British Eventing will benefit from a new regional structure in the future with the country split into five regions instead of four, BE operations manager Julian Soltau announced at the recent BE conference.
“Given membership growth and the changing role of the regional director we felt that now was the time to bring an extra region in,” said Julian. “The regions will also now split along county boundaries, making it easier for members to know which region they are in.”
The changes include Richard Carruthers taking over from Colin Furness, who is retiring, to look after a slightly reduced Northern region. The new Southern region — from the M4 southwards — has Robert Mackenzie as its first regional director. The centre of the country is now split into two down the middle. Caroline Royston continues as a regional director, but her Eastern area is slightly changed, while Chris Shaw comes in to look after Wales and West, taking over from a retiring Roger Day.
Chris, 40, carried out BE’s event viability study last year and has been involved with eventing for 20 years. He is joint-organiser of Somerford Park and will continue to work part-time as a self-employed development consultant.
Richard Carruthers, 46, has been competing for 25 years, is an accredited trainer, a technical advisor and chairman of BE’s training committee, while Robert Mackenzie, 57, recently retired from being a main board director with independent family brewers Hall & Woodhouse. He has a hunting background, but become involved in eventing through his daughter, Emily Mackenzie.
Julian Soltau explained the changing role of the regional director: “Traditionally the regional director has carried out a technical role which the technical advisor now picks up. The regional director’s role now involves supporting organisers with regard to planning, fixtures, marketing, sponsorship and other commercial opportunities.”