Board Director Election Results & AGM Minutes
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01 Dec 10

Board Director Election Results & AGM Minutes


Held on Sunday 28th November 2010 at the Stareton Hall, Warwick Complex, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warks CV8 2RN at 10.30am.

BE Chairman, Mrs Alexandra Fox welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the Board. Apologies were received from Les Smith and Alec Lochore.

A minute’s silence was called to remember the following people who have passed away in the past year: - Sheila Berry, Devina Cannon, Robin Donaldson, Fiona Monteith, Ted Bonner-Maurice, Hugo McGhee, Jacquie Mason & Jennie Woodcock.

Mrs Fox said the year had been a special one. She thanked the BE office & field staff for their efforts. She thanked Hugh Thomas & Jane Tuckwell for hosting the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships at Badminton this year and also Michael Munden for his assistance with negotiations with some of our business partners and his help in the reorganisation of the Junior Programme.

She reminded the meeting that voting for Resolution 1; to reappoint the auditors, Saffery Champness and the election of three Board Directors had closed.

Overview of the Sport and Business in 2010
BE Chief Executive, Mike Etherington-Smith thanked all those who had attended the meeting and then gave a presentation outlining the year which had been a challenging one. He thanked the BE Board & all staff and especially BE Members from whom feedback and opinions are always welcomed. He talked about the new Fixtures Team, shared IT services with British Dressage, British Showjumping and the BEF, the new BE merchandise range & information stand and other marketing services. The BE Sounding Board is a valuable communication tool, the website receives a huge number of ‘hits’ and there has been an overall increase in sponsorship. The Team GBR initiative with the other disciplines for 2012 is attracting interest and a promotional DVD was shown to the audience.

Chris Hunnable is now Chair of the Sport Committee. Nick Gauntlett and Pete Collins have stood down after their four-year term and will be replaced by Rodney Powell and Adele Schardt respectively.

Jonathan Chapman has taken over as Chair of the Safety Committee. Patrick Rolfe chairs the new Fixtures Team and there are plans for further consultation with riders, owners, and organisers during 2011 as we seek to balance the need to provide events on a supply & demand basis.

There are several other changes: Jane Peters is the new Under-18 Chairman following a re-vamp of the Junior Programme. Caroline Moore has been appointed U-18 Coach and other new appointments have been publicised on the BE website. Gill Watson is stepping down as Junior and Young Rider Team Coach at the end of 2011 but we hope to be able to draw on her vast knowledge and experience in the future.

Alec Lochore has joined the FEI Eventing Committee for a four-year term which is a positive move as our relationship with the FEI is a close one. Chris Shaw, Central North’s Regional Co-ordinator has recently left BE and two new replacements will be recruited; a new RC and a Training Officer.

The European Equestrian Federation (EEF) was set up this year with Mike Etherington-Smith as Chairman of the Eventing Working Group.

A new Rider Rep system was piloted at Advanced level in 2010 and proved popular and successful. We hope to roll this out further in 2011.
There will be 180 events next year, slightly fewer than 2010 but there was some ‘over-capacity’.

There are some new rules for next year. Much discussion and thought has been given to Refunds & Withdrawals – there are some rule changes and there is more to be done in 2011.

Mike Etherington-Smith announced that Burghley has a new organising committee and Richard Jewson has taken over from Malcolm Wallace as Chairman. A quote from the press announcement said “Burghley Horse Trials Ltd., the new company set up to be responsible for the event, now to be wholly owned by the Burghley Estate, will continue to work closely with British Eventing (BE) to ensure the continued success of this world famous horse trials.” The annual contribution to BE from Burghley HT will reduce and Liz Inman continues as Event Director.

Blenheim Palace’s new sponsor, Fidelity ensured another great year for this event.

New initiatives for 2011 to aid event viability include the new National Schools and British Riding Clubs Championships plus Pony Club classes at selected venues.

Key Goals for 2011 include a review of Company Articles, financial planning for post-2012, regional development, shared IT and other services along with improved efficiencies.

Finally, Mike Etherington-Smith thanked everyone in the Sport again and congratulated all the Teams for such a successful year.

Overview of the 2009/2010 Financial Year
BE’s Financial Director, Wendy McGowan gave a presentation on finances for the year.

The 2009 financial results were excellent; with a 196% increase in our surplus on 2008. Membership & horse registrations fell which was not surprising and some tough decisions on expenditure had to be made.

