a minimum.
7.2. If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim charges suffered.
8. If we change or cancel your holiday.
8.1. It is unlikely that we will have to make any changes to your Itinerary, but as we do plan the arrangements many months in advance, occasionally changes may have to be made and we reserve the right to do so at any time. Most of these changes are minor and we will advise you about them at the earliest possible date. Itineraries can be affected by adverse weather, road closures or other reasons and may be varied accordingly. We shall endeavour to advise you of these changes as soon as we are aware of them. Examples of minor changes include:
8.1.1. change of accommodation to another of the same standard;
8.1.2. change to the route of a ride, change in location of a ride;
8.1.3. change to the hunt it was intended you would hunt with;
8.1.4. other changes to riding activities necessitated by your Competency in our sole discretion not being what it needs to be to partake in certain of the riding activities detailed in your Itinerary given that your safety at all times is our paramount concern; or
8.1.5. swapping activities planned for one day to another.
8.2. If a major change becomes necessary, we will inform you as soon as reasonably possible and, if there is time, before you arrive in the UK. In our view, a major change is a change to your Itinerary that may deliver a diminished level of enjoyment as against your expectation as perceived by us in the course of planning your Holiday. In the event of a major change you will have the choice of either:
8.2.1. Accepting a change of equal or superior quality; or
8.2.2. Accepting alternative arrangements of a comparable standard if available but that may deliver a different experience and receiving a price refund if the alternative is of a lower value;
8.2.3. Cancelling your Holiday if you are not already in the UK and receiving a full and prompt refund of all monies paid to us.
In all cases where a major change becomes necessary, except where the changes arise due to Force Majeure, and please note that adverse weather constitutes Force Majeure, we will also pay compensation as detailed in below.
8.3. Occasionally it may be necessary to cancel confirmed arrangements and we must reserve the right to do so. That said, we will not do so within 8 weeks of the anticipated date of your arrival in the UK unless you have failed to pay the Balance or we are forced to as a result of Force Majeure. If we are unable to provide the Itinerary, you can either have a full refund of all monies paid, or accept an offer of alternative arrangements (if available) or that will be of equal quality or standard but may deliver a very different experience . We will refund any price difference if the alternative is of lower value. If it is necessary to cancel your Itinerary, we will pay you compensation as set out in the table below. Please note that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for any consequential loss you may incur from arrangements you have made with any other party or parties
8.4. Service providers who we contract to provide services for you which form part of the Itinerary generally reserve the right to change arrangements both before and after they have confirmed a booking with us. We will notify you of any changes as soon as we are notified of them but we cannot accept any liability in relation to any change. We will not be held responsible if the rare occasion should arise where a service provider goes into liquidation/receivership but of course we will do our best to provide you with an alternative of equal quality or standard but which may deliver a very different experience, we must though in these circumstances reserve the right to pass on to you the costs of the alternative service provision.
Period before arrival in the UK within which notice of cancellation or major change is received by us or notified to you. If you cancel your Holiday – amount of cancellation charge
If we cancel or make a major change to your Holiday – the compensation amount you will receive from us, in addition to your refund More than 70 days Loss of deposit £Nil 69 – 57 days Loss of deposit £25 per person 56 – 31 days 50% of Price £25 per person 30 – 15 days 90% of Price £25 per person 14 days or less 100% of Price £25 per person
Or such other amounts as are agreed in writing from time to time between a Guest and Blackthorn & Brook.
8.6. For the avoidance of doubt, the fact that we agree to pay compensation as detailed above, does not preclude you from claiming more if you are entitled so to do.
9. Complaints.
9.1. If you have a problem during your Holiday we want you to tell Megan as soon as you are able, using the mobile phone we will have provided. We cannot help or correct a problem if we are not aware of it.
9.2. Delay in contacting Megan may even result in any refunds or compensation to which you may be entitled, being reduced or extinguished. If the problem or complaint relates to one of our suppliers or agents, please bear with us whilst we investigate matters raised with the suppliers or agents involved.
