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Notes from the AGM

last updated on September 22, 2017 13:38

Notes from the AGM

Held at the Oak Tree, Stoneleigh Park on Thursday 14 September, Chief Executive Jason Brautigam opened the meeting where approximately 70 members were in attendance and gave apologies from Claire Moir and Maggie Copus.

Ordinary resolutions:

1. To re-elect Training Director.
Paul Hayler had not been opposed as Training Director and accordingly, on the approval of the members present he was deemed to be elected.
2. To elect Finance Director.
Karen Wilson had not been opposed as Finance Director and accordingly, on the approval of the members present she was deemed to be elected.
3. To receive the Financial Statements of British Dressage for the year ended 31 December 2016 and the Directors’ and Auditors’ Reports thereon.
The Chief Executive proposed that the Financial Statements, together with the Directors' Report and the Auditor's Report for the period ending 31 December 2016 be approved. This Ordinary Resolution was seconded by Caroline Bell and carried after the voting process.
4. To appoint KPMG as the auditors of British Dressage and to authorise the Board to fix their remuneration.
The Chief Executive proposed that KPMG be elected as auditors of British Dressage and that the Board be authorised to fix their remuneration. This Ordinary Resolution was seconded by Lotte Olson and carried after the voting process.

Special Resolution:

To amend portfolio responsibilities of Directors under Article 18:13
Rules and Fixtures to become Sports Operations
BYRDS to become BD Youth
Marketing to become Business Development

The Chief Executive proposed that the Special Resolution be approved. This Special Resolution was seconded by Islay Auty and carried after the voting process.

Directors reports – see the slides from the presentation

Jason Brautigam
Important points:
- Now delivering a profitable, sustainable future with a vision to further modernise and commercialise.
- £98 of every £100 raised is being ploughed back into the sport.
- BD has increased our reserves by 24% in the last two years.
- Delivered a six figure profit for the last three years.
- Now financially more secure enabling us to reinvest and build the sport and business around it.
- More members and horses than ever – leading to more starters; 235,000 overall in 2016.
- Reaffirmed the strategic priorities including a four phase IT project with Phase I, schedules, launched on time and on budget.
- Update on the current situation on the British Equestrian Federation governance.

Penny Pollard
- Very proud of the organisation we’ve created with members and stakeholders.
- Things don’t always happen as quickly as some would like but we’re challenged with resources.
- New VIP programme for volunteers – Volunteer Induction Process to help define roles and expectations. 125 people involved in ‘significant’ roles with BD but countless others who make the sport happen; thanks to each and every one.
- More competition opportunities than ever before – it’s a challenge to get right but hopefully there’s something for all.
- Working hard to maximise commercial opportunities and benefits of charitable status.
- Robust commercial partnerships, sponsorships and agreements in place.
- Exciting IT developments and members will soon see the benefits.
- Great work done with other BEF member bodies – proved beneficial on the BEF governance work.
- Great to give Carl Hester recognition for all his work and support in the form of our Honorary Patron.
- Second term and still passionate about more transparency, more feedback and more inclusivity. Still a work in progress but committed to achieving it.

Paul Hayler – Training
- Busy time for the area.
- Pleased with the Young Horse format and growth.
- New Young Horse Forums in 2017 were well received and we’ll be having three in early 2018. Aimed at trainers, producers and judges. 2018 will have more emphasis on judging to help develop skills.
- Coaching update on numbers involved.
- Work with the British Horse Society on their new exam systems.

Claire Moir – BYRDS
Claire was unable to be with us on the night but a video was played outlining the achievements and plans.

- BYRDS will become BD Youth with specific age categories:
Under 25
Under 21
Under 18
Under 16
Under 14
Under 12
This will help help us engage and relate to the group in a better way.
- New B+ level Squad
- New A squad Young Horse Rider tests
- New Foundation Academies – 360 degree approach to recognise those with drive, talent, determination and trainability
- Further work with Hartpury on ASE and the revised Young Professionals Programme with the BEF.
- New collaboration with Pony Club so that members will have to complete PC tests alongside squads. C squad riders will need their C test to move up, B squad the C+ test and B+ their B test.

Jo Graham – Judges
- A consolidatory year for the new exam system which has been hugely successful and feedback has been excellent.
- Normally get around 100 judges through the system, on course for 300 this year.
- 92 judges successfully passed to upgrade or become a judge in the first six months of the year.
- Working on DVD based webinars to reduce time and travel commitments in training.
- Working group on payment of judges has been formed and will meet in October.
- Development of mentor scheme for judges.

David Trott – International
- Ponies had a tough trip but were brilliant in claiming bronze. Special mention for the Kerslake family who were called up as reserve at the last minute and put in a huge effort to get the pony from Devon to Hungary in their trailer. Holly went on to score a PB in the team test.
- Juniors did very well under difficult conditions when one horse was eliminated due to lameness in the team test.
- Young Riders just missed a medal and all four rider qualified for the Freestyle. Difficult for Joanna Thurman-Baker to miss out as only three can compete.
- Tricky year for the teams financially with the funding from the BEF being cut but a huge thanks to NAF for their sponsorship which made things easier.
- Great riding in Gothenburg and great to see that we have some great horses coming up through the ranks.
- Exciting times for the sport; 91 applications were received to compete at Hartpury CDI but only 30 spaces available. The qualifying percentage for CDIs in the selection policy will be put up for 2018.

