Businessman Keith Taylor has succeeded Hugh Thomas as chairman of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF).

The handover took place on Tuesday during a BEF council meeting. Mr Taylor is currently managing director and CEO of Guinness Nigeria Plc — though retiring early this August — and has had a lifelong involvement in equestrianism. He owns and is currently developing Seagry Stud in Chippenham, Gloucestershire, as a breeding centre for dressage horses.

“I am delighted members of the council of the BEF have shown their confidence in me to lead the board of directors as chairman,” said Mr Taylor.

“I will be working very closely with them and the executive as the BEF and its member bodies take the next vital steps in building on the success achieved to date.”

Mr Taylor beat two other candidates, Jane Holderness-Roddam and Toby Vincent, in a ballot held during the council meeting on Tuesday.

Before the election, all three candidates met with Hugh Thomas and BEF chief executive Andrew Finding, as well as a panel comprising a number of BEF council members.

Mr Thomas stepped down as chairman on Tuesday following the completion of his first three-year term.