News

New Development Officer for BD North & West

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Wed, 14 Feb 2024 16:56 GMT

British Dressage is pleased to announce the appointment of a Nikki Birt as Development Officer for the North & West region, who will start in her new role on Monday 4 March 2024. 

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Following an extensive recruitment process that attracted some high calibre candidates, Staffordshire-based Nikki Birt has been promoted from her previous position as BD’s Sport Operations Officer.  In her current role, Nikki has been an integral part of the head office team, overseeing competition activity for Quest and Associated Championships, as well as supporting the wider team in the delivery of day-to-day affiliated sport.  During her time with BD, Nikki has already made a significant contribution, including playing a key role in the development of the new Quest Winter League, which achieved much success in its inaugural season. 

Nikki’s interest in equestrian began as child, where she pestered her mother from the age of four to let her go riding.  She started her formal learning at ten and got her first pony at the age of twelve. “I’ve had a good variety of different types of horses, from ex-racers to unbroken warmbloods, and currently have a Welsh x Irish Draught mare,” Nikki explained about her love of horses, “I didn’t do my first dressage test until I was in my twenties, but I think all of this gives me a good insight into what plenty of our members experience on the journey they have with their own horses –  dressage is, after all, for everyone!”

Nikki completed a degree in Interior Design, before returning to her passion, “I confessed to my mum that I really wanted a career in horses, to which her response was: ‘I always knew that would be the case!’.  From that point, I then spent ten years working for a riding school that had dressage schoolmasters, before eventually finding my way to BD.  I first fell in love with dressage after watching Totilas on the TV, so getting to work in a sport that you’re passionate about is a privilege I never take for granted.” 

Commenting on her appointment and hopes for the region Nikki said: “I’m really thrilled and excited to take on this new role and I’m looking forward to getting out and about at different competitions and championships to meet the North and West members.  My two and a half years at BDHQ has given me a great insight into the BD pathways and championships.  I’m motivated by helping people find a way to reaching their goals, so I can’t wait to get started.”

Chief Operating Officer, Ben Waterhouse commented: “Nikki was the standout candidate in what was a very robust recruitment process. We were pleased to receive a significant amount of interest in the role, and the shortlisting and appointment process was very competitive.

“We’re delighted that we have been able to promote from within our existing team, as it’s always good to offer opportunities for dedicated staff members to progress to other areas of the business, making use of the knowledge, skills and experience they have developed during their time with us.  Nikki will be a hugely valuable addition to our team of Development Officers, working alongside Jane Critchley as Chair, and the Regional Committee, so I’m confident that the North & West Region is in great hands."