The focus for 2011 will be to maintain investment in the sport. There are new membership categories for Joint Owners & Syndicate Owners for 2011. A £10 increase in Full Membership can be offset by using Direct Debit and for 2012 the BE Board has agreed that Membership Subscriptions can be spread over four payments; a letter will be sent to all Members in the next week.

A new Finance & General Purposes Committee has been set up; Chris Gillespie, Phil Smith and Alex Fox are members.

Wendy McGowan was pleased to report that only 11 Events were abandoned in 2010, compared with 8 in 2009, 31 in 2008 and 35 in 2007. The new process of collecting Abandonment Insurance premiums worked well this year and there are no changes planned for 2011.

Questions were then invited from the floor:
1. David Stone expressed concern at the Burghley announcement and asked how such a substantial sum could be replaced. Mike E-S and Alex Fox replied that there has been much consultation & discussion with Burghley and that the Board will consider the implications as a matter of urgency. Mr Stone asked exactly what the financial impact would be and was told that the reduction in income is transitional but that this is one of the key tasks for the new Board to address.

2. Judy Skinner asked about press inertia towards the team’s WEG Gold Medal success. Mike E-S agreed and confirmed there is a meeting of the press, with Mike Barnes (BE’s Commercial Director in attendance) at Olympia on 17th December.

3. Darren Hunt asked if Associate Members would be allowed voting rights. Mike E-S and Alex Fox confirmed that this area is to be considered next year along with membership categories for non-competing members, Accredited Coaches, Course Builders & Designers who should have a ‘voice’. A paper is being prepared for the first Board meeting in the New Year.

4. William Fox-Pitt felt that the build up to Badminton would be tricky as Belton is the only qualifier. Mike E-S confirmed Mark Phillips is the new Course Designer for the event, there has been consultation with Stuart Buntine and BE is confident that all issues will be resolved.

Awards Presentations
Tony & Mary Walters’ award for Fence Judges of The Year was presented to William Fox-Pitt by Jane Holderness-Roddam as they were unable to attend due to the snow.

Mary King presented the Volunteer of The Year Award to Janice Hawes.
Gemma Pudney’s award for Young Volunteer of The Year was accepted by Piggy French in Gemmas’ absence.

Rosemary Barlow, Chairman of the Horse Trials Support Group presented Bursaries to the Sophie Beatty (Pony Team), Tim Rogers (Junior Team) and Tom McEwen (Young Rider Team). The HTSG was thanked for its invaluable support.

The BE Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to the sport was presented by Jane Holderness-Roddam to Pattie Biden.
Finally, The Jane Holderness-Roddam Trophy for the highest placed Senior rider in the respective senior championship was presented by Jane to William Fox-Pitt.

Our Sporting Successes
Yogi Breisner summed up BE’s sporting successes over the year which included Pony Team Gold at Bishop Burton, Young Rider Team Gold and Individual Gold at Pardubice, Junior Individual Bronze at Bad Segeberg and the Senior Team’s Gold Medal and Individual Silver by William Fox-Pitt at WEG in Kentucky.

Yogi was full of praise for everyone involved at any level from UK Sport & Lottery Funding to the Horse Trials Support Group, from Owners to Riders, and from all support staff to all BE Members.

Yogi said we must not rest on our laurels – 2011 sees Pony Europeans in Poland, Young Riders at Blair, Seniors at Luhmuhlen and the Juniors in Portugal.

A short DVD summarising the WEG success was then shown and Yogi introduced Mary King, Piggy French and William Fox-Pitt to the audience where they answered questions.

Alex Fox extended the Board’s thanks to Yogi for his achievements during the year.

Board Director Election Results
1. 901 votes were received (38 against) to approve the re-appointment of Saffrey Champness as Auditors. The resolution was, therefore, carried.

2. 939 members voted for the election of Board Directors and the following Board Directors were elected: -
Amanda Ratcliffe
Les Smith
Nigel Taylor
There being no further business or questions, the meeting closed at 12.25pm

Full Results
The voting was as follows: -
Les Smith 442
Nigel Taylor 423
Amanda Ratcliffe 267
Josephine Carr 213
Peter Collins 210
Nicholas Burd 164
Peter Durrant 116
Philip Kerr 92
Simon Gower 51