BD Director Elections - update June 2019

  • Written By: Winnie Murphy
  • Published: Mon, 01 Jul 2019 11:19

The nomination process for this year’s election for the Board Director positions of Chairman, International Director and Sport Operations Director is now complete.

With new lockdown measures in place for the home nations, training can get underway under the regional structure of British Dressage and Scotland and Wales can join England in the yellow ‘response’ phase of our operational plan for the resumption of activity. Our three RDOs have been compiling a comprehensive list of training dates and are adding further dates regularly to give a full programme across the three countries. All members should endeavour to keep up to date with the specific requirements of the Central, Scottish and Welsh governments. Our extensive COVID-19 frequently asked questions document has been updated to reflect the current position as of 1 June.

Oldencraig will be very much missed from the BD calendar and I am sure all members will join me in thanking them for all of their support for British Dressage over the years.
Jason Brautigam, British Dressage Chief Executive

For the roles of Chair and International Director, the current post-holders of both positions on an interim basis were the only individuals to be nominated, while four candidates came forward for the Sport Operations Director position.

  • ChairLinda Whetstone (proposed by Stephen Clarke and seconded by Peter Storr)
  • International DirectorJudy Harvey (proposed by Stephen Clarke and seconded by Carl Hester)
  • Sport Operations DirectorSimon Bates (proposed by Karen Gray and seconded by Emma Woolley), Ros Ingledew (proposed by Wendy Wood and seconded by Gill Collinson), Sandy Phillips (proposed by Alicia Anderson and seconded by Susan Cumine) and Kelly Thompson (proposed by Clive Halsall and seconded by Sir Lee Pearson).

The applications of all six candidates were considered by the Nominations Committee, in accordance with Article 23.3, and were approved to proceed to election. Linda Whetstone and Judy Harvey will now go forward for ratification by the membership at the Annual General Meeting on 12 September, while there will be a formal election for the position of Sport Operations Director.

The election opens on Monday 8 July, when candidate profiles and voting information will be published on the BD website and in the members’ magazine. Voting will be by electronic ballot, conducted by independent company Mi-Voice. Postal voting papers will be available on request.


We’re also excited to announce our first ever appointed Extra Director to the Board covering the area of Business Development. Changes to our Memorandum and Articles of Association last year enabled us to further enhance the skillset of the Board by appointing independent non-executive directors where they could provide specific skillsets or areas of expertise.

After an interview process and subsequent approval by the Nominations Committee, Suzanne Homewood was ratified by the Board and attended her first meeting earlier in June. A keen dressage rider, having ridden to Intermediate I level, Suzanne has forged a successful career in the mobile telecommunications industry with brands like Orange, T-Mobile, EE and Samsung, her current company, where she holds the position of Enterprise Sales Director.

Coaching is marvellous...!
Jennie Loriston-Clark, British Dressage President

With key skills in customer and employee engagement, business transformation and change, leadership and strategy, Suzanne will provide an invaluable contribution to the Board as we prepare our next five year strategic plan. Alongside Finance Director Caroline Godfrey, Suzanne will be part of the new Finance and Business Development technical committee, which is currently recruiting additional members with specialist knowledge in HR and fundraising. Further updates will follow on this key leadership area as the roles are filled.

British Dressage CEO Jason Brautigam commented; “The new processes that were implemented, as approved by members at last year’s AGM, have worked extremely well to provide us with a robust process to ensure that candidates at Board level have the necessary credentials and experience. Linda and Judy have already demonstrated that they are ideal candidates for their respective roles in the last nine months, so I’m confident the members will back their formal appointment in September, while I wish Simon, Ros, Sandy and Kelly the best of luck in their election campaigns. In all four candidates we have someone who can bring a great deal of vision and direction to the Sport Operations Director vacancy. Tamsyn Cowie has done a sterling job over her two terms and she will undoubtedly be a hard act to follow. We wish her all the best as she can now take the time to enjoy dressage as a judge and supporter, rather than at the sharp end of the sport!

“We’re exceptionally fortunate to have someone of Suzanne’s calibre join the Board and she impressed everyone already at her first meeting earlier this month. Suzanne’s commercial acumen alongside a good knowledge of dressage will make her a real asset to the organisation. The British Dressage team is excited to work with Suzanne to continue to drive the sport forward for increased growth, member satisfaction and success, while we are also looking forward to welcoming the new Sport Operations Director on board in the autumn.”