BD Board update: Chairman

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Tue, 10 Jul 2018 10:26 GMT

In accordance with the Articles of Association for British Dressage, the Board of Directors wish to put forward a special resolution to appoint Linda Whetstone as Interim Chairman following the vacancy left by Penny Pollard, who is standing down at the AGM on Thursday, 20 September 2018.

If elected, Linda would hold the position for a period of 12 months only, to provide a period of stability and allow for a full and open election process to take place next year to find a new Chairman for the period from September 2019 – September 2023.

Linda’s name is well known in the dressage community, having been a cornerstone of British Dressage since its formation in 1998, as well as before this time when it was the Dressage Group under the British Horse Society. She was a member of the founding Board of British Dressage as Rules and Fixtures Director, holding the post for a number of years. An active list one judge, she also held the office of Judges’ Director from 2012 to 2015 and is currently a member of the Senior Selection Panel. Linda was also the first ever Chairman of the Council of the British Equestrian Federation, so she has significant knowledge and understanding of the equestrian landscape.

“The Board of Directors debated at length how to respond to the extremely sad situation of losing Penny Pollard as BD Chair. They weighed up a number of options and felt that appointing an Interim Chair for 12 months was the best solution for the sport, the business and our stakeholders,” said Chief Executive Jason Brautigam.

“The timings didn’t allow for an election for a new Chair by the AGM and the Board didn’t want to rush the process. This is a critical appointment and we need to have sufficient time to ensure that high calibre candidates have the opportunity to put their names forward for nomination next year.”

“Linda Whetstone has been an integral part of dressage for over 30 years, as a rider, judge, organiser, selector and volunteer, all at the very top level of the sport, so the depth and breadth of her knowledge of the sport is second to none. Her sensible, straightforward and considered approach mean she will offer British Dressage a period of stability while we allow the full election process to take place,” he continued.

The Board have released the Notice of AGM today, which details the Ordinary and Special Business of the meeting on 20 September 2018 at The Oak Tree, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire at 6:30pm. The agenda items, including Linda’s election, will be will be put to the vote by the membership. Members are able to vote by proxy if they are unable to attend the meeting in person.

Penny Pollard, the current BD Chairman, added; “Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to send their messages offering best wishes for my journey ahead. I have been very touched and I’m very grateful for the support I have received from the dressage community; they mean a lot.

“I must also thank Linda for so willingly agreeing to step in. I’ve worked with Linda for a number of years now and couldn’t think of a better person to pass the baton of Chairmanship onto. Her professional approach and dedication to British Dressage are outstanding and I know she will provide strong leadership and direction for the sport. I would encourage the membership to support Linda’s appointment as Interim Chair and throughout her 12 months in office.”