10. Our liability to you
10.1. If after you have arrived in the UK, we are unable to provide a significant proportion of the Itinerary, we will do our very best to make alternative arrangements. If we cannot do so or you refuse to accept these alternative arrangements for good reason, we will arrange to transport you back to the location where our contracted services began as soon as we reasonably can.
10.2. If the contract we have with you is not performed or is improperly performed by us or our suppliers we will pay you appropriate compensation if this has affected the enjoyment of your Holiday. However we will not be liable where any failure in the performance of the contract is due to:
10.2.1. the Guests themselves or any of them;
10.2.2. a third party unconnected with the provision of the services detailed in the Itinerary;
10.2.3. where the failure is unforeseeable or unavoidable; unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised;
10.2.4. an event which we or our suppliers, even with all due care, could not foresee or forestall.
10.3. Our liability, except in cases involving death or personal injury resulting from our negligence subject always to condition 13.7, shall be limited to a maximum of three times the cost of your Holiday.
11. Excursions not included in the Holiday and booked by you locally or by us at your request during the Holiday
11.1. Excursions or other tours that you may choose to book or pay for whilst you are on holiday are not part of your Holiday. For any excursion or other tour that you book, your contract will be with the operator of the excursion or tour and not with us. We are not responsible for the provision of the excursion or tour or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the operator.
12. Personal Injury unconnected with your Holiday.
12.1. Unless you suffer personal injury or death caused by our negligence (subject always to condition 13.7), we do not accept any liability for any personal injury, death, loss or damage you may suffer from any excursion booked through a third party, or any other arrangements unconnected to your Holiday. We shall at our discretion, offer advice, guidance and assistance. Where legal action is contemplated and you want our assistance, you must obtain our written consent prior to commencement of proceedings. Our consent will be given subject to you undertaking to assign any costs and benefits received under any relevant insurance policy to us. We limit the cost of our assistance to you or to any one booking form to £5,000.
13. Specifically Riding
13.1. The sporting activities integral to Blackthorn & Brook holidays involve inherent risks including but not limited to walking over rough ground, handling horses, riding horses, jumping, fox hunting. Although at all times during your Holiday, your safety is of paramount importance, by booking a Holiday with us, you accept that participation is at your own risk, you are suitably equipped and of adequate health and physical ability to participate in the sporting activities set out in the booking confirmation. You further confirm that it is your responsibility to obtain travel insurance which will provide adequate cover for the risks associated with the riding and other activities specified in the Itinerary. . 13.2. Fox hunting in the UK throws up risks that you may not have considered, the list below, whilst not all encompassing identifies just some of those risks. When you book a Blackthorn & Brook riding holiday you agree that Blackthorn & Brook will have no liability to you if you suffer loss and damage as a result, directly or indirectly of any “third party” risks:
13.2.1. hunting is a group sport which involves sometimes 100-150 participants. Blackthorn & Brook has no control over the behaviour of other participants and/or their horses or indeed for foot and car followers, their dogs and vehicles, whether on or off road or otherwise all terrain vehicles;
13.2.2. hunting takes place over a mixture of private and public property including roads, villages and farms. Blackthorn & Brook has no control over the accidents that might arise from obstacles such as muck or mud on roads causing them to be slippery, broken bridges, landslips or loose and/or barbed wire;
13.2.3. out hunting, riders come into contact with individuals such as ramblers, motorists, cyclists and (although rarely) anti-hunt
representatives. We have no control over their behaviour or interaction with Guests.
13.3. Matching our Guest to the right riding experience throws up more questions than just about anything else. A top priority is to get the best possible match between horse and rider; and when hunting to a particular pack of hounds. Your safety is paramount in this process. In order to help us achieve this, we ask that you detail for us your Competency on the form provided. In addition any of the following information that that you can provide us with is invaluable in assisting us to match horse and rider: 13.3.1. Photographic and video evidence; 13.3.2. a list of packs hunted with flight of choice; 13.3.3. competition results; 13.3.4. details of any experience of hunting abroad; 13.3.5. references.
