A major reshuffle of the British Riding Clubs’ (BRC) organisational structure has taken place.

However, the British Horse Society (BHS) is keen to reassure BRC members that the changes will not directly affect them.

The national executive committee, which used to make the decisions in the organisation, has been disbanded. This committee was made up of elected area representatives from across the UK.

It has been replaced by the “BRC advisory committee”, meaning that the BHS, to which the BRC is affiliated, will now have the final say on decisions.

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This new advisory group will comprise delegates from British Eventing (BE), British Showjumping (BS) and British Dressage (BD), the head of BRC, the BRC competitions manager, plus six volunteer roles to be filled by BRC area representatives.

A BHS spokesman said this was part of a wider “period of change” that has been taking place during the past two years.

“Nothing will change for members,” said a BHS spokesman. “Every club will have its own rules and continue to elect their own committee.”

“There will be no change to the payment structure and members will still continue to join the club of their choice.”

He added that members were not consulted because the changes were part of a broad review by the BHS of its committees and their structures.

The area structure will also stay in place.

Elspeth Carr, a committee member of the Vyrnwy Valley Riding Club, said she was “shocked” at the lack of consultation.

“Maybe it’s time for riding clubs to become an independent organisation,” she said. “If we decided to leave the BHS no doubt there would be many difficulties, but we have an army of talented people who are committed to the movement.”

She added that she fears the BRC will become just another department in the BHS.

The riding clubs movement affiliated to the BHS more than 50 years ago.

Ref: H&H 5 November, 2015