BD update: Interim Chair appointed by the Board

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Mon, 20 Dec 2021 19:55

The British Dressage Board of Directors convened for an emergency virtual meeting this morning following on from the sudden passing of Chairman, Linda Whetstone, last Wednesday.

The Board collectively expressed their sadness at the news, conveying their condolences to Linda’s family and friends, while paying their personal respects and tributes to Linda to mark the extraordinary contribution she made to the sport.

Directors discussed a number of options to fill the vacant position of Chairman on an interim basis.  With the ongoing uncertainty caused by the current pandemic, it was agreed that a short-term appointment should be made from within the Board to cover the role during the first half of 2022.

BD Finance Director Caroline Godfrey was voted into the role of Interim Chairman unanimously by her fellow Board members with immediate effect, on the basis that this would be a temporary arrangement only to allow sufficient time for a permanent successor to be elected by members.

The role of Chairman will then be put forward for election in early 2022, with nominations opening next spring, alongside the directorships for Judges and International, where Peter Storr and Judy Harvey are eligible for a second term.  Subject to review by the Nominations Committee, candidates for the Chair will then go forward to the member voting process, conducted by electronic ballot, with the successful appointments announced in the autumn, taking effect from the 2022 AGM.

Caroline has indicated she will not be putting herself forward for election for the Chairman vacancy on a permanent basis and will stand down from her interim role once the election is complete.

The Finance Director role was also due for review in 2022; however, the Board agreed to extend Caroline’s initial term by a further 12 months, in accordance with the provisions contained within the British Dressage Articles of Association.  This will provide continuity and stability, helping to support the new BD Financial Controller, and avoid too many Board positions becoming vacant at the same time in future.  The Finance Director is a Board appointed role and will now be reviewed again in 2023, with Caroline eligible for a second term.


Chief Executive Jason Brautigam commented; “This morning’s meeting was filled with sadness, but it was also heartening to reflect on Linda’s immense impact on the sport, as well as share memories with those who worked closely with her.  We were all united on the decision to put Caroline in place as Interim Chair and we are grateful to her for agreeing to take on the role temporarily. Caroline has played an essential role in the financial management of BD during the pandemic and is ideally placed to bring stability and leadership while we recruit for a new Chair.  We will open nominations for next year’s Board vacancies at the end of February, with the elections taking place over the summer.”