13.4. We will take you on a trail ride at the start of your Holiday in order to confirm your Competency. The ride will enable us to confirm or change our choices of horse for each Guest and for each activity and change or confirm our choice of hunt or other riding activity. The initial trail ride is mandatory. Should you for whatever reason refuse to join this ride we reserve the right to refuse to allow you to ride during your Holiday.
13.5. In the event of a dramatic change of weight, confidence or health as referred to in condition 3 not having been notified to us in sufficient time, our choice of horse maybe rendered void and necessitate our having to refuse to permit the relevant Guest to ride.
13.6. Whilst riding or in the vicinity of horses, you must comply with the instructions of your Guide. It is a condition of your booking that you accept that the Guide is entitled to require you to dismount or to refuse to allow you to ride, or to change the nature or route of the ride if for any reason, such as ability, behaviour or health, they consider that you may endanger the safety or welfare of the horses or any person.
13.7. There are inherent risks involved in horse riding, notwithstanding the provisions of condition 10.3. In booking your Holiday with us, each Guest accepts the Risks and waives their right to sue or bring any action against Blackthorn & Brook, Megan, its officers, employees, agents and subcontractors in respect of death, personal injury or damage to property associated with the Risks. We may require you, as may our service providers, to sign a separate acknowledgement and acceptance of personal liability for the Risks. If you are not allowed to ride because you refuse to sign this disclaimer you will have no claim against us and will not be entitled to any refund or compensation. It would be wrong of us not to draw your attention to the fact that by signing such a document you may well lose any rights to claim for damages in respect of death, injury, or loss of or damage to property even if negligence on the part of the activity organiser is proven to have occurred.
13.8. Our Guests must provide their own safety hats. A hard hat that complies with PAS and BSEN safety standards must be worn at all times when mounted on a horse subject to what follows in respect of the hunting field. We recommend (and personally choose) the use of a hard hat that complies with current PAS & BSEN safety standards for hunting. As your safety is of paramount importance to us, we
would prefer you to wear hard hats in the hunting field. Hats without chin-straps such as ‘Pateys’ are still seen but in diminishing numbers. Probably most people in the UK now choose to wear hard hats in the hunting field, many opting for Charles Owen traditional look models. Guests certainly won’t feel out of place in them. Top hats and bowlers are a very rare sight! If you wish to wear a back protector you will need to provide your own; as with a hard hat, it is accepted as appropriate apparel in the hunting field.
13.9. The intrinsic dangers of equine activities and of all the risks inherent in equine activities which may cause, contribute to or result in the death or personal injury of the Participant or damage to the Participant’s property, including, but not limited to: (i) the propensity of equines to behave in ways that may result in injury, harm, or death to persons on or around them, including but not limited to kicking, biting, shying, bucking and rearing, or to trip and/or fall; (ii) the unpredictability of an equine’s reaction to such things as sounds, sudden movement, and unfamiliar objects, persons, or other animals; (iii) the inability of anyone whomsoever to predict or foresee an equine’s reaction to excitement, weather conditions, sound, movements, objects, vehicles, persons, animals, reptiles, birds or insects, and the effects of such reactions; (iv) the hazards of surface or subsurface conditions, including but not limited to objects or conditions on, under or protruding from the surface both latent and patent; (v) the hazards which rocks, cliffs, holes, hills, fences, trees, stumps, logs, bridges, ditches, bodies of water, debris and obstacles, and any equine activity in connection therewith, may foreseeably or unforeseeably present; (vi) collisions with other animals or objects; (vii) the dangers and risks of tack slipping or breaking for whatever reason; (viii) the potential of a participant acting in a negligent manner that may contribute to injury to the participant or others, such as failing to maintain control over the equine or not acting within the participant’s ability; (ix) the dangers and risks of becoming entangled in tack, harness, or vehicles used in an equine activity; (x) the risks of falling from or otherwise becoming unstable on an equine or a vehicle used in an equine activity for any reason whatsoever or for no identifiable reason; (xi) the dangers of being struck by an equine, by rider or by a hound; {xii) all other risks associated with horses, fox hunting, horseback riding, and related activities.