Julie Frizzell – Para
Julie Frizzell was announced as interim Para Director as David Hamer has resigned his position due to his new role with the BEF. The position will go forward for election next year but Julie has kindly stepped in to support the area until then.
- Team effort in Gothenburg was tremendous and all the congratulations they’ve received is well deserved.
- Great picture throughout the year in international representation with significant success.
- At the opposite end, Regional Training is up 46.5% - getting more para riders out and involved.
- In 2018, development of competition opportunities, regional training and rider development will all be on the agenda.

Julie Frizzell – Marketing and Communications
- New team structure at HQ to separate Marketing and Communications roles in acknowledgement of the importance of the two areas.
- Improved membership offerings having great benefits – Club category and monthly Direct Debit with over 600 members so far taking up the option.
- Further expansion of the fanwear range
- Partnerships looking very healthy with NAF, Shearwater Insurance, Harrison Clark Rickerby and Andrews Bowen signed up.
- Sponsorship also very buoyant.
- A change of magazine publishers to Fellows Media and bringing the editorship in house.
- BD Marketplace trial run during the year but not as successful and anticipated so the contract will not be renewed.
- Increased membership marketing in 2018 alongside retention and recruitment programmes.
- Continued commercial development.
- IT and website development will be on going.
- New programme of volunteer recognition.

Tamysn Cowie – Rules and Fixtures
- Welcomed Amanda Heath as the Interim Sports Operations Manager and said she’d ‘hit the ground running’ and has been a huge support.
- The committee has kept changes to a minimum as we’ve had quite enough changes in the last few years.
- The first year of the new Area Festivals structure had gone well but wasn’t quite perfect but thanks to all on ‘anomaly watch’.

Important rule changes for 2018 (rules effective 01 December 2017)
- Area Festival update: minimum 60% score at Area Festivals to qualify for Area Festival Finals, successful this year with participation up 13.27%, qualification for 2018 will start on 1 October 2017, qualification for Area Festivals must be completed 14 days prior to close of entries for intended Area Festival, there will be sashes for the Area Festivals and FEI classes will qualify straight to Area Festival Finals (no need for Area Festivals).
- Whips – carrying a whip at a championship will result in elimination and whips now allowed in all classes at Premier Leagues, although the Selectors may request that a combination rides without.
- Judges – three judges must be used for all championships and they should be positioned both on the long and short sides of the arena.

Fixtures updates
- The new Bronze Championship for Prelim to Advanced Medium will take place in August next year alongside the new Music Championship for Prelim to PSG (Bronze and Silver sections) and Grand Prix (Gold).
- Qualification for the Bronze Championships will start from 1 October and will be based on National League tables with best five scores to count towards rankings.
- Qualifications for the Music Championships will mirror the Regional qualification calendar for the summer season so will start on 1 December via a national leader board.
- The FEI Championships will run alongside the Small Tour Championships.
- New ‘Champion of Champions’ show planned for winners of the Associated Championships.
- Combined Training back for 2018 – qualification starts 1 October, new sponsor in Ideal Saddles. One series of qualifiers with the top two in each class at each qualifier going through to a national final.

Questions from the floor
- Concerns around the high level of staff leaving BD
o Penny Pollard said it was a concern but all staff leaving had individual reasons and were unrelated. She and Jason had been working with the office team on feedback, ideas and what changes could be made. These sessions will be ongoing. Jason added that it has put additional pressure and responsibility on those left in the office and it does take time to recruit good people.

- Accounts show a 13% increase in staff costs but only one increase in staff numbers
o Jason explained that the additional costs were from a total of four new staff members but due to the period of accounts, they were included in the 2015 headcount but the majority of their salary costs were in 2016.

- Following from Claire Moir’s video update on rebranding BYRDS to BD Youth due to the perception of the word and that young people don’t like being referred to by this term.
o Jason explained that this has been a topic of much debate but Youth had been agreed in line with a number of other sports like football, swimming, rugby, etc as a professional sporting term. He would take the concerns back to the committee along with the suggestion of BD Future.

- Area Festivals – too many
o Tamsyn confirmed that in 2018 the numbers would reduce from 27 to 24.

- Could the list of major dates be released
o Amanda Heath said BD was just waiting for the final combined training dates to be agreed and it would be released shortly. After note: now live on the BD website.

- The introduction of the 7% forms for judges was great but would the information be released/used. Judges have to account for extra time at the end of the class which was difficult.
o Jo explained that they’re in place to capture the rationale and to get judges talking which is a positive step. Having the differences is not always wrong but it’s important to discuss them and learn from them. Could develop further in the future.
Jo said that it was accepted that time might not always allow the completion of the forms and that it could be noted that one of the judges had to leave but judges should do their utmost to complete them.
Also, organisers must be encouraged not to give out sheets to give time for the judge discussions to take place.

- Is BD considering the same as FEI and adopting the HiLo system and dropping collectives.
o Jason explained that BD had received the FEI proposals and had consulted with a number of key stakeholders for their opinion before submitting our recommendations back. There was little support for the HiLo system but dropping collectives at international level was a positive step but we’d look to keep them at national level.

There were no further questions so Jason Brautigam closed the meeting.