14. Behaviour
14.1. Each Guest accepts responsibility for any damage or loss caused by any of the Guests in her party. Full payment for any such damage or loss must be made at the time, directly to the person who suffers the loss and damage and each Guest jointly and severally agrees to indemnify and keep us indemnified against any Demands made against us as a result of a Guest’s actions.
14.2. We expect all Guests to have consideration for other people and to behave in a manner that will not detract from the enjoyment of or endanger the health and safety of any of their number, other guests, group members, suppliers, employees, agents or subcontractors of ours. If in our opinion or in the opinion of any other person in authority any Guest behaves in such a way as to cause or to be likely to cause distress, danger or annoyance to any third party or damage to property, we reserve the right to terminate the Holiday so far as that person is concerned, without notice. In this situation, the person(s) concerned may no longer be able to participate in any part of the Holiday and we will have no further responsibilities towards such person(s). No refunds will be made and we will not pay any costs or expenses incurred as a result of termination.
15. Insurance.
15.1. Each Guest must have in place suitable travel insurance to be in place before you arrive in the UK. Each Guest must provide evidence to us of the insurance cover in place. We expect a policy to include cover for cancellation, delay, death, illness, injury, loss of and damage to property. The Lead Guest accepts full responsibility for ensuring that all Guests comply with the terms and conditions of the travel insurance policy purchased.
15.2. As riding can be deemed as being of a hazardous nature, it is essential to ensure that cover is provided for the Risks under the terms of your travel insurance.
16. Passports, visas, immigration and health requirements.
16.1. Each Guest is required to hold a valid passport and where applicable a valid visa for entry into and travel within the United Kingdom for the entire period of the holiday.
16.2. In the event that a Guest is refused entry into the United Kingdom the Guest will be deemed to have cancelled their participation in the Holiday and in accordance with the terms governing cancellation, no refund will be made.
17. Special Requests and Medical Conditions.
17.1. If you have any special requests, please inform us in writing at the time of booking. Although we will endeavour to meet any such request, we regret we cannot guarantee to do so. Failure to meet such special requests will not be a breach of contract on our part. We cannot accept any booking that is conditional upon a special request being met.
17.2. If you have any medical condition or disability which may affect your chosen Holiday you must advise us in writing at the time of booking giving full details. We will pass those details on to the relevant suppliers/service providers, however if we or the service provider feel unable to properly accommodate your particular needs, we/the relevant supplier reserves the right to decline/cancel the booking.
18. Data Protection Act.
18.1. In order to process your booking, to ensure that your Holiday runs smoothly and meet your requirements, we need to use the information you provide such as name, address, any special needs/dietary requirements etc. and take full responsibility for ensuring that proper security measures are in place to protect your information. However, we must pass the information on to the relevant service providers. We will not pass any information on to any person unconnected with your Holiday. This applies to any sensitive information that you give us such as details of disabilities, or dietary/religious requirements. If we cannot pass this information to the relevant service providers, whether in the EEA or not, we cannot process your booking. In making your booking, you consent to this information being passed on to the relevant persons. Note: we are committed to the on-going training of our staff and this may involve the recording of telephone conversations.
19. Photographs
19.1. We are always interested in seeing photographs of your Holiday and the best may be printed in a future brochure. We also reserve the right to use in our brochure any photographs taken during your Holiday which may include you.
20. Governing Law
20.1. Any dispute between us will be governed by English Law and is subject to the exclusive law and jurisdiction of the English Courts.
20.2. The Construction validity and performance of this contract is governed by English Law and any action which may arise out of or in connection with or in relation to it shall be brought onlyin the Courts of England and Wales save that if you are domiciled elsewhere in the United Kingdom the courts of Scotland or Northern Ireland may also have jurisdiction.